Isle of Man TT racer Maria Costello said she had ‘loads of fun’ on her return to short circuit racing.
Costello enjoyed a successful debut in the Adelaide Masters Supertwin Championship at Mondello Park, taking 8th, 10th and 13th-place finishes.
The Northamptonshire racer rode her own Kawasaki ER6 Supertwin, backed by Hol-Taj and European Shoe Machinery Co. Ltd, on the technical 2.26 mile circuit.
Taking advantage of the Friday test day, Costello completed more than 50 laps in an attempt to acclimatise herself with this twisty County Kildare track before qualifying and racing on Saturday.
With a cold and foggy start to the Saturday, Costello only managed two laps in warm-up, just enough time to try a new gearing suggested by fellow road racer Michael Sweeney. The conditions improved slightly for qualifying and although only on her first visit to Mondello Park, Costello qualified 13th on the SuperTwin grid.
In her first race, despite her lack of experience at the circuit, she improved her lap times and finished 13th.
Sunday morning’s warm-up session was an opportunity to use the information she’d learnt from a track walk with knowledgeable track racer Dave Butler the night before.
The first race was brought to a premature end by a red flag. The re-started race was run over 3 laps and from 13th place on the grid Costello fought through to take 10th, improving her lap times again during the short race.
In an attempt to eliminate the slides she’d been experiencing in the earlier race, Costello changed to a different scrubbed rear tyre for race two. From the same position on the grid she got a good start, but was baulked in turn one. Using the better Pirelli tyre she could push harder and worked her way up to take her best finish of the weekend, 8th, and her best lap time.
“It was a real challenge to be competing at a short circuit meeting particularly one I’ve never raced at before. It’s a really demanding and technical circuit and I knew the competition would be tough.”
“But I’m so glad I decided to compete at Mondello Park, the club and circuit made me really welcome and I actually knew a lot of the racers and faces around the paddock due to competing so frequently in Ireland, albeit on the real road racing scene.”
“I actually had loads of fun.”
“I improved every session and feel like I got my short circuit mojo back, a bit anyway. It doesn’t matter where I race my SuperTwin I have fun. If I have enough funds I may even do another short circuit meeting at Mallory Park with Thundersport GB before the season is out!”
“Huge thanks to Mondello Park, Fingal Motorcycle Club, Kev Corbally, Dave Butler and all those who helped and made for a really great weekend of racing.”