HARRY Payne is gearing up to roll out with the big boys as he makes his FIM Sidecar World Championship debut at Donington Park this weekend.
Alongside reigning world champ Mark Wilkes, who returns to action, the Isle of Man-based driver is also set to make his long bike debut this morning as the series heads out for FP1.
Wilkes suffered a serious hand injury earlier this season at the FSRA F2 round at Brands Hatch which looked to have cut his campaign with Payne short, but the 2019 FIM title-winning passenger is now back and raring to go.
Payne, meanwhile, admits he’s excited to get going as he and the team become the first Manx crew to hit the world stage since 2007.
“It will be my first time riding at this level and it’s a huge occasion,” he said. “It’s my first year in the British championship as a driver and I didn’t expect to be able to go to worlds this early on, especially after just winning the local centre sidecar championship last year – but it has been the long term goal.
“I was only looking for somewhere to ride before the next F2 championship round at Mallory Park next weekend, but after a catch up with former sidecar racer and friend Paul Knapton, he got on to series organiser Roger Body who gave us the nod to ride at Donington.
“Thanks mostly to Dave Molyneux’s encouragement and some boosted support from my fantastic local sponsor KelProperties.im, I’m so excited to get going.”