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TT RACING DATES
Practice Week: May 26th - June 1st 2012
Race Week: June 2nd - June 8th 2012

TT News

Six Weeks to Go 16 April 2004

Just over six weeks to go now and the Isle of Man is really coming to life with its annual spruce-up on and around the TT Course. There have been no major road works over the past winter, but the Inspection Team have been out regularly and have liaised with the highway authorities who are providing their usual highly co-operative service attending to minor repairs.

The Grandstand area itself is reverting to a less formal arena this year. Criticism was made that the public was over-excluded from many of the peripheral activities such as the working areas and trade exhibitions. So, although vigorous attention will still be paid to the "racing" area and main paddock, non-accredited people will once more be fairly free to roam in places where they are likely to be able to get autographs and take photographs of their race favourites. The experimental separate sidecar paddock has also been dropped.

The outright TT lap record stands to the late David Jefferies (1000 Suzuki) at 127.29mph from the 2002 Senior, but TAS team-mate Adrian Archibald came very close on the second lap of last year's Senior. The Ulsterman did 126.82mph which was precisely four seconds slower. The sidecar record stands to Dave Molyneux (Honda) at 112.76mph from 1999. This year the latter again looks for the first three-wheeler sub-20 minute TT lap. His passenger will be young Daniel Sayle from Sulby, Isle of Man.

Last year there were first-time TT wins for Adrian Archibald (Formula One and Senior), Shaun Harris (Production 600 and Production 1000), Chris Palmer (Ultra Lightweight 125) and Ian Bell/Neil Carpenter (Sidecar A). Other wins went to Bruce Anstey (Junior 600), John McGuinness (Lightweight 400) and Dave Molyneux/Craig Hallam (Sidecar B).

New Zealanders Harris and Anstey have good TT rides lined up again. Harris will ride for Des Collins' Wilson and Collins team while Anstey joins Archibald in Hector Neill's TAS set-up. Collins' 750cc Kawasaki carried Mark Parrett to a 120mph TT lap last year then took victory in the Senior Manx Grand Prix ridden by Paul Duckett.

Others who are in line for first-time TT wins this year include fastest Isle of Man resident Jason Griffiths and 2003 Irish Motorcyclist of the Year Ryan Farquhar. Jason now works full-time for Yamaha UK while Junior TT lap record holder Ryan stays with Winston McAdoo's line-up.

Fifty years ago, one of the most controversial Senior TTs took place. Ray Amm (Norton) and Geoff Duke (Gilera) were battling in the rain when the organisers decided to stop the race after four of its scheduled seven laps. It was alleged (but never proven) that the Norton team had been tipped off that the race was to be curtailed and signalled Amm not to make a refuelling stop. Duke pitted at the end of lap three and for the second year in succession sacrificed his chances of defeating the Southern Rhodesian. In the 1953 Senior he had crashed at the Quarter Bridge while battling with Ray Amm!

Also this year registering the mark of becoming half-a-century ago was the introduction of the Clypse Course, which catered for the 1954 125cc Ultra Lightweight and re-introduced Sidecar races. Austrian Rupert Hollaus (NSU) won the solo event, while Britain's Eric Oliver and Les Nutt (Norton) beat the mighty BMWs to win the sidecar.

Other "firsts" at the 1954 TT were wins for Australian Rod Coleman who took a three-valve AJS to victory in the five-lap Junior 350 after favourite Ray Amm retired early, German Werner Haas's win in the mass-start three lap Lightweight 250 on the Renn-Max NSU twin, and the first appearance by a female competitor, Switzerland's Inge-Stoll Laforge, who passengered Frenchman Jacques Drion (Norton) to fifth place in the Sidecar race.

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