Local teenager Rhys Callister has signed for the Natukashii Racing team after a successful weekend at the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire.
The 18-year-old from Peel was invited to the final round of the Classic Motorcycle Racing Club’s series on a 1987 Honda RS 125.
This followed success in the eight-round ACU Ultra Lightweight British Championship on his own Metrakit GP bike, racing at Darley Moor, Mallory Park, Tonfanau, Oulton Park, Anglesey (two rounds), Aintree and Three Sisters in Wigan.
He also ran his Kawasaki Ninja 400 at all the rounds for more track time, his best result being a third at Anglesey in torrential rain in the open 500cc class.
On what was his first visit to Croft, close to Darlington, Callister’s introduction to the circuit was going straight out for qualifying on Saturday morning.
In the mixed class of more than 30 riders he placed the bike a very respectable 12th place on the grid.
He didn’t make the best of starts in race one, slipping backwards down the field to an eventual 11th place.
Race two later in the afternoon was declared wet, but the determined Manxman adapted well to the conditions and by the end of lap one he was up to second place.
At the end of another seven laps of the 2.1-mile circuit he battled his way to a hard-earned third place.
The sun was back out again for Sunday afternoon’s nine-lapper in which he once again started from 11th on a full mixed grid, this time finishing seventh overall and first in class earning him the highly-coveted race of the year CRMC tankard.
Natukashii team owner Christopher Roberts said: ‘Super impressed with Rhys this weekend, wasn’t sure what to expect but this kid has got some serious talent and exactly the right attitude to fit in with the rest of the team, and most importantly a genuine passion to race.’
Next season he will line-up alongside fellow Manxman Dan Sayle aboard 125 and 250cc classic machinery in the 2024 CRMC Championship.
l Rhys Callister started motorcycling at the age of seven on a mini moto at the kart track in Jurby, winning the championship up there in his final year. He then moved on to the pitbike supermoto class, winning the junior championship twice.
He then went over to the adjacent big ‘GP’ track on an Aprilia 125, and at the age of 16 his upgraded licence allowed him to race a 400cc Ninja Kawasaki in the 2022 Andreas Racing Association club championships, finishing runner-up in class.
If his latest ACU licence upgrade is accepted, the Pre-TT Classic will be on his radar on board either the Natsukashii 125 or his own recently-acquired DRS 125cc Spondon.