Rising stars Lewis Blackstock and Patrick Rosney will be firmly aiming for a podium position in the two Sidecar Races at the 2018 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy, with the Blackburn duo lining up as team mates to John Holden and Lee Cain in the Silicone Engineering Team.
Blackstock, 26, and Rosney, 23, will be part of an expanded Silicone Engineering set up in June with the paring set to pilot Holden’s TT winning LRC Honda, a switch from the Suzuki power unit they used in 2017.
Having made their debut on the Mountain Course in 2016, Blackstock and Rosney immediately impressed as they finished in 14th place in both of the three lap races to earn themselves two bronze replicas. They also recorded a best lap of 107.137mph around the 37.73 mile course and only narrowly missed out on the best newcomer’s award.
Continuing with their LCR Suzuki in 2017, the duo encountered problems on the opening lap of the first race and were running in last position but they spiritedly continued and, aided by a lap of 109.274mph, finished in 26th place. However, the second race of the week saw them break the 110mph barrier for the first time as they recorded their best TT finish to date, briefly occupying third place half way through the race.
They increased their best lap to 110.599mph thus joining the very select group of three wheel crews to lap the Mountain Course in excess of 110mph and although the final lap saw them slip back fourth, it more than proved their potential and has earmarked them as podium contenders in 2018 where there’ll form a formidable looking line up alongside Holden and Cain.
As well as the TT, Blackstock and Rosney are set to compete at the Southern 100 for the first time later this year while they will also contest the World Sidecar Championship having done so for the first time in 2017.
Lewis Blackstock said: “We’ve learned so much in our first two TT’s and I felt that we were really beginning to push on in 2017. Teaming up with Silicone Engineering can only help us make the TT podium this year and we’ll be giving it everything we’ve got to really get in among the front runners.”