Maria Costello makes TT history
Maria Costello made TT history by becoming the first female competitor to compete in both sidecar and solo classes at the same meeting.
The Northamptonshire racer has been competing on two wheels at the Isle of Man for over 20 years and has achieved great success including a Classic TT podium in 2016. But it was only in recent years she started racing a sidecar and set herself the challenge of doing both at the most demanding road race in the world.
As it turned out the challenge was doubled as the rearranged schedule saw both the Lightweight TT and second Sidecar races taking place on one day, instead of Wednesday and Friday as originally planned.
Maria and her sidecar passenger Julie Canipa had already finished their first full distance TT sidecar race in a hugely encouraging 21st place, lapping at over 100mph on every lap with a best of over 102mph, after only four laps of qualifying together.
Maria and Julie were out on the sidecar first and enjoyed the reduced two-lap race as they improved their lap times again with a best of 102.671mph to claim a strong 17th place.
Later that day Maria reverted to two wheels to compete in another reduced distance race, this time taking 24th place on the Coverdale Paton in the Lightweight TT.
“I’m so happy" said Maria, "it has been an incredible and probably my best ever TT because I got to achieve history by doing something so special, racing both the solo and a sidecar as an all-female team.
“It’s probably been the hardest TT because the weather was disastrous. We had hardly any practice, so we were even more made up with our achievements, I loved every second on the sidecar and I can’t thank Julie enough for believing in me and for being a brilliant passenger.
“My solo race was always going to be compromised with doing a new discipline here at the same time, but the bad weather and lack of practice impacted it further. The Paton is a brilliant race bike but we were still making changes in to the race. I’m excited to get some more testing under my belt before my next outing on it.”
For the latest news on Costello, see her website at www.costelloracing.com.