JAMIE COWARD JOINS TEAM PENZ13 BMW MOTORRAD MOTORSPORT FOR 2018 TT CAMPAIGN
West Yorkshire rider Jamie Coward will complete the line-up for Penz13 BMW Motorrad, the German based racing team, for the 2018 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy and the other International Road Race meetings.
Coward enjoyed notable success at the 2017 Isle of Man TT Races including an 8th placed finish in the RL360 Quantum Superstock TT Race as well as podiums at the Southern 100 and Classic TT presented by Bennetts.
Coward will team up with Derek Sheils and Danny Webb in the Penz13 team for the 2018 roads campaign which will start in May in the Czech Republic at the ‘300 Curves of Gustav Havel’ meeting in Horice. The meeting is internationally known as the “small TT” and the team considers it the perfect track for Coward to prepare for the TT.
The team believes that with the same BMW S1000RR as Webb and Sheils, Coward has the ability to improve his lap times around the Mountain Course and achieve top ten results consistently.
Coward will also race in the Macau Grand Prix as a newcomer, which has always been on his bucket list.
”After a great season with Radcliffe Racing I felt confident that we could built on that for 2018 but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be so I am really pleased that the Penz13 team called. With
their experience in international road racing as well as in the endurance World Championship I’m confident that they will provide me with the machinery to build on my experience and times to
“I believe that 130mph+ is a realistic target and with Derek and Danny in the team we will complement each other well. I am really looking forward to testing the bikes in February when we hit the track in Cartagena for the first time.”
Riko Penzkofer, Team Penz13 BMW Motorrad Motorsport team manager said:
“From the beginning it was clear we want to enter the international road races with a 3-rider line up and when we heard of Jamie’s situation we contacted him immediately and put a deal together. His experience around the mountain course will also benefit the rest of the team and it is already looking like a promising season ahead.”
Photo: GTH Picsnaps @Garysvtr1000
SMR will return to international road racing after signing an agreement with title sponsor Gulf Oil International.
The newly-formed Gulf BMW Road Racing Team has signed Australian rider David Johnson. Joining the SMR team gives 'Davo' an opportunity to contest the 2018 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy with a competitive package using the team's former BMW World Superbikes.
Gulf BMW will also compete in the 2018 North West 200 road races and a select number of British Superbike rounds. The outfit will field BMW S1000RRs in the RL360 Quantum Superstock, RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior TT Races at the Isle of Man TT as well as the NW200 races, with podiums and a potential victory the primary goals.
Ahead of competitive running in May/June, a busy test schedule is planned for early 2018 in Spain, which will be key for Johnson to dial in to the bikes and put himself and the team in prime competitive condition.
Mats Nilsson, Team Manager, Gulf BMW Road Racing team, said:
“SMR and Gulf Oil International have joined forces to deliver this exciting new project with the BMW S1000 RR, which has a proven winning record around the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course in both Superbike and Superstock trim. Both parties are currently in partnership with SMR's WorldSBK team and this relationship has been developed with a view to a long-term roads campaign.”
“The Gulf BMW team is partnered by SGS, Feadship, Matseco USA Inc, Akrapovic and B&C Express. With a strong team effort and the level of support the team has attained over the winter, we are confident we can do our sponsors justice and also provide Davo with competitive bikes in both the Superbike and Superstock categories.”
“The team begin testing in Spain on 12th March, which will be a very important period for us. We know what the bike is capable of and what Davo can do, so we are looking forward to some track running and to the beginning of the new Gulf BMW road racing campaign.”
Dave Johnson said:
“I'm very excited to be back racing on a BMW with the full technical support of SMR and BMW Motorrad Motosport. The bikes will be as good as they can possibly be, and I am confident this package can push me to the next level at the TT.”
“We also have the exciting challenge of the North West 200 before the TT. It will be my first competitive outing on the Gulf BMW so there is a lot of preparation to do, but I can't wait to see what the team can do.”
“We have a full testing program scheduled in early 2018 so we will definitely hit the ground running come first practice at the 2018 TT races. I did my fastest lap on a BMW at the TT in 2015 [131.595mph] so this year with factory spec bikes will be a big year for me, and I will make it count."
Early Classic Entries Encouraging for 30th Anniversary Races.
Regulations and Entry Forms for the 2018 Blackford Financial Services Pre-TT Classic Road Races have only recently become available and already race organisers have received nearly 100 entries which includes a number of newcomers to the popular races.
Most popular class in the nine race programme at present is the Junior (350cc) with 18 entries with the Senior (500cc) race attracting 17, whilst the Junior Superbike race has 16 and the 250cc/350cc Singles race has 15.
