Uckfield motorcyclist Matthew Dix and team-mate Shaun Parker came fifth in two sidecar races at the challenging Isle of Man TT which finished last week.
This was the fourth TT Matthew has competed in – his third with Shaun – and each year he has got better.
112mph lap average
This time the pair exceeded just short of a 112 miles-an-hour average lap speed over the 38 mile course which means Matthew is one of only about 30 drivers to ever have exceeded a 110 miles-an-hour average lap in the 100 year history of the TT.
The pair won two silver replica trophies for coming within 105% of the winners’ times.
Matthew, 44, puts their achievements down to skill, willingness to learn and to riding within his ability.
Matthew, who lives at West Park, and runs his own business as a motorcycle mechanic at Hartfield, said he now knows the TT course with its 235 corners – and highest point of 1300 feet – like the back of his hand.
He started grass track sidecar racing in 1990 and then started road racing in 1998.
He first travelled to the TT in 2004 and from that time it was his dream to compete there.
It took him four years to learn the course. He said he probably drove it between 120 and 150 times in hired cars and watched more than 500 laps.
Matthew said: “The race is unique, there is nothing like it at all. Many people dream of going there to watch, let alone race in it. To have the ability to ride freely within a race is amazing.”
One of his two daughters, Sydnie, was even born on the Isle of Man between two TT races when he competed in 2010.
Sydnie and his other daughter 16-year-old Sadie were now two of his biggest fans, he said.
Will Matthew be riding again in 2017? He’s not sure, he’s still thinking about that.
He said he put a huge amount of time and effort into the TT but it was thanks to the support and help of sponsors, friends and family that he was able to take part.