2017 FIM World Sidecar Champions Ben and Tom Birchall are fully prepared to take on the 2018 racing season. The brothers will not only be defending their world title, but also their Isle of Man TT victories and hope to repeat those wins in 2018.

Birchall Racing are extremely thankful for the continued support of all their loyal sponsors, without whom racing at this level would be impossible. Local company, One Call Insurance specifically have also agreed to further their budget with the Mansfield team in order for them to fight to retain their world title.


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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The first round of the A.C.U. / F.S.R.A. British F2 Sidecar Championship took place over the weekend of the 7th and 8th April in contrasting conditions. Many teams took the opportunity of a couple of test sessions on Friday afternoon to familiarise themselves with the circuit, having not been there since 2016 - and for some it was their first visit.

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The Fsra british f2 sidecar championship kicked off at Croft this weekend with the current f2 Cup Champion Mike Jackson and new passenger Harry Payne having a great weekend and coming away with a 5th & 6th, which placed them 5th overall in the Championship points. With the new championship rules stating that the top 6 from the race one result are to be reversed to set the grid for race 2, this put Mike & Harry on the front row for the first time, alongside Conrad Harrison & Andy Winkle. They were able to capitalise on this by out racing Conrad/Andy into turn one, and managing to lead a British Championship race for the first time, eventually losing out to some of the top teams.

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The Team A.R.C. pairing of Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie had a near perfect start to their 2018 A.C.U. / F.S.R.A. British F2 Sidecar Championship campaign. They secured two convincing race wins, the aggregate result landing the team the "Mac Hobson Trophy" for the fourth consecutive year, and they can look forward to heading to Cadwell Park for the second round of the series with a ten point cushion in the standings over reigning champions Pete Founds / Jevan Walmsley.


TEAM MUGEN has confirmed that they will be returning to the Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy in 2018 with a three man team.

New Zealand’s Bruce Anstey, the 2016 and 2017 SES TT Zero Race winner, will again be with the team and looking to complete a hat-trick of victories. He will be joined by legendary 23-time TT Race winner John McGuinness, who returns to the team after recovering from the injuries that caused him to miss the 2017 TT event. McGuinness will also be looking for a third TT Zero victory having won the race in 2014 and 2015.

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The ever-popular annual “Carlostrainingslager” test session at the picturesque Val de Vienne circuit in France last week, proved to be invaluable for all teams making the journey.
A mixture of British Championship teams, Grand Prix teams and various different national class crews totalling some sixty or more outfits enrolled for the week.
With the opening British round the second weekend of April, and the first World round at Le Man the following weekend, there were many new aspects to test and bed in.

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Sleaford sidecar racer Gary Horspole with passenger Rob Biggs took the Dean Ryde F2 outfit to Mallory Park on Friday for a shakedown test with the new bike. This was the first time the bike has been on a circuit and it was expected they would encounter some niggling problems which need rectifying prior to the first meeting at Cadwell over Easter.

The outfit has been built by Dean Ryde with the intention of running it at the 2018 Isle of Man TT races with Horspole and Biggs and is now in the final stages of development.

It is several years since Horspole last took part in the two three lap Sidecar races on the 37.73 mile mountain roads course along where, with his long time passenger Kevin Leigh, he enjoyed success. The pair rode to seven top 10 finishes including a second place in 2000 and two third places in 1998 and 2002.

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After a difficult 2017 season the Portsmouth based Quattro Plant JG Speed fit Kawasaki sidecar team have made a major change for the forthcoming 2018 season. After finishing third in last year’s championship the 2015 and 2016 British Champions with Portsmouth driver Ricky Stevens and Dover based passenger Ryan Charlwood have regrouped over the winter.

They now have a new title sponsor in the form of Quattro Plant who have been involved with the team for several years. Quattro Plant is an infrastructure specialist providing services to the rail, road and construction industries at locations throughout the UK.

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In an agreement reached in recent days, Motorsport TV will take all rounds of the 2018 championship for its linear TV platform across Europe.
The thirty-minute highlight shows will embrace the best of the action from both races each weekend, with podium interviews and interesting features.

In the UK, Motorsport TV can be accessed on Freesat channel 253, on SKY channel 447 and Virgin Media channel 545.
This is in addition to the Frontrunner channel, which began showing the series last season.
Frontrunner too is on Freesat channel 250 and SKY channel 469.

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The first full weekend in April sees three of the BEARs class sidecars taking to the famous ‘Mountain Course’!! This isn’t a TT event, more of a gentle cruse around those iconic roads that have seen so much history made, a chance to take a racing outfit through all those great photo opportunities!

If you would like to come and have a ride around the ‘Island of Dreams’ we will be arranging ‘Taxi Rides’ of various time lengths right up to a full lap which depending on traffic would be about an hour, not the twenty minutes that the TT bikes take but still a thrill in every way!

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The A.C.U. / F.S.R.A. British F2 Sidecar Championship begins at Croft, North Yorkshire on the 7th / 8th April. The organisation's press officer, Mark Dennis has written a preview of what is in store for the coming year. Please click "read more" for the article.


Over on Road Racing News Steve Rial has  been putting ten questions to an ever increasing number of Sidecar Racers in the "Sidecars Ten Question Challenge". 

Have a look here on Road Racing News


Dick Hawes - The End Of An Era
(Posted on behalf and at the request of Pam Hawes)
I’m sad to say that one of the sport’s longest serving competitors and enthusiast has had to retire from racing and withdraw all his involvement with immediate effect owing to his very serious illness. Dick has been admitted to residential care and is extremely unlikely to ever be well enough to return home.