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'Pixie' aims Weardale Racing Team can taken on Honda and Yamaha
THE North-East’s fastest rider at the Isle of Man TT hopes his new team based in a Durham dale will one day compete with the biggest and best names in motorsport.
Weardale in County Durham is perhaps best known for its bleak moors, industrial heritage and a fossilised tree stump, but now one of its residents hopes to make it synonymous with bike racing.
Ian Pattinson started Weardale Racing Team 14 three years ago but is now stepping it up a gear in the hope of taking on the big manufacturer-led bike racing teams such as Honda and Yamaha.
The 45-year-old who was born and raised in Daddry Shield in the dale before building his own home in nearby Huntshield Ford has been riding bikes since he was seven and started racing aged 17.
He has competed in 40 TT races and 19 Manx Grand Prixs, which are the amateur races run on the same track.
In 2005 he won the amateur league so is now only eligible to ride with the professionals.
He has recorded 29 silver replica finishes, which means he has finished within 105 per cent of the race winner’s time, and a further 24 bronze finishes which are within 110 per cent.
At this year’s event Mr Pattinson was the fastest man from the North-East clocking an average speed of 125mph and hitting a top speed of 196mph on his 1,000CC BMW.
Now he is gathering support from Weardale businesses to make Weardale Racing a name to be feared.
He said: “The big teams are run by the factories, their bikes cost around £200,000, mine is £18,000.
“We are some way away but there is no reason we can’t make it to the top.
“I am being realistic about it, what I would really love it to help younger riders make it in motorbike racing.”
Mr Pattinson, nicknamed the Pixie, runs the team with his wife Venita, and he actually used her bike during one of his TT successes.
Cameron Gordon, owner of Chatterbox cafe in St John’s Chapel, has provided financial backing to the team and will sell Weardale Racing merchandise.
He said: “It’s so great that Weardale will be competing against the rest of the world.”
For more information, search for Weardale Racing on Facebook.
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