|BEN AND TOM BIRCHALL – CADWELL|
Author: Helen Pask
Posted on: Tuesday, May 05 2009
The Mitchells of Mansfield backed pair dominated qualifying, posting a fastest lap of 1m 37.4s to claim pole over a second ahead of John Holden and Andy Winkle on Sunday ahead of the two 12 lap races.
The brothers set off well in the first race on Saturday and soon established a commanding lead breaking the existing lap record for the class with a scorching lap of 1m 38.36s on lap five.
They looked to be coasting to a certain victory but began to slow when the LCR Honda engine developed a misfire that hampered their progress in the latter half of the race. But despite losing the race lead Ben and Tom secured a strong second place that was sufficient to move them into the series lead overnight.
The second race was held on Monday and although the misfire was still there it was not so virile and this allowed Ben and Tom to post the fastest lap of the race (1m38.9s) on lap two. The brothers were in great form and were the only team to dip into the 1m 38s.
But as they rounded Barn Corner at a fast rate of knots they had to take avoiding action to avoid an out of control outfit in their path and ended up off the track their race over.
“Although we were unable to continue we are both ok which is the main thing,” said Ben. “We were happy with our lap times out there, we set our fastest lap in the early stages of the race and no one was able to better it. We have taken the lap record at each circuit we have raced at in the F11 class this season and that is very encouraging for us.”
Ben and Tom relinquished their series lead to double race winners Holden and Winkle after their non-finish on Monday but hold a strong second place just five points behind them.
The Birchall Brothers travelled directly from Cadwell to Dover to catch the ferry to Germany where they headed to Schleiz for the opening round of the FIM World Sidecar championship that takes place this coming weekend, May 8/9/10.
Using their F1 LCR Suzuki powered world championship outfit Ben and Tom will be targeting a couple of podium finishes to get their world championship challenge underway.
Free practice and qualifying take place over Friday and Saturday followed by an 11-lap sprint race on Saturday afternoon. The 22-lap Gold race takes place on Sunday afternoon.
pic of Ben and Tom heading the field at Cadwell - credit Wally Walters
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