Isle of Man TT
|Isle of Man Tourist Trophy|
|Region||Isle of Man|
|Circuit||Snaefell Mountain Course, Isle of Man, UK|
|Last date||30 May to 12 June 2015|
|Next date||28 May to 10 June 2016|
|Clerk of the Course||Gary Thompson MBE BEM|
|Event Organiser||ACU Events Ltd|
|Principal sponsor||Isle of Man Department of Economic Development|
|Number of races||96 (through 2015)|
|First winner||Charles R. Collier (1907)|
|Most wins||Joey Dunlop 26 (1977–2000)|
|Lap record||John McGuinness 17 minutes, 3.567 seconds 132.701 mph or 213.562 km/h (2015)|
The International Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) races are an annual motorcycle road racing event traditionally held on closed-off public roads on the Isle of Man in the last week of May for practice and the first week of June as race week with many supporting attractions, gatherings and other events taking place.
For many years regarded as the most prestigious and oldest motorcycle race in the world, it has been reported as the most dangerous motorcycle road-race in the world. When interviewed by his local newspaper in 2015, 23-times TT winner John McGuinness stated: "The TT is the biggest most dangerous thing for me and I have my family around me for it".
The event was part of the FIM Motorcycle Grand Prix World Championship from 1949–1976 before the Grand Prix-status event was transferred to the United Kingdom after safety concerns over the TT course with factory-contracted riders compulsorily competing, and involving a riders' boycott. The FIM as ruling body transferred the World Championship round to Silverstone in mainland England as the British Grand Prix from 1977. The TT races continued independently but became part of the TT Formula 1 Championship from 1977 to 1990 to preserve the event's competition status. From 1989 the racing has been developed by the Isle of Man Department of Tourism as the Isle of Man TT Festival, and traditionally concludes on the Friday of race week with the Blue Riband event, the prestigious Senior TT race.
- 1 Description
- 2 History
- 2.1 Origins
- 2.2 Gordon Bennett and Tourist Trophy car races
- 2.3 International Motor-Cycle Cup Race (1905)
- 2.4 Isle of Man TT Race (1907)
- 2.5 1910's: Snaefell Mountain Course
- 2.6 The 1920s
- 2.7 TT Racing in the 1930s
- 2.8 Post-War TT racing and the FIM World Championship (1947–1976)
- 2.9 TT racing (1977 on)
- 3 Format of the races
- 4 Practice sessions
- 5 Race schedule
- 6 TT course official vehicles
- 7 Crossing places during practice and races
- 8 TT Course Access Road
- 9 Safety and danger
- 10 Total overall race winners
- 11 FIM Championship Rounds (1949–1976)
- 12 Current lap records
- 13 Current race records
- 14 Awards in 2015
- 15 See also
- 16 Notes
- 17 External links
The Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) races are run in a time-trial format on public roads closed for racing, with the Road Racing Act 1982 (Isle of Man), an Act of Tynwald, prevailing. Since 1911 the races have been held on the 37.73-mile (60.72 km) Snaefell Mountain Course, consisting of a number of public roads forming a clockwise-circuit proceeding through different parts of the island. Normal scheduling allows for races of between one and six laps, depending on the classification.
The Oxford Companion to World Sports and Games notes:
The oldest motor-cycle racing circuit still in use is the Snaefell Mountain Course over which the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races are run. Starting at the town of Douglas on the south-east coast, the course takes a wide sweep to the west and north to enter the town of Ramsey on the north-east coast and thence return to the starting point, each lap measuring 373⁄4 miles (60.7 km) and taking in over 200 bends while climbing from sea level to an altitude of over 1,300 ft (396 m). This circuit is the epitome of the natural road course, all the roads used being ordinary public highways closed for the racing and practice sessions.
During race week, the TT races create a carnival atmosphere with picnicking spectators flanking vantage points on the circuit similar to other community festivals in another form of cycle racing — the Tour de Yorkshire and Le Tour de France.
During the 1906 International Cup for Motor Cycles held in Austria, the event was plagued by accusations of cheating and sharp practices. A conversation on the train journey home between the Secretary of the Auto-Cycle Club, Freddie Straight, brothers Charlie Collier and Harry Collier from the Matchless motorcycle company and the Marquis de Mouzilly St. Mars, led to a suggestion for a race in the following year for road touring motorcycles to be held in the Isle of Man based on the car races on closed public roads.
The new race was proposed by the Editor of The Motor Cycle magazine at the Auto-Cycle Club annual dinner held in London on 17 January 1907. It was proposed that the races would run in two classes with single-cylinder machines to average 90 mpg and twin-cylinder machines to average 75 mpg fuel consumption. To emphasise the road touring nature of the motorcycles there were regulations for the inclusion of saddles, pedals, mudguards and exhaust silencers.
The first race was held on Tuesday 28 May 1907 and was called the International Auto-Cycle Tourist Trophy. The event was organised by the Auto-Cycle Club over 10 laps of the St John's Short Course of 15 mi 1,470 yd (25.484 km).
The first Isle of Man TT Race in 1907 was for two different classes of touring motor-cycles. The winner of the single-cylinder class, and overall winner of the first event in 1907, was Charlie Collier riding a Matchless motorcycle in a time of 4 hours, 8 minutes and 8 seconds at an average race speed of 38.21 mph (61.49 km/h). The winner of the twin-cylinder class was Rem Fowler riding a Peugeot engined Norton at an average race speed of 36.21 mph (58.27 km/h).
The trophy presented to Charlie Collier as the winner of the 1907 Isle of Man TT Race, was donated by the Marquis de Mouzilly St. Mars. It featured a stylised version of Olympic God 'Hermes' by Giovanni Da Bologna as a silver figurine astride a winged wheel. The trophy was similar in design to the 18 carat gold Montague Trophy presented to John Napier (Arrol-Johnston) as the inaugural winner of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy car race in 1905 now known as the RAC Tourist Trophy. The Marquis de Mouzilly St. Mars Trophy is now presented annually to the winner of the Senior TT race.
Gordon Bennett and Tourist Trophy car races
Motor racing began on the Isle of Man in 1904 with the Gordon Bennett Eliminating Trial and were originally restricted to touring automobiles. As the Motor Car Act 1903 placed a speed restriction of 20 mph on automobiles in the UK, Julian Orde, Secretary of the Automobile Car Club of Britain and Ireland approached the authorities in the Isle of Man for the permission to race automobiles on public roads. The Highways (Light Locomotive) Act 1904 gave permission in the Isle of Man for the 52.15 mile Highlands Course for the 1904 Gordon Bennett Eliminating Trial which was won by Clifford Earl (Napier) in 7 hours 26.5 minutes for 5 laps (255.5 miles) of the Highlands Course. The 1905 Gordon Bennett Trial was held on 30 May 1905 and was again won by Clifford Earl driving a Napier automobile in 6 hours and 6 minutes for 6 laps of the Highland Course. This was followed in September 1905 with the first Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race for racing automobiles, now known as the RAC Tourist Trophy and was won by John Napier (Arrol-Johnston) in 6 hours and 9 minutes at an average speed of 33.90 mph.
International Motor-Cycle Cup Race (1905)
For the 1905 Gordon Bennett Eliminating Trial it was decided to run an eliminating trial for motorcycles the day after for a team to represent Great Britain in the International Motor-Cycle Cup Races. An accident at Ramsey Hairpin forced out one of the pre-race favourites and the inability of the motorcycle competitors to climb the steep Mountain Section of the course forced the organisers to use a 25-mile section of the Gordon Bennett Trial course. This ran from Douglas south to Castletown and then north to Ballacraine along the primary A3 road and returned to the start at the Quarterbridge in Douglas via Crosby and Glen Vine along the current Snaefell Mountain Course in the reverse direction. The 1905 International Motor-Cycle Cup Race for 5 laps (125 miles) was won by J.S. Campbell (Ariel) despite a fire during a pit stop in 4 hours, 9 minutes and 36 seconds at an average race speed of 30.04 mph.
