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Sidecar champion Tom Birchall retires from the sport

Posted onPosted on 20th Dec

One half of Mansfield sporting superstars Birchall Racing has retired.

Tom Birchall, the most successful sidecar passenger in TT history, said it was time to start a new chapter in his life.

Together with his brother, Ben, the team claimed 14 TT wins — having won every race they finished on the Snaefell Mountain Course since 2013.

Away from the Isle of Man, Tom will leave the sport as a four-time sidecar world champion and a British champion.

At this year’s TT, the Mansfield duo became the first sidecar team to surpass the 120mph mark as they won the Sidecar TT Race 1.

They then broke their own benchmark again as they took victory in the Sidecar TT Race 2 with a fastest lap of 120.645mph.

Previously, the pairing had also rewritten the record books to manage the first 117mph, 118mph and 119mph laps for three-wheel machines on the mountain course.

Announcing his retirement, Tom said: “It’s not been an easy decision to make by any means, but it’s now 20 years since I first got into an outfit alongside Ben and it’s 10 years since we took our first TT win, something we dreamt about as kids when we used to come on family holidays to watch.

“Having achieved what we have and having broken that 120mph barrier, the timing feels as right as it can do.

“The TT is the pinnacle for me and while it might only be a couple weeks of the year, it takes a lot of sacrifices and hard work all year to get to a level that allows us to keep pushing and pushing.

“Now feels like the time to take a break from that cycle and start a new chapter in life, but Ben knows I’ll always be there in any way I can to keep the Birchall name on top.”

Ben, who will race with a new passenger in 2024, added: “I can only thank Tom for what he’s done. Racing together has been our way of life for so long now that, in a way, you take it for granted.

“It’s only now that Tom’s decided to step away that I’ve been able to appreciate what an incredible career he’s had.

“It will feel totally different and take time to get used to competing without him, but I’m still totally committed racing and so it’s the start of a new and exciting chapter.

“It genuinely has been a journey, racing all around the world plus all the development of the bikes that people won’t see, too. None of it would have been possible without Tom.

“ We’ve made history and to have done that with my brother has just made it even more special.”