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Sidecar revolution with Team Mansfield

Posted onPosted on 3rd Nov
Sidecar revolution with Team Mansfield

Former FIM World Sidecar Champions Ben and Tom Birchall will return to the series under a new banner – Team Mansfield – as they spearhead a period of revolution for the series. The 2016 season will see a combination of 600cc and 1000cc machines, with the Birchall brothers leading the way in the 600cc category which will become the sole format for 2017.

Following discussions with the sport’s governing body – the FIM – Team Mansfield will launch a full campaign in 2016 incorporating all of the World Championship events as well as taking on the British championship and Isle of Man TT.

Team Mansfield will be the main agent preparing the 600cc machines manufactured by LCR. The squad will draw on its extensive experience of the Honda engine to ensure a world-class standard of supply, and with the blessing of the FIM will be at the forefront of the transitional period in international sidecar racing.

“It’s really exciting!” said Ben. “The FIM approached us to take the lead role in this new 600cc class and it’s really got us fired up for 2016. It’s a new challenge and it’s looking to the future of sidecar racing – it will bring the level of the World Championship which is struggling up to that of the British series which is in a great place.

“We’ve had lots of success in the past and this is going to be a real challenge. With the 1000cc bikes alongside us it provides us with a great opportunity to have a development year in 2016 ready for a full-on assault in 2017. We’ve got some really exciting plans in the pipeline and we can’t wait to get started – from a commercial point of view we really want to make the most of our local ties, and we’re well on our way to putting Team Mansfield on the map.”

The family outfit, which claimed glory at this year’s TT and brought the RAC Sidecar Championship Trophy to Mansfield, will be hunting similar accolades again in 2016, and has brought former race team manager and fellow Mansfield motorsport expert Kevin Newton as commercial advisor. Together with the continued support of long-standing sponsor Mitchell’s of Mansfield, the Nottinghamshire team will undoubtedly be a tour de force in 2016.

“Next year is going to be a fantastic challenge,” added Newton. “I’ve got many years of experience managing bike racing teams and many more running the commercial side with my hospitality company, so when I spoke to Ben and Tom about this project I immediately knew it was something I had to be involved with.

“The local connection we have is fantastic – there’s a lot of support for the guys in Mansfield and we want to make the absolute most of that – we’re looking for local businesses to really get behind Team Mansfield and help us make our mark on the new-look World Championship.”