Holmfirth racer Joe Irving heads into the 2015 campaign with a new team and a fresh challenge as he steps up to National Superstock 600 in the British Superbikes Championship series.
Having impressed over the past two seasons in the Motostar class, finishing runner-up last year, Irving has teamed up with one of his closest rivals over those campaigns Tarran Mackenzie in the Stauff Connect Academy livery for 2015.
Managed by Sheffield’s GR Motosport Ltd, the Academy was launched at Brands Hatch, the last round of the 2014 British Superbike championship, with a view of developing young riders.
The concept is the brainchild of GR Motosport Managing Director Brent Gladwin and Stauff’s Head of Marketing Iain Stansbie, and they are expecting great things of their young riders.
“We have put a fantastic Team together in the Stauff Connect Academy livery for 2015 and in Tarran Mackenzie and Joe Irving we feel we would have a great shot at the title,” said Gladwin.
“Both Tarran and Joe were championship contenders in the British Moto3 Championship last year and the last few National Superstock 600 champions have come through the same route.
“Tarran stays with the Team for a second year, where in his first he took podium finishes and one pole position.
“Welcoming Joe to the Team is like re-uniting with lost family as 20 years ago at the inception of GR Motosport Joe’s father Mark was one of our first sponsors.
“Joe has developed into an extremely fit and focused young and being teammates with Tarran will we are sure bring the very best out of both of them.”
And for Irving it is an opportunity he is eager to take.
“I am really looking forward to a part of the Stauff Connect Academy,” said Irving.
“Moving out of the Motostar class up to the Superstock 600 is going to require a lot of learning in a short space of time.
“I want to be ready and capable to run at the front for the first round.
“Coming in as a rookie will make it harder for me than my teammate Taz, who already has a season under his belt.
“The four previous Champions won it in their rookie year, so it can be done and that is my aim in 2015.
“Watching the class in previous years, I know that they key to success is consistency and my main aim will be to finish every race shiny side up!”