50cc Challenge revives spirit of a bygone racing era

This year’s Moonlight Sprints on Victoria Avenue will buzz to a different sound, as the inaugural 50cc Challenge gets off the start line in what is hoped to become an annual event.

Sponsored by Islands Insurance Private Clients in association with Le Riche Automobile Restorers (CI) Limited (Le Riche), the 50cc Challenge will be a new highlight in what is already an exciting crowd puller as part of the Jersey International Motoring Festival (JIMF) which is held every year on the first weekend of June.

The Challenge is open to any 50cc motorcycle or scooter, with riders having to complete a timed sprint over a quarter of a mile competing for the trophy, sponsored by Islands Insurance.

Will Dawson of Islands Insurance Private Clients said, “We are thrilled to be working with Le Riche to bring this new motorsport event to Jersey. We have always provided insurance cover for Jersey’s motorcycling community, from raw beginners to seasoned bikers. We already sponsor the Jersey School of Motorcycling, supporting safer riding and last year we were involved with The Big Ride Out, Jersey’s largest motorcycling event. So, when Joe Castellino at Le Riche brought this idea to us, we couldn’t resist it.”

Joe Castellino of Le Riche said, “The 50cc Grand Prix class was hugely popular in the 1950s and 60s, especially in both East and West Europe. Back then it was known as the “Schnapps Glass Classe” in East Germany because the piston of a 50cc engine is no larger than a shot glass! In those austere post-war years few people could afford the luxury of an expensive large capacity motorcycle so they tuned their mopeds instead…. and went racing!  The need for speed and racing is untameable in man, like the need to climb mountains. It just must be done. Those 50cc bikes could often produce 12 Horse Powers and propel a rider to travel at nearly 100mph. Not bad for a garden strimmer motor!”

The event is open to any competitor, who must enter the Jersey International Festival of Motoring. Each machine will need to be scrutineered to ensure it’s safe and complies with ACU guidelines, and importantly, that the engine is no more than 50 Cubic Centimetres in capacity.

Will Dawson concluded, “As Islands Private Clients are the lead sponsor of the Le Riche Automobile Restorers Summer Concours D ’Elegance, we want to show our support to the classic car motoring industry on the Islands. We will be showcasing our new Classic and High-Value car insurance that makes sure that every nut and bolt and inch of polish is protected.”

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