Richard Britton’s son Loris poised for race debut

Loris Britton in action during a track day on a Kawasaki ZXR400.
Loris Britton in action during a track day on a Kawasaki ZXR400.

Young Enniskillen student Loris Britton is set to make his Irish short circuit debut in August as he follows in the wheel tracks of his legendary racing father Richard, who was tragically in a crash at the inaugural Ballybunion road races in Co Kerry in 2005.

The 34-year-old was hugely respected in the road racing paddock and was one of the country’s leading riders, winning multiple Irish National road races and also proving himself at international level, clinching a famous victory in the Production race at the North West 200 in 2000.

Britton was twice crowed Irish and Ulster road racing champion and won the prestigious Regal 600 series four times.

His son, Loris, has recently felt the urge to try motorcycle racing for himself and has already participated in some track days as he plans his debut on a Kawasaki ZXR400 at Mondello Park on August 6 before competing in the Masters Series at Bishopscourt in Co Down on August 21.

The 16-year-old, who is due to take up an electrical apprenticeship next month, told the News Letter: “It’s something I want to do and I enjoyed it when I tried it, so I want to keep going now. I’ve done a track day at Kirkistown but I was out on road tyres, which didn’t really help.

“Then I went to Woolsey Coulter’s track day and had another run out. I learned a lot more from Woolsey and gained some good knowledge, so I know more about what it takes now.

“I’ve got a Kawasaki ZXR400 and it shocked me a bit at first when I went out on it. I was a bit nervous about the speed because I’d only done about 55mph on a moped before, so to be going over 100mph up the straight was a bit a scary,” Loris added.

“After a while it felt grand as I got used to it a bit more and I really enjoyed myself, it was good fun so I’ll keep at it.”

Loris felt driven to have a go at the sport given the huge role motorcycle racing played in his father’s life. He had only just turned six-years-old when tragedy struck almost 11 years ago.

“I was really young so I don’t have that many memories of my dad, although I’ve a few from the Isle of Man TT,” he said.

“I don’t actually remember him personally – I just have memories of being with him because I’d only turned six at the time.

“I don’t actually know what he was like but having talked about him to people, I’ve a fair idea.

“I just felt that this was something that I wanted to do, to give it a go myself and see what it was like.”

Loris plans to ride one of his dad’s machines in a parade lap at this year’s Enniskillen Revival meeting at St Angelo on October 8, where he is also set to race.

The articulate teenager has linked up with his father’s former sponsor, Alan Gregg of Schimmel Distribution, as he mulls over his plans for 2017.

He wished to thank Mr Gregg for his support plus Ian Moffitt of Mann Camping, Enniskillen Motorcycles and family friend Paul Maguire.