Jason Wilkes gearing up for a shot at the TT
Motorbikes run through Jason Wilkes’ veins – if he’s not racing them, he’s building or repairing them.
The owner of Roads and Race Ltd, in Halesfield, has only been competing in club championships for less than two years but has already discovered he has a knack of winning races.
Yet the 36-year-old, from Telford, admits the circuit racing is simply getting him prepared for his dream of racing around the iconic 37.73-mile Isle of Man TT course.
“This is my second season and the first went really well,” he said. “I did half the championship at in the Formula Darley class at Darley Moor and finished second, racing a 650 supertwin bike.
“I also only did two races at Tonfanau and finished fourth, which included a third, second and a win on the supertwin.
“Round one at Darley Moor this year, I got two thirds.”
Racing runs in the family too for Wilkes, who also takes part in the track days with Telford’s twin club racing stars Will and Matt Shaw.
“My grandfather Joseph Taylor raced at the Isle of Man, in the Manx GP, usually coming around mid-table,” he said.
“My dream is to race at the Isle of Man TT and hopefully next year I can get enough signatures to race at the Manx.
“I’ve been going over to the island since 2004 and now I’ve raced quite a few riders who race round there.
“I’m also hoping to get a couple of races in on the roads in Ireland, then head to the Isle of Man.
“I’ve already spoken to some of the organisers over there who know how keen I am.”
Wilkes, who has run his business for more than four years, said he was quite surprised with how well and quickly he managed to get to grips with racing.
“The first time I ever raced I qualified on the front row, I took to it like a duck to water,” he said.
“My uncle died in a motorcycle accident and I was never allowed to own one or race for years. I had to leave home before I could get a bike but my mum regrets that now and is very proud of me.
“This year I will be racing at Darley, Tonfanau, and hopefully some Thundersport GB and No Limits rounds.
“Basically, where ever there is a challenge I want to race.
“I went to Mallory Park for the first time in 10 years, qualified eighth and was lapping one-second faster than first place after getting up to second.
“There’s no fun in that and everything I’m doing is focussed towards road racing.
“It suits my style too, which is smooth into the corners and can be completely different to racing on the circuits.”
Wilkes is currently running a Triumph 675 in the supersport class and a Kawasaki ER 650 in the supertwin class but admits his work still has to take priority.
“The business takes preference over the racing but I’ve got two mechanics who are working really hard to keep me racing,” he added.
“I’ve also been helped out a lot by Bostin’ Racing, X Lite Helmets, Ixon Clothing, Gaerne Boots, Silkolene and Dunlop Tyres.
“We built our own engine over the winter and it’s performed really well so far.
“We had about 72 brake horsepower last year but it’s more powerful now.”