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Jun 9, 2011

Holden And Winkle Win Sidecar Race Two At The Isle Of Man TT

John Holden and passenger Andy Winkle (1) in action at the Isle of Man TT.
John Holden and Andy Winkle won their first Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy on Thursday when they took the second 3-lap Sure Sidecar race 2 after long time leaders Klaus Klaffenbock and Daniel Sayle hit problems on the final lap. The Austrian ex-World Champion held a 17 second lead starting the third and final lap but he slowed dramatically and Holden and Winkle took full advantage. After five runner-up spots, they finally took a dream TT win, some 45 seconds clear of Conrad Harrison and Mike Aylott who claimed a best ever second and, in a race of firsts, Tony Elmer and Darren Marshall took a debut TT podium.

It was Klaffenbock and Sayle who, as with Saturday's first race, set off quickest and it was they who led through Glen Helen on the opening lap by 3.5s from Holden and Winkle with Harrison/Aylott a further four seconds back in third. Elmer and Marshall were up to fourth with Tim Reeves and Gregory Cluze back in fifth. Early retirements included the veteran pairing of Roy Hanks/Dave Wells and Greg lambert/Aaron Galligan.

That was of little concern to Klaffenbock though and at Ramsey, his lead had grown, albeit slightly, to 4.4s, but he really motored over the Mountain to overhaul Holden on the road. Harrison, Elmer and Reeves continued to occupy the top five with the Birchall brothers up to sixth but at the end of the first lap, a speed of 114.047mph gave Klaffenbock a 11.38s lead over Holden whilst Harrison held an 8.5s gap over Elmer, Reeves failing to make an impression in fifth.

On the second lap, Klaffenbock again lapped quicker than Holden, his speed 114.672mph, and had extended his lead to 16.94s, the top six remaining the same with Elmer, Reeves and Birchall all lapping within 2s of each other and in excess of 111mph.

At Glen Helen, Klaffenbock's lead was still 15.9s and the race seemingly in the bag but by Ramsey, the gap was down to just 6 seconds and when they went up the Mountain, Holden and Winkle were able to retake the lead on the road and on time, their advantage at the Bungalow a whopping 22 seconds. Klaffenbock was slowing with a broken water hose clip and eventually limped home in sixth place, their final lap a lowly 103.953mph, but Holden and Winkle finally took their debut TT win, a victory one of the most popular ever on the Island.

Harrison and Aylott were delighted to be in second with Elmer and Marshall equally happy as they took the final podium spot from Reeves and Cluze by just 0.81s! The Birchalls enjoyed their best ever TT finish in 5th with the top ten completed by Klaffenbock, Gary Bryan/Jamie Winn, Douglas Wright/Martin Hull, Rob Handcock/Ken Edwards and Carl Fenwick/Mark Sayers, the latter again comfortably the best of the newcomers, their final lap being a superb 107.839mph.

To listen live to Radio TT's commentary for all races and follow live timing at the 2011 Isle of Man TT Races go to

More, from a press release issued by Tim Reeves' publicist:

Another fourth place for Reeves in Sidecar TT

Tim Reeves endured a mixed day of racing on Thursday when he took another fourth place finish in the second Sidecar TT race at the Isle of Man. With passenger Gregory Cluze, the duo were again left frustrated and unable to make the impression on the leaderboard they would have liked and they had to settle for fourth place at the end of 113 miles of racing, just 0.8s adrift of the podium.

After suffering a blown engine earlier in the week, Clive Padgett loaned Tim a 600cc Honda for the three-lap race and although Tim lapped at 110.369mph on the opening lap, he was unable to use top gear and subsequently unable to get near the 113mph+ speed he'd recorded in practice. In fifth at the end of lap one, Tim increased his pace to 111.686mph second time around and on the final lap he slowly began to reel in Tony Elmer/Darren Marshall who were ahead of him in fourth. Towards the end of the race, the duo suddenly found themselves fighting it out for the final podium spot as long time race leaders Klaus Klaffenbock/Dan Sayle ran into trouble and although Tim and Greg lapped over six seconds quicker than Elmer, they just fell short by the agonisning margin of 0.8s. Nevertheless, it was Tim's sixth top-six finish in seven TT races.

Speaking aftewards Tim said; "It was a very frustrating race as I was unable to use top gear throughout and that severely compromised the race. Clive lent us an engine, which was absolutely mint, and I could see that I'd pulled back a bit of time on Klaus as early as Union Mills but as soon as we accelerated up the Ballahutchin, the bike wouldn't pull top and I knew the race, in terms of a podium never mind a win, was over. I was having to take corners in a different gear to what I normally would and I ended up making a few mistakes so it was very disappointing. After doing the 113mph+ lap in practice, things have gone wrong ever since we ran out of fuel that night in practice so there's something, somewhere that's not connecting right. The bike was a rocketship back then and we were setting great times but in the races we couldn't get anywhere near them and the bike's always felt 'flat'."

"Greg was faultless all fortnight and I honestly felt that I could win a race this year and I felt that I was ready but it wasn't meant to be so I'm going to make sure I come back next year more prepared than ever. I'm going to work really hard over the winter to make sure everything's in place and organised as I desperately want to win one of these things! Two fourth places is still a good achievement and I'd like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who's supported me and helped make it happen, especially Nigel Connole, Clive Padgett, Keith Whiting, H&S Contractors and the Haith family. Hopefully, 2012 will be our year."

It's back to short circuit action now for Tim with the thrid round of the Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar Championship taking place at Knockhill, June 17-19.