Sidecar competitors had the unusual honour of providing the opening race action of the annual Isle of Man TT racing festival – their three-lap race went ahead on Saturday evening as conditions, which had forced the postponement of the Superbike race earlier in the day improved.
Victory went to the local crew of Nick Crowe and Darren Hope – it was maiden TT glory for the Honda powered men and they made the telling move on the final lap to overhaul the leading duo of Steve Norbury and Andy Smith aboard their Shelbourne Yamaha.
“We pulled it all together on the last lap, that was when we really got our act together,”
reflected Crowe as he savoured his victory. He had gone into the last lap nine seconds down. “Luckily we got it all right when it mattered most and it feels superb.”
“The first couple of laps were a bit tricky, we slid a lot in the wet, particularly under the trees at Glen Helen but after previous taking a second and a fourth, I’ve finally won, and thanks must go to my passenger Darren, who is the best in the world.”
But there was bitter disappointment for the local favourite Dave Molyneux, the ten times race winner, and his passenger Dan Sayle when they forced out of the race at half distance with machine problems.
The Manx duo who had shattered the record during Friday evening practice with a lap at an average speed of 115.916mph aboard their Honda powered outfit were comfortably clear, running 48 seconds ahead of the pack at the end of the opening lap before mechanical gremlins sidelined them.
They will be hoping for better things in the festival’s second sidecar race on Wednesday afternoon.
The weather ravaged TT Superbike race will go ahead on Sunday afternoon, with the six-lap event starting at 14.00 local time. Organisers took the decision to postpone the race from Saturday – it should have started at noon, but was aborted at 15.30 - as they dealt with a cocktail of conditions that included heavy rain and low cloud.
Results Sidecar Saturday
1 / Nick CROWE / Darren HOPE / 600 DMR HONDA / Jurby, Isle of Man / 1h 01' 49.30" / 109.85
2 / Steve NORBURY / Andrew SMITH / 600 SHELBOURNE / Castleford / 1h 01' 51.60" / 109.78
3 / John Holden / Jamie Winn / 600 HONDA / CLITHEROE / 1h 03' 06.50" / 107.61
4 / Philip DONGWORTH / Stuart CASTLES / 600 IRESON / / 1h 04' 18.60" / 105.60
5 / Simon Neary / Stuart Bond / 600 BAKER YAMAHA / / 1h 04' 23.20" / 105.47
6 / Tony Baker / Mark Hegerty / 600 BAKER YAMAHA / / 1h 04' 40.30" / 105.01