28th January 2013
Cranfield University has welcomed British motorcycle racer Maria Costello MBE to its list of Associate Drivers and Riders, a scheme supporting talented motorsport competitors; all at different stages of their careers.

As an Associate Rider for Cranfield’s Motorsport Programme, Maria benefits from the knowledge of the academic team and the postgraduate students on its Motorsport Engineering and Management MSc, with access to state-of-the-art facilities and the backing of a University with significant involvement in motorsport. In return Maria will act as an ambassador for Cranfield’s Motorsport MSc, its students and alumni. This should lead to students getting more closely involved with race teams and working on projects. It is intended that Maria will visit Cranfield to meet the current cohort of students, offering an invaluable insight into motorsport from the competitor’s perspective.

Maria’s list of achievements is impressive. She held the Guinness World Record for being the fastest woman to lap the Isle of Man TT course at an average speed of 114.73 mph for five years until Jenny Tinmouth took the record at the 2009 TT. Maria was the first woman (solo racer) in the history of the Isle of Man motorcycle races to stand on the podium (at the Manx Grand Prix in 2005) and she matched that achievement with yet another podium finish in the 250 Classic race at the 2011 Manx Grand Prix.

Costello has won a total of twelve Manx Grand Prix Silver Replicas and two TT Bronze Replicas - special trophies awarded only to those who finish within a specific percentage of the winner’s time. She was awarded an MBE in 2009 for services to motorcycling.

Maria said “I feel very honoured to be the first motorcycle racer to become an Associate Rider for Cranfield University. Having access to state-of-the-art facilities and the backing of the University is immense and I’m looking forward to meeting the students and giving them an insight in to motorcycle road racing and hopefully they’ll be particularly interested in my home built ‘pizza race bike’ Kawasaki ER6 Supertwin. This position is just one of the many exciting ventures that, along with my racing plans and the women riders association I am currently developing, is going to make for a fantastic 2013.”

Clive Temple, Programme Director for Cranfield’s MSc Motorsport Engineering and Management course, said “Maria is the first motorcyclist and the first female to join our Associate Driver and Rider scheme. The Scheme offers the competitors a platform for their skills and also an opportunity for our students to support racers. We are proud to be supporting another talented British motorsport professional and look forward to following Maria’s career in motorcycling.”

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