2008 MSC Shift Kawasaki Off Road Racing Team
MSC Shift Kawasaki Off Road Racing Team is Kawasaki’s first ever team entry into the Australian National Off Road Championship series.
There is a new force to be reckoned with in the Australian National Off Road Championship series in 2008. It is the MSC Shift Kawasaki Off Road Racing Team. The brand new team is Kawasaki’s first ever team entry into the Australian National Off Road Championship series. With 6 highly experienced, dedicated and enthusiastic riders onboard the latest range of Kawasaki KX and KLX Models, the MSC Shift Kawasaki Off Road Racing Team look set to take 2008 by storm and can’t wait for their first race meeting at Port Macquarie, NSW, on 15-16 March, 2008.
You had better pencil in the National 4 Day Enduro, Finke Desert Race, Hattah Desert Race and the International 6 Day Enduro, as well because the MSC Shift Kawasaki Off Road Racing Team will be making their presence well and truly known at these renowned events as well.
Meet the first MSC Shift Kawasaki rider, 33 year old Damian Smith from New South Wales’ Central Coast. Damian is the #1 ranked rider in NSW in the Pro E1 Class and is ranked #3 outright in the NSW Off Road Championships. Damian just finished as the top local rider in the E1 Class at the ISDE in Chile, finishing an astonishing 13th overall. This was Damian’s 12th consecutive year competing in the event during which time he’s won an amazing 8 Gold Medals.
Damian has also held 4 Australian Championship Titles in the Four Day Australian Championship series. The Pro Rider is excited to be piloting a Kawasaki KX250F in the Pro E1 Class in the upcoming National Off Road series. Damian will also be competing in the National 4 Day Enduro, Finke Desert Race, Hattah Desert Race and will represent his country for the 15th time at the International Six Day Enduro in 2008. Damian lists his favourite events as the ISDE and Australian 4 Day Enduro and says
“I’m really excited about the possibilities that are open to me onboard the Kawasaki at next years ISDE. I’m so excited to be a part of this new team and can’t wait to pilot my KX250F to as many podiums as I can.”
At the other end of the experience scale is 16 year old up and comer, Tim Toffil from Jilliby in NSW. Don’t confuse Tim’s age with his level of success though as he is no stranger to the podium. Tim is currently the #1 ranked rider in NSW for 125cc and is currently ranked #2 in Australia in the Junior Open Class. Other recent achievements include a 2nd place at the Australian Titles in the Junior National Off Road series. Tim will be piloting a brand new Kawasaki KX250F as he makes the step from the Junior Class to the Expert E1 Class. Tim’s ambition is to take his podium rank with him and then progress to Pro Class.
He says “Next year, I have one of the best opportunities to make a name for myself as I come out of juniors and advance to Expert class.” “I’m really looking forward to learning from Damian, Shannon and the whole team. Kawasaki has given me a go and I am out there to prove that they have made an excellent decision.”
25 year old Shannon Lewry from McGraths Hill in NSW will be representing the MSC Shift Kawasaki Off Road Racing Team onboard his KLX450R in the Pro E2 Class. Shannon has achieved much success in the Australian Off Road Championship series, currently ranked #2 in NSW and #7 in Australia. He is also ranked 3rd in his class for Pro E2. When asked what his expectations are for 2008, his reply is “Podiums, Podiums, Podiums!” “The up coming season is looking great for the MSC Shift Kawasaki Off Road Racing Team.” says Shannon. “The team is made up of a great bunch of guys who all support one another. Damian’s experience and leadership is invaluable and Vaughan Cumming’s development and set up skills is unparalleled. I can’t wait to race!”
Also riding a KLX450R in the Pro E2 class is 21 year old Berowra, NSW resident, James Taylor. James’ enigmatic riding style has already earned him a Silver Medal at the 2006 ISDE in the E2 Class and he is currently ranked #2 in NSW in Pro E3 and #3 in NSW in the Pro E2 Class. James lists his favourite event as the National Australian 4 Day Enduro and he is striving for a top 10 ranking in Off Road in 2008. He believes strongly that he can achieve this.
James says “I am so impressed with the Kawasaki KLX450R. The likelihood of me achieving my goals and exceeding my own expectations is greatly increased because of this motorcycle. Not just racing, but racing successfully is totally achievable! Watch for me becoming the total surprise package on the scene!”
33 year old Enduro racing veteran, Adam Schneller from Morrisett in NSW, can’t wait for the up coming season to start. The experienced and successful rider will be onboard a Kawasaki KX450F in the Open Four Strokes Class in 2008. Adam is a true, desert riding specialist having achieved 2nd place in his class at the Australian Four Day Enduro in 2005 and an impressive 26th place overall at the ISDE in 2001. Notably, he also achieved 2nd place in his class at the Clubman Thumpernats in 1998 and has achieved top twenty placing in the Australian Four Day Enduro for the last 3 years. “What a great combination” says Adam. “Fantastic Kawasaki Motorcycles and the vast racing experience of the MSC crew, I know we’re in for an unbelievable year. I’ve got my sights set on a top 5 outright finish at the Finke Desert Race next year and a podium at the Australian Four Day Enduro in the Open Four Stroke class. I can’t wait for the season to start!”
Renowned for his motorcycle set up and development skills, 23 year old Vaughan Cumming from Mangrove Mountain on the New South Wales Central Coast rounds out the rider’s contingent of the MSC Shift Kawasaki Off Road Race Team. The Australasian Dirt Bike Magazine test rider and partner at MSC Products, will be heading into the season onboard his Kawasaki KLX450R in the Expert E2 class. Not only is Vaughan invaluable in the workshop with his expertise of all things developmental, he’s also consistently strong on the race track too, posting an impressive 2nd place at the Clubman National Off Road Championships in the E2 class in 2007. Vaughan also boasts an impressive 5 finishes from 5 starts at the Finke Desert Race. Vaughan says “I can’t wait to turn the paddock green! I know we’re going to create some excitement out there. The team is strong, the Kawasaki’s are bullet proof and we have a few special elements that will make us stand out this season.”
Guiding, managing and leading the MSC Shift Kawasaki Off Road Racing Team is the well known and respected Mark Cumming. Mark will be assisted by his wife, Simone Cumming. Mark’s experience in both the motorcycle and business environments is extensive. This is proven through the success he has achieved in both the motorcycling world, which he started competing in at 15 years of age, and the corporate world, where he has won Australian Design Awards for his innovations. Mark is currently the Director of MSC Products Australia. On the track, Mark was in the top 20 in his class and a silver medallist at the ISDE in 1998. Mark is looking to further his success with the MSC Shift Kawasaki Off Road Racing Team. “2008 is going to be an exciting year.” Mark says. “We have a terrific bunch of extremely talented riders, a phenomenal support crew and an experienced mechanic in Dave Moore. The Kawasaki motorcycles are absolutely first class as are all of the sponsors associated with the team and I believe we will use these elements to create a racing environment that is second to none.” “We expect to raise the profile of MSC Products, Shift Apparel, Kawasaki Motorcycles and Kawasaki off road equipment and all team sponsors. We are looking forward to many podium finishes in 2008.”
The MSC Shift Kawasaki Off Road Racing Team will be making it’s debut at Port Macquarie on 15-16 March, 2008 at the opening round of the Australian National Off Road Championship series. They will also be out in force at the National Four Day Enduro in April, Finke Desert Race in June, Hattah Desert Race in August and other events yet to be confirmed. Watch for the MSC Shift Kawasaki Off Road Racing Team on the podium in 2008!