Winning double as Birchalls thank rescue marshal

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Mansfield sidecar aces Ben and Tom Birchall won both races and set a new lap record in the two Eastern Airways F1 British Championship races at Donington Park – and they also found time to thank a marshal who pulled them clear of their Isle of Man TT crash wreckage.

On their slowing down lap of the second race the the Mitchells of Mansfield-supported brothers stopped on the track to speak to one of the marshals and to present him with the winners’ trophy from the first race.

The marshal had spoken to Ben and Tom earlier and asked if they remembered him.

He went on to tell them he was the first person to reach them after the crash in the Isle of Man and he pulled the pair to safety.

Ben and Tom were delighted to meet him and as a token of their appreciation for his help he was presented with the winning trophy.

Ben said: “It was great to be back with the Eastern Airways Sidecar championship especially at Donington Park as the circuit is very close to my heart and I have to thank the organisers for letting us race this weekend.

“The icing on the cake was meeting the marshal that pulled us out of the outfit after our crash at the Black Dub.

“It was nice to be able to thank him and give him the trophy as without the marshals and the medics the racing that we all love cannot happen. They play such a massive part in our racing and we are so grateful to their dedication to the riders.”

“It was great to race in the middle of the day and for Sunday’s race be featured in the live TV coverage. We appreciate being involved with BSB as it is such a fantastic series.”

Ben and Tom entered the races as wild cards and therefore were excluded from the points and also the prize fund, but they were happy to take part in the two races and to entertain some of their sponsors and supporters who seldom get to see them race in the UK.

The world championship riders dominated free practice and qualifying and began the first 12 lap race on Saturday from pole position.

As the lights went out Ben and Tom headed the field around Redgate and steadily pulled away to establish an unbeatable lead crossing the finish line some eight seconds ahead of Hegarty and Neave.

They also set a new lap record of 1m 34.426s breaking the existing record already held by the brothers and set earlier this year in the World Championship race.

The second race on Sunday was run over eight laps of the Leicestershire circuit, and once again Ben and Tom began from pole and set off at a fast rate of knots to establish the lead.

They continued to extend their lead and crossed the finish line for their second win of the weekend with an advantage of over seven seconds from Hegarty and Neave.

Once again the Mansfield brothers showed their class and set yet another new lap record with a flying lap of 1m 33.472s shaving a further second from the record time set the previous day.

Ben and Tom return to World championship duties and will contest the final race of the 2014 series at Le Mans on 20th September.

Free practice will take place on Friday, 18th September, two qualifying sessions on Saturday and an 18 lap race on Sunday.

Although the championship has already been decided there is still plenty to race for and they will be hoping to end their season with a win.

Picture by Dave Yeomans.