Flat track continues to promote female racing, in an admittedly small way, but any progress is a move in the right direction. Following in the wheeltracks of Nichole Mees (nee Cheza) and Shayna Texter is the 23-year-old Sandriana Shipman. We first became aware of her when we ran a feature on the Country Mile Race in Sideburn 25 and ran a photo and short interview with her.
Shipman has joined the Water Autobody team to race a 450 KTM in the Singles class, alongside Wyatt Anderson, who will have a choice of KTM 1000 or Yamaha FZ-07 in the Twins class. We featured the Water KTM twin in Sideburn 20.
This straight from the AFT press release...
“We see some great things in Sandriana,” Dave Waters said. “She didn’t have a lot of support last year, but she showed a bunch of skill and determination, especially when she borrowed Sammy [Halbert’s] back-up bike and made the Main at Calistoga. We like giving up-and-coming riders a shot. And with Wyatt moving to AFT Twins, and our KTM 450s just sitting there, we felt this would be a great opportunity to give Sandriana a shot.”
“I really wanted to help Sandriana out when I saw the dedication and drive she showed after last year’s season,” said Rhonda Waters. “It reminded me of when I was younger and trying to race every weekend, and all the people who rallied behind me to make it happen. It is my time to pay it forward. It’s exciting for us!”
Shipman has been a regular fixture at New York-area club races since her father Ron decided to take her to an indoor race at the Thunderdome in Middleton, NY. From that day she’s been hooked on dirt track, and has typically ridden whatever machinery has been at her disposal. With the help of friends P.J. and Keith Jacobsen, she threw together a vintage bike and raced her way to a vintage national championship in 2016. And last year she scored her first National points after making the AFT Singles main at Calistoga.
The season starts at the Daytona TT on 15 March.