Mansfield brothers Ben and Tom Birchall got their 2007 FIM World Sidecar Championship off to a good start at Schleiz in Germany at the weekend, by riding through to claim their first podium with a third place.
On Saturday, after experiencing some problems with their LCR-Suzuki, they completed their qualifying in eighth place for a third row grid position. Unfortunately Ben and Tom didn't complete Saturday's match race after their sidecar developed a technical fault, so they had to exit the race to sort out the problem, resulting in a DNF.
The first half of the 22-lap gold race on Sunday was led by Tim Reeves and his replacement partner Patrick Farrance. The Birchall brothers were making gradual progress after being held up by slower traffic, then after finding some clear track, they were able to catch up with the front runners, eventually finishing in third place.
Ben said "We are feeling very happy after what seemed like a very long, hot race and the hard work put in by the team paid off in the end, giving Tom and me our first ever World Championship podium and we are now both looking forward to Brands".
The second round of the FIM World Sidecar Championship will be held at Brands Hatch, Kent on June 8/10 during the DTM (German Touring Cars) racing series.
Birchall Racing's next outing will be to Knockhill in Fife over the weekend of June 2/3 when they will compete in round two of the British ACU/FSRA F1 Championship during the KDMC Scottish Championship racing series.