Hectic Times for Historic Team
It’s been a busy start to the year for Phil Morris Racing and the rest of 2014 looks set to continue in the same vein.
The fabulous collection of racing bikes is always in demand at events around the UK and beyond with the ex-Valentino Rossi Aprilia from 1997, not surprisingly, being amongst the most popular with show organisers and visitors alike.
One of its first appearances of the year was at the Springfields Bike Show where Jamie Whitham and Ben Wilson were among those to drop in for a chat with Phil. MCN Live at the Excel, meanwhile featured a Mike Hailwood tribute which included 21 exhibits from the team’s museum in Oswestry, all of which were well received.
The Open Day to mark the re-opening of Mallory Park circuit was another opportunity for a large crowd to see the Rossi bike along with a number of others including some of the Dave Jefferies TT bikes, as was the Telford Off Road Show where Ian Hutchinson was among the guest speakers.
With its friendly atmosphere, the Shropshire Vintage and Classic Motorcycle Show held at Wistanstow near Craven Arms is always a favourite with the team and this year was no exception.
The most recent event was Thundersprint at Darley Moor where once again a huge crowd was drawn to the Rossi bike as well as to meet John McGuinness and Nick Jefferies while Scott Redding was also a visitor to the team stand.
Although poor weather limited on track activities, John was able to take out the museum’s Joey Dunlop 250cc machine from 1984 along with one of the HM Plant bikes from his old team.
Phil Morris Racing has also been involved in two successful fundraising evenings already this year. The Wynnstay Hotel in Oswestry was the venue for an evening entitled Legends of the TT, to raise funds for the Road Racing Legends charity which aims to support injured road racers. With Jamie Whitham on hand to host the event, Ian Hutchinson, John McGuinness, Ian Lougher and Dave Molyneux all turned out to help raise more than £29,000 for the charity. Meanwhile, a social evening and auction raised more than £4500 to go towards resurfacing work at the wonderful Tonfanau Race Circuit.
The race season is in full swing, of course, and among the team riders, Ben and Tom Birchall are all set for the sidecar TT, having used a race at Castle Combe to do some set up work on the outfit. Gavin Hunt took a trip to Spain in preparation for his BSB Superstock 1000 season and picked up his first championship points of the season at Oulton Park.
There was disappointment, however, for Jamie Harris when he crashed heavily at the Anglesey Wirral 100 meeting, fortunately without serious injury.
Looking back at the start of the season, Phil Morris commented, “It’s hard to believe we have crammed so much in to the year already, and there is so much more to come including Mallory Park Bike Bonanza and Aberdare Park Road Races. It’s just so good to be part of the sport we love and to meet so many fantastic people.”