News 10 Jan 2012

AMCN Island Classic taking shape ahead of this month's race

The 2012 AMCN Island Classic will take place later this month at Phillip Island.

The 2012 AMCN Island Classic will take place later this month at Phillip Island.

Love your motorcycles across all eras? Then Phillip Island is the place to be on the 2012 Australia Day long weekend when the grand prix circuit hosts the largest gathering of historic bikes in the southern hemisphere – the 19th AMCN International Island Classic from 27-29 January.

Over 250 riders and 340 separate machines have already entered for the meeting, in what is now an annual pilgrimage for a large number of competitors.

Solo classes will be held for bikes dating back to pre-WWI, right through to Vintage (1920-1945), Classic (1946-1962), Post Classic (1963-1972), Forgotten Era (1973-1982) and the fledgling New Era (1983-1990) division. Sidecars will also compete.

The Island Classic attracts nearly 20,000 spectators, and this year they’ll be able to sit back and soak up the action and a healthy dose of motorcycle nostalgia across a whopping 44 races on Saturday and Sunday.

The weekend will be headlined by the premier event, the 2012 Tahbilk International Challenge – a square off between teams from Australia, the UK and a ‘World 13’ entry.

A quick glance over the International Challenge entry list upholds the adage that ‘once a racer always a racer,’ with illustrious names of the past such as Jeremy McWilliams, Shawn Giles, Steve Martin, Rob Phillis, Malcolm Campbell, Barry Ditchburn and John Pace all set to compete, alongside modern day flyers such as Cameron Donald and Irishman Ryan Farquhar.

McWilliams, who started the 2002 MotoGP race at Phillip Island from pole position, was the leading individual point-scorer in the 2011 International Challenge, just pipping Donald after four colossal scraps and at a searing pace which also saw Martin lower the historic lap record to a phenomenal 1:38.964secs.

But the team spoils against went to Australia, which cantered to victory for the fourth successive year to maintain its unbeaten record.

Outside of Australia’s core group of stars, the balance of its 15-man squad for the Tahbilk International Challenge will contain domestic historic racing mainstays, while McWilliams and Farquhar are the marquee names for the UK team. And the World 13 entry has a diverse look, with riders from New Zealand, Australia, France and the United States.

The Island Classic is a bike bonanza to suit any budget, with three-day tickets just $60 for an adult, with children 15 and under free for both the event and for camping.

And to turn your weekend into an affordable Australia Day long weekend getaway, the circuit campground is open for the first time in Island Classic history – with four nights camping in the Visitor Centre Gardens for just $65 per person (two night deal is $50 per person).

The campground opens from 4.00pm on Thursday, 26 January until Monday morning 31 January, but you must pre book your spot at

The best news is that children 15 and under are free, for not only the event, but also the camping!

For just $250 (booked in advance) get track entry and camping accommodation for a family of four* for the entire Australia Day long weekend.

And apart from eight big hours of track action each day (Friday to Sunday), the attractions of Phillip Island are on your doorstep from penguins to beaches, from golf to animal parks.

For further information and bookings or phone the circuit on 03 5952 2710.

Tickets are available in advance or at the gate from 8.00am, with on track action kicking off at 9.00am, but camping must be booked in advance.

* Children classified as 15 years of age and under.