After a frustrating day for riders, officials, and spectators, racing finally got underway in the 2005 Isle of Man TT Festival at six o’clock on Saturday night – six hours late -after a series of postponements caused by a mixture of intermittent showers and mist.
It turned out to be well worth the wait as race fans saw a dramatic Hilton Hotel Sidecar Race A in the evening sunshine with three different leaders during the race. Ten-times TT winner Dave Molyneux, and passenger Dan Sayle, swept into the lead and at the end of lap one had opened up a 48 seconds advantage over another Isle of Man crew, Nick Crowe and Darren Hope, with Steve Norbury and Andy Smith third.
But everything was to change on the second of the three laps. Hopes of an Isle of Man victory, and indeed a Manx 1-2, were dashed when Molyneux and Sayle were forced to retire on the approach to Kirk Michael.
At the end of lap one Crowe held second place by less than a second from Norbury but lap two saw Norbury overtaking Crowe and with the retirement of Molyneux the Castleford man had gone into the lead. As the two crews started their final lap Norbury was just six seconds ahead of Crowe with Clitheroe’s John Holden and Jamie Winn third.
However, that was not the end of the story as Crowe and Hope had caught up by the time the two outfits started up the mountain for the last time and at the finish it was the Manx pair who had recorded their first TT victory by a margin of 2.3 seconds. Their winning time for the 113 miles was 1 hour 1 minute 49.3 seconds, an average speed of 109.85 miles an hour. Norbury and Smith were second with Holden and Winn third.
Les Harah and Paul Sanderson crashed at Parliament Square, Harah suffering multiple injuries while Sanderson sustained possible minor fractures.
Ken Doherty, the Dublin rider who was taken to hospital suffering from leg and shoulder injuries after crashing his Superbike at Greeba Castle during Friday night’s practice has now been discharged.
Meanwhile, sidecar passenger Stephen Gallligan - whose outfit spilled at the 27th Milestone in Friday’s practice - is said to be comfortable in Noble’s Hospital where he was taken with neck and chest injuries. Also described as ‘comfortable’ is another sidecar passenger, Philip Roberts, who sustained elbow and chest injuries in an incident at Sarah’s Cottage on Tuesday.