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Revving Up Our Profile

FLTLT Bradford (left) and PLTOFF Chappell on their bikes before the 3 hour team endurance race at Taupo during the Christmas Tri-series series. WN-09-0020-29

Some say that riding a motorcycle is the nearest you can get to flying without actually leaving the ground. Given the popularity of motorcycles in aviation circles there appears to be some truth to that claim. Two Air Force officers have taken their passion for motorcycles a step further by setting up their own motorcycle racing team.

Over the past few months Team Air Force Racing’s (AFR) motorcycle dynamic duo of PLTOFF Neil Chappell and FLTLT Lee Bradford have been both revving up the Air Force’s profile amongst a ‘target group’ of potential recruits and notching up some impressive results on the motorcycle circuit.

The motorcycles are owned by PLTOFF Chappell (a ‘seriously modified’ 1989 Kawasaki ZXR400) and FLTLT Bradford (a 2008 Kawasaki ZX6R). Base Ohakea’s Operational Support Wing (OSW OH) personnel contributed to the team effort by using their own time to paint the bikes with the Air Force’s Step Up logo on Kawasaki’s striking racing green background.

The Christmas Tri Series included events in Feilding, Wanganui and Taupo. The team competed in four separate classes in the Feilding and Wanganui events. PLTOFF Chappell competes in both Formula 3 and Post Classics (unlimited engine size) and FLTLT Bradford competes in 600 sport production. They combined into a single team to compete in the Taupo endurance event.

The overall achievements and results for the racing were:

PLTOFF Chappell

• Placed no lower than top 10 in every class competed in
• Achieved a 1st place finish and 1st overall for round 1 in Post Classics
• Achieve a 3rd place in and 2nd overall for round 1 in Formula 3
• Placed 5th overall at Wanganui in Formula 3
• Being the Fastest “400cc” bike at Wanganui
• Placed 3rd overall in the National Xmas Tri series in Formula 3.

FLTLT Bradford

• Qualifying 21st out of 35 at Wanganui against National and International top riders
• Placing 17th place in his first race meeting at Wanganui
• Placing 13th in his second ever race at Wanganui
• Placing 16th overall at Wanganui
• Placing 9th overall in his first ever race at Taupo competing in a 3hr endurance race.

Team Air Force Racing saw that this as a golden opportunity to create nationally-televised public relations within a ‘target rich’ audience of thousands of potential airmen and airwomen. They will continue to advertise the Air Force’s Step Up recruitment message throughout this year’s racing and, in the process, bring home even more silverware for the RNZAF.