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Sidecars are ready to go

It has been a long winter for all sidecar teams, but the first round of the 2018 FIM Sidecar World Championship is here, and will take place at the world famous 4,185km “Bugatti Circuit” at Le-Mans, France on the 21st April. The World Sidecars will be supporting the famous “24 Houres Motos” for solo motorcycles.
Overall there will be 7 rounds with ten races, at some of the best circuits in the world.

Most teams have done, and had successful winter testing. Some have even been competing in national and domestic championships. These teams will be up and raring to get going in the new World Championship season. There will be a lot of new faces competing for the world crown this year, but they will have to try and take the title from the 2017 champions Ben and Tom Birchall.

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Team Birchall travelled to Andorra last Sunday to attend the 2017 FIM Awards ceremony. The Mitchells of Mansfield supported riders joined the other FIM World Champions at the event held at the Andorra Park Hotel in the Pyrenean Principality.


The Birchalls, along with team-members James Brindley and Tom Mitchell, rubbed shoulders with 35 fellow FIM World Champions and members from the FIM Team World Championships. Swapping their leathers for dinner jackets, the boys enjoyed an evening to remember relaxing and sharing stories with motorcycling royalty such as Marc Marquez, Toni Cairoli and Jonathan Rea.


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Known as the“Cathedral of Speed”, the famous Assen circuit in Holland is the destination for round nine of The Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship over the weekend of 29th September - 1st October.

The event welcomes two pairs of newly crowned champion brothers, in Tim and Tristan Reeves (Carl Cox Motorsport Kawsaki), who clinched the British title at the previous round at Cadwell, and Ben and Tom Birchall, 2017 FIM World Champions, after dominating that series on their Mitchells of Manfield 600cc Yamaha.
There will no lifting of the pedal however, as both crews are still on a mission with unfinished business.
The Reeves brothers intend to go the entire season with an unblemished record of wins, whilst the Birchalls have their eyes on the 600cc British Cup title to add to their FIM Gold medal.

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We have here the full report from the latest round of the FIM Sidecar World Championship, courtesy of Big Wally.

 

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Mansfield brothers Ben and Tom Birchall have been crowned 2017 World Sidecar champions after winning the first of two races in Croatia. Having won the title in 2009 they took a second win in 2016 and have now got the hat trick with the win this year.

The Mitchells of Mansfield supported riders dominated the two qualifying sessions setting a fastest time of 1m 33.918s in the first session to take pole position for the short, 10 lap Sprint race on Saturday.

We have most of Mark Walters' reports from the weekend to go on here but I want to put the lot in one big round up rather than post each session separate so that will probably go on tomorrow night. 

I just really want to congratulate Ben and Tom, World Champions for 2017. Top job gentlemen and we will get the full thing on here tomorrow I promise! 

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Mansfield world sidecar racers Ben and Tom Birchall recorded a fine win in the penultimate round of the FIM World Sidecar championship at Assen in the Netherlands on Sunday to remain unbeaten and move 30 points clear of the opposition with just one round - two races - remaining.

The Mitchells of Mansfield supported riders dominated free practice and qualifying to claim pole position at the Cathedral of Speed on Saturday to start Sunday’s 17 lap Gold race from the head of the grid.

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“Championship for the taking”

The fifth and final round of the FIM Sidecar World Championship will take place at the 4.168km circuit of Grobnik in Croatia, just south of Rijeka, just inland from the Adriatic Coast. The anti-clockwise circuit is surrounded with mountains with stunning views all round. The “Automotodrom Grobnik”circuit opened in 1978 and until 1990 the Yugoslavian motorcycle GP was held here.

In the past this round of the FIM Sidecar World Championship has taken place in the month of June, which has been hard on man and machine due to high temperatures. Work on the track surface was due to be undertaken. However this work did not happen, resulting in the later than usual event taking place in September.

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We have here from Wally the full report after Assen Superside.. complete with photos from the Big Man himself.. 

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The current Southern 100 Sidecar Championship driver, Tim Reeves returns to the Billown Course to defend his Championship Title, with 2015 winning passenger, Mark Wilkes back in the chair.
However, the tree-time Southern 100 Champion will not find an easy-option in retaining his title as he will be up against no less than four other Sidecar Championship winners!
Most recent, the 2012 winners, brothers Ben & Tom Birchall are presently enjoying their 2017 season, winning both the Sidecar TT Races and enjoying a  commanding lead in the World F2 Championship.
Both crews will have to contend with 6-time Southern 100 Sidecar Champion, Dave Molyneux, who has Dan Sayle in the chair, although this ‘pairing’ have yet to win the coveted title together!

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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.

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With many thanks to Mark Walters, and also the Isle of Man weather giving us a bit of a break in proceedings to catch up, we bring you Mark's full report of qualifying and both races at the second round of the FIM Superside World Championship at Oschersleben a short while back. 

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“Sidecars head to Germany”

Round two of the FIM Sidecar World Championship will take place at the 3.667km circuit of Oschersleben, the circuit which is situated in the Borde district of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

Opened in 1997 as “Motopark Oschersleben” it was then the third permanent racetrack in Germany, the other two being “Nurburgring” and “Hochenheimring”.

This meeting is earlier in the year than previous years, and again the World Sidecars will be supporting the World Endurance Championship for solo machines.
There will be lots of track time for the sidecar teams, and with two races over the weekend a lot of championship points can be had.

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Team Birchall set the benchmark for the pace when they took a decisive win in the opening round of the FIM World Sidecar championship at Le Mans on Saturday.

The new rules for the world championship meant that all Sidecar teams had to change from 1000cc to 600cc engines.

Having switched to the smaller engine last year Ben and Tom Birchall secured the FIM F2 World Sidecar title, securing pole positions and lap records on their way to the title.