Move will re-introduce Lightweight Category to TT Race Programme.
The Lightweight Race will feature 650cc twin cylinder four stroke machines. The three-lap race will take place on the morning of Friday 8th June ahead of the blue riband PokerStars Senior TT.
Many of the leading TT riders including Ryan Farquhar, Adrian Archibald, Daniel Kneen, John Burrows and Ian Lougher are competing regularly on Supertwin machines in National Road Races. TT organisers are confident of being able to attract a high quality entry for the inaugural running of this race based on the interest received to date, and Kawasaki and Suzuki likely to participate with officially backed entries. The race is also expected to attract new competitors to the TT.
Although points scored in the Lightweight TT Race will not contribute to the overall solo championship in 2012, the event will carry a substantial prize fund of over £25,000. The winner will also receive the prestigious 'Lightweight' TT Trophy that was last won by three time TT Race winner Chris Palmer in 2004.
Technical Regulations for the Lightweight TT Race are currently being drawn up by race organisers ACU Events Ltd in consultation with the manufacturers, riders and teams, and are due to be issued by the end of September. These new regulations will focus on containing costs for competitors and producing close and exciting racing,
The rest of the race programme, which featured some of the closest racing in the Mountain Course's hundred year history in 2011, remains unchanged with two 600cc Supersport Races, a Superbike Race and a 1000cc Superstock Race. As is traditional, the meeting will culminate with the Senior Race on Friday 8th June. Plans relating to the TT Zero clean emissions race will be announced shortly.
Qualifying for the 2012 TT Races will begin on Saturday 26th May with sessions for Lightweight machines, all solo Newcomers and Sidecars with the Superbikes, Supersport and Superstock classes starting their qualifying programme on Monday 28th May.
Paul Phillips, TT and Motorsport Development Manager, Isle of Man Government commented:
"Interest is growing in the Supertwin class and a large number of competitors as well as leading manufacturers Kawasaki and Suzuki have already expressed their backing for the race. We feel it is the right time to introduce the Supertwins machines to the TT programme and their inclusion will not only benefit the TT, but is likely to speed up the growth in the class at national level, and at the other International Road Races.
Geoff Corkish, MBE, MHK, DED Member with responsibility for Tourism added:
"We are keen to add as much variety to the race programme as possible and having listened to the views of the fans, the competitors and the teams, this is the right time to introduce the Supertwins machines which will give fans different sights and sounds out on the track and add to the growing success of this great event."