Sidecar stars struggle as problems hit

MANSFIELD sidecar racing stars Ben and Tom Birchall’s usual good results at the Rijeka circuit in Croatia vanished in the FIM World Sidecar championship as they were only able to produce fourth and fifth places in the two races due to ongoing electrical problems that have plagued them over the past few weeks.

After the opening fourth place, the team worked late into the night to try to overcome the problem for the Mitchells of Mansfield- supported brothers.

But as the Gold race began it soon became clear they had been unsuccessful and the longer distance of the second race amplified the problem.

Once more the brothers were fortunate to bring the bike home – this time in fifth place - to collect a further 11 championship points.

“We were down to around 70 per cent of normal power in that race,” explained Ben.

“So we were fortunate to finish where we did. We will be pushing hard to get the bike up to scratch for the next round in Germany.

“But, to be honest, with the age of the engines beginning to tell, it’s going to be an uphill struggle for the remainder of the year. As always we will be doing our very best to stay at the top of our game and bring some silverware home to Mansfield.”

The next round is on 8th July at Sachsenring in Germany, when the sidecars will race as part of the support programme for the MotoGP round.

Going into the race Ben and Tom hold fourth place in the rider standings on 57 points and will be doing their utmost to keep within touching distance of the championship leaders.