Isle of Man TT Race (1907)
During the 1906 International Cup for Motor-Cycles held in Austria, the event was plagued by accusations of cheating and sharp practices. A conversation on the train journey home between the Secretary of the Auto-Cycle Club, Freddie Straight and the brothers from the Matchless motorcycle company, Charlie Collier and Harry Collier and the Marquis de Mouzilly St Mars led to a suggestion for a race the following year for road touring motorcycles based on the automobile races to be held in the Isle of Man on closed public roads. The new race was proposed by the Editor of "The Motor-Cycle" Magazine at the annual dinner of the Auto-Cycle Club held in London on 17 January 1907. It was proposed that the races would run in two classes with single-cylinder machines to average 90 mpg-imp (0.031 l/km) and twin-cylinder machines to average 75 mpg-imp (0.038 l/km) fuel consumption. To emphasise the road touring nature of the motorcycles, there were regulations for the inclusion of saddles, pedals, mudguards and exhaust silencers and the first event, the 1907 Isle of Man TT race, was won by Charlie Collier at an average race speed of 38.21 mph and the winner of the twin-cylinder class was Rem Fowler riding a Norton motorcycle at an average race speed of 36.21 mph.
For the 1908 race, the fuel consumption was raised to 100 mpg-imp (0.028 l/km) for single-cylinder machines and 80 mpg-imp (0.035 l/km) for twin-cylinder machines and the use of pedals was banned. The race was won by Jack Marshall on a Triumph motorcycle at an average speed of 40.49 mph. For the 1909 Isle of Man TT races, the fuel consumption regulations was abandoned along with the use of exhaust silencers. The single-cylinder machines were limited to a capacity of 500 cc and the twin-cylinder machines to a 750 cc engine capacity. Due to the concern over increasing lap-speed, for the 1910 Isle of Man TT the capacity of the twin-cylinder machines were reduced to 670 cc. However, Harry Bowen riding a BAT twin-cylinder motorcycle increased the lap record to an average speed of 53.15 mph (85.54 km/h), later crashing-out of the 1910 event on the wooden banking at Ballacraine corner.
1910's: Snaefell Mountain Course
The first TT race over the Snaefell Mountain Course or Mountain Course was the 1911 Isle of Man TT Races- which is more or less the same set routes the course follows today, only with modernization over time. This was followed in 1923 with the introduction of the Manx Amateur Motorcycle Road Races – a race originally reserved for amateurs and raced on the same Mountain Course. In 1930 it changed its name to the Manx Grand Prix.
For the 1911 event two separate races were introduced. A four lap Junior TT Race for 300 cc single-cylinder and 340 cc twin-cylinder motorcycles was the first event on the new course and was contested by 35 entrants. It was won by Percy J. Evans riding a Humber motorcycle in 3 hours, 37 minutes and 7 seconds at an average speed of 41.45 mph. The Senior TT Race was open for 500 cc single-cylinder and 585 cc twin-cylinder motorcycles and was contested over 5 laps of the new 37.5-mile (60.4 km) Snaefell Mountain Course. The new technical challenges of the Mountain Course forced changes on entrants and motorcycle manufacturers alike. The American Indian Motor-Cycle factory fitted a two-speed gearbox and chain-drive. This proved to be the winning combination when Oliver Godfrey won the 1911 Isle of Man Senior TT race riding an Indian in 3 hours, 56 minutes and 10 seconds at an average speed of 47.63 mph. In contrast the Matchless motorcycles were fitted with a six-speed belt drive and Charlie Collier riding a Matchless motorcycle finished second in the 1911 Senior TT race but was later disqualified for illegal refuelling. During practice for the 1911 race Victor Surridge died after crashing his Rudge motorcycle at Glen Helen.
For the 1912 event the single and twin-cylinder classes were combined with a 350 cc capacity limit for the Junior TT and a 500 cc capacity for motorcycles for the Senior TT race. In 1913 Major Tommy Loughborough replaced Freddie Straight as secretary of the Auto-Cycle Club and promptly decided to make the races more difficult. The Junior and Senior races were to be run in sections. The Junior TT race was divided into two races of two and four laps and the Senior TT race consisted of a three lap race followed by a four lap race combined with the Junior TT event. In 1914 the Junior TT was reduced to 5 laps and the start-line moved to the top of Bray Hill to increase paddock space of the competitors. The use of crash-helmets was made compulsory. The 1914 Junior TT was held in heavy rain and mist on the Mountain Section of the course and was won by Eric Williams riding an AJS motorcycle in 4 hours, 6 minutes and 50 seconds at an average speed of 45.58 mph. The race was marred by the death of Frank Walker riding a Royal Enfield motorcycle who had been leading until a puncture on the third-lap. In the following pursuit of the leaders he fell twice and on the last-lap over-shot the finish line in Ballanard Road and crashed into a wooden barrier placed across the road and posthumously declared a third place finisher by the ACU race committee.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2013)|
Motorcycle racing in the Isle of Man did not restart after the end of the First World War until 1920. Changes were made to the Mountain Course and competitors now turned left at Cronk-ny-Mona and followed the primary A18 Mountain Road to Governor's Bridge with a new start/finish line on Glencrutchery Road which lengthened the course to 37 ¾ miles.
The 1920 Junior TT Race included for the first time a new Lightweight class for motorcycles of 250 cc engine capacity. The Lightweight class of the 1920 Junior TT race was won by Ronald Clarke riding a Levis and he may have won the event overall but crashed at the 33rd Milestone on the last lap, finishing fourth overall. The 1921 Senior TT race was won by Howard Davies riding a 350 cc Junior TT AJS by a margin of 2 minutes and 3 seconds from Freddie Dixon and Hubert Le Vack. For 1922 the ACU introduced for 250 cc motorcycle a Lightweight TT race and the first winner was Geoff S Davison riding a Levis motorcycle at an average race speed of 49.89. The 1922 Junior TT Race was won by local Isle of Man competitor Tom Sheard riding an AJS motorcycle at an average race speed of 54.75 mph. Despite crashing twice, a broken exhaust and a fire in the pits, Stanley Woods riding a Cotton managed to finish in 5th place in the 1922 Junior TT Race. In the 1922 Senior TT Race, Alex Bennett riding a Sunbeam motorcycle led all 6 laps from start to finish to win from Walter Brandish riding a Triumph.
More changes to the course followed in 1923 with the adoption of a private road between Parliament Square and May Hill in Ramsey. The course previously had negotiated Albert Road and Tower Road in Ramsey. The new course length was now 37.739 miles (60.735 km) (revised to 37.733 miles in 1938). Part of the Mountain Course was named 'Brandish' after Walter Brandish crashed at a corner between Creg-ny-Baa and Hillberry and broke a leg. The first Sidecar TT race was held in 1923 over 3 laps (113 miles (182 km)}) and was won by Freddie Dixon and passenger Walter Denny with a special Douglas banking-sidecar average race speed of 53.15 miles per hour (85.54 km/h). The Senior TT Race of 1923 was held in poor weather and local course knowledge allowed local Isle of Man competitor Tom Sheard riding a Douglas motorcycle to win his second TT Race to add to his first win in the 1922 Junior TT Race on an AJS motorcycle. Another first-time winner of a TT race in 1923 was Stanley Woods riding to victory in the Junior TT Race on a Cotton.
In 1924, an Ultra-Lightweight TT Race was introduced for motorcycles of 175 cc engine capacity following the introduction of a Lightweight TT Race in 1922. The 1924 Ultra-Lightweight TT was allowed to begin with a massed-start for competitors rather than pairs for the normal time-trial format of the Isle of Man TT Races. The first winner of the Ultra-Lightweight TT in 1924 was Jock Porter riding a New Gerrard motorcycle at average speed of 51.20 mph. The Lightweight TT and the Senior TT Races of 1924 were run in conjunction and Eddie Twemlow (the brother to Ken Twemlow) riding a New Imperial motorcycle won at an average race speed of 55.44 mph. The Senior TT Race of 1924 like the Junior TT Race of the same year was also run at record breaking pace and was the first with a race average speed over 60 mph and was won by Alec Bennett riding a Norton motorcycle.
After numerous retirements in 1924, Wal Handley won the 1925 Junior TT Race over 6 laps of the Mountain Course for Rex-Acme motorcycles at an average speed of 65.02 mph. Later in the week Handley became the first TT rider to win two races in a week when he won the Ultra-Lightweight TT Race again on a Rex-Acme motorcycle. The 1925 Senior TT Race was sensationally won by Howard Davis while competing against the works teams with a motorcycle of his own manufacture a HRD Motorcycles at an average speed of 66.13 mph. Further changes occurred in 1926 with the scrapping of the Side-Car and Ultra-Lightweight TT Races from the lack of entries. Most of the Snaefell Mountain Course had now been completely tarmaced including the narrow sections on the A18 Mountain Road. Another change in 1926 was the ban on alcohol based fuels forcing competitors to use road petrol. Despite these changes the prestige of the Isle of Man TT Races had encouraged the Italian motorcycle manufacturers Bianchi, Garelli and Moto Guzzi to enter. The 1926 Lightweight TT Race produced one of the most notorious events in the history of the Isle of Man TT Races described by the magazine "The Motor-Cycle" as the "Guzzi Incident." The Italian rider Pietro Ghersi was excluded from second place for using a different sparking-plug in the engine of his Moto Guzzi. The 1926 Senior TT Race produced the first 70 mph lap and was again set by Jimmy Simpson on an AJS motorcycle in 32 minutes and 9 seconds an average speed of 70.43 mph.
