December 11 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
The adrenaline rush and exhilaration of travelling 129mph was almost too much for a Bowthorpe woman - who has now been dubbed ‘the fastest granny in East Anglia’.
“I was shaking so much I couldn’t open the visor of my helmet,” said grandmother-of-three Dawn Watson, still revved up about her high-speed achievement.
That is because just over two months ago, Mrs Watson had never even sat behind the handlebars of a motorbike.
But on Saturday she stormed along a quarter-of-a-mile stretch of track at Santa Pod Raceway, in Bedfordshire, in a time of just 10.65 seconds.
Riding her husband’s 1,000cc Suzuki TL1000 drag racing bike in the Supertwin category of the Extreme Bike Weekend at Santa Pod, the 44-year-old set her new personal best.
Now the mother-of-two has her sights set on hunting down the personal best of her husband, experienced racer Andy, which stands at 9.3 seconds and a speed of 143mph.
“I’d already had a couple of hairy rides on the same morning,” Mrs Watson said. “I tried to launch a little harder than I normally do and my hands came off the handlebars, but I managed to keep hold and got 10.65. I was shaking so much I couldn’t open the visor of my helmet when I’d finished!”
The time saw Mrs Watson qualify third of the four riders in her class, before finishing fourth in the Sunday final in a time of 11.81 seconds, with a speed of 128mph.
But it was only in August that Mrs Watson, who runs a glass engraving business from home, started qualifying for a race licence at the Shakespeare County Raceway, near Stratford-upon-Avon.
Mrs Watson continued: “I’d only ridden pillion on a bike before and I was helping a friend at the track at the end of July and she was moaning and had just got her licence.
“I said ‘stop moaning’ and said that she’d achieved something I could only dream of. It was something I always wanted to do.
“The guy I did my licence with said he wouldn’t tell me when he was watching and just to do my thing and that he’d tell me when I was ready.
“He came over on the second day and it was all quite emotional for me because I did that one weekend and then was racing for the first time the next weekend, so there was quite a bit of pressure on me.”
Mr Watson is now intending to build his wife her own bike over the winter and the couple also have plans to pay their own tribute to the 100-year anniversary of the start of the first world war.
The 48-year-old’s grandfather was a surviving stretcher bearer of the Battle of the Somme in France during the first world war and the aircraft sprayer used to be in the army himself, in Coldstream Guard 2nd Batallion.
Mrs Watson added: “We have always raced in memory of forces past, present and future, and with next year being the 100-year anniversary what we are going to do, or are hoping to do if we can get the sponsors, is paint it red and have 99 poppies around the whole bike and the 100th poppy on the nose cone.”
Mrs Watson said they would also like to have “second to none” sprayed on the bike, which is the motto of the Coldstream Guard regiment.