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NSC lifeguard makes history in Southern 100 Races 22 July 2011

National Sports Centre swimming pool lifeguard and sidecar racer Debbie Barron made history last week.

First practice around Castletown Corner She achieved one of her ambitions by becoming the first Manx born woman ever to compete in and complete the Southern 100 Races as an F2 driver, competing under the banner Team Oscar Racing.

The team comprised Debbie, of Braddan, as driver with passenger Robert Lunt, and mechanic Stephen Cowin. The fastest lap time they achieved was 3mins 11.17seconds and an average speed of 71.206mph.

Debbie, who is back at work at the NSC in Douglas this week, said:

‘I was caught on the speed trap camera at Great Meadow on the third lap of the first practice doing 105mph. The sidecar is a 1989 Ireson with 98 engine with flat side carburettors, nothing like the modern fuel injected latest engined machines, which makes the finishes even more sweet.’

Debbie is a key and valued member of the NSC Team and is employed as a Senior Leisure Assistant. Her role involves supervising the public and staff, lifeguarding and Sports Hall duties.

Debbie thanked the many people who cheered and waved them around the Billown course, and also expressed her gratitude for the text and radio messages that ‘carried her on the crest of a wave’.

Their success prompted an invitation by the organiser of the FSRA (Formula Sidecar Racing Association) British F2 Sidecar Championship to race in the last meeting of the season at Croft near Darlington on the 15-16 October.

Debbie commented:

‘It’s brilliant to make some achievements when we are a very small outfit, extremely grateful to our sponsors but still racing on a shoestring. We welcome any offers of support but at present, we would really appreciate the loan of a garage in the Douglas/Braddan/Union Mills area to work on and prepare our sidecar for racing.’

Please contact Debbie Barron on (07624) 483336 with any offers of support.

Into Ballabeg, trying to qualify for the first race Team Oscar Racing would like to thank the following sponsors for their valuable contributions: Castle Cutz, Swift Motors, Ken Williams, Kevin Ashworth Timber, Dale & Colvin, Kaneen's Petrol Station, BJH Sprockets, Anthea Matthewman, Roy Lyons, Paul Wilson, Aiden and Glen Forbes, Elizabeth Moggridge, Kevin and Josie – TT marshals at Ballagarey.

They also thanked Stephen Cowin, Tony Corlett, Julie Canipa, Janet Jones and Helen Lunt for their help throughout the week.

Hon David Cretney MHK, Minister for Community, Culture and Leisure, said:

‘The Department is always pleased to help its staff celebrate their successes. We hope that others will be inspired by Debbie’s efforts.’

Link: see Debbie Barron in action in the Southern 100 here.

Photos: Top: First practice around Castletown Corner - the dream becomes reality

Above: Into Ballabeg, trying to qualify for the first race hard on the brakes

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