More changes occurred in 1927 with a fatal accident during practice to Archie Birkin a brother to Tim Birkin of the Bentley Boys fame. The corner in Kirk Michael where the accident occurred was renamed Birkin's Bend and from 1928 practice sessions were held on closed-roads. The newly developed 'positive-stop' foot gear-change by Velocette gave Alex Bennett his fifth TT Race win in the 1928 Junior TT Race at an average race speed of 68.65 mph from his team-mate Harold Willis. The 1929 Lightweight TT Race was led for 5 laps by Pietro Ghersi on a Motor Guzzi competing in his first TT race since the disqualification in the 'Guzzi Incident' of 1926. Despite Pietro Ghersi setting the fastest lap at an average speed of 66.63 mph, engine failure gave the win to Syd Crabtree. During the 1929 Senior TT Race a number of riders crashed at Greeba Castle after Wal Handley clipped the hedge and crashed. This included Jimmy Simpson, Jack Amott riding for Rudge and Doug Lamb who later died of his injuries on the way to Nobles Hospital. Charlie Dodson completed a Senior TT double by winning the 1929 Senior TT Race at an average race speed of 72.05 mph.
TT Racing in the 1930s
The 1930s were a decade in which the Isle of Man TT races became the predominant motor-cycling event in the racing calendar, and are seen as the classic era of racing in the Isle of Man. A number of changes occurred to the Mountain Course during the 1930s, with extensive road widening on the A18 Mountain Road and the removal of the hump-back bridge at Ballig for the 1935 racing season in the Isle of Man.
The 1930s produced a number of changes for the Isle of Man TT Races in which the event became more commercialised. The George Formby film No Limit used the 1935 Isle of Man TT races as a backdrop for filming. Also, the 1930s saw increasing use of the TT races by motorcycle manufacturers to show-case their products. As a result, the 1930s produced an increased pace of motorcycle development, with the introduction of supercharging and over-head camshaft engines, plunger rear suspension, and telescopic front forks. These technological improvements were played out by the different British motorcycle manufacturers such as AJS, Rudge, Sunbeam, and Velocette gradually being eclipsed by the pre-eminence of the works Nortons. Increasing interest by foreign manufacturers in the 1930s produced works entries from BMW, DKW, NSU, Bianchi and Moto Guzzi at the Isle of Man TT races. The increased competition produced a frantic search for more engine power and better handling. At first, better handling was the best way to produce faster lap times, but as the power advantage of supercharged machines increased, their lap speeds began to match and finally overtook the others. Consequently, by 1938, most British manufacturers had a supercharged machine under test. Increased professionalism by the TT riders during the 1930s was the reason for Stanley Woods parting with Norton motorcycles, despite the winning of four TT races in 2 years, over the issue of prize money. Woods joined Husqvarna, and later rode for Moto Guzzi and Velocette.
The 1930 Senior TT Race was won by Rudge with Wal Handley becoming the first TT rider to win in all three major TT Race classes and the first lap under 30 minutes of the Mountain Course. The 1931 TT Race meeting was again dominated by the battle between Rudge and Norton motorcycles. The 1931 Senior TT Race provided Tim "Percy" Hunt with a popular Junior/Senior double win and also produced the first 80 mph lap by Jimmy Simpson on a Norton motorcycle. The 1932 TT Race meeting was watched by Prince George, Duke of Kent the first royal visitor to the Isle of Man TT Races. The 1932 Senior TT Race provided Stanley Woods with the Norton Habit and another Junior/Senior double win. Also on the first lap, Wal Handley, riding for Rudge, crashed at the 11th Milestone sustaining a back injury and retired. The place on the TT course where the incident occurred was renamed Handley's Corner. The 1933 Senior TT Race gave Stanley Woods another Junior/Senior double win, with works Nortons taking the first four places, ridden by Jimmy Simpson, Tim Hunt and Jimmie Guthrie. The 1934 TT Races was another double Junior/Senior win for Jimmie Guthrie and the last TT race for Jimmy Simpson. For the 1935 TT Races, Stanley Woods provided another surprise by moving to Moto Guzzi and was a debut event for the Italian Omobono Tenni. The 1935 Senior TT Race produced one of the most dramatic TT races, as the Moto Guzzi pit attendants made preparations for Stanley Woods to refuel on the last lap, but Woods went straight through the TT grandstand area without stopping and went on to win by 4 seconds from Jimmie Guthrie. Despite disqualification during the 1936 Junior TT Race, Jimmie Guthrie won the 1936 Senior TT Race, avenging his dramatic defeat the previous year. The 1937 TT Races produced the first foreign winner, when the Italian TT rider, Omobono Tenni won the Lightweight race. Jimmie Guthrie was killed a few weeks later while riding for the Norton team during the 1937 German Grand Prix. The 1938 TT Races produced the first German winner when Ewald Kluge won the 1938 Lightweight TT Race and became the first overall European Motor-Cycle Champion for the works DKW team. In the 1939 Isle of Man TT Races, the works Norton team did not compete, as the Norton factory were changing over to war production. Although the 1938 model Norton was provided to Harold Daniell and Freddie Frith to race, the 1939 TT Races provided Stanley Woods with a tenth TT win, aboard a Velocette in the Junior TT Race and a well judged first win for Ted Mellors riding a Benelli in the 1939 Lightweight TT Race. The Blue Riband race of the Isle of Man TT Races was won for the first time by a foreign competitor when Georg 'Schorsch' Meier won the 1939 Senior TT Race riding for the factory BMW motorcycle team. In the 1930s, TT winners were allowed to keep the trophies for a year. The 1939 factory BMW motorcycle that won the 1939 Senior TT Race spent the war years buried in a field, and the Senior TT trophy was discovered displayed in a shop in Vienna at the end of the war.
Post-War TT racing and the FIM World Championship (1947–1976)
Motorcycle racing did not return to the Isle of Man and the Mountain Course until September 1946 with the first post-war event the 1946 Manx Grand Prix. For the 1947 Isle of Man TT Races a number of changes occurred to the race schedule and the rules governing the races. First, the inclusion of a Clubmans TT Races for Lightweight, Junior and Senior production motorcycles. Second, and more important the rules governing all international road racing were changed to effectively ban all forms of supercharging. The 1949 Isle of Man TT Races was the first event of the inaugural Motorcycle Grand Prix World Championship (now known as MotoGP) and Les Graham the first 500 cc World Champion finished 10th in the 1949 Senior TT Race. For the 1951 Isle of Man TT the Ultra-Lightweight TT Race was re-introduced that was won by Cromie McCandless riding a Mondial motorcycle at an average race speed of 74.84 mph. For the next 27 years, the Lightweight (250cc), Junior (350cc) and Senior (500cc) TT's and occasionally the 80 and 125cc Ultra-Lightweight TT's all counted as rounds of the FIM International Championship, and there were points to be won that counted towards the often European nation-dominated international championship of each year.
From 1947 to 1959 there occurred a number of course changes and improvements. Road widening occurred between the 33rd Milestone and Keppel Gate for the 1947 season and further major changes for the 1954 Isle of Man TT Races with significant alterations to Ballaugh Bridge, Creg-ny-Baa, Signpost Corner and Governor's Bridge. Also the 1954 Isle of Man TT Races was the first year of the Clypse Course, the re-introduction of the Sidecar TT Race and the first female competitor, Inge Stoll, to enter an Isle of Man TT Race.
The 1950s may be seen as a decade when the course and race changes the Isle of Man TT Races evolved into the motorcycle event that occurs today. Perhaps seen as the golden-era, the 1950s for the Isle of Man TT Races mirrored changes in the motor-cycling industry and motor-cycling technology and the increasing globalisation of not only of motorcycle racing, but also of the motorcycle industry. As with the 1930s, the period from 1947 to 1959 the dominance of the British motorcycle industry was gradually eroded by increased European competition. Again throughout the 1950s this was played-out through increased technological change.
