This year's Manx Grand Prix is shaping up to be quite a mini-TT, particularly regarding the Classic events.
Following the news that seven-times TT winner Ian Lougher is to return, comes confirmation that three other TT top-liners are to join the party.
Double TT winners Ryan Farquhar and Chris Palmer and 2006 TT Superbike fourth placeman Martin Finnegan have all applied for entries in the Classic, where they will join the regular contenders in what is the top-drawer Classic meeting in the British Isles.
Finnegan is to ride 350cc and 500cc Drixton Honda twins for O'Sullivan Skyball Racing. Lougher has already indicated he will ride Hondas for John Davies Racing. Palmer will contest the 500cc class on Fred Walmsley’s Manx Norton, while Farquhar’s choice of machines has yet to be notified.
Farquhar, who won the 2004 Production TT and the 2005 Second Supersport Junior, won the 1999 Senior Newcomers' MGP on a 600cc Honda then took victory in the following year's main Senior race on a 750cc Kawasaki. Finnegan won the 2000 Junior Newcomers' MGP race.
Farquhar was unable to ride in this year's TT after crashing at the Cookstown 100 meeting in Ireland. Apart from fourth in this year's Superbike TT, Finnegan was seventh in the Supersport Junior and Superstock races.
Other TT stars already confirmed in the 2006 Manx GP mix include Chris McGahan, Roy Richardson, Maria Costello, Bud Jackson and Steve Linsdell, while former MGP winners include John Goodall, Sam Dunlop, Barry Wood, Barry Davidson and Ewan Hamilton.
Among details of notable entries received since the previous Press Bulletin are Barry Maguire, Watty Brown, Craig McLean, Dean Martin, Graham Taubman, Peter Wakefield, Ryan McCay, Dave Madsen-Mygdal and Kieron Hankin, though not all of those came in under the entry extension granted to enable further licensing qualification.
A strong local contender for the main races has unfortunately had to withdraw. Si Fulton crashed at the recent Steam Packet National races on the Billown Course and sustained leg and arm injuries which will prevent him riding Martin Bullock's machines. He finished fourth in the Junior and eighth in the Senior last year.