|Aussie legends Campbell and Phillis head to head at Island Classic|
Two of the toughest competitors ever to pull on a set of motorcycle race leathers will renew hostilities at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on 21-23 January when they line up in the Australian Motorcycle News International Island Classic.
Multiple Australian champions Malcolm ‘Wally’ Campbell and Robbie Phillis will face off across a four-race format in the International Challenge for Forgotten Era (1973-1982) machines.
Renowned for their titanic battles in the early ’80s, Campbell and Phillis will join a capacity grid of riders from Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, USA and France. Close to 350 entries have been received for what is Australia’s premier historic motorcycle festival.
Campbell, a two-time Australian Superbike Champion (1989 and 1990), will race a four-cylinder Suzuki RG500 two-stroke grand prix motorcycle similar to the one that took the late Barry Sheene to back-to-back world 500cc GP titles in 1976 and 1977.
Phillis, who won five successive Superbike crowns in the early ’80s before Campbell halted his run, will compete aboard a Suzuki Katana Superbike similar to the one that took him to the 1982 title.
“I rate Wally (Campbell) as the toughest and hardest rider I’ve ever raced against,” says Phillis. “He never gave an inch, and never asked for one either. We had some great races.”
“It’s great to be back racing again, and having Wally back on the grid makes it even better” says Phillis.
Campbell, the elder of the duo by three years at 57 years of age, has lost none of his “Wally Go Bananas” reputation. The Tasmanian holds the up-to-600cc Historic lap record of 1:41.953 for the 4.45km circuit – a time just 10 seconds slower than a MotoGP bike, but set on a 1980 motorcycle.
Campbell and Phillis, the two hardened warhorses of Australian racing, will face a star-studded line-up in the International Challenge races. Former MotoGP star Jeremy McWilliams (1980 Suzuki XR69), World Endurance Champions Steve Martin (1982 Suzuki Katana) and Warwick Nowland (Moriwaki Suzuki F1), Isle of Man TT hero Cameron Donald (1980 Suzuki XR69 F1), multiple Irish champion Ryan Farquhar (1980 Suzuki XR69 F1) and reigning Australian Superstock Champion Beau Beaton (1978 Vincent Black Lightning) are among the high-profile entries in the capacity field.
McWilliams is no stranger to the fast and flowing Phillip Island circuit, having qualified on pole position three times for the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (1999, 2000, 2002), out-qualifying multiple world champion Valentino Rossi on each occasion.
In 2010 the International Island Classic attracted a record crowd of 19,200, making it Australia’s biggest domestic motorcycle meeting behind only the MotoGP and World SBK events.
In addition to the International Challenge for 1973-1982 Forgotten Era motorcycles, a full support program for Veteran, Vintage, Classic and Post-classic solos and sidecars will ensure three days of non-stop on-track action at Australia’s premier Historic festival.
For further details on the meeting go to www.phillipislandcircuit.com.au, or tel (03) 5952 2710.