Sidecar racing requires a special kind of trust between teammates, so it’s unsurprising to hear that two of today’s strongest competitors are brothers. Ben and Tom Birchall are six-time TT champions, as well as FIM sidecar champs, and the brothers show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. So with the Isle of Man TT in full swing, there couldn’t be a better time to share this new video about the two racers.
The brothers’ sidecar racing career spans almost 20 years, with Ben first trying his hand in the sport back in ’99 as a passenger. By 2003, Ben had switched to the driver’s position where he was joined by his brother Tom who, in that same season, tried out being a sidecar passenger for the first time. The two quickly rose through the ranks of local leagues and competitions, and within a decade of starting, the brothers were F1 world champions.
“It’s purely a feeling thing, and I think being brothers helps a lot,” says Ben.
Brothers Ben (left) and Tom (right) Birchall
With the Birchall boys nabbing both an Isle of Man TT win and a FIM world championship in 2017, all eyes are on the brothers this year. Our sister company, Motorsport.com caught up with the brothers during pre-TT testing to ask the two about their tips for succeeding in the competitive world of sidecar racing.
“It’s about teamwork,” says Tom. “The best way I can explain my job is to compliment what he wants to do with the bike. So if he (Ben) wants to take that line through that corner, I’ve got to be committed, in the right place on the bike, giving either weight to the front or weight to the rear, or just generally helping him to coax the thing around.”