Automotive News / Interview

An Outbound Automotive call with… Peter Hickman

After the final round of the 2022 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch, Outbound Automotive had a call with the BSB star and International Road Racing legend that is Peter Hickman, fresh from his victory in race two at the iconic Kent circuit aboard his FHO Racing BMW, adding yet another winners trophy to his impressive career collection. Peter kindly took time to give us an insight into his busy world off-track, running his businesses.


What was the idea behind PHR Performance?

PHR Performance came about with the idea “what do I do when I finish racing?” It’s something not many racers think about, we are very much a breed of people that think for now, not the future! However, with my friend Darren Jones, who runs the FHO Racing team, we came up with an idea. I had my own unit, which I kept all my race bikes, personal bikes, gear and kit and stuff in it already. He said “why don’t you turn it into a performance centre that A) earns money, and B) gives you something for the future” And from that is where PHR Performance was born.


Has it been well received by the bike world?

Bonnie Lane Photography

Overall I would say yes. It’s been very positive, everyone we talk to about it. It is still a very new company, it’s only been going over a couple of years but properly only about 8 – 10 months. The people that have been here and used our services have given really good feedback. It’s been well received by the people that know it exists. That’s something I need to work on, I need to publicise the business a lot more. Including Max’s (Stainton) bike, who is racing in the British Superstock Championship, we have built another three bikes in the same Championship this year and a Supersport bike that raced at the IOM TT for Brian McCormack, which he also raced in the Supersports class at Oulton Park this year. So, all in all, there are a few bikes on the grid that have been built here at PHR, which is pretty cool.


You also have a business Ohvale UK, can you tell us about that?

Bonnie Lane Photography

Ohvale UK was born in 2019, they are an Italian manufacturer of Mini GP racing bikes and I saw an opportunity to help the future of our sport and the kids that are in our sport, to have a chance to race in a fair championship, where money is not the answer to winning. The rules are designed around standard engines, standard parts, and a limited amount of tyres so that everyone is equal. That was something I managed to set up at the end of 2019, we now run two championships in the UK. A 110cc Championship for 8 – 12 year olds and a 160cc Championship for 10 – 14 year olds that is also part of the Dorna FIM Initiative of the Mini GP World Series, the UK is a part of that and we had three riders go to the final last year at Moto GP in Valencia in November, which was awesome. We will be having a couple of riders attending the final there again this year. It’s been a really good initiative, it’s hard work, and there’s next to zero money in it so it’s not a business that’s going to keep me sustained in the future, however, it’s more about giving something back to the sport that I love and try and help the kids with something I never had as a kid, as there was nothing like this when I was growing up.


We simply can’t finish without mentioning your racing career  ….  has there been a standout moment?

Photo Double Red Photography

There have been lots and lots of standout moments in my career, from winning my first BSB race to doing my first Isle of Man TT in 2014 to then winning my first Isle of Man TT in 2018, becoming the lap record holder, which is still current, with the 135.452mph lap and I’m still the only person to do so. So really too many to list, I’ve raced in WSBK four times now, which has been cool, raced and won at Macau, I’ve raced in New Zealand and won at the Cemetery circuit there, and I won all seven races at the Ulster GP in 2019 which is again something no one else has ever done. I won five races in a day and the other two, two days previous, which is quite special, in all different conditions. I don’t know if I can point out a stand-out moment. I have been lucky enough to race for different teams, and different manufacturers almost around the world, mainly in the UK. Adding to that I’ve raced in Le Mans 24 hours, and the 8 hours of Suzuka, I’ve been very lucky really and to still be doing it now, starting in 2006 so sixteen years in the British Superbike paddock and class is an achievement in itself I think.

Banner photograph by WillVictorPhoto