The introduction of the Featherbed frame and the abortive Norton Kneeler concept by the works Norton team was not sufficient to challenge the multi-cylinder European motorcycles from Gilera and Moto Guzzi. Financial problems led to the demise of the Norton team and along with other traditional British motorcycle manufacturers AJS, BSA, Matchless and Velocette and were replaced by European competition from CZ, DKW, Ducati, Mondial, MV Agusta and NSU at the Isle of Man TT Races. By the end of the 1950s, the East Germany motorcycle firm MZ used the Isle of Man TT Races to improve their Walter Kaaden designed two-stroke technology. The 1959 Isle of Man TT Race was the first race for the fledgling Japanese Honda team when Naomi Taniguchi finished in 6th place in the 1959 125 cc Ultra-Lightweight TT Race on the Clypse Course at an average race speed of 68.29 mph.
Pre-war, the Isle of Man TT Races was seen as the preserve of British, Irish and Commonwealth competitors. This stranglehold was first broken by Omobono Tenni as the first foreign winner in 1937. As the Isle of Man TT Races became a World Championship event in 1949, the post-war period produced race wins from European competitors such as Carlo Ubbiali and Tarquinio Provini. The first New Zealand winner was Rod Coleman in 1954 and first competitor from Southern Rhodesia was Ray Amm when he raced at the 1951 Isle of Man TT Races. Despite a win by Eric Oliver at the first post war Sidecar TT race, this also became dominated by German and Swiss competitors such as Walter Schneider, Fritz Hillebrand, Fritz Scheidegger and Helmut Fath. For the Senior TT Race this was still dominated by new British TT competitors, Geoff Duke winning the 1955 Senior TT Race, John Surtees riding for MV Agusta and Bob McIntyre in the 1957 Isle of Man TT races were headlined when he recorded the first 100 mph (160 km/h) lap, riding for Gilera motorcycles. The 1958 Isle of Man TT Races was the debut event for another British rider with the 18-year-old Mike Hailwood who would dominate the next decade.
For the 1960 Isle of Man TT races the Sidecar TT Race returned to the Snaefell Mountain Course for the first-time since 1925, along with the Ultra-Lightweight and Lightweight classes with the abandonment of TT racing on the Clypse Course. A number of changes occurred to the Mountain Course during the 1960s with further road widening at Ballig Bridge and at Greeba Bridge. Other safety features included the introduction of a safety helicopter for the 1963 Isle of Man TT races and was used for the first-time when Tony Godfrey crashed at the exit to Milntown Cottages during the 1963 Lightweight TT race.
Despite problems with the sidecar class, the winner of the 1960 Sidecar TT race was Helmut Fath riding a BMW outfit at an average speed of 84.40 mph. The 1962 Isle of Man TT races produced the first winner of the newly introduced 50 cc Ultra-Lightweight race when Ernst Degner won the 2-lap race (75.46 miles (121.44 km)) for Suzuki at an average speed of 75.12 mph. This was followed with Mitsuo Itoh becoming the first Japanese winner of an Isle of Man TT Race winning the 50 cc Ultra-Lightweight TT race again for Suzuki in 1963. For the Diamond Jubilee race in 1967 the Production TT races were introduced consisting of three races; a 250 cc, a 500 cc, and a 750 cc run at the same time but each having a separate "Le Mans" start at 5 minutes after each other. John Hartle was the winner of the first 750 cc production class at an average race speed of 91.40 mph riding a Triumph Thruxton Bonneville. The 250 cc class was controversial due to the use of racing exhausts by the Bultaco team. In the 1968 Isle of Man TT races the Production race rules were changed. But the changes the winner, and 2nd placed man, of 250 cc Production race were under protest and were excluded for the same offence (using a racing exhaust) but later reinstated on appeal by the R.A.C.because of the lack of an official translation of the law in Spain on the subject of silencing. 1968 was also the last year of the 50 cc Ultra-Lightweight class with Australian Barry Smith winning for Derbi at an average speed of 72.90 mph. The first non-championship event for sidecars not exceeding 750 cc was introduced in 1968 and won by Terry Vinicombe riding a BSA sidecar outfit. The 1969 Production TT races were honoured by the presence of the Duke of Edinburgh as starter. The race went off without any controversy with a new set of rules being strictly enforced and were therefore probably the first really fair production races. The result was a 750 cc race in which Malcolm Uphill twice topped the 100-mph lap on the works Triumph Bonneville and set an average race speed of 99.99 mph. The 500 cc and 250 cc classes provided their own dramas with Graham Penny bringing his 450 cc Honda home first after the leader Tony Dunnell on a three-cylinder Kawasaki crashed. The 250 race had a fresh leader on each lap ending with Mike Rogers taking the laurels on his 250 cc Ducati Mach 1 giving Ducati their first Isle of Man win.
From 1949 to 1976 the race was part of the Motorcycle Grand Prix World Championship and was the home of the British round of the championship. The event came under increasing scrutiny due to safety concerns despite efforts by the ACU to retain its world championship status. When Italian rider Gilberto Parlotti was killed during the 1972 TT, his close friend and the reigning world champion and 10-time TT winner Giacomo Agostini, announced that he would never again race on the Isle of Man. Leading riders and teams joined Agostini's boycott in 1973 and 1974 and following a meeting between the ACU and the FIM in the autumn of 1974, it was announced that the TT would be axed from the world championship from 1976. The Grand Prix action was moved to the UK with the 1977 British Grand Prix being held at Silverstone.
TT racing (1977 on)
In the early 21st century, the premier TT racing bikes complete the Snaefell course at an average speed exceeding 120 mph (190 km/h). Record holders include David Jefferies who set a lap record of 127.29 mph (204.85 km/h) in 2002. This was surpassed by John McGuinness during the 2004 TT on a Yamaha R1 setting a time of 17 min 43.8 s; an average lap speed of 127.68 mph (205.48 km/h). McGuinness lowered this even further at the 2007 TT, setting a time of 17:21.99 for an average speed of 130.354 mph (209.784 km/h) becoming the first rider to break the 130 mph limit on the Snaefell Mountain circuit. Bruce Anstey is the current outright lap record holder, setting a time of 17:06.682 in 2014, with an average speed of 132.298 mph (212.913 km/h). The most successful rider was Joey Dunlop who won 26 times in various classes from 1977 to 2000 followed by John McGuiness with 21 victories.
Andy Whipple, in American Motorcyclists in 1979, wrote of the challenge of turns and other features for racers:
It goes without saying that in 37 miles the course offers every conceivable combination of turns, banks, elevation changes and straights. The challenge is multiplied by the fact that many corners are absolutely blind. They might be sweepers or hairpins, uphill or downhill combinations, turns preceded by "jumps" or turns preceded by flat-out blasts down straight sections. Regardless, the rider must pitch his machine in at over 100 miles per hour, lean at dizzying angles...and trust to memory what lies ahead.
Format of the races
The TT Races since the first race in 1907 have been in the format of time-trial. The races held on the Clypse Course during the period 1954-1959 were the more traditional full grid starts along with the 1924 Lightweight TT Race and Clubmen TT Races from 1948, which were also "mass-start" races. The current format is a "clutch start" and race competitors will be "started singly at 10 second intervals".
- Start Preliminaries
- First Signal – 45 minutes before the start with a warm-up of engines in the Race Paddock and assembly area.
- Second Signal – 30 minutes before start.
- Third Signal – 15 minutes before start, race competitors move to the start-line and form-up in qualification order.
- Fourth Signal – 5 minutes before start, signal to clear the grid and race competitors move towards the exit-gate.
Entrants must be in possession of a valid National Entrants or FIM Sponsors Licence for Road Racing.
