News 12 Dec 2018

International Island Classic to celebrate 26th edition in 2019

Iconic classic motorcycle event returns on Australia Day long weekend.

Image: Russell Colvin.

The iconic International Island Classic is set to return to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in 2019 as the event celebrates its 26th edition on 25-27 January.

Boasting a century of motorbikes, the event is a true motorcycle festival with close to 500 bikes racing and on display, including classic Indians, Nortons and Vincents through to vintage Triumphs, Harleys and Ducatis.

There’s six historic categories from pre-WW1 bikes through Vintage (1920-1945), Classic and Post Classic (1946-1972) and the more recent forgotten era and new era classes fighting for class honours and the Phil Irving perpetual trophy.

The International Challenge remains on the cards for its 15th year, which will will see defending champions Australia take on the USA and New Zealand on bikes manufactured between 1973 and 1984, piloted by riders boasting loads of experience and exceptional talent.

Teams from Australia, the US and NZ will fill the International Challenge grid for four, six-lap races, with the Aussies ready to defend the crown they wrestled back from the UK in last January.

Captain Rex Wolfenden has released his team of star recruits including the squad’s ace performer of 2018, Adelaide’s David Johnson, who led the Aussies back to the winner’s circle after three years lagging behind the Brits. Johnson will be back on the Suzuki XR69, hoping to emulate his 2018 performance which included two wins and two seconds en-route to being awarded the Ken Wootton Memorial Trophy for best individual performance.

Also back in the saddle after an Island Classic hiatus will be Isle of Man specialist Cam Donald and Melbourne’s Jed Metcher on the T-Rex Racing Honda. Metcher, who just took out the Australian Historic Championship at Broadford in November, will race the Honda he campaigned to victories at the Island Classic in 2016 and 2017.

The Australian team boasts great depth and experience with world endurance champion Steve Martin, three-time Australian superbike champion and Island Classic champion Shawn Giles, and Coffs Harbour’s Beau Beaton who in 2018 won the Phil Irving trophy.

In addition, there’s Dean Oughtred, Aaron Morris, Paul Byrne, Craig Ditchburn and returning for his umpteenth appearance, long-time campaigner Scott Webster.

The Island Classic is the perfect Australia Day getaway without breaking the bank. A three-day adult ticket for the Island Classic, purchased in advance, is just $82, and free for children 15 and under (accompanied by a full-paying adult).

You can camp at the circuit for four nights for just over $20 per night (with kids once again free) which is a bargain in anyone’s language. For more information, visit www.islandclassic.com.au.

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