Lancashire TelegraphDetermined Holden is ready for Manx test (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Determined Holden is ready for Manx test

MELLOR Brook sidecar ace John Holden starts his campaign at the Isle of Man TT this weekend – with a second career victory in his sights.

Holden made his annual pilgrimage to the island yesterday as he sets up for the start of practice on Saturday.

The first sidecar race takes place seven days later, with the second race on June 4.

The 57-year-old, who will be competing alongside Andy Winkle, is a regular at the TT and wants to add to an already impressive record at the event.

“Everything revolves around the TT,” Holden said.

“I first raced there in 1988. I won it in 2011 and I’ve had nine podiums in total – five second places and three third places.

“Just finishing is an achievement, it’s 113 miles, it’s a lot to ask.

“But we go to win. That’s always what we go for.”

Holden had a serious accident at the TT in 2012 when he broke his pelvis, collarbone and several ribs.

Last year he admitted apprehension about his return to the venue, but he put that to one side to finish fourth in each of the two races.

“It’s quickly forgotten about and you move on,” he admitted.

Holden and Winkle won the British Formula Two Sidecar Championship last year and have stepped up to the Formula One sidecar series this year. They have made a strong start to the 2014 season and know they will need to be on top form to win in the Isle of Man.

“Things are going well this year so we go there with confidence,” Holden said.

“We’ve got a new chassis and we’ve had help from Silicone Engineering in Blackburn, and from Barnes Racing.

“There are maybe four of us who could win the TT – Dave Molyneux, Ben Birchall and Tim Reeves all have a good chance too so it will be tough.

“It’s good to have that competition. It would feel like a hollow victory if you won without that.”

Also due to be competing once more in the sidecar category in the Isle of Man are Fiona Baker, of Mellor Brook, and father Tony.

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