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Five days of centenary motor sport celebrations September 7-12 5 September 2005

    Sunbeam T.T. 1922 winnerThe scene is now set for five days of celebrations to mark the centenary of the first-ever Isle of Man International Tourist Trophy Race in 1905 – the forerunner of the Isle of Man TT Motor Cycle Races which were to follow two years later.

    The programme runs from September 7-12 with the highlight on the Saturday (10th) when a cavalcade led by veteran and vintage cars salute the motoring pioneers of the last century by taking part in a re-enactment of the original race. More than 70 cars from that era lead the parade, followed by progressively more modern vehicles, bringing the final number of participants to around 140.

    Each driver receives a commemorative scroll and plaque to mark their involvement in a 52-mile lap of the original course. Most belong to car club groups who have purchased a five-day centenary package.

    John Felix, an international clerk of course and road events director of the organising company - F.A.D. International of Douglas – said the entry list read like a history book of the 20th century. He added:

    ‘It represents the finest collection of cars of their type to be assembled anywhere in the British Isles this year. We are delighted so many owners wanted to take part.’

    The celebrations, featuring the TT winning Sunbeams from 1914 and 1922, are being supported by the Isle of Man Department of Tourism. Minister David Cretney said they were honoured to be hosting the commemoration of an event which had become part of the Island’s culture and which brought a large number of tourists to the Island every year.

    Said Mr Cretney:

    ‘The occasion will provide an opportunity for everyone to appreciate the beautiful cars from the pioneering days of motor sport, along with the early technology involved in their construction. It serves as a stepping stone to the 100th anniversary of the motorcycle TT in 2007 when we hope to welcome riders and machines from the past and present.’

    Period costumes will be much in evidence and, as was the custom 100 years ago, each driver is to be handed a sprig of heather to set them on their way.

    Many of the cars boast fascinating histories and have links to, among others, the late Queen Mother, Charles Rolls, Henry Royce, W.O. Bentley and a Prussian Prince. One entrant – a 1936 Aston Martin Speed Model, one of only 20 ever made – was once owned by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.

    One of the most unusual cars on display will be a 1904 10HP Turner Meisse steam car which uses continuously burning paraffin and 200 feet of steel tubing in which the water is ‘flash boiled’ to create the motive power. It was discovered in a barn in 1960 and lovingly restored by the current owners. The car has neither clutch nor gearbox and operates with just two pedals – one to stop and one to go.

    Grandfather of all the cars is a 1903 12HP Darracq which was once used as a delivery vehicle to take cut grass to Smithfield Market. However, it has now been restored and reverted to its original four-seater glory.

    As well as the cars themselves, key figures from the world of motor sport will be in the Island for the celebrations. These include Stuart Graham who won the TT on both two and four wheels; Graham Stoker, Chairman of the Motor Sports Council; and Tim Keown, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club.

    Mr Keown said:

    ‘The Royal Automobile Club is proud to be celebrating the centenary year of the Tourist Trophy, probably its best known and longest established award, at its original home. We offer our warmest congratulations to the Government of the Isle of Man for its continued active support for motor sport – on both two and four wheels.’

    Delauney Bellville 1912 The full programme for participating cars is:

    Wednesday Sept 7

    Thursday Sept 8

    • 10am approx: Hill Climb, mountain section of TT course starting in Ramsey. (Road closed 9.30am – 4pm)

    Friday Sept 9

    • 10am approx: TT Sprint, Promenade, Ramsey (Road closed 9.30am – 4pm)
    • Option: Track Day at Jurby Circuit

    Saturday Sept 10

    • Centenary re-enactment over one lap of the original 1905 course, starting from TT Grandstand, Douglas. Cars assemble from approx 9am. No road closures.

    Sunday Sept 11

    • Free day – some clubs have own events

    Monday Sept 12

    • Event ends – return ferries etc.

    5th September 2005

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