AS the famed fortnight draws ever closer, so approaches the entry deadline for competitors at the Isle of Man TT.
In just over five weeks’ time, the chance to race the Mountain Course with what many consider modern-day legends will officially close to racers.
This year marks the 110th running of the world-famous time trial, and as with the rise in technology, fierceness of competition, and hunger to make history, 2017 looks to push the record books out the window once again.
Club racers from all over the UK tasted success in both sidecar and solo classes at last year’s TT, the most notable of which was arguably the Founds family.
Pete and passenger Jevan Walmsley, 2016 ACU/FSRA F2 British champs, finished second in Sure Sidecar Race One, whilst brother Alan (himself half of a 2015 ACU/FSRA F2 British Champions duo) and chairman Aki Aalto secured third just 20 seconds ahead of Ian Bell Trophy winners Steve and Matty Ramsden.
Directly following the Ramsdens in fifth were 2008 NGRRC Open and F2 Sidecar champs Matt Dix and Shaun Parker, then 2014 BMCRC F2 Sidecar title holders Wayne Lockey and Mark Sayers.
In solo competition, multi-time Auto 66 Champion / former Duke Road Race Rankins winner James Cowton and perennial Southern 100 standout Jamie Coward secured 18th and 19th, respectively, in the Superbike race, while perpetual Thundersport threat Craig Neve and 2013 GP1 champ John ‘The Ram’ Ingram joined Coward in the top-20 of the Superstock race.
Aboard the Supersports, Cowton again lead Coward for an 11th-12th finish, with Dominic Herbertson not far adrift in 18th.
The Lightweight TT charge was led this time by Coward in seventh, followed by Cowton in 10th, current Wirral 100 Lightweight Open / 650 Twin champion Barry Furber in 13th, and Neve on the WK 650 in 16th.
Amongst the silence of the all-electric TT Zero, Oliver’s Mount rostrum lad and Ulster Grand Prix race winner Daley Mathison took the final step of the podium behind veterans William Dunlop and Bruce Anstey.
The blue riband Senior TT’s indisputable club standout was 2015 NEMCRC Supertwin title holder Herbertson, who came across the stripe on Glencrutchery Road in 18th position.
Club racers more than earned their places at last year’s event, and all look set to return to the rock in 2017 alongside a crop of new hopefuls looking for their own successes.
Entries officially close on Friday, February 24th, and can be found on the IOMTT Website.
*Image by Dave Kneen