MKR Michael Kirkup Racing “In racing, if you can’t be fast look dangerous. Michael’s both!”
MKR Michael Kirkup Racing comprise two up and coming and determined racers who intend to make a significant impact upon the national sidecar scene in 2019 and beyond.
Michael Kirkup is a 35 year old self employed mechanic from Consett. He has a history of competing in Kart racing as a youth, sidecar motocross and racing sidecars on tracks around the North East and Scotland. He briefly campaigned an F1 sidecar outfit for a season but quit due to financial constraints. Eight years later the draw back to sidecar racing proved too much and, with help from his father, bought himself an F2 outfit with which to campaign the 2018 season. One thing that can definitely be said about Michael is that he enjoys rising to a challenge and it must be noted that he did all this without the one thing that all sidecar teams need; a Passenger.
Passenger duties were initially performed by Classic TT winner and TT racer, Dom Herbertson, better known as a successful solo racer. It’s fair to say that Dom was quite blown away by Michael’s speed and ability, especially after an eight year hiatus. During a live radio chat show at the 2018 TT, Dom was asked about the rumours circulating around TT fans that he was making a name for himself as a sidecar passenger and would he ever consider racing sidecars on the Island.
I’d love to race the TT as a passenger, but it would have to be with Michael”. When asked why he said; “In racing, if you can’t be fast look dangerous. Michael’s both!”
All the mechanical work is carried out by Michael with help from his ten year old son; MKR are very much a family and friends operation. Every race weekend has been completed even in the most challenging of circumstances. Fairings have been repaired between races and engines rebuilt more as a result of tenacity, ability and a need to compete rather than deep pockets, which the team just don’t have. By the end of the 2018 season the bike was held together with the help of borrowed parts from other competitors bikes and one functioning engine made from untested spare parts harvested from the dark corners of the parts bin. Their last race of the season was the Sidecar Bash at Cadwell Park. They were actually quicker than TT legend Dave Molyneux while using their last functioning engine. Disaster struck when the engine finally let go and died. The weather was awful, people were tired and fed up, the van was packed and the sidecar was loaded. Rather than lose a sniff at success and an opportunity to compete against A class racers, Michael drove back up to Consett and built an engine from scrap parts overnight. He then drove back to Cadwell for 07.00am in order to race on the Sunday. With an untested engine the team came home fourth behind Gregg Lambert, Matty Ramsden and Lowther brothers taking the win. With this kind of commitment and with a prodigious ability, big things are expected of MKR for the future.
Arlo Brown is the other half of the team. Arlo is an eighteen year old photography student currently studying at Sunderland University. Before turning to motorsport Arlo was a former British kickboxing champion and European Silver medallist. He took advantage of the offer of a, so called, Taxi ride when he was fourteen and from there was hooked and set about getting his novice licence while waiting to be sixteen, the minimum age to race sidecars. For his first season he took advantage of any ride offered to him and proved to be a very skilled passenger. Word quickly spread around the paddock and he fast became known as a popular and well respected asset to any team with the ability to get every driver he worked with either on the pace from the get go or under their previous personal bests.
He specifically wanted to be part of a young team that was looking to make an impact and leapt at the opportunity to race with Michael when given the chance to do so.
Together they have far exceeded everyone’s expectations and rattled a few cages. Throughout the entire season they have only ever not come home with a trophy from a weekends racing twice. Quite some achievement! Even more so considering that they’re only just trying to come to terms with learning a new bike on new-to-them tracks while also learning how to complement each other’s riding styles. This has been an excellent building block from which to build upon for the future.
The team have committed to competing in the prestigious a national event held over eight rounds. The FSRA attract large audiences and garners huge respect within the sport. FSRA is also where many of the country’s top teams are currently competing. They have already competed in one round of an FSRA event in 2018, Croft circuit, as Wildcards. To the delight and surprise of many they not only did well but beat most of the established teams and came home third in class and a close fourth in the first race. Michael had not been to Croft for many years and Arlo had never even seen the place before.
Adult, both men and women.
Key Dates and Timings
Sponsorship can be ongoing with events throughout Spring, Summer and into Autumn
Specific Opportunity Details
FSRA crowds are large and the series is well respected and well attended. Videos taken by the team and published on their Facebook page have reached 11,000 views. The Southern 100 road races and TT races reach worldwide TV audiences of millions.
All of the team are friendly and approachable with plenty of time to give to race fans who approach them.
There is a facebook page, MKR Michael Kirkup Racing, which has really only been utilised in the latter part of this race season. It currently has just over 300 followers.
Features and Benefits
Currently the outfit and it's transport vehicle, crew's clothing etc are free from sponsorship logos and are basically a blank canvas.
Hospitality would be a warm welcome and cup of tea rather than canapes and champagne. When not on track racing the team are usually fully engaged with maintaining and making adjustments to the race bike.
None currently (24/12/2018)
You may be able to help with purchase of tyres, typically around £750 upwards for a set and the team need three sets ideally; one set of dry slicks, a set of intermediates and a set of wets. Spare parts for their engines (GSXR600s). Entry fees
MKR are very much a family and friends affair with a strong work ethic. They are popular within the paddock and known for their sense of fair play and sportsmanship.