Thirteen years a Mountain Course pilot, Wiltshire’s Shelley Pike epitomises the core spirit of the Manx Grand Prix.
This is illustrated by the fact that in 2016, she was awarded the Spirit of The Manx award.
Her latest IOM roads expedition sees her astride RVF 400 Honda, especial sounding BSA Goldstar tackle.
Speaking on Thursday (24th August), Shelley summed up what the Manx means to her.
This course is the best course to ride, nothing compares to it.
“It’s a real roller coaster of emotions when you come here, when you go down Bray Hill it’s just wonderful, it’s just a fantastic experience.
And the 100th Anniversary, wow that’s fantastic, the longevity of the sport, long may it continue, lets’ hope it gets through another 100 years!”
Reflecting on the past week of timed qualifying action, the SPARK backed racer stated:
“It’s been a bit difficult with the weather and red-flag incidents but we had a really good session yesterday (23rd August).
Got three laps in on the 400, three qualifying laps, very pleased with that, hopefully today will go really well.”
Moving onto the topic of Goldstar BSA, RVF 400 machinery, she respectively stated:
“We’ve only done one lap on that (BSA) but was the red-flag night, only got as far as Rhencullen.
I don’t know yet, we will see this afternoon (24th August), raced it last year, I qualified we did the first lap and on the second lap it blew up unfortunately.
So, what we are hoping for this year is that we can qualify and then finish the race, that’s what we are planning with the Goldstar.”
“Would love to do a 100-mph average race (on the 400) but I’m not sure that is going to be possible this week but we’ll just see how the race day goes, it all depends on the weather as well on race day, if conditions aren’t perfect, I won’t be doing that.
But we’ve got a big tank for the three-lap race, so I don’t need to re-fuel but I have to come in after the first lap, put the foot down and just go for it.”
Shelley’s two race outings are both today, as the Carole Nash Classic Senior, Sure Lightweight races enter the forefront of the real road racing fraternity’s minds.
Photo credit: Nick Wheeler
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou