Saturday, July 13, 2024

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Sidecar seeds for TT 2024 announced.

The output of news is increasing as the countdown to TT 2024 accelerates. The Seeded runners for the Sidecar class have been released; they feature a hand brake turn; rather than a U turn for one legendary rider.

The retirement from racing of the most successful passenger in TT history meant that the most successful team and the lap record holders at 120.645mph; would be broken up. Ben Birchall’s replacement in the chair for Tom Birchall was known at the time of the Manx Grand Prix when Kevin Rousseau was aboard the Hager Honda for the closed roads testing of the new Hoosier tyres. This will be a step up in pace for Kevin; the margins will be tight; for a new crew to lap at record pace to secure victory is not beyond the realms of possibility; but it is a big ask.

Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley (FHO Honda) lapped at 120.079mph in the second race last year.  Their confidence from that and their years of experience together may just tip the balance in their favour. If they can keep Ben and Kevin in sight they will win. Third away will be Ryan and Callum Crowe; this year the Honda is sponsored by Kelproperties. A minor prang in practice knocked them back last year; despite this they lapped at 118.570mph in race 2, to be third on the all-time list. A trouble free run this year could see them join the 120mph club and take more podium finishes.

Multiple World Champion Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes have the number 4 plate; they have finished on the podium together twice and if they can have races free of mechanical gremlins, they could add to that tally on the Carl Cox Honda.  Next away will be the great, 17 times winner, Dave Molyneux. He has given up on his KTM experiment and returned to the Kawasaki power that brought him 3 of his wins. Dave has the youngest passenger in the race; in the shape of 20 years old Jake Roberts of Ramsey. All being well they can be within the top 6.

An emotional John Holden announced his retirement at the end of last year’s TT; a career that brought him 2 wins and 20 podium finishes. A hand brake turn has brough him back; with new passenger Frank Claeys on a Carl Cox sponsored KTM; hopefully the motor will prove robust this year. Father and son; Steve and Matty Ramsden are at 7 on the RS Motorcycles Honda. They are improving year on year and set their best lap at 114.405mph last year. A podium finish looks beyond them this year; but they could be in the top 6.

The returning Lee Crawford and Tom Christie are on the ARC Kawasaki. These lads are seriously fast everywhere they race. Their best lap from 2022 of 111.102mph does show their true potential. These are dark horses well worth looking out for; expect a top 6 from them. Lewis Blackstock / Patrick Rosney (Dave Holden Yamaha) are another pair back after a sabbatical. They have a best finish of 4th from 2017; they will be hoping to be in the top 6 this year.  Alan Founds and new passenger Rhys Gibbons are the final seeded pairing. Alan’s TT did not go as planned last year; but he is a very fine driver. If Rhys settles to the task; it is a big task; and Alan can lap close to his best, they could be close to a top 6 finish.

Below the seeds there will be some focus on Darryl Gibson (newcomer driver last year, but experienced passenger) and Tom Christie. They can be expected to break the 115mph barrier this year. It will be interesting to see if Michael Russell and Vicky Cooke can find the 4.5mph needed for Vicky to become the fastest lady passenger.

Sidecar Seeds For Tt 2024 Announced.
Ryan and Callum Crowe at the Bungalow

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