Jeremy McWilliams earns double victory at Phillip Island Classic

Jeremy McWilliams
Jeremy McWilliams

Jeremy McWilliams was a double winner at the annual Phillip Island Classic meeting in Australia, jointly lifting the Ken Wootton Trophy.

McWilliams won both International Challenge races on Saturday on the Team Winfield 1982 Harris F1, taking victory over Aussie pair Cameron Donald (Suzuki XR69) and Shawn Giles, who finished second and third respectively in each of the six-lap encounters at the famous circuit.

Team Winfield riders Gary Johnson (Suzuki Harris), John McGuinness (Honda Harris) and Mike Edwards (Suzuki Harris) finished fifth, seventh and eighth in the opening race, with Northern Ireland’s Ryan Farquhar - called into the team as a late replacement for Steve Brogan - finishing tenth (Winfield Suzuki Harris).

Lincolnshire man Johnson again finished fifth in race two on Saturday, with 20-time Isle of Man TT winner McGuinness eighth, Edwards ninth and Farquhar - who is plotting a return to road racing this year to compete in the Lightweight race at the TT - finishing 12th.

However, on Sunday it was the turn of the Australians as Donald and Giles shared the victories, with McWilliams finishing third and fourth.

In a dramatic thrilling fourth and final race, Giles took the win by four one thousandths of a second from Brendan Roberts, with McWilliams half a second down in third.

The result saw McWilliams and Giles tied on points in the individual race category after four races, with the pair sharing the Ken Wootton trophy.

“In my whole career, I don’t think I’ve ridden harder than I did in that last race. I was trying to get away, but when I saw Gilesy beating his chest on the grid I knew it was going to be game on,” McWilliams said.

“I put everything on the line, and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting the ferocity of racing out there. I’d like to thank the organisers for letting me share the spoils with Shawn. It’s nice to be given something in return for all the effort we put in. I’d like to thank the British team for another massive effort.

“It was another great weekend, producing some of the best racing imaginable. I love the place and I love the circuit.”

Donald won race three from Giles, Roberts and McWilliams, who encountered machine trouble.

Johnson picked up another fifth place result but failed to finish the fourth race, with Morecambe’s McGuinness finishing eighth and seventh.

Dungannon man Farquhar was a non-finisher in either race.

Australia retained the International Trophy to maintain their unbeaten record in the team event overall with 692 points, edging out the UK team on 617 points with New Zealand third.