Maria Costello, the fastest woman to lap the Isle of Man TT course, will be competing at Southern 100 for the first time next week. Another Isle of Man road circuit, the Southern 100 Races take place on the Billown circuit in Castletown and Maria will be racing the specially prepared 400i on a real road circuit for the first time.
The RLR Motorsports 400i is from the same stable as the RVF400 she had success on at both the NW200 and Manx GP in 2005. Maria was due to compete on it at this years NW200 but was injured during a crash in practice for the 24 hour race at Le Man. Although this ruled her out for the Irish event RLR Motorsports then gave her the opportunity to ride it at the Southern 100.
"I'm so pleased to be riding for the respected RLR Motorsports team yet again and even more pleased to be riding the 400i for my debut at the Southern 100," says Maria. "I have tested the bike and was gutted not to race it at the NW200, now I'm 100% fit I hope to bring success to the team at this new event for me."
Maria has competed on the bike at an EMRA meeting in June at Mallory Park and will test it again, at the Friendly circuit, before leaving for the Island on the 8th July. Practice starts on the 10th and racing commences on the 12th ending on the 13th. Maria already holds the Guinness World Record for being the fastest female around the infamous Isle of Man TT and is the first woman in Manx history to stand on the podium as a solo racer. She hopes to continue this success at the Southern 100.
"I'm really looking forward to racing the bike at the Southern, it will be the perfect bike to learn the course on in my debut year at the event, I have been watching Duke DVD's of on board footage of the course although the Jester Interactive TT Playstation game has also come in handy for learning it at home," says Maria.
Ricky, from RLR Motorsports concludes, "Maria already has a battle of the sexes to contend with and I respect her determination in this gritty sport, that's why we want to support her and hopefully help her reach even more of her goals. We have been racing for over fourteen years and have gained race success through our speed and reliability. We are sure that Maria will benefit from our experience and be added to our list of winners."