The JG Speedfit/Cool Milk all-female sidecar team of Maria Costello and Kirsty Hauxwell, made their Mallory Park debut in Round 5 of the Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship.
With over 20 years of road racing experience, Maria Costello is well known to motorsport aficionados for her many achievements, including her MBE for services to motorcycling and achieving the first female podium in a race around the Isle of Man TT.
Given that she typically rides up to 12 different solo race bikes in one season, buying and racing an LCR F2 sidecar in the 600cc ‘Cup’ class is something of a departure for Maria.
“Sidecar racing is so fantastic,” Maria explained. “You’re leaning over the engine to reach for the handle bars, your knees only a few inches off the floor. You depend on another person to get you and the outfit around the track. I’m so excited to be learning this new discipline. The teamwork aspect is very rewarding, as you get to share your experiences with your passenger and I’m really lucky to have Kirsty doing exactly that.”
Costello said: “Kirsty and I gelled instantly – she’s a great passenger having ‘passengered’ for her dad for five years. We started our partnership in Round 2 at Oulton Park. It was our first time on track together and the first time Kirsty had been on an LCR. It didn’t help that rain caused us to have a big spin and it hampered our progress and therefore we had a DNQ.”
Costello and Hauxwell made progress in Round 3 at Knockhill. Qualifying on the back of the grid and finishing all three races. A good step in the right direction as this is their foundation year building a new team and gaining experience together on track.
Mallory Park was filled with ups and downs as they tackled a new circuit. They were just outside the qualifying time but the small circuit only allows 24 outfits on the starting grid. With Maria and Kirsty 25th it meant that they would only be allowed to race, starting from pit lane, if someone retired on the warm-up lap. Somebody duly retired and they could start, once the entire field had entered Gerard’s Bend. They completed the race 9th in class and 21st overall, giving them valuable race experience and another race finish under their belts.
“We’re determined and are learning from every lap and every race. The learning curve is steep and we’re using every spare weekend to get out and test or race in other championships to gain further experience. Mallory has proved really positive with improved bike set up. Thanks to the Christie brothers for their hands on help and to our team and especially Craig, Matt, Jamie and Tim & Paul. Thanks also to our fantastic fans who came to support us and who follow us on social media. We will be competing at Aintree before the next BSB round,” added Maria.
Maria and Kirsty will tackle Round 6 of the series at Kent’s Brands Hatch GP circuit from 21st to 23rd July.
“We’re looking forward to taking our sidecar round the fabulous Brands Hatch GP circuit,” added Kirsty.
2017 Sponsors: JG Speedfit, Cool Milk, NGK Spark Plugs, Bike Shed, AEJ Management, AVON tyres, Rock Oil, CPL Print, Knox, Arai, Nitron Suspension, Mac Tools, Pagid, Radicool, Pro-Bolt, Proline Finishers, Signs2Wraps, Jap4Performance, Premier Bodyworks, Pro Grip, Gear leathers, Arai, Knox, Hel Performance, Hello Market, Bournemouth Kawasaki, Translogic Systems Ltd, Racing Batteries.