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The Northamptonshire racer celebrated International Women’s Day by securing acceptance to race the sidecar at this year’s TT with Julie Canipa as her new passenger, who last year was awarded the Susan Jenness Trophy by the TT Supporters’ Club for her fantastic efforts in the event.
The pair will form a formidable duo as an all-female team. Costello made her sidecar road racing debut at the Southern 100 road races on the Isle of Man last year while Canipa started her TT career alongside Doug Chandler in 2015 and teamed up with Greg Lambert in 2017 to claim her best IoM finish of eighth.
Despite being a late starter to the sport, Canipa (50), of Port Soderick on the Isle of Man, is the fastest female passenger around the twisty Oliver’s Mount circuit and has enjoyed podium success at the Pre-TT Classic as well as racing competitively in New Zealand.
Costello said: “I’m so excited about getting the opportunity to compete on my sidecar at the TT, this would make me the first woman to race both a sidecar and solo at the TT races and to do it as an all-female team would make it even more special.
“I’m so delighted to have Julie as my passenger. She is a massive boost to my sidecar racing and especially to my TT as she’s a terrific passenger and she also has four years of experience there.“
Mark Hallam, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd Marketing Manager, said: “It is fantastic news that Maria will be participating in sidecar racing with Julie as well as competing as a solo rider at the iconic Isle of Man TT meeting this year. It is a great achievement to be the first woman to take part in both disciplines and we wish her every success.”
Costello, who recently secured a deal to ride a Paton Supertwin for Mark Coverdale this year, goes into the season with a new mechanic, Chris Purdie, who will work alongside existing spanner man Matt Williams and new team members from Ireland.
“I’ve got continued support from many of my existing sponsors, which means the world, and some new sponsors to announce in the very near future,” added Costello, whose achievements on the Isle of Man include being a former female lap record holder on the TT course, being the first woman to take the podium in a race at the Manx Grand Prix & a Classic TT podium finisher.
NGK has a long and successful association with motorcycling where its spark plugs have helped the world’s leading teams and riders to countless victories.
About NGK SPARK PLUG: Worldwide: NGK Spark Plug is one of the leading automotive and technical ceramics suppliers, with its corporate headquarters in Nagoya, Japan and sales organisations and production facilities all over the world. The automotive side of the company specialises in the fields of ignition and sensor technology, supplying Original Equipment and Aftermarket customers across the globe. Its product portfolio for the Aftermarket comprises spark plugs, glow plugs, ignition coils and leads under the NGK Ignition Parts brand, whilst oxygen and temperature sensors, NOx sensors, mass air flow (MAF) and manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensors operate under the brand NTK Vehicle Electronics. With more than 14,500 employees, the company’s automotive and technical ceramics activities generate a total annual turnover of around 3.1 billion Euros worldwide. NGK Spark Plug is represented on all continents and has 41 group companies, 24 production plants and five technical centres. NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd is a leading supplier of original equipment (OE) spark plugs, glow plugs and NTK Lambda and other engine management sensors, plus ignition coils, to the independent UK automotive aftermarket.
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