Mansfield F1 sidecar racing brothers Ben and Tom Birchall have just returned from Cartagena in Spain where they took part in a three-day winter test to prepare for the 2007 FIM World sidecar championship.
Ben aged 29 and Tom aged 20 have recently acquired a new LCR chassis, with a 2006 1000cc Suzuki engine, to mount a serious challenge on the 2007 world title. This is being made possible due to new and existing sponsors being on board.
"We are really going all out next year in an effort to secure race wins and podium finishes," said Ben. "We have some massive input from engine builder John Baker of Jebs Engineering, who will be working alongside us throughout the 2007 season, along with Gordon Birtwhistle of Proflex Suspension".
"The test at Cartagena went smoothly with no problems and by the final day we were up to race pace. It was a bit of a rush as we spent two weeks solid putting the outfit together and then had to endure the 3½ thousand mile round trip to Spain. But it was worth it just to know that the bike is running well and we are comfortable with it."
The 2007 dates have yet to be finalised but the provisional world championship dates are as follows: March 18, Melbourne, Australia (tbc); April 1, (tba); May 13, Schleiz, Germany; June 24, Nurburgring, Germany (tbc); June 30, Assen, Netherlands; July 15, Sachsenring, Germany; July 22, Salzburgring, Austria; August 19, Rijeka, Croatia; September 9 (tba); October 14 (tba).
There is also a proposed four or six round British series for F1 sidecars planned at high profile meetings in the UK but this has still to be finalised.