Brits Eager For More Island Success | Events
The 2016 AMCN International Island Classic is on again over the Australia Day weekend, January 22-24.
The Brits are eager to make it two successive wins after clinching the title from the 10-time Aussie champions.
The UK’s team leader, Jeremy McWilliams, wants that winning feeling to continue.
“We just loved beating the Aussies!,” McWilliams said. “To be honest I thought we were never going to beat Australia on home soil, as their riders always seemed to have that little bit extra over us: circuit knowledge, the ability to test when we couldn’t, a very tough line up and great machinery.
“When we eventually won it was a sweet victory; the whole team and our sponsors Rog and Pat Winfield were all over the moon.”
2015 Uk Team Ryan Farquhar, Jeremy McWilliams and Conor Cumins
Sport always throws up its challenges however, and holding onto the silverware is often a much sterner test than winning in the first place.
McWilliams, who will ride alongside riders like Isle of Man hero John McGuinness, Ryan Farquhar, Conor Cummins and Glen Richards in 2016, is fully aware of the challenge.
“We all love the competition and atmosphere at the Island, as well as camaraderie — but we’re not under any illusions that it’s going to be easy to defend the title. Saying that, this is our strongest team yet, which gives us a lot of confidence,” McWilliams said.
“The Aussies take this event very seriously; Shawn (Giles) is always consistently fast as is Brendan (Roberts), Beau (Beaton) and Cameron (Donald), so everything has to be right to beat them.
“And Jed Metcher turned up to help the Aussie team last year. He’s at the top of his game, it was nice to show him the way home in one of the races… I see he’s been out testing already so I guess he means business and like all of us he wants to win the individual honours.”
Farquhar won the individual honours in 2015 to claim the Ken Wootton Perpetual Trophy, while McWilliams was the victor in 2012 and 2014 — the latter by sharing honours with Giles.
“I am determined to lift the individual honours again in 2016,” continued McWilliams. “I haven’t been riding as much as in previous years — I won a race at the NW200 in May and again at the Goodwood Revival in September — but I’ve got a new bike to set-up during the pre-event test and I am hoping things will all come together for me.”
To up the ante on the competition the 2016 International Challenge will now also include a team from Ireland, joining Australia, the UK, New Zealand and America.
Each team will have a squad of nine riders but only eight will be able to take to the grid in the four International Challenge races — two on Saturday and the balance on Sunday.
The other riders in the UK team are James Hillier, Keith Higgs and Michael Russell, while the other four teams will be announced over coming weeks.
McWilliams in action
The packed Island Classic schedule also includes races for motorcycles and sidecars* from 1919 to 1990, across a range of capacities. *Sidecars are subject to sufficient entries
|Jeremy McWilliams||Harris F1 Yamaha 1300|
|John McGuinness||Harris F1 Honda 1150|
|James Hillier||Harris F1 Yamaha 1300|
|Ryan Farquhar||Harris F1 Yamaha 1300|
|Glen Richards||Harris F1 Suzuki|
|Conor Cummins||Harris F1 Honda 1150|
|Keith Higgs||Harris Magnum Kawasaki|
|Michael Russell||P&M Kawasaki 1300|
For tickets and camping for the 23rd AMCN International Island Classic, visit www.islandclassic.com.au or call the circuit on (03) 5952 2710 on weekdays