Louth motorcycle ace Hickman helps GB to win Down Under

Peter Hickman in action. Photo: Half Light Photography.
Peter Hickman in action. Photo: Half Light Photography.

Motorcycle racer Peter Hickman was part of the winning team which secured overall victory at the International Island Classic races in Australia last weekend.

Despite a crash in the fourth and final race, the Louth ace had plenty to celebrate from his first visit to Phillip Island.

He took a third and two second places in the three races before crashing out of the lead in the final race, but he and the rest of the British team did enough to take the overall win.

Having never seen the Phillip Island circuit before, never mind raced on it, Hicky set about learning his way around during free practice and completed his qualifying in sixth place aboard the 1984 Yamaha Harris F1 1250 machine.

As race one began on Saturday, he began to work his way through to the leaders and was trying hard to close down on Shawn Giles for second.

But he couldn’t get close enough to make the move and had to settle for a close third.

In the second encounter Hickman was a man on a mission and the only rider other than his team-mate Jeremy McWilliams to dip into the 1min 38secs lap times.

On Lap four he moved up into third place and then passed Alex Phillis to secure the runner-up spot behind race winner McWilliams, making it a one-two for the British team.

As the lights went out for the start of race three on Sunday, Hicky scorched away from the line ahead of McWilliams, with Giles just ahead in the lead. On lap two McWilliams made his way through to demote Hicky to third place, but he followed to overtake Giles and claim second place.

In the final race of the series, Hickman took the lead on lap two at Siberia, but got on the gas a little too early and went down and out of the race at turn 10.

He said: “Luckily me and the bike are both fine and the team has won the International Challenge overall.

“Top job for the team and thanks to Roger and Pat plus the rest of the team.

“To get a third and two second places in my first time at Phillip Island has been mega.”

The final score saw Great Britain complete the event on 651 points, ahead of Australia (640), Ireland (539), America (357) and New Zealand (323).