Island Classic gears up
The southern hemisphere’s largest historic motorcycle meet, the International Island Classic, is set to return to Victoria’s Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on the Australia Day long weekend, January 25-27, 2019. Featuring a century of motorcycles from pre-war machines through to the New Era makes, the 26th International Island Classic will see an expected 500 historic bikes and 300 riders compete in 56 races over three days. The headline event, the International Challenge, returns with teams from Australia, the USA and New Zealand confirmed for battle. Current champion, Australia, is set to defend their precious International Challenge title – won back from the UK last January after an outstanding performance led by David Johnson. Johnson has told team captain Rex Wolfenden he’s keen to return, as are stalwarts Beau Beaton, Steve Martin, Shaun Giles and Cam Donald.
International line-ups are taking shape with the USA promising the return of Jason Pridmore, Jake Zemke and Barrett Long with the squad already immersed in testing. New Zealand has Damien Kavney and Glenn Hindle back on board to head the Kiwi effort. At this stage, the UK team, managed by Roger Winfield is unable to commit to a 2019 UK squad due to budget restrictions and new Australian legislation banning aviation fuel in motorsport from January 2019. The UK squad has always run aviation fuel, and is unwilling to modify engines for the Australian government mandated, super unleaded fuel. According to Fergus Cameron, managing director of the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit, other UK team options are being explored. Tickets for the 26th running of the International Island Classic, the largest historic bike meet in the southern hemisphere, will go on sale October 2018. For more information visit islandclassic.com.au