NORTHWICH racer Pete Founds and his passenger Jevan Walmsley were back on the Isle of Man this week for the famous TT races.

And with continued backing from FHO Racing, they were looking to go one better than last year’s two second places.

Practice week was first up including numerous days of general practice followed by qualifying days in preparation for the first race on Saturday, June 1.

The Manx weather was its usual unpredictable self, with the teams only getting in three out of the five planned sessions.

Pete and Jev had made quite a lot of significant changes to the bike for this year and were hoping it would be enough.

Over the three sessions, the lads showed good speed as they bedded things in and tested the new Hoosier tyres that are the only option now since Avon stopped producing sidecar tyres.

Times were decent and they were always in the top three but were not pushing to the maximum as the strain on the engines during the race is huge, so it is best to take it steady beforehand.

Running the No2 plate, Pete and Jev would have gone off second but an incident to the No1 bike of Birchall and Rousseau during qualifying meant that they would not start, so Pete was first away.

During the practice and qualifying, the local Manx pairing of Ryan and Callum Crowe were absolutely flying and topped every session on their Kel Properties Honda – the brothers were going off directly behind Pete and Jev.

As the No2 Team Founds FHO Honda blasted away, the Crowes – going off 10 seconds behind were – on a mission.

Like Pete and Jev, they were looking for their first TT win and were soon on the back of the Team Founds bike.

The two bikes were soon locked together but with the Crowes ahead on times, Pete really needed to pull away.

After an exchange of places, Pete went for an out-braking manoeuvre into Parliament Square at Ramsey but overshot the corner slightly and the Crowes were through.

The No3 bike now had clear air and was pulling away, building a gap of 30 seconds, but as fuel levels decreased, Pete and Jev managed to pull some time back.

However, the damage was done and the leaders were just too fast, so it was another second place for the lads – still something they were very proud of while being keen to get better in Wednesday's second race.

Pete's brother Alan and his nephew Rhys Gibbons, who becomes the fastest newcomer passenger ever around the circuit, completed the podium.