Louth sidecar racer just misses podium spot at Isle of Man TT

Sidecar passenger Jev Walmsley and Pete Founds negotiate the iconic road circuit at the Isle of Man TT EMN-180625-144928002
Sidecar passenger Jev Walmsley and Pete Founds negotiate the iconic road circuit at the Isle of Man TT EMN-180625-144928002

Louth sidecar passenger Jev Walmsley and driver Pete Founds secured a top-four finish at the world-famous Isle of Man TT festival.

The pair just missed out on a podium with a fourth-placed finish in race one, but then had to retire from the meet’s second and final sidecar race.

With a new chassis to race, practice week was spent tinkering and adjusting the outfit ready to be at peak performance levels by raceday.

Setting off in sixth place, the race was not even a full lap old when it was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Baker and Fiona Baker-Holden.

The top six teams had made it onto the mountain section by this time so Pete and Jev, were all stopped at the Bungalow while they waited for news on whether the race would be restarted.

The sidecars were eventually brought back to the pits to re-fuel for a restart of the full three-lap race in the evening.

When finally under way, Pete and Jev settled into fourth, just ahead of Pete’s brother Alan followed by Molyneux and Sayle.

By the end of lap one, it was clear they were lacking the speed to keep up with the blistering pace set by the top three bikes.

Alan was forced to pit at the end of lap one and this, coupled with a personal best second lap by Pete and Jev - at an average speed of 114.6mph - gave them a comfortable lead from the chasing pack.

They kept a good pace, but took it easy knowing they could not catch the bikes in front.

A solid lap of 114.1 on lap 3 saw them cross the line in a fantastic fourth place, a top performance for a new chassis.

Conditions were perfect for race two as Founds and Walmsley set off at number six on the road again after making a few more tweaks to the set-up.

Both felt they had started well, but disaster struck as they reached Crosby, when a scraping noise developed, caused by a deflecting undertray which was rubbing on the road.

They tried to get back to the pits at the end of the lap, but marshals had spotted the problem and black-flagged the pair at Sulby Bridge to assess the damage.

After losing a significant amount of time, Pete and Jev were allowed to restart, but upon immediately tackling the bumpiest stretch after Sulby Bridge, more damage was sustained before they got to Ramsey, where they were again pulled over to make adjustments.

They restarted once more at the very back of the field, but with handling problems over the mountain they pitted at the end of lap one and were forced to retire.