Australia v America v the UK | 2020 Island Classic this weekend

For an Australia Day long weekend getaway with a historic high-horsepower twist and a spot of seaside camping thrown in, head to Victoria’s spectacular Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for January’s International Island Classic.

Island Classic preview Img R Colvin Australia International Challenge win

Island Classic preview Img R Colvin Australia International Challenge win

Team Australia returns to defend their International Challenge in 2020

The highlight will be the bar-banging International Challenge battle when Australia takes on America and a new-look UK.

Australia is the defending champion, and the ace up the locals’ sleeve is that they are going in with close to an unchanged line-up in 2020, so the likes of 2019 individual winner Steve Martin, David Johnson, Aaron Morris, Jed Metcher, Shawn Giles, Alex Phillis, Cameron Donald and Beau Beaton will all hit the ground running when practice begins on Friday ahead of qualifying and the four six-lap races on Saturday and Sunday.

Island Classic preview Img R Colvin Martin Giles Morris Island Classic

Island Classic preview Img R Colvin Martin Giles Morris Island Classic

Steve Martin, Shawn Giles, Aaron Morris – Image by Russell Colvin

However, that home ground advantage will only serve as motivation for America and the UK, especially the former which on paper has the means to seriously test the Aussies.

An American victory will depend a lot on the form of Josh Hayes, who won last year’s final race and is an out and out superstar with multiple AMA superbike titles to his credit.

Island Classic RCimage Josh Hayes

Island Classic RCimage Josh Hayes

Josh Hayes – Image Russ Colvin

Canadian superbike legend Jordan Szoke and Taylor Knapp are the new – and extremely fast – members of the America team, and other guns include Larry Pegram, Michael Gilbert and Hayes’ wife, Melissa Paris – the first female to compete in the International Challenge.

Jordan Szoke IMGBrianCouture

Jordan Szoke IMGBrianCouture

Jordan Szoke – Image by Brian Couture

The UK returns in 2020 after sitting out last year’s event, and is packed with classic racing devotees from the British racing ranks – as well as a machine that was previously ridden at the event by the indomitable Jeremy McWilliams.

Team captain Tony Hart will ride that bike, and some of the UK big names include 30-year-old Alex Sinclair, who claims several Classic TT and Manx titles to his name, and chief tester for British motorcycle weekly MCN, Michael Neeves.

Classic history in a packed three-day schedule

Now in its 27th year, and the largest historic motorcycle racing event in the Southern Hemisphere, the weekend honours a century of motorcycling in three action-packed days, celebrating the splendour of historic racing across so many levels, from the exotic machines to the people who race and prep them.

As well the International Challenge, the Island Classic includes 50 other races for machines across the six historic racing categories: Veteran (up to 1919), Vintage (1920-1945), Classic (1946-1962), Post Classic (1963-1972), Forgotten Era (1973-1982) and New Era (1983-1990).

Island Classic preview Img R Colvin Paul Byrne Steve Martin

Island Classic preview Img R Colvin Paul Byrne Steve Martin

2020 International Island Classic returns to Phillip Island over the January 24-26 weekend

Up to 400 solo bikes will take to the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit over the three days, where each class will be decided after one qualifying session and five races and riders also vying for the Phil Irving Perpetual Trophy for the highest scorer in non-International Challenge events.

Qualifying will begin on Friday for all classes, followed by a full program of racing from late Friday through Saturday and Sunday. For more event info and tickets go to

An affordable Australia Day Long-Weekend Away

The circuit opens its grounds for camping for ticket holders, and suddenly four nights camping in a spectacular seaside location, is yours for a fraction of the cost you would normally pay, especially on a long weekend, and the weather is looking good!

Phillip Island Forecast Island Classic

Phillip Island Forecast Island Classic

Phillip Island Weather Forecast – Australia Day long weekend 2020

The trick is to buy in advance and secure your camping spot early.

Wrap your three-day event ticket in with four nights of on-circuit camping, and the cost for your Island Classic getaway – entry to three days of on-track action and camping with views over Bass Strait – will be just $167 booked in advance.

Even better, bring the family, because children 15 and under are free for camping and event entry, if they are accompanied by a full-paying adult.

Bookings for pre-purchased general admission and camping tickets close at 12:00pm on Thursday, January 23. You can buy at the gate from 8am Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings but it will cost you a little more.

To purchase tickets, visit

Team UK – Island Classic 2020

Entry List Team UK
Tony Hart 1982 Harris Suzuki F1 1085cc
Jim Agombar 1978 Spondon Yamaha TZ750
Paul Gaskin 1978 Suzuki GS1000
Roger Gunn 1982 Harris Suzuki F1 1170cc
Hasse Gustafson 1972 Ducati 750cc
Johnny Nordberg 1972 Ducati Imola 748cc
Damien Kavney 1982 Suzuki XR69 1260cc
Richard Llewellin 1984 Ducati TT F1 750cc
Michael Neeves 1984 Harris Suzuki
Richard Peers-Jones 1980 Yamaha TZ9 347cc
Alex Sinclair 1982 Suzuki XR69 1080cc
Clive Warner 1978 Yamaha 560 750cc
Brendan Wilson 1980 Suzuki Harris F1 1170cc

Team Australia – Island Classic 2020

Race Name Bike Cap
37 John Allen Yamaha TZ750 1978 750
31 Craig Ditchburn Yamaha TZ750 1978 750
76 Scott Webster Suzuki XR69 1982 1200
186 Beau Beaton Irving Vincent 1982 1300
86 Cameron Donald Irving Vincent 1982 1300
19 Shawn Giles Suzuki Katana 1992 1294
3 David Johnson Suzuki Katana 1982 1100
99 Steve Martin Suzuki Katana 1052
22 Jed Metcher Yamaha FJ1200 1984 1200
64 Aaron Morris Suzuki Katana 1980 1300
20 Alex Phillis Suzuki XR69 1980 1100

Team America – Island Classic 2020

Race Name Bike Cap
17 Dave Crussell Yamaha TZ750 1978 748
136 Brian Filo Kawasaki Z1 1978 1260
55 Michael Gilbert Yamaha CMR FJ
219 Jorge Gurerro Suzuki CMRXR69 1982 1200
4 Josh Hayes Yamaha CMR FJ 1983 1250
44 Taylor Knapp Yamaha CMR FJ 1983 1250
178 Bruce Lind Yamaha TZ780B 1975 749
13 Melissa Paris Yamaha TZ750 1978 748
72 Larry Pegram Yamaha CMR FJ 1983 1250
32 Joe Pethoud Yamaha F1 Harris FJ100 1984 1250
62 Robert Ruwoldt Harris Kawasaki F1 1980 1260
101 Jordan Szoke Yamaha CMR FJ 1983 1250


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