Barry Sheene Festival of Speed

The Barry Sheene Festival of Speed is an annual event aimed to recognize and celebrate the life of motorcycle racing hero – Barry Sheene. This year’s event was held at Eastern Creek Raceway on the 23rd to 25th March. The festival plays host to a full weekend of racing from numerous race eras, along with trade stands and a show and shine competition.

The Barry Sheene memorial race  is contested over 2 heats, with one heat on Saturday and the other on Sunday. The fastest 40 riders on pre-1982 bikes from qualifying are then invited to race. Our good buddies from ‘Douglas Brothers Racing’ entered their 1990 Honda NSR 250 into the ‘New Era’ class with positive results. Read on to find out how boys went:

Douglas Brothers Racing
Douglas Brothers Racing

Race report – Douglas Brothers Racing Barry Sheene Festival of Speed

Event Date – 23rd March 2012 – 25th March 2012

Result – 3rd New Era 250cc


A positive weekend at Eastern Creek Raceway for NSR rider James Douglas.  After an unlucky outing last year in the event with a seized cylinder on only the 3rd lap of practice.  James returned this year with renewed vigor if slightly optimistic anticipation.

However, his concerns were soon forgotten once practice was completed and he was into qualifying. The opposition this year were going to be tough, the class competitors consisted of Yamaha TZ 250 GP bikes (arguably better handling, lighter and more powerful).   The NSR actually falls into the Post classic Period 6 Class, however, you require a Post Classic log book for this, which it did not have at the time.  So it was entered in to New Era class and hence the tougher competition.

NSR250 MC21 Race Bike
NSR250 MC21 Race Bike

Qualifying went well, No lap records were broken or personal bests, but James was happy to be out there and the bike was running excellent.   However he was well back on the grid then his class competitors for the first race, so he had his work cut out for him.   It wasn’t long and James had closed the gap and caught his rivals.  Now with a better grid position the next race was going to be good.

NSR250 Pit Lane
James Ready to Race

Over the next couple of races saw James dicing with the leading TZ rider with fantastic racing passes.  The TZ would smoke the NSR on the long straight at eastern creek. However, the NSR would quickly make the ground back up under brakes in to turn 2 and 9.


NSR250 MC21 Eastern Creek
Light and nimble NSR250 MC21


Light and nimble NSR250 MC21 on turn 2 Eastern Creek

Finally came down to the last race on Sunday, if James could finish first or second in his class, he would win the class.  If he just finished the race he would have second.  But unfortunately, the bike started to have intermittent loss of power, instead of risking another seized motor, James retired from the race.  We soon discovered cause of the issue, the battery had come loose and the power valves were not operating properly.  However, James had earned enough points over the weekend to secure 3rd place. A fantastic weekend’s racing, the bike ran beautifully, the event was run well, and there were some awesome old bikes on display and on track. About the bike: 1990 Honda NSR 250.

NSR250 MC21 Eastern Creek
Tyre warming in progress

This bike was from the popular Formula 3 racing series in Japan in the 90’s and was imported to Australia in about the year 2000.  It has been maintained in its original F3 race configuration, and raced domestically in club events ever since.

James and Douglas Brothers Racing would like to thank Sponsors: A&A Testing Consultants and FN Signs for their Support.

FN Signs
FN Signs Sponsors


A&A Testing Consultants
A&A Testing Consultants
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