Author: Stuart Barker Posted: 24 Aug 2015
The original and best one-make race series has been revived as a special support race at this year's British Grand Prix. The Bennetts Yamaha Pro-Am Challenge will see 24 riders - many of them the original stars of the 1980s series - lining up to bash fairings and tangle elbows on identical Yamaha RD250LCs at Silverstone on August 30. This will be the first Pro-Am race in 31 years and over the next three weeks we'll be profiling every rider on the grid to find out what they achieved in their racing careers, what they've gone on to do since, and why they accepted the challenge to dust down their leathers and race in the wildest race series ever held just one last time.
Rider: Kevin Mawdsley
'I didn't actually ride in the original Pro-Am Series' Kevin Mawdsley says. 'My background was in the Marlboro Clubmans Championship – but I did win the RD350 Cup which was run after the Pro-Am Series had ended.'
Mawdsley also won the ACU/UK Star 125cc Championship in 1989 and finished second in the British 125cc Championship in 1994. He retired the following year due to injury but made sporadic racing comebacks in the mid-2000s which included a trip to the TT where he finished 14th in Supersport Race B in 2005. He also scored a podium at the Southern 100 that year behind Ryan Farquhar and Guy Martin. Sadly, injuries forced him to retire again in 2006 after a bad crash at the North West 200.
A mechanical engineer for much of his life, Mawdsley changed careers to become a web designer in the late '90s because of lingering pain from two broken ankles. But it's not going to stop him racing in the Pro-Am revival. 'I thought it was a wind-up when I was asked to take part in the race so I almost missed out. I'm glad I didn't though because I've had so much positive feedback about it on my Facebook page. I borrowed my mate's RD350LC to take for a spin last week because I haven't ridden a bike for nine years. And I did a trackday at Silverstone on a Honda CBR600 just to learn which way it goes! I'm a bit rusty but I can still ride a bike. Besides, I'm looking forward to the banter as much as the racing. The only problem will be recognising everybody after 30-odd years - maybe we should all have little name badges!