International Festival gathers speed
The 2018 QBE Insurance International Festival of Speed will feature a 30th anniversary celebration of the World Superbike Championship, with former winners Troy Bayliss and Troy Corser headlining the stars. Bayliss will bring his championship-winning Ducatis, while Corser will be aboard a Suzuki GSX-R1000, built by Steve Wheatman from spares and identical to the actual machine that resides in Corser’s lounge room in his UK home. Italian legend Franki Chili will also be Suzuki mounted. An innovation for 2018 will be a two-stroke-only race for Period 4 and 5 bikes from 350cc to 750cc. Jeremy McWilliams will pilot an RG500 Suzuki, one of several in the field, while former Australian champion Marty Craggill will be aboard a TZ750 Yamaha. “The interest in this race has been phenomenal,” says organiser Peter Macmillan, “in fact, we look like being over-subscribed. In addition to the 350 Yamahas that were such a staple of the ‘seventies and ‘eighties, we will have air and water-cooled Suzuki 500 twins, various models of the RG500 Suzuki four, plus quite a few TZ750 Yamahas, with some big names like Jeremy McWilliams and Steve Parrish riding. Jeremy is going to be a busy man, as Roger Winfield is also bringing a Harris Yamaha for him to ride in the Unlimited races, and Troy Corser will be on Rex Wolfenden’s Harris Honda. Entries are very healthy across the board, and we have kept entry fees the same as they have been for the past two years. The only change will be a slight increase in the Thursday open practice day, due to increased track hire charges.” A very popular feature of the 2017 event, the Gala Dinner at nearby Club Marconi at Fairfield will be back, again hosted by Alan Cathcart and featuring interviews with stars of the past. The QBE IFoS takes place at Sydney Motorsport Park on March 22-25. For tickets and event info see www.internationalfestivalofspeed.com.au
Old rivalry will be renewed with Troy Bayliss and Troy Corser on track again.