Maria - by BeckPhotographic.com
Maria Costello is a legend in the motorcycle world, her amazing achievements have been recognised at the highest levels -
In 2009 she became the female motorcycle solo racer to become a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), awarded to her by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles.
She was the first woman solo racer to stand on the podium in a race around the Isle of Man TT course, when she finished third in the 2005 Ultra-Lightweight race at the Manx Grand Prix.
In 2015 she was the fastest woman to lap the International Ulster Grand Prix, the fastest real road race in the world..
From 2004 to 2009 she was the fastest woman to lap the Isle of Man TT course.
Maria is also responsible for the 'women only' trackday groups and days that she has run at Teesside, Silverstone, Donington and now with BMW Motorrad UK, where they will also reach as far as Portimao in Portugal.
In 2013 she was inducted on to the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme Women in Motorcycling Commission (CFM).
She is also the mentor for the young women competing in the European Junior Cup.
So what is the next challenge for Maria? The answer - three wheels on a Formula Two 600cc sidecar.
The DDM - photo courtesy of Derek at DCD Images
Teaming up with British championship regular Harry Payne along with the backing of Dave Demott and his brand new DDM sidecar, the pair will be competing for the first time together at the Annual Sidecar Bonanza at Cadwell Park on October 22nd/23rd.
Speaking to the team ahead of the event, it would appear Maria is very excited and looking forward to the challenge. She said "I really want this to work, I've been wanting to race a sidecar for years and now it's going to happen. The excitement just outweighs the nerves. I can't thank Dave and Harry enough for making this happen & I can't wait to start!"
Harry is looking forward to seeing how Maria adapts to 3 wheels, and said "Most importantly, I'm looking forward to an enjoyable weekend away with some good friends to mark the end of my up and down season."
Harry Payne - photo by Dirk Wharton
Dave was asked why he offered his bike to Maria, and how he was feeling about the event, and he said "Because of her profile in the sport, if she decides to get into sidecar racing I'd love it to be on a DDM. Im feeling excited about seeing her out at Cadwell, but without any testing we've got to be realistic as to potential results. The main thing is safety and enjoyment."
Make sure you get down to Cadwell Park on the 22nd and 23rd of October to support the Sidecar Bonanza and the Auto66 club!