This year will also feature the introduction of a new event; ‘Party on the Prom’ on Tuesday 30th August which will include a beach race, organised by the Peveril Motorcycle and Light Car Club and a Concourse d’Elegance display of classic and vintage bikes, organised by the Vintage Motor Cycle Club. There will also be a beer tent featuring live bands on the promenade every evening from Friday 26th August to Friday 2nd September.
The festival gets underway on Saturday 20th August with practices and qualifying for the Manx Grand Prix Races. The MGP has been running since 1923 and take place on the same course as the TT Races. This year’s meeting features the usual heady mix of modern machines alongside a series of classic classes including 250cc, 350cc and 500cc machines. Post Classics were first introduced to the meeting in 2009 and this year the Senior Post Classic has been renamed The Classic Superbike Race, for 1050cc machines up to 1985.
There’s also action away from the Mountain Course with the Manx National Two Day Trial on the weekend of the 27th and 28th August and The Manx Classic Trial Meeting, which is run the following weekend (Saturday 3rd/Sunday 4th September).
Always known as the Clubman’s National, the Manx National trial has been running since 1955 and is open to both solo and sidecar competitors. The course takes the competitors and spectators well off the beaten track and riders experience a wide range of terrain and conditions – everything from slate quarries to Moorland becks, volcanic rocks by the sea and muddy glens.
The Manx Classic Weekend Trial regularly attracts a field of up to 200 riders from as far afield as South Africa, USA, Canada, Italy, France and Spain, not to mention the UK and Ireland. The first 50 places are reserved for twin-shock machines, but the bulk of the entry are genuine classics with special awards for rigid forks and pre-unit construction.
The event covers an average of 40 sections each day with many new and rarely used trials venues around the Island, linked by tracks, open moorland, forests, lanes and main roads. The event first took place in 1996 and has grown into one of the largest and most popular observed classic motorcycle trials in the British Isles.
Vintage bikes are also celebrated by the Isle of Man branch of the Vintage Motorcycle Club who run a series of runs, rallies to Laxey and Castletown, a mountain course closed road parade and the increasingly popular ‘VMCC Festival of Jurby’ that sees over 10,000 people gather to watch and display some of the world’s leading vintage and classic bikes as they circuit the former airfield.
The world famous TT Grandstand on Glencrutchery Road, in sight of the start/finish line, is again expected to be at the heart of the action. A classic nostalgia paddock open day has been organised for Saturday 27th August that will feature a vintage car display by the Manx Classic Car Club and live music from the Manx Jazz Aces.
As well as a special paddock displaying the leading classic race bikes, this year there will also be an exhibition of iconic TT and Manx Grand Prix images, organised by classic bike magazine publishers Morton’s Media and marquee housing a collection of some of the greatest racing machines in TT and motorcycle history in the race paddock throughout the two-week festival.
The paddock will also have a food-court area, the new beer tent from MGPF sponsor Heron and Brearley and the latest range of MGPF merchandise including t-shirts, jackets and fleeces.
Geoff Corkish, MBE, MHK, Political Member, Isle of Man Tourism commented:
“We hope that we have lined up something for all motorbike fans with the 2011 Manx Grand Prix Festival which is a real celebration of two wheel racing for modern fans as well as those who prefer their racing heritage and history. There will also be plenty going on both on and off the track around the rest of the Isle of Man during the fortnight.”