independent

Saturday 23 March 2019

Farrell up for new challenge

Andy Farrell will be back on the TT Mountain course once more for the Classic TT in 2019. Here he is pictured with his Fiance Amy Fanning and his mother Esther with the spoils of victory at the Manx Grand Prix Dinner. Photo Jack Corry
Andy Farrell will be back on the TT Mountain course once more for the Classic TT in 2019. Here he is pictured with his Fiance Amy Fanning and his mother Esther with the spoils of victory at the Manx Grand Prix Dinner. Photo Jack Corry

Jack Corry - Corry Corner

Following his success in the Manx Grand Prix last year, Skerries rider Andy Farrell has another challenge ahead of him over the famous TT mountain course, when he will partner Ben Rea on the Steadplan Primus Racing Kawasaki ZXRR 750, and he will also ride the bike in the Pre -TT Classic meeting over the Southern 100 course in Castletown.

The idea of the team came about toward the end of the Classic TT in 2016 and was formed in 2017 by trio of friends Sam Morton (Primus Ltd), Dale Fordham (DRF Services) and John Duggan (Duggan Joinery).

Originally the idea was to source a Supertwin, but the friends quickly gave up on that idea. Life logistics got in the way and it wasn't until early 2017 when Dale suggested to Sam they look for a classic, knowing that her heart really belonged in that direction.

Just before the NW200, Dale found an advert about a Kawasaki ZXRR 750, (the RR being the rarer of its model) all adverts read well, but after some discussion with the owner, Dale announced he may have found what they were looking for. Dale headed off to act as Crew Chief at the NW200 for Micko Sweeney and viewed the prospect immediately upon his return. Sam received a text 'transfer the money' and so Primus Racing was born.

A chance meeting during Southern 100 2017 introduced Sam and James Smith (MD and owner of the Steadplan Group). The short sober version of the story meant a further encounter at Scarborough and later the same year on the Island, and a decision to race out of the same awning meant that by the Pre-TT 2018 Steadplan Primus Racing was formed.

A Honda 350 is being built by the Gimbert brothers in the UK and together with the second ZXR 750 sourced and nearing the end of build and race preparation by Crew Chief Dale, takes the stable of bikes for 2019 to four, a big commitment for a small privateer team in its infancy.

The team are committing to competing in the Pre-TT around the Colas Billown course and the Classic TT over the mountain course, and with Rea and Farrell announced as the riders, it will be a busy time for the new team.

Ben Rea (who was a seeded rider over the mountain in last year's Classic TT) has been invited once again to ride for the team at the Pre-TT on a 350 Honda, and he will also ride a Honda 500 and the ZXR750RR for the Pre-TT and one or more of the bikes at the Classic TT.

The following press release was announced at the Southern 100 dinner last weekend in the Isle of Man:

'SPR are delighted to announce that Skerries man and double winner at the Manx GP 2018, Andy Farrell has accepted an invite to ride the latest addition ZXR750 at both the Pre-TT and Classic TT. Andy has served his time over the mountain, and he will pilot the ZXR750 as a newcomer to the Colas Billown course and is delighted to take on the challenge of both new bike and circuit.

Andy Farrell said: 'I am absolutely delighted to be asked to ride the Kawasaki in the Pre-TT and the Classic TT. I will be a newcomer at the Southern course, but the time gained on the bike will be a great help towards the Classic TT. Having achieved my lifetime goal in winning a Manx Grand prix, well I did get the double, and the 120mph lap on the 600 in the Senior, will stand me for the Classic TT.'

He went on: 'I was thinking of doing this year's TT, but I was let down with a bike, but when this offer came along, I just couldn't resist. I was never going back to the Manx, despite the rule changes, and this will be a challenge on a bike that I love. I know Dale and the team will pull out all the stops to get the bike ready in the way that he likes, as he is a perfectionist at his work.

'I am planning to do selected Irish Championship road races, and this will keep me right for the new challenge ahead. I have ridden a 750 before at the Manx, so I will be used to that size bike, but the Kawasaki will be a great bike to ride, and to say that I am excited about the challenge, is an understatement.'

Fingal Independent

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