A new road racing team is targeting success at the 2012 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy after the official launch at the weekend.
Isle of Man-based AFC Motorsport has been set up by Leslie and Tina Carter. The story began four years ago when Leslie was able to begin racing following a generous offer of sponsorship from The Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited, the Chairman of which is also Vice President of League 2 football team AFC Wimbledon.
Leslie and Tina came up with the idea of starting their own team last September after
Leslie finally fulfilled his ambition of racing around the famous TT course in the Manx Grand Prix.
Leslie, having experienced all the difficulties of getting a competitive bike and learning the skills needed to tackle the most challenging road race in the world, realised that many talented riders struggle to get very far in the turbulent world of motor racing. He believed bringing together the support of a team for such riders would be of huge benefit.
AFC Motorsport is entering two brand new JHS Racing-built Suzuki SV650 SuperTwin TT spec machines in the Lightweight class at this year’s TT.
The machines have been subject to extensive development specifically aimed at enhancing performance and reliability to meet the demands of the TT course. Both AFC Motorsport and JHS Racing are confident they have the potential to achieve excellent results.
The team has recruited 2011 Lightweight MGP winner and 2012 TT Newcomer Billy Smith. Smith will also be racing his Sandbach Scrap Metals-sponsored 600cc in the Supersport class.
Also riding for the team is the 2009 TT top newcomer Ben Wylie. Wylie stormed into the TT top 10 in 2011 taking 7th and 8th place finishes in the two Supersport races. AFC Motorsport expects he will be challenging for a podium in all six solo races at the 2012 TT thanks to the team and his other sponsors Brenin Bikes and Per Cup Coffee Company, competing on Suzuki, BMW and Yamaha machinery.
The official team launch took place last Saturday at Kingsmeadow, home of AFC Wimbledon, before the match against Dagenham & Redbridge. The team and riders were joined by sponsors The Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited, VueTech (Isle of Man) Limited/DublinBet, Conister Bank (Isle of Man) Limited, ELAS, Manx2 and Island Taxis Limited.
Team co-manager Leslie said:
“We were completely overwhelmed by the support we received from our team and riders, AFC Wimbledon and our sponsors. Almost 4,500 AFC Wimbledon fans attended the match that day and everyone we spoke to thought the concept of bringing the two sports together was a great idea.”
“We also like to think that we did a great job promoting both the Isle of Man and the TT. Now we just can't wait to go racing!”
Team co-manager Tina added:
“AFC Motorsport is made up of working people who do all the race team business in their spare time.”
“We're doing it simply for the love of racing and the whole atmosphere which racing provides. It has been a very tough few months for us, but with the continued support of our sponsors and with the help of the many friends who make up the team, we are certain we will have a great season and a very successful TT.”
A 40-strong party from AFC Wimbledon will be visiting the Isle of Man during the TT, from June 1-4. The group will include the first team players and management, and AFC Motorsport has suggested TT fans keep their eye out for Haydon the Womble, AFC Wimbledon's team mascot, who is likely to be spotted watching the racing around the course.