AUSTRALIA has retained the International Trophy for the teams’ event at the 2014 Australian Motorcycle News International Island Classic at Phillip Island over the Australia Day weekend.
The biggest historic motorcycle meet in the southern hemisphere, the AMCN International Island Classic attracted more than 340 riders and 450 historic motorcycles from all over the globe.
But the Australian victory wasn’t without a fight, having to work up a sweat against great rival the UK to keep its unblemished record in the International Challenge intact.
Australia eventually finished the event on 692 points, ahead of the United Kingdom (617), New Zealand (367) and America (341).
The Classic wrapped up in the most stunning circumstances when South Australian Brendan Roberts (Suzuki Katana) pipped UK star Jeremy McWilliams (Harris F1) by 0.004 seconds in a photo finish to claim second spot behind multiple Australian superbike champion Shawn Giles (Katana) in race four.
The result meant that both Giles and McWilliams finished the four, six-lap International Challenge races on 155 points apiece, and were subsequently declared joint winners – the first time it’s happened since the International Challenge began in 2005.
The local event attracted the sport’s biggest name in John McGuinness. The 41-year-old Isle of Man legend from Lancashire was called in to bolster the UK team, in what was his first race appearance at the iconic Victorian Grand Prix circuit.
McGuinness is the king of the Isle of Man TT, the most taxing road race in the world, amassing 20 victories and an incredible 41 TT podium finishes in his career.
The Island Classic also hosted events for solo and sidecar machinery from early last century to 1990.
Practice for the event started on Friday with qualifying and racing on Saturday and Sunday.