Hands up!

Classic Racer - - IN TRIBUTE -

This year, the Clas­sic TT, part of the Isle of Man Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor­cy­cling, cel­e­brated its fifth birth­day. It’s come a long way in five years, but it still causes much de­bate and con­tro­versy, far more than it war­rants on the con­tro­versy front! So, for the first time I’ll let you in to a se­cret. It was orig­i­nally my idea. Sort of. It’s fairly com­mon knowl­edge that I have worked to help Paul Phillips and his small but per­fectly formed team at the Isle of Man Depart­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, from the in­cep­tion of the Clas­sictt, and I guess taken a lit­tle flack along the way. When Paul ap­proached me to ask about the vi­a­bil­ity of such an event, some 18 months be­fore the first Clas­sictt was born, and to check if I would sup­port such a thing if it was to hap­pen, he was a lit­tle taken aback by my en­thu­si­asm, but he ac­cepted my help and in­put with open arms. What he didn’t know be­fore our first con­ver­sa­tion on the sub­ject was that I had been there be­fore, some time be­fore in fact! Grow­ing tired of watch­ing the en­tries for the clas­sic races at the Manx Grand Prix dwin­dle, the fi­nal straw for me came when some­one in­volved in the run­ning of the event told me “the clas­sic scene was dy­ing”. Most peo­ple in the hobby and read­ers of this mag­a­zine in par­tic­u­lar, know my pas­sion for all things clas­sic and es­pe­cially clas­sic rac­ing, so this was a red rag to a bull. At a meet­ing I or­gan­ised with sev­eral of the Manx Mo­tor­cy­cle Club Com­mit­tee in the Is­land, I of­fered my ser­vices and the strength of Clas­sic Racer to get be­hind any­thing that could re­vive clas­sic rac­ing on the great­est 37.73 miles of tar­mac in the world. Ini­tially this idea seemed to meet with a pos­i­tive re­sponse. As his­tory shows, noth­ing came of it, and ob­vi­ously when Paul ap­proached me I jumped at the chance. I had seen the pos­i­tive changes that had been made to thett races and could see a bright fu­ture for the Manx Grand Prix as a re­sult of the new-look Clas­sictt. Five years’ suc­cess is clear to see, at least to those who want to see it.the clas­sic races work; okay they aren’t per­fect, what in life is? But they are a great spec­ta­cle and more im­por­tantly they have brought new money to the Is­land’s econ­omy, some­thing ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial to pre­serve the fu­ture of the Manx Grand Prix. My wish for the fu­ture is an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of what the Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor­cy­cling, and the in­creased pub­lic­ity and ex­po­sure that goes with it, has done to raise the in­ter­est in the Manx Grand Prix, and a more har­mo­nious re­la­tion­ship be­tween all those in­volved. Af­ter all, we are all in this game for the same rea­son – a love of the great­est sport in the world, run on the great­est race cir­cuit known to man.

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