Michael Dunlop set for Sidecar return at Brands Hatch

Michael Dunlop raced a Sidecar with passenger Dan Sayle at the Gold Cup meeting at Scarborough in 2012.

Michael Dunlop raced a Sidecar with passenger Dan Sayle at the Gold Cup meeting at Scarborough in 2012.

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Isle of Man TT outright lap record holder Michael Dunlop says he is relishing his return to Sidecar action after confirming he will compete in the final round of the Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship at Brands Hatch next weekend.

The 13-times TT winner will partner with top passenger Dan Sayle to drive Ben and Tom Birchall’s TT-winning 600cc LCR Honda at the Kent circuit.

Ballymoney man Dunlop, who previously tested a Sidecar at Jurby four years ago before racing at Oliver’s Mount and impressing with an excellent second place, still holds an ambition of one day competing in on three wheels around the TT Mountain Course.

“I’m looking forward to having the craic in the outfit at Brands Hatch. It has been a few years since I last had a go and I have always been interested in giving it a go in a sidecar so this will give me the chance to have a run around,” said the 27-year-old.

“I think it is going to be different to what I am used and I know that the boys in that championship don’t hang around because they are on the top of their game but I am coming out with one of the best passengers in the world. I have no time to mess about but I don’t particularly want to end up upside down either!

“I am going to be taking baby steps because I would still like to have a go at the Sidecar with some more races in the British Championship and hopefully some day at the TT. I just want to give it a good go next weekend. I want to say thanks to the Birchalls for letting me use their TT LCR Honda and to everyone for sorting the job out.”

Dunlop won both the Superbike and Senior races at the TT in June for Stuart Hicken’s Hawk Racing Buildbase BMW team and Hicken has played a leading role in setting up the Brands Hatch deal for the Ulster star.

“We have enjoyed working with Michael on the roads and his occasional short circuit outings. He is a great character and an amazing talent,” Hicken said.

“I cannot wait to see how he fares on top-class sidecar machinery such as Ben and Tom Birchall’s race-winning Honda. He is a consummate professional and I can assure you, this is a serious venture.”