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Manx Grand Prix
MGP News
Entries Stream In for 2005 28 April 2005

Although still four months away, entries are already streaming in for the Manx Grand Prix. Nearly 200 have been received so far by the organisers, the Manx Motor Cycle Club.

Included is two-times TT winner 43-year-old mechanic Chris Palmer from Castletown, who will compete in the Senior Classic race on a Manx Norton sponsored by Fred Walmsley.

Thirty-seven-year-old mechanical engineer Ian Pattinson, from Weardale, Co. Durham, is among the initial entries for the main classes, with machines from the stable of Martin Bullock. He has been runner-up in the MGP three times and has lapped the Snaefell Mountain Course at 120.42mph.

Also in early is 28-year-old wood machinist Barry Davidson, from Ballymena, Co. Antrim, who has entered the Lightweight and Junior races on bikes sponsored by the Royal Hotel, Cookstown. He won the 2002 Newcomers’ event and has lapped at 114mph.

There is no change to the programme of races this year, but one difference will be that the traditional Thursday afternoon practice has been dropped in favour of an evening session that day. It is hoped that more marshals will thus be available.

With the TT having decided against running races for two-strokes of any description, the Manx will provide the sole chance for 125cc and 250cc two-stroke men to try their skills out on the Mountain Course.

Palmer won the Ultra Lightweight 125cc TT in the past two years, but will now concentrate on the bigger classes, where he is also extremely competent. He finished 12th in the 2004 Senior TT on a 1000cc Suzuki, averaging 118.16mph.

Anyone who rides in the new Superstock event will not be permitted to ride in the main classes of the MGP, but this will not affect those who rode in the former Production TTs. Sidecar drivers will now join passengers in being permitted to enter the main racing classes of the MGP which does not cater for the three-wheeler brigade.

A rider travelling all the way from California, 52-year-old chief financial officer James Stewart, from Venice, will bring over his own 600 CBR Honda, race it in the Newcomers - and if accepted - also in the Junior, then sell it off.

Riding for the 18th successive year will be 48-year-old HSEQ manager Ewan Hamilton from Aberdeen. He has a 125cc Honda for the Ultra-Lightweight and a T20 Suzuki twin for the Lightweight Classic. He has 11 replicas and four finisher’s medals.

Practising for the Manx Grand Prix commences on Saturday August 20th, with racing taking place on Monday August 29th, Wednesday August 31st and Friday September 2nd.

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