Former Ballasalla resident, Harry Payne - backed locally by EICS Ltd and Team Cubby - grabbed a double victory in the opening round of the French Sidecar Road Race Championships over the weekend. 

Limbering up for the opening round of the FIM Sidecar World Championship over the same Bugatti circuit at Le Mans this weekend, he and his French team-mate Kevin Rousseau (who will passenger for Ben Birchall at the TT this year) set pole position and a double victory with fastest lap in both races. 

The duo won the first race by 22 seconds and the second by 17 seconds. 

The strong field of crews included current and former French champions Ted Peugeot/Vincent Peugeot and Paul Leglise/Marjorie Cescutti, along with six-time world champion Tim Reeves with Mark Wilkes in the chair. 

Now based in Holland, and going into his second year with the Steinhausen Racing team, Payne is hoping 2024 could be his best yet in what is his third full season at world level. He already has two Grand Prix victories and five podiums under his belt.