A vastly revamped racing schedule will form the backbone of the 2005 Isle of Man TT Races, set to take place between Saturday May the 28th and Friday June the 10th.
Following a lengthy period of consultation with all parties involved in the racing side of the TT Festival, the programme has been changed to better suit the needs of today's riders and
teams. The TT Superbike Race replaces the Formula One TT, whilst the Production 1000cc Race makes way for a Superstock Race. There will be two Supersport 600cc Races this year,
plus the Senior TT, which retains its title, and is open to machines from all three classes. The Production 600cc event is dropped, as are the classes for 125cc and 400cc machines. The Sidecar class remains as before, with two races for the popular three wheeled brigade.
Speaking about the changes to the programme, Clerk of the Course Neil Hanson said, "It was felt that our previous programme had become out of sync with the rest of the road racing world, and we have acted accordingly. The new schedule is much simpler and riders will only require three bikes maximum, which should result in them all enjoying more practise time per
machine. Whilst some people would like to see the smaller capacity machines remain, most riders and teams seem positive about the new schedule."
There will be a whopping £500,000 on offer at this years event plus an additional £4,500 in special awards. Entry Forms and Regulations for this year's event have already gone out and
entries close on Thursday the 28th of March.
Team and rider Interest in this years meeting has been exceptional with all four Japanese Manufacturers expected to be represented in an official capacity. TAS Suzuki GB will field Irishman Adrian Archibald and New Zealander Bruce Anstey whilst Honda Racing return after a
years absence, this time under the DMRR banner with Welshman Ian Lougher and Irishman Richard Britton on board. Yamaha will hope to continue their rich vein of form around the Mountain Circuit in recent years, with Englishman John McGuinness and the British Superbike
AIM racing team representing them along with Yamaha UK's Jason Griffiths from Wales who now resides on the Island. Meanwhile Kawasaki make an official return to the TT with the MSS/Discovery British Superbike team machines in the hands of Irishman Ryan Farquhar.
The Solo classes will be as strong as they have been for some time with Irishman Martin Finnegan another name to look out for on the exotic Vitrans / Ten Kate Honda machines, Englishman Guy Martin on the Uel Duncan Racing Suzuki?s along with his team mate Darran
Lindsay from Ireland, making his return to the TT after four years away, English aces Mark Parrett, Ian Hutchinson, Ian Armstrong, David Bell and James McBride and local stars Chris Palmer, Gary Carswell, Paul Hunt, Nigel Beattie and Chris Heath.
As usual there will be a strong representation from Europe and the rest of the world with Italy's Stefano Bonnetti and Umberto Rumiano, France's Bruno Bonhuil, Mirko Kalsek from Slovenia
and Japan's Jun Meada amongst the entry list.
The Sidecar classes will be as competitive as ever with local team Dave Molyneux and Daniel Sayle the men to beat with former World Champion Klaus Klaffenbock again expected to enter
having made his debut at last years event.
The final word was left to Chairman of the TT organisation David Cretney MHK who commented on the entry
"We are delighted to see the interest in our races from the various riders and
teams at this early stage. Everything is shaping up to make this one of the best TT's for many years and the level of competition and quality of riders will provide great excitement for TT fans at the greatest road races in the world. I was delighted to welcome our newly appointed Rider Recruitment Officers Paul Phillips and Richard Quayle to our team and they have been busy talking to talented riders who are interested in taking part in our event and we are pleased to welcome three of their recruited riders here today. Gus Scott from England, Les Shand from Scotland and Markus Barth from Germany are all world class riders who would compliment any entry list and we are delighted that they have shown an interest in the TT."
The Minister, who also Chairs the Organising Committee of the TT Classic Nostalgia Weekend, which takes place between Friday 10th and Sunday 12th June this year which is set to encompass an Italian theme, concluded by announcing there had been great interest from around the world in this event and further announcements would be made shortly. Former TT or MGP riders or persons with special Italian machines are invited to contact the organisers
for regulations for the event.
Preparations for the Festival attractions which will compliment this years TT are also in an advanced stage and exact details of the various attractions and events will be released in the near future via a separate release.
Practice for this years TT commences on Saturday the 28th of May at 18:15 hours (6.15pm), with the first race, the TT Superbike Race over six laps of the Snaefell Mountain Course getting underway at 12 noon on Saturday the 4th of June!