The Birchalls lapped at 111.55mph but that put them fifth quickest with Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley (112.90), Alan Founds/Jake Lowther (111.89) and Lewis Blackstock/Patrick Rosney (111.80mph) all slotting in ahead of them.
Two of the front runners had problems though with Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes stopping to make adjustments with Dave Molyneux/Harry Payne retiring at Laurel Bank but arguably the biggest story came from newcomers Ryan and Callum Crowe, the sons of former five-time winner Nick Crowe lapping at a stunning 109.76mph on their 675cc Triumph.
Second time around and Founds/Walmsley upped their pace to 114.40mph, which was only 2.2 seconds off their best ever lap of the Mountain Course, whilst brother Alan went slightly quicker with a speed of 112.35mph. Estelle Leblond/Frank Claeys and Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde both lapped in excess of 108mph with the returning Allan Schofield, with Steve Thomas in the chair, also going well at 107.88mph.
FULL SIDECAR RESULTS AVAILABLE HERE
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Images courtesy of Dave Kneen / Pacemaker Press