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

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Senior TT 11 June 2004

Today’s four-lap Senior TT has been won by Adrian Archibald from Ballymoney riding a 1000cc GSXR Suzuki for Hector and Philip Neill’s Temple Auto Salvage team. He was 30.2 seconds clear of team-mate Bruce Anstey after 150 miles’ flat out racing, averaging 123.81mph.

On the opening lap, the leader was John McGuinness (Yamaha) who went round in 17 minutes 47.9 seconds, an average speed of 127.19mph. That gave him an advantage of 10.6 seconds over Ian Lougher (Honda), who did 17-58.5, 125.94mph. Third was Adrian Archiald (Suzuki) in 17-59.3, 125.84mph, putting him just four-fifths of a second back on Lougher.

Fourth was Jason Griffiths (Suzuki), fifth Bruce Anstey (Suzuki) and sixth Paul Hunt (Suzuki). Seventh to 10th were Mark Parrett, Gary Carswell, Martin Finnegan and Gordon Blackley.

Lap two saw McGuinness looking to consolidate his lead by sweeping aside Lougher and Archibald on the road, which would guarantee him the advantage on time. But, for once, Jason Griffiths was out of luck, the genial Welshman retiring at Appledene with mechanical trouble. McGuinness absolutely piled on the coals to leave the rest gasping, but Lougher and Archibald were having a rare old ding-dong in his wake.

As the riders slowed for their pit stops the second lap times showed McGuinness was leading Archibald by 21.3 seconds at a race average speed of 127.02mph having averaged 126.85mph second time round. Lougher was still third just 1.2 seconds back, but Production 600cc winner Ryan Farquhar retired at the pits with mechanical trouble.

No luck either for Shaun Harris, who completed a sorry week with another mechanical retirement. Last year he won two races. So did Archibald and his chances of repeating his 2003 Senior win were sensationally increased when leader McGuinness retired with clutch trouble at Kirk Michael.

From a possible five win tally, McGuiness was being forced to settle for “just” three, and leaving Archibald to slug it out with Lougher. But then, more drama – Lougher halted at Ramsey Hairpin. In a flash Kiwi Anstey was up and running in pursuit of his Irish team-mate. And locals were delighted to see Braddan fireman Paul Hunt in a potential rostrum position.

So, with three laps done and just one to go, Archibald and Anstey were one-two for TAS Suzuki, with Hunt’s Cringle Construction model third. Archibald had the added incentive of an extra ten thousand pounds and the Joey Dunlop Trophy for the best aggregate over the Formula One and Senior. With Formula One winner McGuinness out, his runner-up spot would do it. Local interest heightened with Hunt, Gary Carswell and Chris Heath in close formation.

Archibald led Anstey by 40.3 seconds at the end of lap three, and the TAS Suzuki boys were in position A. Third was Hunt, fourth Carswell, fifth Heath and sixth Martin Finnegan (Yamaha). But Hunt’s luck failed to hold and he was forced out at Ballig Bridge.

It was then only a question of would Archibald’s 1000cc GSXR Suzuki hold out and give Ulster its second win of the day, having gone without all week previously? A few minutes later, the answer was known and the Ballymoney man won his second successive Senior.

Anstey was second, and Hunt’s misfortune was Carswell’s improved situation when he motored the HM Sports Motorhomes into third for an all-Suzuki top three. But his position was tenuous as Parrett and Finnegan applied maximum pressure albeit quite some way behind the first two. Eventually Carswell grabbed third, with Parrett, Finnegan and Heath next.

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