The 2015 specification for entries into the Superbike TT race are defined as:
- Any machine complying with the following specifications:
- TT Superbike: (Machines complying with the 2015 FIM Superbike Championship specifications)
- Over 750 cc up to 1000 cc 4 cylinders 4-stroke
- Over 750 cc up to 1000 cc 3 cylinders 4-stroke
- Over 850 cc up to 1200 cc 2 cylinders 4-stroke
- TT Superbike: (Machines complying with the 2015 FIM Superbike Championship specifications)
Minimum Weight 165 kg (364 lb). Other machines admitted at the discretion of the Organisers 
The 1911 Isle of Man TT was the first time the Junior TT race took place, open to 300 cc single-cylinder and 340 cc twin cylinder motorcycles, contested over five laps of the new 37.5-mile (60.4 km) Snaefell Mountain Course. The first event on the new course was the Junior TT Race contested by 35 entrants, won by Percy J. Evans riding a Humber motor-cycle at an average race speed of 41.45 mph (66.71 km/h). The 1912 event was the first to limit the Junior TT to only 350 cc machines and this engine capacity prevailed until 1994 when replaced by the 600 cc Supersport class.
- 1911 For single cylinder motorcycles not exceeding 300 cc engine capacity and 340 cc twin cylinder motorcycles.
- 1912–1948 For motorcycles not exceeding 350 cc engine capacity.
- 1949–1953 FIM World Championship event for motorcycles not exceeding 350 cc engine capacity and held on the Snaefell mountain course.
- 1954–1959 FIM World Championship event for motorcycles not exceeding 350 cc engine capacity and held on the Clypse Course.
- 1960–1976 FIM World Championship event for motorcycles not exceeding 350 cc engine capacity and held on the Mountain Course.
- 1977–1993 for motorcycles not exceeding 350 cc engine capacity and held on the Mountain Course.
- 1994 onwards for motorcycles not exceeding 600 cc engine capacity and held on the Mountain Course.
The 2015 specifications for entries into the Supersport TT race are:
- TT Supersport: (Machines complying with the 2015 FIM Supersport Championship specifications)
- Over 400 cc up to 600 cc 4 cylinders 4-stroke
- Over 600 cc up to 750 cc 2 cylinders 4-stroke
- Over 600 cc up to 675 cc 3 cylinders 4-stroke
Minimum Weight 161 kg
The 2015 specifications for entries for the Superstock TT, an event for production based motorcycles racing with treaded road tyres, are based on the FIM Superstock Championship specifications, as follows:
- Superstock TT: (Machines complying with the 2012 FIM Superstock Championship specifications)
- Over 750 cc up to 1000 cc 4 cylinders 4-stroke
- Over 750 cc up to 1000 cc 3 cylinders 4-stroke
- Over 850 cc up to 1200 cc 2 cylinders 4-stroke
Minimum (Dry) Weight 170 kg
The 1922 event was the first time the Lightweight TT race took place, won by a motorcycle-journalist Geoff S. Davison, riding a Levis at an average speed of 49.89 mph (80.29 km/h) for seven laps of the Snaefell Mountain Course. As with the Ultra-Lightweight TT Race, the event was dropped from the race schedule in 2004, but was reintroduced 2008-2009, held on the Billown short road circuit and then dropped again from the race schedule on cost grounds.
- 1924–1948 For motorcycles not exceeding 250 cc engine capacity.
- 1949–1953 FIM World Championship event for motorcycles not exceeding 250 cc engine capacity, held on the Snaefell mountain course.
- 1954–1959 FIM World Championship event for motorcycles not exceeding 250 cc engine capacity, held on the Clypse Course.
- 1960–1976 FIM World Championship event for motorcycles not exceeding 250 cc engine capacity, held on the Mountain Course.
- 1977–2004 for motorcycles not exceeding 250 cc engine capacity, held on the Mountain Course.
- 2008–2009 for motorcycles not exceeding 250 cc engine capacity, held on the Billown Circuit.
- 2012– The event was re-introduced from the 2012 event for water-cooled four-stroke twin cylinder not exceeding a capacity of 650 cc and complying with the ACU Standing Regulations.
The 2015 specifications for entries into the Lightweight TT race are:
- Machines must comply with general technical rules as per ACU Standing Regulations and 2015 IOM TT regulations.
The 1923 TT was the first time the Sidecar TT race was run, over three laps (113 mi or 182 km) of the Mountain Course and was won by Freddie Dixon and passenger Walter Perry with a Douglas and special banking-sidecar at an average race speed of 53.15 mph (85.54 km/h). For the 1926 event the Sidecar and Ultra-Lightweight TT classes were dropped due to lack of entries.
The Sidecar race was re-introduced from the 1954 event for Sidecars not exceeding 500 cc engine capacity, run on the Clypse Course. A non-championship 750 cc class for sidecars was introduced at the 1968 event. For the 1976 event the race was held over two-legs. From 1975, the previous 500 cc and 750 cc classes for Sidecars were replaced by a 1000 cc engine capacity class.
The new FIM Formula 2 class for Sidecars was introduced for the 1990 Isle of Man TT.
- 1954–1959 FIM World Championship Event for Side-Cars not exceeding 500 cc engine capacity. Race held on the Clypse Course.
- 1960–1976 FIM World Championship Event held on Mountain Course.
- 1968–1974 Non-Championship event for Sidecars not exceeding 750 cc.
- 1975–1989 Sidecars not exceeding 1000 cc engine capacity.
- 1990– FIM Formula 2 Sidecar race for two-stroke engines not exceeding 350 cc or four-stroke engines not exceeding 600 cc.
The 2015 specifications for entries into the Sidecar TT race are:
- Machines must comply with general technical rules as per ACU Standing Regulations and 2015 Isle of Man TT regulations.
- Engine Types
- 501 – 600 cc, 4 stroke, 4 cylinder, Production based motorcycle engines.
- Engine Types
For the 1911 Isle of Man TT, the first TT event using the Snaefell Mountain Course or Mountain Course, two separate races were introduced. The first event was a four lap Junior TT race and a separate Senior TT race for 500 cc single-cylinder and 585 cc twin-cylinder motorcycles, over five laps of the new 37.5-mile (60.4 km) Snaefell Mountain Course. The new technical challenges of the Mountain Course forced changes on entrants and motorcycle manufacturers alike. The American Indian motorcycle factory fitted a two-speed gearbox and chain-drive. This proved to be the winning combination when Oliver Godfrey won the 1911 Senior TT race riding an Indian at an average speed of 47.63 mph (76.65 km/h). Fitted with an obsolete six-speed belt drive,[clarification needed] Charlie Collier riding a Matchless motorcycle finished second in the 1911 Senior TT race and was later disqualified for illegal refuelling. During an early morning practice session for the 1911 Isle of Man TT races, Victor Surridge died after crashing his Rudge motorcycle at Glen Helen, the first death of a competitor on the Snaefell Mountain Course and the first death in the Isle of Man of a person in an automotive accident.
- 1911 For single cylinder motorcycles not exceeding 500 cc engine capacity and 585 cc twin cylinder motorcycles.
- 1912–1939 For motorcycles not exceeding 500 cc engine capacity.
- 1947–1948 For motorcycles not exceeding 500 cc engine capacity and a ban on engine supercharging.
- 1949–1976 FIM World Championship event for motorcycles not exceeding 500 cc engine capacity.
- 1977–1984 for motorcycles not exceeding 500 cc engine capacity.
- 1985–2004 for motorcycles complying with ACU TT Formula 1 rules not exceeding 1,010 cc engine capacity.
- 2004 onwards for motorcycles complying with ACU/FIM Superbike rules not exceeding 1,000 cc engine capacity.
The 2015 specifications for entries into the Senior TT race are:
- TT Superbike: (Machines complying with the 2015 FIM Superbike Championship specifications)
- Over 750 cc up to 1000 cc 4 cylinders 4-stroke
- Over 750 cc up to 1000 cc 3 cylinders 4-stroke
- Over 850 cc up to 1200 cc 2 cylinders 4-stroke
- Supersport Junior TT (without limitation of tyre choice)
- TT Superstock (without limitation of tyre choice)
- Other machines admitted at the discretion of the Organisers.
- Supersport Junior TT (without limitation of tyre choice)
Starting from the 2010 races, the TT Zero event over one lap (37.73 mi or 60.72 km) of the Snaefell Mountain Course replaced the TTXGP. The TT Zero event as an officially sanctioned TT race is for racing motorcycles where "The technical concept is for motorcycles (two wheeled) to be powered without the use of carbon based fuels and have zero toxic/noxious emissions". The Isle of Man Government offered a prize of £10,000 for the first entrant to exceed the prestigious 100 mph (160 km/h) (22 minutes and 38.388 seconds) average speed around the Mountain Course. This was achieved by Michael Rutter of team MotoCzysz in the 2012 race, and has been exceeded every year since.
