Tim Reeves will be hoping for better fortune in Friday's second Sidecar race at the Isle of Man TT races having been forced to retire from Saturday's opening encounter on the final lap.
With perfect conditions all week on the island, the F13K Cancer/Klaffi Honda driver had encountered a few problems during practice week none more so than on Tuesday evening when passenger Patrick Farrance caught his backside on the banking on the approach to Laurel Bank and they were forced to stop.
However, although Farrance was bruised, he was otherwise ok and the team regrouped for the remainder of the week and Thursday evening saw them post two 114mph+ laps, both of which were faster than Tim had ever gone before around the Mountain Course. The fastest was 114.83mph which placed them second on the overall practice leaderboard and in a good position going into Saturday's race.
The first attempt at running the race was stopped on the opening lap due to an incident at Rhencullen but on the re-start, Tim slotted into third at Glen Helen on the opening lap, just 1.4s behind race leaders Ben and Tom Birchall. As the lap wore on, it was clear they were in a little bit of difficulty and an opening lap of 113.391mph saw them some 22s behind the Birchalls.
A misfire with the outfit meant they couldn't go at the same pace than what they had done during practice week but nevertheless they continued to hold onto third position. However, the problem worsened and Tim and Patrick were forced to retire at Glen Duff on the final lap, huge disappointment for all concerned.
Tim Reeves: "We had a few little issues during practice week but had been building everything up nicely and the lap on Thursday evening felt really good so I was feeling confident going into Saturday's race. We set off the line in the first start and we had a bit of a misfire so after the race got stopped, we changed loads of things on the bike – coils, plugs, fuel maps, cam sensors – to try and cure it."
"When we set off again in the re-start, the bike felt strong for the first third of the lap but the misfire soon returned. I was trying to nurse the bike home to get a finish but the harshness of the misfire stretched the chain and that cut through the seat, then my leathers and into my leg which wasn't ideal! I really wanted to get to the finish but I couldn't drive any further so we had to stop on the final lap. It's really disappointing but that's the TT so we'll regroup and try again on Friday."
The incident on the opening lap involved Australian Dwight Beare and Ben Binns and, sadly, Beare lost his life as a consequence. Everyone at Tim Reeves Racing passes on their deepest condolences to Dwight's family and friends and also to Paul Shoesmith's, the solo rider having lost his life in a practice crash on Saturday evening.
The second 3-lap Sidecar race takes place on Friday at 10.15am.
Pictures by Mark 'Wally' Walters