News 26 Jan 2010

Oz RR: Day, Martin, Phillis and Campbell win Island Classic

The 17th AMCN International Island Classic continues to grow in stature on the world racing calendar and has confirmed its position as the third largest motorcycling event on the Australian racing calendar with a 7% increase on last year’s record crowd attendance.

260 competitors, with a combined entry list of 365, from all quarters of the world converged on the world famous Phillip Island circuit last weekend to battle it out for the Phil Irving perpetual trophy and the International Forgotten Era Challenge between the Aussies, UK, and the Kiwis.

Phil Irving is a legend in two and four wheel engineering, instrumental in establishing the British company “Vincent” as a leader in motorcycle design and later teamed up with Sir Jack Brabham who won the 1966 Formula 1 World Championship. Phil Irving passed away in 1992 and is survived by his wife Edith who regularly visits the Phillip Island Circuit and is thrilled that Phil’s legacy lives on with the naming of the Phil Irving perpetual Trophy that is so keenly contested by some of the great names in world racing.

This weekend was no exception, with the Phil Irving winner being Levi Day. Levi, a 19 year old from Mount Gambier and just in his fourth year of racing, beat an impressive and accomplished list of riders to win the coveted trophy. Levi made his MotoGP debut last year in the 125 class and now adds the Phil Irving trophy to his impressive lists of accomplishments.

The Forgotten Era International Challenge is a team’s event that pits riders from Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom against each other over four points-scoring heats with an overall individual points scoring trophy up for grabs. The Aussie team including the reigning World Endurance Champion Steve Martin, Mr Superbike himself – Robbie Phillis, and Malcolm “Wally” Campbell were victorious for the fifth consecutive year. However the win was the hardest fought win with the most slender of leads in the history of the challenge ahead of the UK team with the Kiwis third.

The overall points winner for the Forgotten Era Challenge was also taken out by Steve Martin who broke the lap record with a scorching 1.41.320 beating the previous best time set by Malcolm “Wally” Campbell at 1.41.953 in 2009. Martin didn’t have it all his own way however with tough competition from the multiple UK champion Lea Gourlay who placed second in the overall points standing.

Promoter, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit manager Fergus Cameron was delighted with yet another fabulous turn out of both competitors and fans alike to celebrate a truly amazing period of motorcycle racing from both the national and international stage.

“We all look forward to this event, we’re very proud of it and we are encouraged to see it continue to grow with increasing competitor and fan numbers. It’s a real “Grass Roots” event that’s filled with fierce rivalry and tough racing, but above all that it has a great sense of mateship and fun amongst racers and racing fans where you can walk through the garages, chat with legends and World Champions and share an endless supply of stories recounting past and present feats.”

The Island Classic is scheduled over the Australia Day long weekend each year and if this year is anything to go by, and with a whisper that the United States may be fielding a team in the international Challenge, you just never know who you might bump into at the track next year!