Maria Costello Is Gunning For a Top Manx Grand Prix Performance
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Maria Costello Is Gunning For a Top Manx Grand Prix Performance
Earls Barton businessman Steve Wheatman is supporting the revitalised racer with a Suzuki XR69 to compete in the Post Classic race at the Manx Grand Prix.

John Sims, at Trident Engineering, will prepare the XR69 for racing at the Manx, and has drawn up plans to fit it with a close-ratio gear box and straight-cut primary gears, as well as a carb change, to make it as competitive as possible. His website is, and he has plenty of bike building and racing experience, having been involved in many Manx wins. Top Isle of Man TT racers Ryan Farquhar and Guy Martin competed on similar machines at last year's Manx Grand Prix and claimed the first two places.

The owner of HOL-TAJ EXPORTS, Wheatman has assembled a large collection of ex-works Classic Suzukis from the 1970s and 1980s under the 'Team Classic Suzuki' banner and has in recent years attended many of the classic racing festivals in the UK & Europe with GP stars of the era such as Phil Read, Boet Van Dulman, Randy Mamola and Wil Hartog riding his collection.

Wheatman wanted to get involved with sponsoring a current racer, preferably one based in the Northampton area. He met Costello at a Classic event in Belgium in 2009 and when he saw a local newspaper report that Maria was looking for sponsorship it ticked all the boxes for Costello to race one of his machines at the Isle of Man, as well as giving support to Maria's other racing activities. "Maria has done a fantastic job in raising the profile of women racing in the UK over the past few years which has been deservedly recognised with her recent award of an MBE, and we are pleased to be associated with her racing efforts in 2010," he said.

"Having this financial support is amazing," said Costello, who was the fastest woman at the Isle of Man for five years. "It's a fantastic opportunity and a great financial boost to kick off the 2010 season. Steve Wheatman's collection of bikes is staggering and I feel honoured to ride for him. I stood and watched the 2009 Post Classic race from Bray Hill this year and I was thinking then that I'd like to participate in this new class. For this offer to come from a local sponsor is even better as I can pop along and see the progress of the XR69."

Costello, the first woman to clinch a podium place at the Isle of Man, received a further boost after clinching another local sponsor. Milenium Computers in Northampton, a PC manufacturer and repair centre, is backing Costello with IT support, while MD Peter Ravi is also offering a 10 per cent discount to all bikers - all you need to do to receive the discount is arrive by bike or take in your helmet!

Milenium computers can be found in Tweed Road on the Weedon Road Industrial Estate in Northampton.

"This is a much needed sponsor as my laptop is an essential part of both my working and racing life," said Costello. "Milenium have a really fast turn-around on repairs, which suits me and my fast-moving life, having IT support and back up will be a huge help in 2010."

Costello added "It's fantastic to have two local sponsors onboard, it's a great start to the year and I'm so excited about what this season will hold."

Maria requires financial backing for this years TT races and is looking for sponsors. Please call 07595 023920 or email

Be right back. I am going to go find myself, and if I leave before I get back, make sure to tell me !! -
14-01-2010, 11:33 AM
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