Early entries have been received from Bernie Wright, Alec Whitwell, Steve Ferguson, Les Trotter, Terry Kermode, Barry Davidson and Meredydd Owen.
The ever popular sidecars has so far 6 entries which include Wal Saunders, Tony Thirkell, Howard Langham and newcomer David Tibbles with Jan Tyrrell in the chair.
The Pre-TT Classic Road Races have been run since 1988 and 2018 sees the 30th Anniversary of the prestigious races with Blackford Financial Services taking the title sponsorship from 2000, which continues for the foreseeable future.
The 2018 Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races takes place on Friday evening 25th May, Saturday afternoon 26th May and Sunday 27th May.
However, should ‘force majeure’ intervene and cause the opening practice session of the TT to be cancelled on the Saturday evening, the main race day will move from the Sunday to Bank Holiday Monday 28th May.
Southern 100 Stalwart George Costain Dies
Colby Road Racer George Costain’s main claim to fame was winning the 1954 Senior Manx Grand Prix, making it the first ‘Manx’ Double in the September races with Castletown’s Derek Ennett taking the Junior honours two days previously.
It has always been considered that this double ‘Manx’ victory was instrumental in the Southern 100 becoming a reality and the following year 1955 the first Southern 100 was run on Thursday 14th July, with both Derek and George entered - Derek winning the very first race on the Billown Course, the 250cc race.
However, George’s debut resulted in an unwanted DNF in the 500cc race which was run over 24-laps, 100-mile race.
George returned annually to his ‘home’ circuit for the next four years taking three third places and a best second place in the 250cc race in 1957.
George started his TT Career in 1955 riding for Reg Dearden on whose Norton he had won the Senior Manx, riding in 10 TT’s in total with a best 13th place in the 1956 Senior gaining a total of nine silver replicas in the nine races he finished.
Once George Costain had decided to ‘hang-up’ his racing leathers, away from is successful butchery business in Castletown he joined the race organisation of the Southern 100 Races in 1961 and continued in vari- ous roles until he retired after the 2007 Southern 100.
George took on the role of one of the two Travelling Marshals in 1961 and continued until 1970. The following year he took up Steward Duties and filled that position up to and including 1979. 1980 to 1984 he was Race Committee Chairman, a position he had previously held between 1971 and 1974. 1985 to 1997 saw George back ‘on the roads’ as Official Car Driver, he then took a short sabbatical before becoming a Line Judge from 2002 to 2007
George Costain may have stepped down from his official duties after 2007 Southern 100, but he was still to be seen at every race meeting on the Billown Course reminiscing with the ‘modern day’ competitors, the old- timers’, officials and enthusiasts alike.
The final Media Launch he attended was in 2015 when the Southern 100 International Road Races celebrated the 60th Diamond Jubilee Anniversary, where both he and fellow ex-racer and long-time official Allan ‘Kip- per’ Killip were presented with special framed photographs.
Ill health prevented ‘Sparra’ from attending the ‘friendly races’ for the last two years, although he kept up to date with the skeet and races through Manx Radio and communications from the
George Costain sadly died on Tuesday 9th January aged 88. It is another sad day for the Southern 100, losing another of their long-time stalwarts and we extend our sincere condolences to all of George’s family and friends and racing associates.
George was a real gentlemen and it was always a pleasure to be in his company and a privilege to know him. RIP
Photo caption: Kipper Killip MBE & George Costain Southern 100 Media Launch 2015
Manx Radio Continues as Broadcaster Partner
Southern 100 Racing is pleased to announce that Manx Radio will continue to be the Official Broadcast Partner for the races held on the Billown Course for 2018.
Manx Radio have been broadcasting the Southern 100 since 1964, the Pre-TT since 1988 and the Post TT since 1991, becoming the Official Broadcast Partner for all three events in 2013.
Club Secretary George Peach said:
‘As organisers of three prestigious events on the Billown Course annually, it is important that we have a first-class commentary, not only around the course keeping the spectators and fans informed with all that is happening once the roads are closed, but also via the radio, website and App's to what is now a world-wide audience who want to be part of and involved in the action as it happens.’
‘The Race Commentary Team that Manx Radio have put together over the years have developed a unique relationship with their vast audience bringing the excitement of the racing as it unfolds and equally so prior to each event ensuring the public are kept up to date with all the latest information regarding who is racing, road closures, etc.’
Manx Radio’s Controller of Programming, Alex Brindley commented:
‘As the Isle of Man’s National Public Service Broadcaster, Manx Radio is delighted to be continuing its support of such a key part of the Island’s sporting calendar in the Southern 100 and Pre-& Post TT races. For an island with such a heritage and passion for motorsport it seems only natural that we would be associated with the event as the Official Broadcast Partner.’
