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Revolving racer – Brad Gorrie | COLUMNS | GASSIT GARAGE

Brad Gorrie – Who would have thought that when Chris Grubb, a friend of my father, called me up and asked if I could passenger his mate Adam Treasure on an F1 Sidecar, that I would end up on the European circuit lining up with some of the world’s fastest racers.

But here I am heading off again for another season. This time I’m riding with Scott Lawrie, the current Scottish champion and a guy who has raced at the highest level for many years in the UK, Europe and in the world championship.

We are competing in every round of the 2019 IDM German Sidecar Championship. My original plans for 2019 were to contest the British Sidecar championship but as I am already grounded in Europe with local support and friends I felt it was better to return there. Plus, there is some unfinished business.

Adam Treasure got me into this and our full season in last year’s IDM German Sidecar Championship was putting us in a good place for 2019 before a big crash at the final round at Hockenheim, Germany.

Despite that, we finished ninth overall in the championship and had eight podium finishes in the selected International Sidecar Trophy Races we entered. One real highlight for me was the IDM round at the famous Assen circuit in Holland. We had a great fight with three teams for the entire race. Assen is such a high-speed circuit that it took the adrenaline level through the roof.

Hockenheim wasn’t the way to end such a good season. We had a high-speed crash with a big impact to the wall. No one else was involved in the incident and we were lucky we didn’t end up worse.

So I’m back this year with another great team and we are all excited for it to get started. I’ll be based in Hopfgarten im Brixental, Austria. Yes it’s a mouthful and, believe me, I am struggling to learn the language properly. But it’s a beautiful part of the world that becomes a destination for skiers in the winter. When I’m there it’s green fields and bare mountains with that clear air that’s a bit like Australia.

People ask me why I keep racing on the other side of the world where it must be so hard to organise and maintain a team. Sidecar racing in Europe is the highest level of our sport. There are big crowds and the fans are non-stop crazy about what we do. We also get a huge amount of track time compared to what we get at a meeting in Australia.

Many of the European tracks have a huge history of motorcycle racing. If you want to know what I’m talking about Google Rijeka, Croatia. That is one of the best circuits I’ve ever raced on.

Another large part of why I’m in Europe is the support I get from home. The people who believe in me and make this possible are incredible!

I’m not just talking about my family but the whole Australian sidecar family. It’s people like Matty McKinnon, who I have had solid success in past Australian championships riding on his F2 outfit. He’s also a top-grade motorcycle mechanic and wheel builder who’s flat-out running a business, but is also happy to put his hand in his pocket for me this year. Thanks mate.

And then there are clubs like the Historic Motorcycle Racing Association of Victoria. Late last year they presented me with the Dave Large Encouragement Award for my efforts racing old sidecars in the off-season.

I’ve had a lot of success racing the old-time sidecars with my father Doug, and also winning the 2016 Australian Historic Road Race Championships with Max Hooper on his Honda. Maintaining the race face on the other side of the world can be hard, but I’m a dedicated person with big goals.

When I’m home, I sacrifice a lot to work hard, save up and head off again. If you want something bad enough you will work hard and get it.

Finally I have to thank Mum and Dad. The stress I put you through must be ridiculous, but you are really helping me live the dream.