Mansfield's Birchall brothers win 2018 FIM Sidecar World Championship
Birchall Racing have won the 2018 FIM Sidecar World Championship with victory at the final round of the season in Germany.
With only one point separating the leading two teams coming into the seventh round, the championship fight ultimately came down to one race – a showdown between Mansfield’s Ben and Tom Birchall and their closest rivals Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes.
The teams wished each other luck before the start, as nerves and adrenaline were high. Birchall Racing made a great start and Ben steered the Yamaha-powered machine flawlessly all the way to the chequered flag – never headed by the chasing outfits behind.
The win granted the brothers a third world title – their second consecutive championship victory – and confirmed their place in history as the first team to win both back-to-back world and TT titles in the same two years.
Ben Birchall said: “It’s going to take a little while to sink in, but we are already looking forward to next year and have some plans on how to improve the outfit a little more.”
And added: “I can’t believe this has happened. We had a great year - the TT was incredible but a run of bad luck had put us a long way behind in the world championship chase.
“Everyone told me to never give up, and so we fought hard every single mile right to that final flag in Germany.
“Tim suffered some bad luck in those final two rounds, but that only matched what we had to go through at the beginning of the season.”
Tom Birchall said: “I have to say a big thank you to everyone who has stuck with us this year – it’s been a real up-and-down one for us. With three rounds to go it looked like we weren’t in with a chance for the title.
“We prepared like crazy on the run up to Germany, every night the lads helped us get things ready. All credit to Louis Christen for his help in setting up the bike, it’s great to be able to give him another world championship.
“It is such a big achievement to get the world title and the two TT wins in the same year – to be able to do it two years in a row is incredible. We have to dedicate it to all the fans and sponsors that make this happen, we simply couldn’t do it without them.
“I have to say a big thank you to Ben too, he has been amazing this year and worked so hard to get us where we are. It’s an honour to be part of such a successful team.”