This year sees the 30th Anniversary of the Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races, whilst Manx Radio celebrates 50 years of Public Service Broadcasting.
The dates for the 2018 Road Races on the Billown Course are:
Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races
Friday, Saturday and Sunday 25th, 26th & 27th May (Should the Saturday Practice on the TT Course not take place, the main race day for the Pre-TT Classic Road Races will move to Bank Holiday Monday 28th May)
Radcliffe Butchers Post TT Road Races
Saturday 9th June
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company International Southern 100 Road Races Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
9th, 10th, 11th & 12th July
Dafabet Devitt Racing Devitt Ivan Lintin
Up-and-coming sidecar duo Blackstock and Rosney join Silicone Engineering set-up for 2018 Isle of Man TT Races campaign.
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 pairing set to pilot Holden’s TT-winning LCR 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 to 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.”
Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races 2018
Southern 100 Racing, organisers of the Blackford Financial Services Pre-TT Classic Road Races are pleased to announce that the Regulations and Entry Forms are now available to download from the official website: www.southern100.com.
The 2018 meeting will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 25th, 26th & 27th May, but should weather conditions or ‘force majeure’ prevent the opening practice session for the TT taking place, the main race day (Sunday) will move forward a day to the Bank Holiday Monday 28th May.
2018 is also the 30th Anniversary of the Pre-TT Classic Road Races, having seen the first four race event take place on Tuesday 31st May 1998, with practice being held on the evening of the 28th.
Royston rider Graham Godward, riding an Aermacchi won the opening 350cc race, also setting the fastest lap of 76.650mph, the current record is 88.846mph, set by Alan Oversby in 2016.
From Graham Godward’s single race victory at the Pre-TT Classic Road Races, two men currently top the leader board, Bill Swallow and Mike Hose with 16 wins apiece.
Bill Swallow from the famous Huddersfield racing dynasty, father Ken and brother Richard; made a race winning debut at Billown in 1989 on a 350cc Aermacchi collecting lap and race records on his way to the chequered flag.
Moreton, Wirral rider, Mike Hose entered the 1992 races, but was a non-starter, also made a winning debut in 1993, and like his Yorkshire rival in the Junior (350cc) race riding a Garfield Honda.
200 races later will see the start of the 2018 Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races with a ninerace programme, and the possibility of an additional two races should entries require them, with a prize fund standing at £15,000.00.
Blackford’s first became involved in 2000, through an associate business and took over as title sponsor by name in 2005 and are looking forward to celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Pre-TT Classic Races, with which they have been involved for more than half of its racing history.
Managing Director, Dave Smart said: ‘Blackford Financial Services are proud to have been involved with the Pre-TT Classic Road Races since 2000 and have seen the event grow in stature and popularity not only with the competitors, but also the fans and enthusiasts alike.
‘We have a great relationship with the organisers Southern 100 Racing, who go out of their way to ensure that all who attend the races at Billown enjoy they experience and the guests we invite are always complimentary and become keen followers of the races year on year.
‘We at Blackford Financial Services look forward to celebrating the 30th anniversary of the races in 2018 and being involved in future years.’
RADCLIFFE'S RACING ANNOUNCE 2018 PADDOCK DEPARTURE
In a post on their Facebook page, Radcliffe's Racing confirmed they will not be taking part in the 2018 road racing calendar.
This has left their rider, Jamie Coward, without a competitive modern ride for the upcoming season.
The full statement from the team read:
"Unfortunately Radcliffe’s Racing will not be in the paddock for the foreseeable future. A decision which has not been taken lightly.
We would like to thank the team for all their hard work and Jamie for the great results which we are sure he'll continue to produce. A big thank you to all our sponsors and supporters.
Good luck to everyone for the 2018 season."
Given the superb performances Jamie Coward produced in 2017 surely he will be snapped up by a team.
The popular rider proved time and time again in 2017 that he is a force to be reckoned with posting consistently stellar performances and mixing it with the very best. He has truly become one of road racing's finest exponents.
We here at Road Racing Daily wish Jamie all the best for 2018.
Masonic Generosity Improves Access at Joey Dunlop Foundation Apartments
ACCESS to one of the Joey Dunlop Foundation’s self-catering apartments will be improved for disabled visitors eliminating the need for extra assistance thanks to Masonic generosity.
Replacement of the current wooden ramp with a more wheelchair friendly concrete slope giving direct level access to apartment 2 will help disabled visitors to the complex at Braddan Bridge House, Douglas in time for TT 2018.
“It is not always possible for staff to be available when people arrive,” says Manager Gilly Keown, “the improved access will eliminate the need for extra assistance.”
