The ninth Annual Barry Sheene Festival of Speed was held at Sydney Motorsport Park on March 21st-23rd. Three sensational days of motorcycle racing were held under cloudy but dry skies, albeit at times very warm temperatures.
Featuring both International and Australian motorcycling stars, both old and new, who all came together to celebrate a life cut short, and to honour Barry Sheene’s memory and his love of motorcycling in the spirit of fun, friendship and rivalry. Just the way Barry enjoyed his beloved sport.
A healthy cohort of international riders, teams and personalities were in attendance. Scout Fletcher (NZ) joined Maria Costello (UK) as they came to battle with our very own Leanne Nelson, who edged the other two ladies back into third and fourth place respectively in the P6 125cc class. Leanne saw off the other two ladies challenge with the second highest points score for the weekend with 114 points. Congratulations to Jason Dunn taking first with 119 pts.
The Kiwi’s brought over a large contingent to contest Leg #1 of the Trans Tasman Challenge, with high hopes of retaining their hold on the TTChallenge Cup. For the first time racing in Australia two of Japans’s leading domestic racers Yugi Terada and Tomiki Adachi are riding in the P5 Unlimited class.
As expected some spirited racing dogfights were eagerly awaited, none more anticipated than the contest between Cameron Donald and Mike Dibb on their 1100cc machines. With nary a tyre diameter between them all day, they swapped race wins over the weekend, until finally Dibb (119 pts) took a 3-2 race win lead, edging out Donald (116 pts), with Mizzi (87 pts) and Japans’ Adachi ( 71pts) rounding out the 30 field.
In Formula 2 Sidecar racing, Beare Boys Racing (Aus) combo of Dwight and Noel Beare, were simply unbeatable, taking a clean sweep of both the Australian F2 three race series, as well as the two Trans Tasman races. Noel was excited saying “… this is the best result we could hope for and gives us the confidence we need to fair well at our upcoming assault on the Isle of Man TT F2 sidecar race meeting in May/June.”
A very good crowd attended the BSFoS three-day race meeting and gave strong encouragement to the 250 racing entrants. One of the drawcards on the program for the crowd, was the three-lap Parade on Sunday, available for spectators to ride their bikes around the 3.9km circuit, an honour that few have the opportunity to do, especially in the company of such international luminaries as Phil Read who led the parade.
– Words and pictures by Rob Annesley