You are here: Isle of Man > Isle of Man News
Isle of Man News
General News
Manx Grand Prix Starts Tomorrow 15 August 2003

All is now set for the start of practising for this year's Manx Grand Prix tomorrow evening Saturday August 16. First classes out will be Classic, Newcomers and Ultra-Lightweight from 6.15pm to 7pm. Then will come Senior, Junior and Lightweight (no newcomers) from 7.05pm to 7.50pm.

There will be further practice sessions on Monday and Wednesday mornings; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings; and Thursday afternoon. There is also provision for two emergency sessions - Friday and Saturday mornings.

For what is thought to be the first time, a father, son and daughter will compete. Dave Sells (49) has ridden the Manx since 1985, but Rob (28) and Carolynn (30) are newcomers. Formerly from Preston, Dave and Rob now live in the Island, while Carolynn resides in Liverpool.

This will be the first Manx using electronic timing by transponders fitted to the race bikes. They will link with computers installed by HS Sports and give timings at the Grandstand, Glen Helen, Ballaugh Bridge, Ramsey Hairpin and the Bungalow.

The Classic classes are invariably the preserve of riders who have ridden the Snaefell Mountain Course in other classes some time past. However, there are a few newcomers this year: In the Senior Sam Kinead from Belfast, York Runte from Germany, Chris Howitt from Birmingham, Ian Cramp from Loughborough and Arthur Browning from Birmingham; in the Junior Sam Kinead from Belfast, Adrian Elwood from Lisburn, Robert Ogden from Welling, Peter Wilkins from Reading and Alan Stevens from Yeovil; in the Lightweight Andrew Fox from Bingley and Malcolm Kneale from Onchan.

Nick Jefferies (1993 Formula One) is the only previous outright TT winner competing, though Frank Rutter had a class win. But there are plenty of past winners of the Manx Grand Prix, including: Nick Jefferies (1983 Senior), Barry Wood (1999 and 2000 Lightweight Classic), John Goodall (1983 Senior Classic), Bill Swallow (1986, 1992, 1996, 2002 Junior Classics and 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1999 Senior Classics), Alan Bennie (2002 Ultra Lightweight), Dave Hughes (1972 Senior), Jason Griffiths (1991 Senior Newcomers and 2000 Junior Classic), Paul Duckett (1996 Senior Newcomers), Raymond Porter (2002 Senior Newcomers), Barry Davidson (2002 Lightweight Newcomers), Roy Richardson (1997 Junior and 2002 Lightweight Classic) and Decca Kelly (1994 Lightweight).

Some famous names from the past are commemorated in the silverware on offer. Fastest laps have trophies in the names of Dickie Dale, who won the 1948 Lightweight Manx Grand Prix before riding works bikes for Gilera, MV Agusta and Moto-Guzzi; Freddie Frith, who won the 1935 Junior Manx Grand Prix before riding Velocettes to the 1949 350cc World Championship; and Arthur Wheeler, who didn't win a Manx or a TT but was an occasional works Moto-Guzzi rider and won a couple of World Championship Grand Prix.

The Special Awards include ones in the memory of Cromie McCandless, who won the 1949 Junior MGP before riding factory Nortons and Gileras; the Premier Awards include those marking names such as Doug Pirie, Albert Moule, Francis Beart, Harold Rowell and Derek Ennett.

This year's Guest of Honour is international trials star Steve Colley from Onchan. The 31-year-old is coming to the end of a brilliant worldchampionship career which saw him win a number of individual events and finish a best of third in the indoor series and fifth in the outdoor category. He was also British Champion three times and won the Scottish Six Days Trial, the Manx Two Day Trial and dozens of other non-championship events.

More stories >>>  

Other Guides by Maxima Systems Ltd: Disney World