New faces, new sur­face for QBE In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val of Speed

Old Bike Australasia - - BUZZ BOX -

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.stick­yt­ick­­ter­na­tion­al_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.

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