New faces, new surface for QBE International Festival of Speed
The 2019 running of the QBE International Festival of Speed will take place from 14-17 March on a new track surface which has been laid for the length of the main straight and includes the pit lane exit.
The new surface, which cost $1 million to install, begins at the exit of the final corner and joins the surface laid in 2018 at the 100 metre marker before Turn 1.
The meeting will also see a resurgence in the traditional Period 3 500cc class, with a strong international entry on the grid. From New Zealand, recent winner of the similar class at the Pukekohe Festival, Tyler Lincoln, will ride Dave Kenah’s Manx Norton, while Chris Swallow will be aboard the remarkable Royal Enfield single that was clocked at 140mph (225km/h) on Sulby Straight in the 2017 Classic TT. Riding Peter Lodge’s rapid Norton ES2 will be Englishman Davey Todd, who is scheduled to ride the same machine at the 2019 Classic TT. Also from UK is Alex Sinclair, a top performer at the Classic TT for several years and a specialist on the European road circuits, who will ride his father’s 500cc Egli Vincent, plus a Yamaha TZ350 and a TTF2 750 Ducati. Former Australian 600 Supersports front-runner, 22-year-old Kane Burns will ride Geoff Clatworthy’s ES2 Norton on which Bob Rosenthal recently won the Phillip Island Classic, while Bob himself will ride his proven Matchless G50. It all shapes up to be a fascinating rebirth for the once-premier class. At the other end of the performance scale, there will be some serious battles in the QBE TT Cup, with Roger Winfield shipping four race bikes plus a spare for his 40man squad of John McGuinness, Jeremy McWilliams, Glen Richards and Michael Rutter. A freelance entry from UK comes from Tony Hart aboard a Suzuki XR69, and there will be a capacity field of hungry locals rounding out the grid for the much-anticipated main races. Tickets are on sale now at: www.stickytickets.com.au/80520/2019_international_festival_of_speed.aspx
The ultra special 500cc Royal Enfield to be ridden by Chris Swallow at the IFoS.
Glen Richards lines up for the British squad at IFoS.