The refurbishment will be funded by donations raised by the combined generosity of Mark Master Masons from the Isle of Man, the UK based Joey Dunlop Lodge of Mark Master Masons and the Mark Benevolent Fund of Leicester and Rutland.
Foundation Trustee Bruce Baker said that the foundation is continually raising funds throughout the year.
“The biggest problem is to find volunteers to sell our tombola tickets in a section of the Peter Murray Motorcycle Museum (Santon), during the TT and the Festival of Motorcycling.”
The Joey Dunlop Foundation is an Isle of Man charity which runs specialist self-catering accommodation that caters for disabled visitors to the island, as well as providing accessible facilities for locals who may have a temporary need such as during home repairs and renovations.
Braddan Bridge House has apartments available for all disabled guests which allows them to experience the beauty of the island and to get really close to the action and excitement of the TT street-bike races, and although usually fully booked well before the race periods it is open all year round for those needing to use its purpose built and recently extended facilities.
The Joey Dunlop Mark Lodge is based in Lutterworth, Leicestershire and was constituted in TT Centenary year, 2007. Their motorcycling Brethren visit the Island at least once a year either socially or to hold a meeting of their Lodge in the road racing capital of the world. This year their Mark brethren have raised £300 which was matched by the Leicester and Rutland Province.
The recently formed Isle of Man Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons gave a donation of £400 topping the donation up to £1,000.
The holiday accommodation was opened by Linda Dunlop in June 2010. She was accompanied by John McGuinness who is the second most successful TT rider of all time having racked up 23 TT victories – only three behind the late Joey Dunlop’s outright tally.
The Foundation’s accommodation is run by experienced staff, many of whom are ex-racers themselves. They are perfectly qualified to fulfil guests’ needs.
Joey Dunlop’s name continues to inspire others and a Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners was constituted in December 2016, also based in the Mark Province of Leicester and Rutland.
The Isle of Man Mark Master Masons’ Provincial Grand Master Martin Blackburn said that he and his brethren were delighted to support the Foundation’s work to improve the accommodation. He was grateful to the Leicester and Rutland brethren for their donations which so far total over £2,000.
“The generosity of the Joey Dunlop Lodge to their adopted charity, the Joey Dunlop Foundation, has grown as they have become more established, their Secretary, Michael Fahey has told me that their aim is to increase their donation each year in line with the engine capacities of motorcycles and we look forward to many more visits to the Island from the friendliest Lodge in the friendly Degree.”
Photo: Braddan Bridge House complex manager Gilly Keown shows local Mark Master Masons how a donation of £1,000 will be spent on improving access to the Joey Dunlop Foundation premises.
From left: Braddan Bridge House Facility Manager, Gilly Keown; Joey Dunlop Foundation Trustee, Bruce Baker (seated); Isle of Man Mark Master Masons’ Provincial Grand Master, Martin Blackburn; Treasurer Colin Thompson and Liaison Officer, Alex Downie, O.B.E.
Southern 100 Marshals Ambassador Appointed
Southern 100 Marshals Association is pleased to announce that Andy Brown has been appointed as an UK Marshals Ambassador for the organisation.
Andy Brown is a retired Police Detective based in Manchester and has been involved marshalling in the Isle of Man for the past seventeen years, including the Southern 100.
His big interest is motorbikes and he contributes some of his time, two days a week at Hunts Motorcycles in Manchester. Hunts are a major Honda dealership and a new Southern 100 race sponsor in 2018.
At Hunts Andy is involved with customer test rides and collections and deliveries amongst other jobs.
The collections and delivery work take Andy to other motorcycle dealerships across the North West and East of England, including Yorkshire and Wales.
This collective of dealerships allows Andy to spread the word about the most exciting real road racing and help to recruit marshals for the Southern 100 events. Using his experience, he is able to answer any questions new prospective marshals may have.
Andy added, ‘I get so much enjoyment being a marshal at the Southern 100. Great location, great racing and a fantastic friendly atmosphere. Marshals make the difference, no marshals no racing.
‘The racers appreciate what we do, and it’s great making contact with them and the Race Officials. Plus, the fact the racing fits well around a bit of a holiday.
‘I’m here to support existing UK marshals and to encourage new marshals to make the trip'
Chief Marshal, Peter Chadwick said. ‘I am delighted that Andy has agreed to help us, and his appointment is a valuable asset to our organisation. We are having more marshals attending our races on the Billown Course travelling from the UK, and it is beneficial that any person considering marshalling can now call on Andy for information and guidance in addition to ourselves.
‘A huge thank you must also go to our Southern 100 Title Sponsor, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, for their generous and most welcome help to recruit marshals from the UK and Southern and Northern Ireland.
‘The Steam Packet Company are currently offering encouraging fares on a loyalty basis for returning marshals'.