Discontinued race classes
1924 was the first time the Ultra-Lightweight TT race took place for motorcycles not exceeding 175 cc engine capacity. It was won by Jack Porter, riding a New Imperial motorcycle at an average speed of 51.21 mph (82.41 km/h) over three laps of the Snaefell mountain course. The Ultra-Lightweight class was re-introduced in 1951 for motorcycles not exceeding 125 cc until discontinued in 1974, and then re-introduced for 1989, again for two-stroke 125 cc motorcycles, until dropped again due to lack of entries after 2004. The event was reintroduced 2008-2009 held on the four-mile Billown Circuit and then dropped from the race schedule on cost grounds for the 2010 races.
- 1924–1925 For motorcycles not exceeding 175 cc engine capacity.
- 1951–1953 FIM World Championship event for motorcycles not exceeding 125 cc engine capacity, held on the Snaefell mountain course.
- 1954–1959 FIM World Championship event for motorcycles not exceeding 125 cc engine capacity, held on the Clypse Course.
- 1960–1974 FIM World Championship event for motorcycles not exceeding 125 cc engine capacity, held on the Mountain Course.
- 1989–2004 for motorcycles not exceeding 125 cc engine capacity, held on the Mountain Course.
- 2008–2009 for motorcycles not exceeding 125 cc engine capacity, held on the Billown Circuit.
- 50 cc race 1962–1968, an additional World Championship event for Ultra-Lightweight motorcycles not exceeding 50 cc engine capacity, held on the Mountain Course.
Clubman TT and Production TT
The Clubman races with Lightweight, Junior and Senior classes were held for production motorcycles from 1947 until 1956. A Senior 1000 cc class provided an opportunity for Vincent motorcycles. The riders were little-known, but as the stars were barred from entering the class, it provided a stepping-stone for future-stars but resulted in less spectator-interest. The series became dominated by one model — the BSA Gold Star, and with little competiton from other manufacturers, was discontinued. When previewing the impending re-introduction of a specification-controlled, roadster-based class in March, 1967, David Dixon wrote: "lack of inter-make rivalry probably put the final nail in the coffin".
Writing in UK monthly magazine Motor Cyclist Illustrated, racing journalist Ray Knight, who had achieved a lap speed of nearly 88 mph on a Triumph Tiger 100 roadster-based racing motorcycle in the Manx Grand Prix, commented in early 1965 that the ACU had refused a request from manufacturers to run a production TT race, which he thought was a missed opportunity, particularly considering the dwindling support for the 50 cc race.
The Production TT was reintroduced for the 1984 races in three classes, reduced to two classes on safety grounds for the 1990 races. For the 2005 races the Superstock class replaced the previous 1000 cc & 600 cc Production TT classes that had been part of the race schedule since 1989.
At the TT races there is usually one week of practice and one week of racing. Historically there was an early morning practice session from 05:00-07:30 am but this was discontinued from the 2004 races. During an early morning practice at the 1927 Isle of Man TT, Archie Birkin, brother of Tim Birkin of the Bentley Boys, was killed at Rhencullen. From 1928 practice sessions for the Isle of Man TT Races and Manx Grand Prix were held on closed roads. Evening practice sessions were introduced for the 1937 Isle of Man TT and continue to this day. The Thursday afternoon practice session from 13:45-17:00, introduced in the late 1950s, was discontinued from the Centenary races in 2007.
A schedule for practice sessions is announced each year well in advance. For the 2016 races a provisional schedule was announced by mid-July 2015, and changes in the schedule were highlighted.
But for example, the 2015 event began with a Saturday evening untimed practice session from 18:00 - 21:30, with the public roads that comprise the Snaefell Mountain Course closed. The section of the primary A18 Snaefell Mountain Road from Ramsey Hairpin to Creg-ny-Baa was to close at 16:45 for the practice periods (from 17:00 hours from the Bungalow), 1 hour and 15 minutes before the rest of the course.
The first practice session in 2015 was to provide four controlled laps for newcomers, two for new Solo competitors and two for new Sidecar competitors. Competitors would be escorted for one lap of the Mountain Course by the Travelling Marshals at a steady pace and accompanied by experienced Isle of Man TT and/or Manx Grand Prix competitors.
The schedule for the first Saturday untimed session in 2015 was:
- 18:20 – 18:45 Solo Motor-Cycles Newcomers Speed Control Lap
- 18:35 – 19:00 Sidecar Newcomers' Control Lap
- 18:50 – 19:50 Lightweight TT / Newcomers (all solo classes)
- 19:55 – 20:50 Sidecar practice session.
Practice week sessions
The main practice and timed practice sessions are usually held on Monday-Friday of the next week. The public roads forming the Mountain Course were to be closed in 2015 between 18:00 – 21:30 for the Solo and Sidecar classes. Some would-be racers need to qualify for races by achieving satisfactory practice times during these sessions.
Schedule for the five day timed session Monday-Friday of practice week in 2015:
- 18:20 – 19:55 Solo Motor-Cycles timed practice session.
- 20:00 – 20:50 Sidecar timed practice session.
Race week practice sessions
Further scheduled timed practice sessions after the race periods for the 2015 Isle of Man TT Races:
Saturday 6 June:
- 16:40 – 17:40 Solo Motor-Cycles timed practice session.
Mad Sunday, 7 June: No practice sessions were scheduled during "Mad Sunday", a day when many fans ride the TT course themselves. An exception to this non-scheduling was in 2013 when there was racing on the afternoon of Mad Sunday. In 2013, Inspector Derek Flint said: "Even though the benefits of the mountain being one way are in place for the entire two weeks these days, Mad Sunday is traditionally a time for that little bit of extra exuberance, which creates us problems when people run out of skill, then run out of road". Police are out in force, and in 2013 large numbers of fans were expected to ride due to very favourable weather forecasts.
Monday 8 June:
- 12:30 – 13:00 Sidecar timed practice session.
Wednesday 10 June:
- 15:50 – 16:45 Solo Motor-Cycles timed practice session for the 2015 Isle of Man TT Races.
Practice TT Zero
Schedule for the TT Zero Challenge timed sessions in 2015 was:
Friday 5 June 20:30 – 20:50
Saturday 6 June 17:45 – 18:30
Monday 8 June 16:00 – 16:30
In the event of inclement weather either delaying or leading to the cancellation of one or more timed practice sessions, a reserve morning session could be held with the public roads closed 06:00 – 07:30 on the Mountain Course. Further untimed practice sessions are held during race week after the racing has been completed for selected race classes.
In 2015 there were four scheduled race days:
Saturday 6 June:
- 11:00 Superbike Race, 6 laps (236.38 mi or 380.42 km)
- 14:00 Sidecar Race 1, 3 laps (113.00 mi or 181.86 km)
Monday 8 June:
- 10:45 Supersport Race 1, 4 laps (150.92 mi or 242.88 km)
- 14:00 Superstock Race, 4 laps (150.92 mi or 242.88 km)
Wednesday 10 June:
- 10:45 TT Zero Challenge Race, 1 lap (37.73 mi or 60.72 km)
- 12:00 Supersport TT Race 2, 4 laps (150.92 mi or 242.88 km)
- 14:30 Sidecar Race 2, 3 laps (113.00 mi or 181.86 km)
- 12:00 Supersport TT Race 2, 4 laps (150.92 mi or 242.88 km)
Friday 12 June:
- 10:15 Lightweight TT Race, 3 laps (113.00 mi or 181.86 km)
- 13:00 Senior TT Race, 6 laps (236.38 mi or 380.42 km)
The section of the primary A18 Snaefell Mountain Road from Ramsey Hairpin (Barrule Park, Ramsey) to Creg-ny-Baa was to close for the race periods 45 minutes before the rest of the course (30 minutes from the Bungalow).
TT course official vehicles
After the completion of a practice or race period, an official course vehicle displaying the notice Roads Open proceeds around the Mountain Course, passing each point opening the roads including side-access junctions to public use. On the Snaefell Mountain Road section from Ramsey to Douglas, the official vehicle displays the notice Roads Open One Way.
