“Birchall Brothers Double Up”
With the sun blazing down on the 4,740 km Pannonia Ring circuit could anyone stop the Birchall Brothers getting another win in the 15 lap Gold Race.
Before the start of the race, there was drama for Peter Kimeswenger and Jens Lehnertz with their “Austria Sidecar Racing-MRSC-Gunskirchen” LCR, Kawaski. After the morning warm up it was all hands on deck. The team had to change their engine, there was not a lot of time for this but the team worked well and they managed this and the team would start the race.
As the lights went out for the 15 lap race, like yesterday it was Pekka Paivarinta and Kirsi Kainulainen with their “44-Racing” LCR, Honda who led the field into the first corner. Unlike yesterday though, they were to keep this lead. Right on their tails though was Ben and Tom Birchall on their “Birchall Racing” LCR, Yamaha. John Holden and Mark Wilkes with their “Barnes/Silicone Racing” LCR, Kawasaki, were staying with the Birchall Brothers too. This was looking like it could be a great race. Bennie Streuer and Kevin Rousseau with their “Team Streuer” LCR, Honda, were right on the tail of Holden and Wilkes. By the end of lap one though the Birchall’s managed to get by Paivarinta and Kainulainen. That was the last time anyone would see the Birchall Brothers Ben and Tom. They just started to pull away and disappear into the distance.
The battle for second and third place in the early stages of the race was great, between Paivarinta/Kainulainen and Holden/Wilkes. On lap four, Paivarinta/Kainulainen made a very rare mistake, they ran wide, leaving the track, this let Holden/Wilkes take the second place. With the Birchall’s gone, Holden/Wilkes pushed hard, they knew that Streuer and Rousseau would not be far away. But it was not Streuer/Rousseau who were catching, it was Paivarinta/Kainulainen, they rejoined the race and did not lose too much time with their off track excursion. For the next three laps the two teams battled hard for the second place. Holden/Wilkes were determined to stay in front of the “Flying Finns”. They were leaving rubber on track as the powered out of the left hand corners, but the same was for Paivarinta/Kainulainen, they were not wanting to finish the race any less than second place. Eventually Paivarinta/Kainulainen got past Holden/Wilkes. This was the chance for them to make a break and make a good gap on Holden/Wilkes.
Lap four saw Scott Lawrie and Helen Deeley on their “Team SLR” LCR, Suzuki pull off track for a DNF with mechanical failure.
With Streuer/Rousseau in a safe fourth place but catching Holden/Wilkes. Michael Grabmuller and Sebastien Lavorel on their “Polizeisportverein Wels Delta Racing Team” LCR, Yamaha were sitting in a safe fifth place, with the “Rookie Team” of Lewis Blackstock and Patrick Rosney with their “Dave Holden Racing” LCR, Suzuki sitting in sixth.
There was a battle for the seventh, eighth and ninth places throughout the start of the race. Janez Remse and Robbie Shorter with their “Remse Racing” ARS, Yamaha held back on the opening lap as they were caught up in some fairing bashing in yesterday’s race. They decided that it would be best just to stay back a little and stay out of trouble if it was to happen again. However they had to fight hard for their seventh place. They got the better of Kimeswenger and Lehnertz who in turn were past Gunther Bachmaier and Manfred Wechselberger on their “MSV-Schwanenstadt, PSV-Wels” LCR, Suzuki.
With the closing stages of the race in sight. It turned out that the top six teams were way out on their own, and apart from Streuer/Rousseau trying to get close to Holden/Wilkes, then deciding they were fighting a losing battle and they would have to settle for fourth. All these teams were to have a lonely final part of the race.
The Birchall Brothers took another decisive win with over 18 seconds between them and the second place team of Paivarinta and Kainulainen, and they were credited with the fastest lap, a time of 1:59.806 . The Birchall Brothers were delighted with their win, saying, “That was a great weekend, all was perfect with the bike, we could not have asked for anymore” Paivarinta and Kainulainen were happy too, with Paivarinta having a laugh about the off track excursion with third place team of Holden and Wilkes.
Gold Race Podium, Pekka and Kirsi, Ben and Tom Birchall , John Handsome and Mark TheStar Wilkes
The fourth place team of Streuer and Rousseau were happy too, but Streuer did say that he thought his engine was down on some power.
Michael Grabmuller and Sebastien Lavorel took fifth place and they were happy with this result.
Blackstock and Rosney took sixth and they were the first team with a short chassis over the line. Another great result for them.
After their hard fought battle, it was Remse and Shorter who crossed the line for seventh place. Remse and Shorter were happy with this and another good race finish for the team and the new bike.
Eighth place went to Kimeswenger and Lehnertz, they were happy with this as they had a lot of work changing their engine just before the start of the race.
Ninth place went to Bachmaier and Wechselberger. They too were happy with this result as it was Wechselberger’s first world championship race since his accident at Le-Mans earlier in the year.
Tenth place went to Jakob Rutz and Marcel Fries on their “Sidecar-Racing-Team-Rutz” LCR, Yamaha. They were reasonably happy with the result. “Another race finish” said Rutz.
Eckart Rosinger and Steffen Werner would finish in eleventh place on their “Team Early Gray” Baker, Suzuki.
Tony Baker and Fiona Baker-Holden would cross the line in twelfth place with their “Cumbria Express” Baker, Susuki.
The next World Championship round will be in August, and that will be in Assen, Holland.