No joy for Reeves in opening Sidecar TT race
Tim Reeves’ hopes of taking victory in Saturday’s F2 Sidecar TT race were dashed when mechanical problems forced him out on the opening lap. After setting the second fastest lap of practice of 112.808mph, with new passenger Dan Sayle, hopes were high going into the three-lap race and although they were lying in third at the first timing point, their race was soon over and they were forced to retire.
Practice week had started steadily for Tim and Dipash Chauhan with a lap of 110.748mph during Monday night’s practice session but Dips was later forced to admit defeat in his battle to return to competitive racing at the TT after sustaining a broken leg in a short circuit crash in May 2011. As a result, Tim drafted in 7-times TT winner Dan Sayle who, despite contesting the solo races, agreed to come out of sidecar retirement to join Team NCR/Dave Hudspeth Carpets. The partnership immediately gelled and the duo posted a lap of 112.808mph during Tuesday evening’s session, which turned out to be the second fastest of the week behind Dave Molyneux/Patrick Farrance. However, a breakdown during Friday’s final practice session wasn’t ideal preparation and left the team with work to do.
Great work by the team saw the LCR Honda ready in time for the race and as the outfits passed through Glen Helen for the first time, Tim and Dan were lying in third place, 2.5s down on Molyneux/Farrance and 1s down on Ben and Tom Birchall. However, when they went through the Sulby speed trap at 54.8mph, it was clear all was not well and their race ended soon after and they stopped at Sulby village.
Speaking later, a disappointed Tim said; “It’s been a tough week to say the least. After the first couple of practice sessions, Dips had to admit defeat and we were all gutted for him after all the work he’s put in but there was no shame in it and fair play to him for standing up and making the decision in the best interests of the team. Dan had obviosuly decided to retire from passengering last year but he was in the solo paddock so we approached him and he jumped on board in time for Tuesday. We put in a solid lap and then made a few adjustments to the chassis but had gone in the direction so ended up going slower. We decided to go back to what we knew for Friday but then had some trouble with the valves and only got as far as the Wagon and Horses before we had to stop so it wasn’t ideal preparation.”
“We were all ready for the race though and were determined to do well but although we were in contention at Glen Helen, I could tell the bike wasn’t right. After the problems the night before, we discussed what the best strategy was and the plan was to take it steady on the first lap and then go for it after that but, sadly, we never got that far. The more the lap continued, the worse the problem got and with more valve trouble we had no choice other than to pull in. It’s a massive disappointment for the whole team and we’ve got a lot of work to do between now and Wednesday but we’ll dig deep to make sure we’re on the line and give it our best shot when the flag drops.”
The second 3-lap Sidecar race takes place on Wednesday.