Sidecar racer couldn’t see but still won second place

Mike Aylott (right) from Sowerby Bridge and Conrad Harrison who finished second and third in two races in the Sure Formula 2 Sidecar Race racing for PRS Racing at the Isle of Man TT races.
Mike Aylott (right) from Sowerby Bridge and Conrad Harrison who finished second and third in two races in the Sure Formula 2 Sidecar Race racing for PRS Racing at the Isle of Man TT races.
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A SIDECAR racer has told of the terrfying moment when he was temporarily blinded racing at 130mph.

However, it didn’t stop Mike Aylott and his partner Conrad Harrison from sealing two podium finishes at the renowned Isle of Man TT races.

Conrad Harrison and co-rider Mike Aylott (he's from Sowerby Bridge) on the circuit at the Isle of Man TT. They finished second and third in their two races.

Conrad Harrison and co-rider Mike Aylott (he's from Sowerby Bridge) on the circuit at the Isle of Man TT. They finished second and third in their two races.

Sidecar passenger, Mr Aylott, from Sowerby Bridge, was competing in two Sure Formula 2 Sidecar races.

He said: “I picked up a small graze on my head during practice with all the knocks and bashes.

“Then it got worse. In the first race I could see a trickle of blood down my visor so the people who make my helmet stuck a pad in to soak up the blood for the second race.

“It slid down over my eyes as we were doing 130mph and I couldn’t see anything.”

The 28-year-old, competing in his fourth Isle of Man TT, had to communicate to his partner to slow down so he could rip out the pad.

The duo exceeded expectations picking up a third place in the first race before moving one step up the podium for a second place finish in the second race on their 600cc Shelbourne bike.

“It is the first time I’ve been passenger for Conrad,” said Mike, who works at Lloyds Banking Group.

“We only managed to have one practice session before going out there, so had only done about 20 laps together.

“Those were around Mallory Park, near Leicester, which is only a couple of miles long whereas the Isle of Man circuit is 37.75 miles long.”

The pair, who race for the PRS team, were up against teams with better funding for the two week meeting, which sees riders from all over the world descend on the island for the festival of speed.

It takes teams around 20 minutes to complete a lap of the island track and they must finish three circuits being ranked according to their average speed.

Mike and Conrad averaged 112.273mph in the first race and 112.062mph in the second, leaving them just one mile per hour behind the winner.

“It wasn’t expected at all,” said Mike. “There are no time boards as you’re going round so we didn’t know where we were but as we finished a steward stepped out and guided us into the winners’ enclosure.

“We were over the moon.”

The duo picked up silver replicas of the main trophy and around £10,000 in winnings and plan to return next year.