Louth sidecar racer unhurt after TT tumble

Jevan Walmsley escaped unharmed after being thrown from his machine at the Isle of Man TT EMN-170626-141055002
Jevan Walmsley escaped unharmed after being thrown from his machine at the Isle of Man TT EMN-170626-141055002

Louth sidecar racer Jev Walmsley escaped unhurt after being thrown from his machine during the Isle of Man TT.

Walmsley, who is passenger to driver Pete Founds, was ejected from his platform onto the road during race two of the world-famous circuit,

He was unharmed, but the incident ended their race with rules forbidding teams from re-joining if driver or passenger become detached from their machine.

The pair approached practice week with caution after just one outing on their TT set-up and with adjustments still to be made.

After mist postponed Monday’s practice, they had another setback the following day when a big bump in the road caused the chain to jump off the sprockets, causing extensive damage to the engine and the chassis, and forcing the team to revert to their short circuit set-up.

Poor weeather again cancelled sidecar practice on Wednesday and Thursday, and Saturday’s race was put back 48 hours to give all classes additional qualifying sessions.

Blue smoke from the exhaust ended their first qualifying session early, but after another change of engine, the pit crew got them back out for the second Saturday session.

They clocked a first lap of 111.3mph, followed by a flying lap of 113.2mph, the fifth fastest time of the week.

Starting the race from number six on the road, Pete and Jev began well with just a few seconds dividing third and seventh positions.

A good run from Ballaugh to Ramsey saw them catch and eventually pass multiple world champion Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes.

But a locked front wheel saw them overshoot down a relief road, surrendering road position and losing several crucial seconds.

Undeterred, they gave chase and made some time back on the run to Glen Helen.

A second lap of 114.2mph put them in sixth, but with the locking front wheel worsening under heavy braking, and after running on again at Braddan Bridge on lap three, they reduced their pace, lapping at just over 113mph.

The pair finished in a hard-fought sixth, but with times better than those which gave them second place last year, earning them a Silver Replica.

With the weather still playing its part, just one more practice session remained before Friday’s final race.

Pete and Jev made a good start, but their progress was short-lived.

Exiting Quarter Bridge on lap one, their outfit got out of shape, snapping back rapidly after sliding on a painted section of the road, which threw Jevan out on to the road.

A big anti-climax to the week, but they remained satisfied with their performance and speed in race one.

They return to British Championship action at Snetterton this weekend, followed by a one-day outing at Mallory Park on Sunday, July 9.