Sidecar aces Andy Laidlow and Patrick Farrance will make a return to this year’s Isle of Man TT Races after two years away from the event, during which time they have been chasing glory at European and World Championship level.
Laidlow made his TT debut in 1999, quickly moving up the ranks, with a best result of 4th in 2003 (he was second overall), his first year with Farrance in the chair. Andy’s fastest TT lap is a respectable 108.41mph, making him the 11th fastest driver ever around the TT Mountain Circuit.
In 2004 Andy and Patrick contested the European Championship in a Formula 1 outfit finishing second overall before going on to take in a full season of World Superside Championship racing in 2005. Last year proved to be a very successful year for the pairing, with three podium finishes in World Superside earning the crew a final Championship placing of 5th.
In addition to their fantastic performances on the world stage, Andy and Patrick also won the prestigious Jock Taylor Memorial race at Knockhill in Scotland and the Sunflower International Trophy race at Bishopscourt in Northern Ireland. They ended their season by finishing a close second to World Champions Tim and Tristan Reeves at the Festival of Sidecars event.
For this years TT, Andy and Patrick will pilot a Suzuki powered LCR framed F2 outfit. This is a prototype chassis and is the second of two to have been built by sidecar racing guru Louis Christian, the other going to former World Sidecar Champions Klaus Klaffenbock and Christian Parzer.
Managing the whole TT operation for Team LFR will be none other than ten times World Sidecar Champion Steve Webster, and he will be throwing his support behind one of the best sidecar crews in the world in the world’s biggest sidecar race.
Speaking about his TT return Andy Laidlow said:
"I am over the moon about getting the chance to get back to the Isle of Man. It’s all come about really fast, but we have everything in place to make a concerted attack on the result sheets with a great team and a great bike. There are only two LCR F2 chassis’ in the world and we have one of them, and whilst we realise that we need to do a lot of testing before the TT, Louis has a world-renowned reputation, and I am sure that this will be a fantastic outfit. Having Steve Webster involved form a management point of view is an added boost and I am sure his years of experience will be massively helpful in our TT campaign."
Rider Liaison Officer Paul Phillips commented:
"We have been working hard trying to recruit quality sidecar crews to our event and Andy Laidlow and Patrick Farrance fit this bill 100%. They have previous TT experience and finished one place off the podium the last time they were here. Since then, they have developed into one of the worlds leading sidecar teams, as their results at World Championship level have shown, and with the news that they are returning with a prototype LCR outfit with the great Steve Webster involved in the project, is a real shot in the arm for the class at the TT, and with some other exciting announcements surrounding the sidecars at TT 2006, it really is shaping up to be one of the best years ever for the three wheelers."
Chairman of the TT Co-ordinating Committee David Cretney MHK added:
"We are delighted to have another world class sidecar crew committing to the 2006 TT. We have been working hard through our Rider Liaison Team to recruit quality crews for the sidecar class, and hopefully there will be more to come before the start of this year’s event. It is fantastic for the class to have new chassis builders involved as well, whilst the interest from Steve Webster, albeit from a purely managerial role, is also great news, and it will be a bonus to have the greatest sidecar driver ever working in our paddock at TT 2006."