Crossing places during practice and races
The 1982 Road Racing Act (Isle of Man) and the supplementary TT Road Races Orders allow vehicles and pedestrians to cross the Snaefell Mountain Course at certain points between scheduled race periods under the supervision of a police officer. Several permanent pedestrian overbridges have been erected. These points include:
- A2 St Ninian's Crossroads with the A22 Ballaquayle Road and the A22 Ballanard Road
- A2 junction at Bray Hill with the Tromode Road and Stoney Road
- A1 Peel Road between Braddan Bridge (Jubilee Oak) and the Quarterbridge
- A2 Governor's Road, Onchan, the A2 Glencrutchery Road and Victoria Road at Governor's Bridge
- A2 Glencrutchery Road between Second & Third Avenues and Victoria Road
- A18 Bemahague Road at Bedstead Corner, Onchan
Pedestrian overbridge at Glencrutchery Road, Douglas, close to start/finish and TT Grandstand
Pedestrian overbridge at Bedstead Corner, Douglas, with Hailwood Avenue junction to right
- A1 Douglas to Peel road with the A23 Eyreton Road and the B36 Old Church Road, Crosby
- A3 Castletown to Ramsey road junction with B10 Sartfield Road and the Ballaleigh Road at Barregarrow Crossroads, Michael
- A3 junction with A10 Station Road and C37 Ballaugh Glen Road at Ballaugh Bridge
- A3 junction with A14 Sandygate Road and A14 Tholt-y-Will Glen Road at Sulby Crossroads
- A2 Albert Square and Princes Road, Ramsey at the junction with A18 Snaefell Mountain Road, close to May Hill
Pedestrian overbridge exiting Ramsey town centre, looking south-east towards May Hill
TT Course Access Road
A further access road operates continuously during practice and race periods from the junction of the A5 New Castletown Road and the Quarterbridge to an exit near the former Braddan Bridge railway halt and the A23 Ballafletcher Road, Douglas. This access road uses a small section of the former Douglas to Peel railway line and is restricted to cars and light vans below a weight limit of 3,500 kilograms (3.4 long tons; 3.9 short tons) — pedestrian access is prohibited. The TT Access Road runs parallel to a section of the A1 Peel Road which is part of the Snaefell Mountain Course.
Safety and danger
The TT races are extremely dangerous due to competitors' high speeds on very narrow, twisting streets, roads and lanes flanked by walls, buildings, kerbs, trees, pedestrian over-bridges and many posts. Between 1907 and 2015 there have been 248 competitor fatalities during official practices or races on the Snaefell Mountain Course (this number includes competitors killed during the Manx Grand Prix and Isle of Man Clubman TT races). The worst year for fatalities was 1970 when six competitors lost their lives. Another racer died at the Manx Grand Prix later in the same year.
Due to the ongoing dangers and safety concerns, doubts are expressed every year over the future of the TT. As it is a road network when racing is not in progress, the course is used for normal public traffic. The Sunday between practice week and race week is known as "Mad Sunday" where many members of the public ride the course. The mountain section from Ramsey to Douglas is one-way with speed limits for this day. In 2012 there were just four accidents on the open day; while in previous years there had been dozens.
In 2013, a rider lost control on the first lap of the Senior TT, and his machine hit spectators near the bottom of Bray Hill, close to the start area on the outskirts of Douglas. Eleven were injured.
Total overall race winners
FIM Championship Rounds (1949–1976)
The Isle of Man TT was part of the FIM Motor-Cycle Grand Prix World Championship (now MotoGP) between 1949 and 1976. During this period the Isle of Man TT Races counted as the United Kingdom round including the Sidecar TT, 50 cc Ultra-Lightweight TT, 125 cc Lightweight TT, 250 cc Lightweight TT, 350 cc Junior TT and 500 cc Senior TT races counted towards the FIM Motor-Cycle Grand Prix World Championship.
Current lap records
|Outright (all categories)||John McGuinness||Honda CBR1000RR||2015||17:03.567||132.701||213.562|||
|Superbike TT||Bruce Anstey||Honda CBR1000RR||2014||17:06.682||132.298||212.913|
|Supersport TT||Michael Dunlop||Honda CBR600RR||2013||17:35.659||128.666||207.068|
|Lightweight TT||James Hillier||Kawasaki ER650||2015||18:43.955||120.848||194.486|||
|Ultra-Lightweight TT||Chris Palmer||Honda RS125||2004||20:20.87||110.52||177.86|
|Senior TT||John McGuinness||Honda CBR1000RR||2015||17:03.567||132.701||213.562|||
|Superstock TT||Michael Dunlop||Honda CBR1000RR||2013||17:15.114||131.220||211.178|
|TT Zero||John McGuinness||Mugen Shinden||2015||18:58.743||119.279||191.961|||
|Sidecar TT||Dave Molyneux and
|DMR Suzuki 600 Sidecar||2015||19:23.056||116.785||187.947|||
Current race records
|Category||Rider(s)||Machine||Year||Race time||Average speed|
|Superbike TT (6 laps)||Bruce Anstey||Honda CBR1000RR||2015||01:45:29.902||128.749||207.201|
|Supersport TT (4 laps)||Michael Dunlop||Honda CBR600RR||2013||01:11:52.091||125.997||202.773|
|Lightweight TT (3 laps)||Ivan Lintin||Kawasaki ER650||2015||57:06.070||118.936||191.409|
|Senior TT (6 laps)||John McGuinness||Honda CBR1000RR||2013||01:45:20.394||128.943||207.514|
|Senior TT (4 laps)||John McGuinness||Honda CBR1000RR||2015||01:09:23.903||130.481||209.989|
|Superstock TT (4 laps)||Ian Hutchinson||Kawasaki ZX-10R||2015||01:10:05.298||129.197||207.922|
|TT Zero (1 lap)||John McGuinness||Mugen Shinden||2015||18:58.743||119.279||191.961|
|Sidecar TT (3 laps)||Ben Birchall and
Awards in 2015
Race winner trophies
|Senior TT||Senior Tourist Trophy1||John McGuinness||Honda 1000 cc||2015||130.481||209.989|
|TT Superbike||TT Superbike Trophy||Bruce Anstey||Honda 1000 cc||2015||128.749||207.201|
|TT Superstock||John Hartle Trophy||Ian Hutchinson||Kawasaki 1000 cc||2015||129.197||207.922|
|TT Supersport Race 1||Junior Tourist Trophy||Ian Hutchinson||Yamaha 600 cc||2015||125.451||201.894|
|TT Supersport Race 2||Classic TT Trophy||Ian Hutchinson||Yamaha 600 cc||2015||125.803||202.460|
|TT Lightweight||Lightweight TT Trophy||Ivan Lintin||Kawasaki 650 cc||2015||118.936||191.409|
|TT Sidecar Race 1||Fred W. Dixon Trophy||Ben Birchall
|LCR Honda 600 cc||2015||115.770||186.314|
|TT Sidecar Race 2||Sidecar TT Trophy||Ben Birchall
|LCR Honda 600 cc||2015||116.259||187.101|
- ^1 Marquis de Mouzilly St Mars Trophy.
Fastest lap awards
|Overall||Jimmy Simpson Trophy||John McGuinness||Honda CBR1000RR||2015||132.701||213.562||17:03.567|
|Senior TT||Norman Brown Trophy||John McGuinness||Honda CBR1000RR||2015||132.701||213.562||17:03.567|
|TT Superbike||John Williams Trophy||Bruce Anstey||Honda 1000 cc||2015||131.797||212.107||17:10.587|
|TT Superstock||Don Ryder Trophy||Michael Dunlop||BMW 1000 cc||2015||130.932||210.715||17:17.392|
|TT Supersport Race||Formula 2 TT Trophy||Ian Hutchinson||Yamaha 600 cc||2015||127.751||205.595||17:43.224|
|TT Sidecar Race||Jock Taylor Trophy||Dave Molyneux
|DMR Suzuki 600 cc||2015||116.785||187.947||19:23.056|
|TT Solo Championship||Joey Dunlop Trophy||Ian Hutchinson||Kawasaki 1000 cc||2015|
|TT Privateer’s Champion||TT Privateer’s Champion||Daniel Cooper||Honda 600/1000 cc||2015|
|Overall Sidecar Championship||RAC Sidecar Trophy||Ben Birchall
|LCR Honda 600 cc||2015|
|Sidecar Passenger Championship||Craig Trophy||Tom Birchall||LCR Honda 600 cc||2015|
|Supersport Championship||TT Supporters’ Club Trophy||Ian Hutchinson||Yamaha 600 cc||2015|
|Sidecar Chassis Championship||Fred Hanks Trophy||Ben Birchall
|LCR Honda 600 cc||2015|
|Newcomers Sidecar Driver Championship||Peter Chapman Trophy||Lionel Mansuy||Windle 600 cc||2015|
|Newcomers Sidecar Passenger Championship||Dave Wells Trophy||Matty Ramsden||LCR 600 cc||2015|
|Joe Craig Trophy||Guy Martin||Triumph 675 cc||2015|
|Irish (North or South) solo competitor||Martin Finnegan Trophy||Michael Dunlop||BMW 1000 cc||2015|
|Isle of Man solo competitor||Gavin Lee Trophy||Conor Cummins||Honda 1000 cc||2015|
Other Special awards
- Fastest Newcomer - The Vernon Cooper Trophy
Rider(s) Machine Year Average speed Time mph km/h Derek McGee Honda 1000 cc 2015 121.928 196.224 18:33.999
- Most Meritorious Female - The Susan Jeness Trophy is awarded yearly by the Executive Committee of the TT Supporters’ Club, in recognition of the "most meritorious performance by a female competitor" during the previous TT meeting.
