Maria was joined for the invitation only event by Fabienne Severine-Hoffman to form the first ever all-female team to take part in the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy:
“I’m very fortunate to be invited to take part in this great event and I feel very honoured to be part of the Classic BMW team. I’ve got a great team mate in Fabienne, who despite being new to racing, is a very accomplished road rider and works over in Munich for BMW.” explained Costello.
The Classic BMW team had provided an original 1956 498cc BMW RS500 (as raced by Walter Zeller) for the event and it was Costello who took to the track first on Friday, dialling in the bike over 3 damp laps of the track before handing it to her team mate to benefit from much needed track time as the circuit dried. Fabienne set a very creditable time to secure 27th position on the grid for the team, for what would be a Le Mans style race start.
Saturday arrived and it was Maria who took to the start line for race one, sprinting across the track to leap on the bike as the flag dropped:
“I got a good start and we were running strongly, but one thing with an original bike of this age is that you have to have a degree of mechanical sympathy. Riding such a historic machine gives you a huge sense of gratification especially as it is only 1 of 3 ever made. I was (understandably) under strict instruction not to rev it above 9,000 rpm. That still meant we could have some fun with the bike as it’s a powerful machine, but we were up against stronger machinery which made progress through the field a difficult task. Thanks to mechanic John Bostin we had a slick rider change over and Fabienne was able to bring the bike home and we finished race one in a solid 21st position.” added Maria.
Roles were reversed for race two on Sunday and it was Fabienne who had to make the dash across the start line to the bike, but with a few riders jumping the start, she was at an immediate disadvantage. She brought the bike in mid-race for the rider change, allowing Maria back out on to the glorious Goodwood track to finish race two in 22nd position, culminating in a strong 18th overall position on aggregate results across the two races:
“We finished the event strongly. We had another excellent rider change and despite a few incidents resulting in yellow flags being displayed during the second half of the race, I was able to put in some better lap times before the chequered flag fell. I must thank all the Classic BMW Team for this opportunity, especially Norbert Knerr, Sebastian Gutsch and Claus Clausen and also my pit crew John Bostin and my team mate Fabienne for their hard work and dedication.” concluded Costello.