Isle of Man TT Road Racing
The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, popularly known as the Isle of Man TT, competition was originally launched in 1904 as a European car racing championship. This was then added to with motorbike races being introduced in 1905 although this was halted temporarily until 1911 due to the fact that the bikes then could not complete the steep terrain. The 1923 competition also introduced sidecar racing. Apart from breaks during the two World Wars, the Isle of Man TT has become an annual event and sees strong competition coming in from all over the world.
Since 1949, the Isle of Man TT has become a venue for the Motorcycle World Championships and over the decades, the TT has come to be highly regarded not only by fans but also by manufacturers and racers alike.
The centenary was celebrated in 2003 and saw several amazing wins amongst the participants and by this time, racers from all over the world have come to participate in the different events. Regarded as one of the most exciting road race championships in the world, about 100,000 visitors attend each year to add to the fever pitch of these events.
The Mountain Circuit in the Isle of Man TT is arguably the biggest challenge that any motorcycle racer can undertake. It is only for those who have a great deal of courage. More than 500 motorbike riders come to the Isle of Man every year to try the physically gruelling TT. The majority of these riders come to try out their personal skills on such a renowned and difficult circuit, not hoping for a win, instead wanting the ability to say they finished. The circuit is very dangerous, but these riders know the risks involved; no one has to ride in the race. Pitching their skills against the TT Mountain Circuit, which is viewed as one of the greatest and purest road racing circuits in the world, is a major accomplishment. The TT Circuit is still the "Road Racing Capital of the World."
The Upcoming Isle of Man TT 2012
With the 2011 TT completed in June, planning has already begun for the 2012 races. The challenging 37-mile track across the mountain requires not only skill and courage but also immense concentration.
The races are nowadays held between the months of May and June for over two weeks and visitors to the island will not only be able to participate in these events but also to enjoy the views and wonders that are part of the Isle of Man. The tentative dates for 2012 are 28 May to 8 June and it is strongly advised that advance bookings should be arrange not only for travel but also accommodation as well.
For the best and most current information about the upcoming races, check out http://www.iomtt.com/
The Dangers of the Isle of Man TT
The reality is that the challenge of the TT comes from the fact that riders are pitted against each other on public roads on the island. This of course creates a different platform of difficulty as these are not racing tracks and therefore the elements of skills and daring required to successfully complete the races is totally different. In addition, with current racers travelling at speeds in excess of 200 mph, the dangers become even more perilous.
Since the inception of the Isle of Man TT races, more than 230 people, mostly participants, have been killed during the races. The 2011 races were no different with the loss of Irish rider, Derek Brien who was a regular participant in the races. This year also saw the loss of sidecar racers Bill Currie and Kevin Morgan who were killed during a qualifying session.
There are of course individuals and groups who campaign that the races should be banned but this has had little impact on the popularity of the races for both participants and spectators.
The new Millenniumís first Isle of Man TT race was extraordinarily memorable, because Joey Dunlop, arguably the best rider in the history of the TT, took his finest victory in the opening race of the 2000 event. Dunlop, age 48, recorded another two wins in the Ultra Lightweight and Lightweight classes. This brought his total number of TT wins to 26. That was his last year riding in the Isle of Man TT event.
David Jeffries won the Junior, Production and Senior races, making history by being the first rider to win three races two times in a week. He also logged a new absolute lap record at 125.69 miles per hour in the last Senior lap, narrowly missing achieving the first TT circuit lap of less than 18 minutes.
The first rider to win four TT titles in one week was Phillip McCallen. He took the TT Formula One, the Junior, the Production, and the Senior TT titles while riding Honda bikes. Dave Molyneaux and Pete Hill went down in the history books when they won the sidecar race events and broke the lap records by logging 110 miles per hour, and with a lap total time of 20 minutes and 23.4 seconds at 111.02 miles per hour.