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Exceptional interest in Lightweight and Ultra Lightweight TT Races 26 November 2007

Following last week's announcement at the Birmingham NEC Motorcycle and Scooter Show, that the Isle of Man Department of Tourism and Leisure, will reintroduce the Lightweight and Ultra Lightweight TT Races for next year’s programme, a host of leading riders have contacted the DTL to express their interest in competing in the races.

Following consultation with the riders and teams, the DTL, promoters of the TT races have partnered with the popular Southern 100 Motor Cycle Racing Club to bring back the Lightweight and Ultra Lightweight Races. The 4.2mile Billown Circuit will be used for TT racing for the first time. The Lightweight for 250cc machines and Ultra Lightweight for 125cc machinery will be the feature races in the Steam Packet sponsored event on Saturday 7th June 2008. The event will also include supporting races for Superbike and Supersport machines, which will not be part of the main TT programme.

Several former TT winners have already committed to the races including seven time winner Ian Lougher, three time winner Chris Palmer and two time victor Ryan Farquhar. They can expect to be joined on the start-line by the irrepressible Guy Martin and local hero Conor Cummins.

Thirteen time TT winner John McGuinness, who has yet to compete on the Billown circuit , has confirmed to the organisers that he will consider making his debut in the 250cc class, subject to contractual arrangements for the other classes. The riders will be competing for a total prize fund of £16,800.

Contact has also been made by several British Championship riders including Superstock regulars Gary Johnson and Paul Shoesmith, former double British 125cc champion Christian Elkin and current 125cc Championship front runner James Ford who have all expressed an interest in being involved.

TT and Motorsport Development Manager, Paul Phillips commented:

“Having only made the announcement that we will be running these races a couple of days ago; I am amazed at the interest already being shown by riders. We were confident that by using this format to reintroduce the Lightweight and Ultra Lightweight races to the TT programme we would be able to attract the best riders possible, and already this looks like being the case. We will be talking to a lot more riders about the races starting this week, and will make subsequent announcements as and when riders sign up.”

George Peach, Secretary of the Southern 100 MCRC added:

“The announcement last Thursday has certainly started off some healthy debate, and there is a lot of interest in these new races. We are delighted to be working with the DTL on the TT Races, and feel confident that we will be able to put on the strongest two stroke races in the UK and Ireland next year, and a great spectacle for TT fans, as well as providing a significant boost to racing at Billown and the two stroke scene in general.”

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