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Meetings 1971 - 1990

TT 1977

With the FIM stripping the TT of its World Championship status, the Island responded by organising, with the ACU, its own Formula TT championship that would later include rounds at road-type circuits throughout the world.

Ironically one of the main instigators of the walk-out of World Championship stars in 1972 came back to triumph.

Phil Read had vowed never to return, but did so with a vengeance in 1977, having been signed by Honda Britain to ride in the new TT Formula One event.

The race ended in controversy when it was stopped after four laps because of deteriorating weather. At the end of the third lap Ducati-mounted Roger Nicholls led Read by 22 seconds, but then pitted to take on fuel. Read went straight through and was declared the winner after four laps, with Nicholls second and Ian Richards third.

There were no such problems for Read in the Senior, although it was also stopped a lap short of the scheduled six-lap distance. Riding a Suzuki, Read was never headed, with the Yamaha of Herron and Eddie Roberts (Suzuki) second and third respectively.

After two wins Read was looking for a third in the six-lap Classic, but he crashed and broke his collar-bone at Brandish Corner during an unofficial practice session.

He would have found it hard to beat Mick Grant and his Kawasaki even if he'd been fit, however. The Yorkshireman smashed the absolute lap record when he averaged 112.77mph on his second lap, leaving the others to fight it out for second place. John Williams came off his Suzuki at Creg-ny-Baa, while American Pat Hennen retired at the Verandah on the fourth lap while lying third. Charlie Williams eventually finished second, with Eddie Roberts third.

Charlie Williams had begun the week with a start-to-finish victory in the three-lap Junior, which was restricted to 250cc machines. Bill Simpson looked a good bet for second, but crashed at the Nook on the final lap, elevating Ian Richards to second and Herron to third.

In addition to the TT Formula One championship, there were also classes for TT Formula Two and Formula Three, which were contested over a four-lap distance. Honda-mounted Alan Jackson won the Formula Two championship after early leader Bill Smith went out on the final lap. Honda made it a clean sweep, with John Kidson winning the Formula Three class.

To celebrate the Queen's Jubilee, a special Schweppes Jubilee race was held which was won comfortably by Ulsterman Joey Dunlop, riding a 750cc Rea Yamaha. It was the start of Dunlop's love-hate relationship with the Snaefell Mountain Course that made him one of the greatest TT riders of all time!

With the demise of the World Championship rounds, the sidecar race was split into two legs for machines up to 1000cc.

Dick Greasley and passenger Mick Skeels broke that 100mph barrier from a standing start, but George O'Dell and Kenny Arthur increased the record to 102.80mph on their last lap to beat Greasley by 50 seconds. Mac Hobson led the second leg throughout, with O'Dell retiring on the first lap. However, Rolf Steinhausen's third place behind Rolf Biland and Kenny Williams was enough to give them overall victory.