John McGuinness heads strong field for Bennetts Senior Classic TT
This year’s Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race will again signal the start of the 2018 Race programme for the Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts and with an 80-strong grid, another fiercely contested Mountain Course Race is expected.
Heading the entry at number one is 2016 Race winner and current Senior Classic TT Race lap record holder John McGuinness who returns on the Team Winfield Paton. After almost 18 months out of racing, 23-time TT winner McGuinness’s comeback is eagerly anticipated.
The twin-cylinder Paton has won no less than four of the five previous Senior Classic TT Races but there are plenty of other riders capable of stopping their domination, perhaps none more so than ten-time TT winner Ian Lougher (#5) on the John Chapman Racing MV Agusta. Lougher won the race in 2014 and will certainly be aiming for the top step again.
Maria Costello (#10), third in 2016 and fourth last year, will again be mounted on the Team Beugger Racing Paton but perhaps the biggest threat to the Italian multi-cylinder machines will come from the three pronged attack of the Davies Motorsport Honda team.
Works Honda TT rider Lee Johnston will, arguably, be their strongest challenger as he sets off at number 13 but both Alan Oversby (#2) and Dominic Herbertson (#8) will be pushing for a podium - at least - with the latter finishing in fifth place twelve months ago.
The field is packed with potential rostrum men riding British machines led by last year’s runner-up Jamie Coward (#3) on the Ted Woof/Craven Manx Norton. The Yorkshire rider has the distinction of setting the fastest ever lap on a British single-cylinder machine during last year’s meeting.
Six-time TT winner Michael Rutter (#4) will again ride the Ripley Land Racing Matchless with former World Championship 125cc and Moto3TM competitor Danny Webb (#17) on board the Dunnell Racing Norton with Michael Russell (#19) riding a similar machine for Izzard Racing.
Olie Linsdell, the maiden winner of the Senior Classic TT Race in 2013, will again be on the Flitwick Motorcycles/Steve Bond Royal Enfield, this time with the number nine plate, while the CSC Racing Honda pairing of Daniel Cooper (#11) and James Hillier (#14) and the father and son duo of Bill and Chris Swallow also feature in the top twenty. Bill goes at number 15 on a Ducati while Chris is a place behind on the grid on another Royal Enfield.
Austrian ace Horst Saiger rounds out the top twenty on the Egli Motorradtechnik Vincent machine but there is also quality throughout the field and other riders outside the top twenty include Mark Parrett (Norton), Mark Herbertson (Matchless), Peter Boast (D&M Engineering Honda), Phil McGurk (Dave Hardman BSA), Dave Matravers (Round Oak Services Paton), Steve Ferguson (Greenall Racing Honda) and John Barton (Wemoto.com Matchless).
The Welsh family of Hefyn, Bob and Mereydd Owen are back for another attempt as are David Madsen-Mygdal, Lancelot Unissart, John-Leigh Pemberton, Alex Sinclair and Chris McGahan.
Josh Daley, Matt Mylchreest, Barry Lee Evans and Dean Osborne are amongst the debutantes in the four-lap race which is scheduled to get underway at 11.00am on Saturday 25th August.
Classic TT Grandstand tickets are available now starting from as little at £5 with race day tickets priced at £30. VIP experiences, tickets for the Classic TT Party on Saturday 25th August and the RST Classic TT Heroes Dinner on Sunday 26th August are all available to buy now at iomtt.com