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.