Story by Frank Wood- Rising teenage sensation Austin Shaw-O’Leary of Falmouth, Nova Scotia tasted victory in his first appearance in the Amateur 600 and Amateur Sportbike classes at the opening round of the Atlantic Roadracing League (ARL) 2012 held at Atlantic Motorsports Park last weekend.
Shaw-O’Leary, who finished the 2011 season as runner-up in the Honda CBR125 Challenge has stepped up to the 600cc sportbike class aboard a Golo Racing-sponsored Honda CBR600RR. The young rider came to grips quickly with the more powerful machinery, taking pole position in qualifying for both the Amateur 600 and Amateur Sportbike classes. Shaw-O’Leary continued to carry the momentum by taking the win in the Sportbike class, and was relegated to second position in the Superbike class after a jump start penality caused him to lose his superbike win.
“I was very pleased and a bit surprised.” Shaw-O’Leary commented. “The bike was flawless and I had Andrew Murray and Malcolm McKay along with my dad helping with the set up. I was trying to learn what’s going on and they all said ‘ Just ride it.’ And it worked out well.”
Shaw-O’Leary looks on the ARL Regional wins as a good launch for the upcoming MOPAR CSBK National Series which is where his 2012 efforts are concentrated. The teenager is approaching the opening round of the National series, which takes place at Shannonville Motorsport Park June 22-24, with cautious optimism. ” I’m sure it will be an eye opener but we’re up for it,” he explained. “I’m going in with an open mind and I’m going to try to soak up as much as I can as quickly as I can.”
This Falmouth fast-boy has plans to accelerate his learning curve prior to the first National stating. “I’m going to be taking Michel Mercier’s Fast School at Shannonville the week before the national and I know that that will help me. Michel has had a huge influence on so many top riders.”
In reference to his sponsored ride Shaw O’Leary was quick to add. “I’m so happy I was able to win in my first race for Golo Racing, I’m very priviledged to have this opportunity to ride for a Toronto-based team and I’m from the East coast and sometimes it’s hard to get recognition. Golo has sponsored a lot of riders on their way up and I’m proud and like I say I’m priviledged to be a part of the team.”