TT 2019: Holden/Cain, Birchall’s Show Class In Sunday Afternoon’s Sidecar Practice Stint
Three wheeling competition of the absolute highest quality was witnessed today on Manx shores, as various crews banked the minimum two laps from the practice session, which saw John Holden/Lee Cain finish quickest with a very creditable lap speed of 114.99 mph.
Lapping within just over a tenth of a second, slower than their fastest lap time from Tuesday evening, Holden/Cain despite various damp patches, gusty winds around the TT course, looked in excellent fettle
Despite various damp patches, gusty winds, it made no difference to the pace shown by the Silicone Barnes Racing duo, who combined provide a formidable mix of vast experience, race winning pedigree, raw next generation talent and ambition in abundance.
Finishing just over 0.6 of a second behind Holden/Cain, were eight times TT winners Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall.
The Birchall’s who’s outfit sports this June a colour scheme, that is reminiscent of the one used by the Mercedes AMG Formula 1 team, after a solid opening lap of just over the 113 mph mark, their ‘Flying Lap’ saw them lap at 114.93 mph.
Behind Holden/Cain, the Birchall brothers, third quickest Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley (113.36) continues to quietly impress, as does fourth quickest duo from this afternoon’s practice action Alan Founds/Jake Lowther (110.55).
LCR Yamaha mounted Dave Molyneux/Harry Payne (109.43) placed fifth quickest, whilst former TT champions Conrad Harrison/Andy Winkle (108.24) finished sixth fastest.
Finalising the quickest crews were Allan Schofield/Steve Thomas (107.77), Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde (107.72), Optimark Road Racing’s Estelle Leblond/Frank Claeys (106.96) and Beverley father/son duo Gary Gibson/Daryl Gibson (104.66).
Overall 23 crews topped the 100 mph lap mark during today’s much needed practice session, whilst notable retirements included Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes at Church Bridge, and impressive Mountain Course debutants Ryan Crowe/Callum Crowe at Snugborough.
Sidecar practice results are as follows:
1 John Holden/Lee Cain 114.986
2 Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall 114.930
3 Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley 113.360
4 Alan Founds/Jake Lowther 110.553
5 Dave Molyneux/Harry Payne 109.431
6 Conrad Harrison/Andy Winkle 108.239
7 Allan Schofield/Steve Thomas 107.766
8 Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde 107.719
9 Estelle Leblond/Frank Claeys 106.956
10 Gary Gibson/Daryl Gibson 104.658
11 Dan Knight/Matthew Rostron 103.644
12 John Lowther/Scott Hardie 103.371
13 Darren Hope/Paul Bumfrey 103.320
14 John Saunders/James Saunders 103.316
15 Greg Lambert/Ben McBride 103.224
16 Wayne Lockey/Mark Sayers 102.828
17 Mick Alton/Stephen Bonney 102.786
18 Andy King/Alun Thomas 102.646
19 Michael Jackson/Sarah Stokoe 102.639
20 Robert Handcock/Ken Edwards 102.543
21 Steve Ramsden/Matty Ramsden 102.509
22 Craig Melvin/Stuart Christian 102.277
23 Gary Knight/Daniel Evanson 102.022
24 Francois Leblond/Marlene Couillard 100.673
25 Nicholas Dukes/William Moralee 100.612
26 Roy Tansley/Shaun Parker 99.922
27 Darryl Rayner/Wendy Campbell 99.173
28 Bruce Moore/Ashley Moore 98.558
29 Maria Costello MBE/Julie Canipa 98.173
30 Gordon Shand/Tony Belsey 97.578
31 Terry O’Reilly/Eamon Mulholland 97.428
32 Kevin Thornton/David Hainsworth 97.007
33 Dave Quirk/Karl Schofield 96.916
34 John Shipley/Andrew Haynes 96.693
35 Kevin Morgan/Steve Morgan 94.033
36 Nigel Smith/Chris McGahan 93.775
37 Brian Alflatt/Aaron Gorman 92.207
38 Mark Codd/Liam Gordon 81.921
Road Racing News - Words by Stevie Rial