A mouth-watering line-up of machines and riders has been assembled to celebrate the TT Races Mountain Course Centenary in 2011 by the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Economic Development.
The legendary 37¾ mile circuit, which the riders still race around today, is widely recognised as the world’s most challenging race circuit. It includes the 9-mile Snaefell Mountain section from Ramsey to the Creg Ny Baa Hotel, which was first used in 1911, four years after the first TT Race on the Isle of Man in 1907.
The anniversary celebrations, in June 2011, will include recreations of the landmark events and achievements in a spectacular parade to celebrate and honour many of the most notable moments, and many of the all-time great riders who have ridden the course over the last 100 years. The parade, which will take place on Senior race day on Friday 10th June, will feature some of the greatest-ever TT riders and some of the most iconic and exotic machines from every decade of the TT’s history in a definitive tribute.
Riders lined up to participate include Philip McCallen, recognising his four wins in a week, multi World Champion Phil Read, who won eight TT Races, and Italian legend Giacomo Agostini, who will ride his MV Augusta.
Current riders will include 15-time champion John McGuinness, the first person to clock 130mph, which he achieved in 2007, Ian Hutchinson who made history in this year’s TT by becoming the first man to win five races in a week and 14-time TT Sidecar champion Dave Molyneux.
Many other notable riders and moments from the past 100 years will also be recognised with appropriate replacements representing riders unable to take part. These will be linked by nationality, manufacturer, relationship or achievement and will celebrate legendary names such as David Jefferies, Geoff Duke OBE, Joey Dunlop MBE, OBE, Stanley Woods, Freddie Frith OBE and Mike Hailwood MBE.
Keith Amor will represent fellow Scotsman Bob McIntyre on a Gilera, recognising his achievement as the first man to record a 100mph average lap speed in 1957 while Hawick’s Steve Hislop, 11 time TT winner, will be represented by Stuart Easton, who was also born in the Scottish borders town, who will be riding a Norton commemorating the 1992 Senior Race, widely acknowledged as the greatest TT Race of all time.
Every notable machine will be represented, from Indian, the first Senior TT Race winner on the Mountain Course, first Sidecar Race winner Douglas and marques from yesteryear such as AJS through to modern names such as Ducati, BMW and the leading Japanese manufacturers.
The Department of Economic Development is also working closely with Yamaha UK and the Yamaha Classic Racing Team on celebrations to commemorate Yamaha’s 50th anniversary of competing on the Isle of Man with high profile Yamaha riders taking part in the company’s own dedicated parade.
The programme is part of two days of nostalgia on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th June under the banner “Milestones of the Mountain” celebrating great riders, historic machines and magic moments in the TT’s history. The two-day mini festival will also include a “Day of Champions” at the TT Grandstand, featuring many of the world’s greatest current and former motorcycling champions. There will also be spectacular events and celebrations on the promenade as part of the scheduled promenade entertainment and a Black Tie dinner with motorcycling legends and VIPs.
A special commemorative logo reflecting the Mountain Course Centenary has been created and will feature throughout the year on merchandising and print materials. The Isle of Man Post Office has also developed a limited edition set of stamps featuring the ten greatest races of all time, decided by a panel of experts including current and former riders.
Nostalgia fans will also be treated to a Centenary exhibition organised by Manx National Heritage at the House of Manannan, in Peel in the West of the Island. The exhibition, which opens on Saturday 28th May, will look at some of the highlights and the hidden histories of the world’s oldest still-functioning motorcycle racing circuit.
Featuring classic machinery, leathers and other memorabilia, highlights will include the exploits of TT legends such as John McGuinness, Dave Molyneux, Geoff Duke and Jock Taylor. In addition to covering some great racing moments the exhibition will also look at the buildings around the course which have become world famous, as well as other events which have taken place over this 37 ¾ miles of tarmac.
Geoff Corkish, MBE, MHK, Political Member, Isle of Man Tourism commented:
“We are working hard to present a superb and exciting stream of events throughout the TT period to fully capture a fantastic milestone in this iconic and worldwide spectacle of motor cycle sport.
“It remains the world’s greatest motor cycle sporting event and we will not disappoint the thousands of fans from around the world who we will be welcoming to our Island to join our celebrations.”