Classic Racer - - PRODUCTION TT -

The Pro­duc­tion races were big­ger than ever in 1986, with an ex­tra class added and al­though in­clement weather at the be­gin­ning of race week threat­ened to scup­per the am­bi­tious plans, it meant two races were on the sched­ule for the first time, classes B and D tak­ing place ontues­day and classes A and C on Fri­day prior to the Blue Riband Se­nior race. Class B, dom­i­nated by 750cc ma­chines, was the most pop­u­lar with 90 en­tries and it saw the first-ever 110mph lap by a Pro­duc­tion ma­chine, the hon­our go­ing to Mel­lor who smashed both the lap and race records by over 5mph on his GSXR750 Suzuki. He led from start to fin­ish but Dahne made him work for it with the Ger­man even­tu­ally tak­ing sec­ond, with Wil­son, who would prove to be one of the best Pro­duc­tion rac­ers of the 1980s, in third. The con­cur­rently run Class D, for 250cc two-strokes and 400cc four-strokes was also a record-break­ing af­fair with Ox­ley set­ting the first 100mph lap by a 250cc pro­duc­tion ma­chine. How­ever, just when it looked like he’d claim his sec­ondtt win, he slid off at Gov­er­nor’s Bridge hand­ing the vic­tory to Barry Wood­land on a GSXR400 Suzuki. Can­nell again took sec­ond as Ox­ley got back on for third. The fi­nal race day saw per­fect con­di­tions all around the Moun­tain Course and Na­tion an­ni­hi­lated the race and lap records in the Class A race on a GSX-R1100 Suzuki. He pro­duced the first sub 20-minute lap by a pro­duc­tion ma­chine and a new record of 113.26mph, but it was again close as Wil­son was only 8.4s adrift at the che­quered flag. Scot Brian Mor­ri­son took third with the GSXR1100 Suzuki tak­ing nine of the top 10 places. Class C for 400cc two-strokes and 600cc four-strokes was one of the clos­est races ever wit­nessed at thett as Pad­gett (400cc Suzuki) and for­mer Clas­sic Racer ed­i­tor Mal­colm Wheeler (600cc Kawasaki) fought a race-long duel, with Steve Lins­dell (600ccyamaha) also in the mix, the lat­ter not hav­ing to stop for fuel. Hav­ing started to­gether on the roads, Pad­gett led Wheeler by 4.6s at the end of lap one but the gap was down to just 0.8s as they started their third and fi­nal lap, al­though it was Lins­dell who now led. How­ever, he slipped back as Pad­gett and Wheeler swapped po­si­tions on the road. At the flag though, Pad­gett’s Suzuki held a one-sec­ond ad­van­tage over Wheeler’s Kawasaki. Trag­i­cally, this proved to be Gary’s finaltt win as he lost his life in a road ac­ci­dent just a few days af­ter the meet­ing.

Joey Dun­lop poses (sort of) with the, then, new Honda RC30 in 1986.

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