TT Heroes for Island Classic
Two of the fastest men around the Isle of Man’s daunting 37.73-mile TT public roads course will renew their rivalry when they face off in the 2011 Australian Motorcycle News International Island Classic, to be held at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on 22-24 January.
Multiple Irish champion Ryan Farquhar and Australian Cameron Donald, the first man to lap the Isle of Man TT circuit at an average speed of over 131mph, are the latest high-profile riders to enter the International Island Classic, Australia’s premier Historic motorcycle race meeting.
Donald will race a 1962 Manx Norton in the 500cc Classic events and a 1980 Suzuki XR69 F1 the headlining International Challenge races, with Farquhar also riding one of the exotic Suzuki XR69 F1 machines.
Donald’s record TT lap in 2009 was later bettered by multiple TT winner John McGuiness in the Senior TT with a lap of 17 minutes 12.30 seconds for an average speed of 131.578mph, but Donald’s boasting rights to the first-ever 131mph lap remains.
Farquhar holds the record for the most race wins in the Irish national series, surpassing the legendary Joey Dunlop’s total of 118 race wins, while Donald also holds the record for the fastest top speed ever recorded on the Isle of Man TT course, set last year on a Suzuki GSV-R MotoGP bike at 202mph (323.2km/h).
“Man, that was just amazing,” said Donald. “I thought the bike would be really difficult and twitchy to ride, but it was great.”
While both Donald and Farquhar are TT race winners, 2011 will mark the first time either has competed in the International Challenge races at Phillip Island, 33-year-old Donald riding for the Australian team and 34-year-old Farquhar for the UK team.
The 2010 event attracted a record crowd of 19,200, making it Australia’s biggest domestic motorcycle meeting behind only the MotoGP and World SBK events.
Other high-profile entries in the capacity field include former MotoGP star Jeremy McWilliams (Suzuki XR69), World Endurance Champions Steve Martin (Suzuki Katana) and Warwick Nowland (Moriwaki Suzuki), two-times Australian Superbike Champion Malcolm Campbell (Suzuki RG500), multiple Australian champion Robbie Phillis (Suzuki Katana) and reigning Australian Superstock 1000 champion Beau Beaton (1978 Vincent Black Lightning).
In addition to the International Challenge for 1973-1982 Superbike and Grand Prix motorcycles, a full support program for Veteran, Vintage, Classic and Post-classic solos and sidecars will ensure three days of non-stop on-track action at Australia’s premier Historic festival.
For further details on the meeting go to www.phillipislandcircuit.com.au, or tel (03) 5952 2710.