JOHN Holden and Lee Cain went even faster in tonight’s Sidecar qualifying as six-time winners Ben and Tom Birchall began to find form.
It’s been a solid TT thus far for Silicone Engineering Racing team bosses, with solo man Dean Harrison blitzing tonight’s session with an unofficial Superbike lap record and their outfit squad leading yet another qualifying session.
While last year’s clean-sweeping continued to chase setup issues, Holden and Cain powered their Honda outfit to an opening lap of 115.732mph, higher than their leading pace from last night.
On the IEG Racing Honda, the Birchall brothers clocked a 114.875mph lap from a standing start, before jumping up to the 115s with a 115.145 to end the evening second.
Alan Founds and Jake Lowther finished third with a 113.037 on the Brian Gray Powerbiking Yamaha, while Peter Founds/Jevan Walmsley and Dave Molyneux/Daniel Sayle, who are both debuting brand new outfits this year, laid down a 112.324 and a 111.122, respectively, to complete the top five.
Although the Birchalls aren’t yet where they feel they should be, driver Ben says he and passenger Tom still have work to do – and are hoping to avoid obstacles in future sessions…
“Tell the marshals there’s a chain in the road, and it’s been sat there since it fell off John Holden’s bike,” Ben said.
“That session was good – it’s starting to feel like our bike again. Whatever we’ve done is working and conditions are good so it’s all good.”