Historic motorcycles are booming in popularity and former motorcycle GP winner Daryl Beattie is backing that popularity as ambassador for this year’s Australian Historic Road Racing Championships.
The meeting will be hosted by the Historic Motor Cycle Racing Register of SA from October 8-11 at Mallala Motorsport Park, just outside Adelaide.
More than 250 riders are expected to attend with over 300 machines to compete in classes covering periods from 1920 to 1990. Daryl will be attending in between his MotoGP commentating commitments.
“I love all forms of motorcycling and first got involved in vintage racing when I helped my old Suzuki team-mate and buddy Kevin Schwantz race a Manx Norton in New Zealand in 2009,” Daryl says. “Kevin’s since raced Manxes in the US and UK. He set the fastest lap for a single-cylinder machine at last year’s Goodwood Revival. This sport can become very addictive.
“South Australians are very serious about vintage racing,” says Daryl. “The HMCRRSA was formed in 1977. It hosted some high-profile international guests in the 1980s, and first held the national titles in 1996, then in 2002 and 2006.
“Mal Pitman (former Red Bull Yamaha 500cc chief engineer) is the register’s patron and I know he has plans to get some great old Grand Prix machinery out of the woodwork for the weekend.”
Mallala, a country town just 55km north of Adelaide, is embracing the event, with locals providing camping sites and catering.
“Anyone who loves motorcycling knows that the journey is the adventure,” says Daryl, who also runs Daryl Beattie Adventures Outback tours. “So the nationals could be a pit stop for fans travelling to the Phillip Island MotoGP, held on the following weekend, from the west.”
The Mallala Motorsport Park dates back to 1961, when Lex Davison (grandfather of current V8 Supercars racers Will and Alex) won the Australian Car Grand Prix there in front of 15,000 spectators. It is a great place to watch historic racing, with picnic vantage points that cover most of the track.
“Vintage racing is growing around the world with new events, such as the upcoming World GP Bike Legends festival at Jerez in June, being announced,” says Daryl. “The national titles at Mallala will be Australia’s showcase this October.
“I’ll be releasing a series of updates in the lead-up to the national historic titles at Mallala and I hope to see a lot of motorsport fans there.”
Daryl is now a Network Ten motorsport commentator and has started an outback motorcycle travel company called Darryl Beattie Adventures.