IOMTT: Record Shattering Molyneux
The Manx National Anthem rang out over the TT Grandstand today when local crews took the first two positions in the history-making Hilton Hotel and Casino Sidecar TT. The race was all about Dave Molyneux and Dan Sayle who not only set new race and lap records but completed every lap in less than 20 minutes. Before today no-one had done it once.
Nick Crowe and Darren Hope – the winners of Saturday’s A race – took second position, one minute and 21 seconds down on the winners while Steve Norbury and Andy Smith were over a minute further back in third position. Fourth to sixth positions were filled by Simon Neary and Stuart Bond, Roy Hanks and Dave Wells, and Ben Dixon and Mark Lambert.
The winning time of Molyneux and Sayle was 59 minutes 6.38 seconds – the first occasion the hour barrier had been broken – and the race average speed, 114.901. An illustration of just how fast they had been travelling was shown by the fact that only the first three crews won silver replicas. Seven others qualified for bronze replicas.
There was no mistaking Dave Molyneux and Dan Sayle meant business when they set off from the start. By the time Glen Helen (nine miles from the Grandstand) had been reached they were already eight seconds up on Steve Norbury and Andy Smith who led Saturday’s winners, Nick Crowe and Darren Hope, by two seconds.
Molyneux and Sayle had increased their lead to 22 seconds by Ramsey Hairpin but it was now Crowe and Hope who were in second position, having moved ahead of Norbury and Smith between Glen Helen and Ballaugh Bridge.
The big question was whether Molyneux and Sayle could record the first ever sub-20 minutes lap by a sidecar and that was answered in the affirmative when the times were posted. The leaders had set a new lap record of 19 minutes 44.37 seconds, a speed of 114.683 miles an hour and gave them a lead of 33 seconds over Crowe and Hope who had nine seconds in hand over Norbury and Smith. John Holden and Jamie Winn, who were third in the A race, were holding fourth position.
Molyneux’s new lap record stood for little more than 19 minutes because it was smashed again on lap two. This time the figures were 19 minutes 30.49 seconds, a speed of 116.044. Crowe was over a minute behind while Norbury was a further 31 seconds back on Crowe. Only change in the leading positions concerned fourth position where Simon Neary and Stuart Bond had come through to overtake Holden and Winn.
There was another sub-20 minutes lap by Molyneux and Sayle on the third circuit – this time at 19 minutes 51.52 seconds (113.996) to round off a spectacular performance.
Nigel Connole and Philip Bridge were off at Cruickshank’s Corner and were taken to hospital by helicopter, but they are not believed to be seriously hurt. Bridge was said to be suffering from leg injuries. Brian Alflatt and Christophe Darras crashed at Sulby Bridge but were said to be ‘ok.’