Local duo hope for flat-out victory at Isle of Man TT
Two Wexford men are about to take on one of the most gruelling motor races in the world in one of the most spectacular forms of road racing that exists.
Mark Codd (32), is a fireman from Enniscorthy, however he'll be swapping his fire suit for racing leathers when he drives the notorious TT circuit on the Isle of Man as sidecar pilot for his passenger, Liam Gordon (32), who is a mechanic from Wexford town.
While the speed of motorcycle racing of any kind is an appeal for millions of people all over the world even the most seasoned of bike enthusiasts would say sidecar racing is an extreme sport all of its own.
The noise, speed, and skill of the driver coupled with the bravery and physical dexterity of the passenger makes it a very unique discipline.
When you add in the fact that on the TT circuit there are places where the top speed of the machines reach close to 200mph, you realise it's a race not for the faint-hearted.
Despite being very successful in the three years they have been racing sidecars, Mark and Liam are under no illusions about the task ahead of them because racing on 'the island' takes everything to a different level.
Speaking to this newspaper, Liam said they have gone back and forth to the Isle of Man a number of times to get the feel of the circuit and work out the correct approach to take in terms of racing lines.
The two Wexford men, who will be competing on the island for the first time, will be taking part in the newcomers category but, even so, they will be up against some of the very best sidecar racing combinations in the world.
They will also create their own bit of history as they are the first all-Wexford duo to compete there in sidecars, although Wexford man Aidan Browne has competed as part of a team before.
On the domestic scene here in Ireland, Liam and Mark have earned themselves an enviable reputation as a duo to watch having secured second place in the Irish championship in their maiden season and securing first place in the cup championship in their second year.
The two plan to undertake a number of fundraising events in the coming weeks to offset the costs involved in giving themselves the best possible chance of success at the TT.
They said any financial support they receive locally will be greatly appreciated and all sponsors names and logos will be displayed on their sidecar and helmets.
The sponsors will also be included on the duo's social media pages while the international TV and radio coverage of the event itself will also prove beneficial to sponsors.
The bike they will be racing is being custom built at the moment by Mick Donovan of MDR Racing.
The rear end is an MDR single-sided swingarm designed to allow the drive wheel maximum contact with the road.
The stopping power will come from two, four-pot AP Lockheed calipers at the front and two-pot AP calipers on the drive and chair wheel.
The duo chose Maxton shock absorbers for the suspension and the bike will have two fully adjustable shock-dampers on the front end with a single shock-damper on the rear swing arm.
It will be powered by a 675CC water cooled Triumph engine which will be heavily modified so that it can run a unique dry sump system and oil cooler.
'We believe this system is necessary to deal with the g-forces that these outfits can produce,' said Liam.
The sidecar Mark and Liam will be using at the TT will also be raced all over Ireland during the year and will be displayed at various shows before being brought to the Isle of Man.
Anyone interested in getting behind the team can contact Liam directly on 087-6236703 or through firstname.lastname@example.org.