Maria Costello MBE returns to the home of the World’s fastest road race this week when she heads to the Dundrod circuit to take part in the 2013 , before heading to the Isle of Man to compete in the Classic TT on the 37.73 Isle of Man TT circuit.
An incredibly fast 7.4 mile circuit laid out on public roads in County Antrim awaits Maria and her ESM/Hol-Taj backed Kawasaki ER6 Pizza Race Bike, where she will once more compete in the Supertwins category of the Ulster Grand Prix. The event has a rich history and Maria, as the existing female lap record holder, knows only too well the challenges that lie ahead:
“The Dundrod circuit is tremendously fast. The superbikes take just over 3 minutes to complete the 7 plus mile lap, so average speeds are well over 130 miles per hour. The supertwins are a little less frantic, but it’s all about maintaining good corner speed and exit speed to help on those long, long straights in what has become a very competitive category. ” explained Costello.
Having run the Pizza Race Bike at several of the Irish road races already this season, Maria heads in to the event on the back of some strong results and aims to build on those when she starts the 5 lap Supreme Fuels and Tyres sponsored National UGP Lightweight event on Saturday:
“I’ve really enjoyed the Irish roads so far this season and I’ve had the ER6 handling just to my liking. Having confidence in the bike has allowed me to hold my own in some hard fought (but fair) battles on track, culminating in some great top 10 finishes.” added Costello.
As soon as the chequered flag falls at Dundrod and the bikes are packed away, Maria heads to the Isle of Man to compete in the Classic TT. Very different machinery awaits in the shape of Bob Jackson’s Suzuki T20, the Harris framed Team Classic Suzuki GS1100 and Peter Beugger’s Paton:
“I can’t wait to head back to the Isle of Man to race some terrific machinery. The T20 (affectionately dubbed Betty Boo) is a great little bike and I’m keen to register another TT finish on her after a few mechanical woes last year. I then jump on to the Team Classic Suzuki GS1100 – what a contrast! It’s a goliath of a bike, but after hauling the Suzuki XR69 round to a great 5th place at last year’s event, I’m confident I can put in a similar performance on the Harris framed bike. Last, but by no means least, I get to ride Peter Beugger’s fabulous Paton. Peter’s had a long association with both the TT and classic bike racing and I’m very honoured that he is allowing me to venture out on his pride and joy on the daunting Isle of Man TT course. The Paton, built by Giuseppe Pattonis’ son Roberto, is an absolute work of art and if it goes as well as it looks, which I’m sure it will, I’ll be in for a two wheeled treat.” grinned Maria.
Taking place over the August Bank Holiday Monday, the Classic TT will also provide the centrepiece of the new Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling, alongside the Manx Grand Prix. Further information about Maria and her forthcoming race meetings can be found on her website: http://www.costelloracing.com