05.11.20 Liveryman Christopher Tate

Livery Committee Event report: Appreciating real sporting courage

In the second in the current series of Livery Committee organised online events, Liverymen enjoyed an illustrated talk and discussed matters motorcycling with Maria Costello MBE, past President of the TT Riders Association. Maria is a long time ‘Fastest Woman round the TT course’ and now is a BMW Factory Tradition team member, among many other honours.

Maria gave a fascinating and always self-deprecating talk about her long racing career, illuminating the highs and being frank about the lows of a career that started with nothing, no backers, no money, and poor machinery, and rose to an international racing career and fame and respect as one fast, brave rider. Just as in four-wheel motorsports, bike racing is unisex (to use a 1970s’ word), racing head-to-head with whoever is inside that helmet alongside you, but that didn’t mean that early in her career, Maria was not subject to a good deal of ‘unhelpful remarks’. Her race results and rapid progress up the racing ladder soon put a stop to that, and indeed Maria stated firmly that evening that ‘All Female Racing’ such as we now see in the W Series for single seater cars, does not meet her criteria for true open competition.

The Livery attendees much enjoyed the talk and particularly the long Q&A session in the second part of the evening proving that, with video input and active audience involvement – even after a long working day possibly already spent on Zoom – members can enjoy an interesting guest and a lively discussion on an often new-to-them topic. Maria Costello deserves all our applause for her bravery and her achievements, and also has the thanks of the Livery Committee for a interesting, fun event.

To read more about Maria, you can order the Kindle edition of her autobiography Queen of Racers here.