2020 International Island Classic Preview
Australia will take on America in the 2020 FIM Oceania Historic Road Race Cup over the Australia Day long weekend held on January 24-26, and for 2020 the Cup’s competition will focus on the International Challenge, with the top five performers from each country combining their points in a bid to win the crown.
The Island Classic returns in 2020 – Image by Russell Colvin
Both Australia and America are campaigning strong teams with decades of race experience between them, with America to boasts the likes of four-time AMA Superbike champion Josh Hayes, 13-times Canadian champion Jordan Szoke, the first female to ever contest the International Challenge Melissa Paris, plus Larry Pegram, Michael Gilbert and AMA front-runner Taylor Knapp.
The bike of choice for the majority of the Americans will again be the Mojo Yamaha based CMR FJ 1250 prepared by captain Dave Crussell and his crew, and three potent Yamaha TZ750’s.
Dave Crussell – American Team Captain
“We are excited to be part of the Oceania title for the first time this year and we’re expecting a tough fight. In 2020 we have our strongest core team ever to challenge the Aussies on their home turf. 2019 was a non-stop year for us, with bike improvements and supplementing the core of our riders. Our top 3 riders from 2019 are returning to the Classic in 2020 and we have added to this base. Big thanks to Larry Cook (LC Racing), Denis Curtis (CMR Racing) and Dunlop for their continued support of our team.”
Dave Crussell – American Team Captain – Image by Russell Colvin
Australia though is not to be outdone with machinery prepared by Australian captain, Rex Wolfenden, and dominated by a raft of Suzuki Katanas and a XR60. There’s also an Irving Vincent in the fleet, a Honda Harris, and two Yamaha TZs.
The local team will benefit from home circuit advantage, with a field of ace riders who know Phillip Island intimately and between them have amassed several historic racing titles. The Aussie riders include Island Classic stars of recent years – Steve Martin, Dave Johnson, Jed Metcher and Shawn Giles – plus a roster boasting the speed and experience of 2019 pace-setter Aaron Morris, Cam Donald, Beau Beaton and Alex Phillis.
Rex Wolfenden – Australian Team Captain
“I am expecting a tight contest. The Americans have a very strong team. The Aussie boys are up for it, as always. They just want to win and get the FIM Oceania Cup back with us. Close hard racing is what the fans come to see and I am sure this title fight will produce just that.”
Australian Team Captain Rex Wolfenden back in 2015
The FIM Oceania title was launched in 2017, with Australia winning the first two years, but being knocked from their pedestal in 2019 when the format changed to non-International Challenge events and New Zealand took the prize.
In 2020, the Oceania title-fight returns to the original format as the majority of Americans travelling to Australia for the Classic are racing in the International Challenge.
The southern hemisphere’s largest historic meet, the International Island Classic, will be held this Australia Day weekend, January 24-26, at Phillip Island. Go to www.islandclassic.com.au for tickets and on-circuit camping, and get planning an action-packed and affordable Australia Day long weekend away with your mates.
|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|
|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|