Rider(s) Race Category Year Jenny Tinmouth solo rider 2010 Jenny Tinmouth solo rider 2011 Debbie Baron as driver, Ireson Kawasaki Sidecar 600 cc 2012 Estelle Leblond as driver, Sidecar 600 cc 2013 Estelle Leblond as driver, Sidecar 600 cc 2014 (undecided) 2015
- Snaefell Mountain Course
- List of named corners of the Snaefell Mountain Course
- Manx Grand Prix
- North West 200
- Outline of motorcycles and motorcycling
- The Guinness Motorcycle Sport Fact Book page 120 by Ian Morrisson Guinness Publishing Ltd (1991) The Bath Press ISBN 0-85112-953-6
- Isle of Man TT - the world’s most dangerous sporting event Metro, May 2013, Retrieved 2014-06-24
- The most dangerous sporting event of earth? The Guardian, June 2007. Retrieved 2014-06-24
- Montreal man to compete in world's most dangerous motorcycle race Canada AM, CTV News, May 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-24
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- Isle of Man TT: Best pictures from the world's most dangerous motorcycle race Mirror, June 2015. Retrieved 2014-06-24
- The deadliest race stuff.co.nz, Fairfax Media, 21 August 2011, Retrieved 2014-07-08
- TT star fined for taking daughter out of school IoM Today, 9 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015
- TT News – Preview Edition 2012 page 16-18 Isle of Man Newspapers Ltd (2012) Johnson Press Publishing Bridson & Horrox Publishing Ltd
- Official TT Guide 1992 page 45 Isle of Man Department of Tourism (1992) Mannin Media Publication
- The Oxford Companion to Sports and Games Edited by John Arlott Oxford University Press (1975) pp. 669 ISBN 0-19-211538-3
- Isle of Man TT page 10-11 Charles Deane (1st Edition) (1975) Patrick Stevens Ltd ISBN 0 85059 172 4
- Official Programme - International Auto-Cycle Tourist Trophy 28 May 1907 page 1-3 The Auto-Cycle Club. Reproduction (2007) Isle of Man Post
- The Motor Cycle dated 5 June 1907 p.445
- Isle of Man TT by Charles Deane pp. 12 (1st Edition)(1975) Patrick Stevens Ltd ISBN 0 85059 172 4
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- Island Racer 2004 pp 112–113 Mortons Media Group Ltd ISSN 1743-5838
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- TT Special 1953 dated 8 June 1953 pp. 22–23 edited by G.S. Davison
- Official TT Guide 1992 pp 45 Mannin Media Publication/Isle of Man Department of Tourism
- Motocourse History of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races 1907–1989 by Nick Harris pp. 30–31 (1990)(1st Edition) Hazelton Publishing ISBN 0-905138-71-6
- Italian Racing Motor-Cycles by Mick Walker pp. 146 Redline Books Ltd 1999 ISBN 0-9531311-1-4
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- Motocourse History of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races 1907–1989 by Nick Harris pp. 34–35 (1990)(1st Edition) Hazelton Publishing ISBN 0-905138-71-6
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- Isle of Man Weekly Times dated 22 May 1954
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- Personal memories of Mike Rogers TT Competitor in 1967, 68,and eventual winner in 1969
- Motocourse History of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races 1907–1989 by Nick Harris pp. 135 (1990)(1st Edition) Hazelton Publishing ISBN 0-905138-71-6
- Mike Rogers and Bill Smith Production TT competitors 1967 & 1968
- Motor Cycle Second TT report number 18 June 1969-Vol 121 No3444
- Ducati The racing story by Mike Walker ISBN 1-86126-458-5 The Crowood Press
- Noyes, Dennis; Scott, Michael (1999), Motocourse: 50 Years Of Moto Grand Prix, Hazleton Publishing Ltd, ISBN 1-874557-83-7
- Nicks, Mike (December 1974). "Strange times in the Isle of Man". Bike (Peterborough: East Midland Allied Press) (21): 7.
- "Paradise Found". American Motorcyclist (American Motorcycling Association) 33 (8).
- 2015 International Tourist Trophy Regulations page 22 ACU Events Isle of Man Limited (2015) Isle of Man Department of Economic Development
- 2015 International Tourist Trophy Regulations ACU Events Isle of Man Limited page 5 and page 58 Appendix A
- 2015 International Tourist Trophy Regulations page 2 & Appendix C ACU Events Isle of Man Limited
- International Tourist Trophy Regulations 2015 page 5/Appendix D page 34 ACU Events (Isle of Man) Limited (2015) Isle of Man Department of Economic Development
- International Isle of Man TT Regulations 2012 page 41-42 Appendix-E ACU Events (Isle of Man) Ltd (2012) Isle of Man Department of Economic Development
- International Tourist Trophy Regulations 2012 page 3/Appendix E page 43 ACU Events (Isle of Man) Limited (2015) Isle of Man Department of Economic Development
- TT Topics and Tales by David Wright - Amulree Publications (4 April 2006) ISBN 1901508099
- 2010 International Tourist Trophy Regulations page 2 ACU Events Isle of Man Limited
- REGULATIONS TT ZERO – 2010 International Tourist Trophy – Isle of Man 29 May – 11 June p27 ACU Events Ltd (2010)
- "History is made in the 2012 SES TT Zero". iomtt.com. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- 1947 TT races, overview IoM TT.com. Retrieved 26 September 2015
- 1950 Clubman TT 1000 cc class results IoM TT.com. Retrieved 26 September 2015
- Motor Cycle, 9 March 1967, pp.284-286 Roadsters on the Magic Lap. A Production-TT Recce in Manxland by David Dixon. Accessed 26 September 2015
- 1956 Clubman TT Junior class results IoM TT.com. Retrieved 26 September 2015
- 1956 Clubman TT Senior class results IoM TT.com. Retrieved 26 September 2015
- 1963 Senior race results, Competitor Ray Knight, Hughes Triumph, Manx Grand Prix.Org official website, Retrieved 19 October 2015
- 1964 Senior race results, Competitor Ray Knight, Hughes Triumph, Manx Grand Prix.Org official website, Retrieved 19 October 2015
- Ray Knight, Competitor Profile, IoM TT.com official website, Retrieved 19 October 2015
- Motor Cyclist Illustrated, January 1965, p.41 More Production racing. Accessed 19 October 2015
- "Practice and Race Schedule: 2016". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "New schedule".
- ROADS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC TT ROAD RACES 2015 Isle of Man Department of Infastructure -Rheynn Arraghey Bun-Troggalys Public Notice (2015) 1982 Road Racing Act (Isle of Man) "Notice is given that the Department of Infrastructure has made Orders under the Road Race Act 1982 & the Highways Act 1986. The Tourist Trophy Road Race Order 2015 permits the promoters to hold practices,races and parades during the TT Festival period."
- "Mad Sunday". Isle of Man Today. 2013.
- ROADS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC TT ROAD RACES 2015 Isle of Man Department of Infastructure -Bun-Troggalys Public Notice (2015) "Notice is given that the Department of Infrastructure has made Orders under the Road Race Act 1982 & the Highways Act 1986. The Tourist Trophy Road Race Order 2015 permits the promoters to hold practices,races and parades during the TT Festival period."
- "Eleven spectators injured after motorbike crash during first lap of Isle of Man TT race". Daily Mail. 7 June 2013.
- Records reported are lap times achieved during races only. Except where otherwise noted, sourcing in this table is from the IOMTT.COM website: title=IOM TT: Current Isle of Man TT Lap Records
- David Norton (12 June 2015). "What a race! John McGuinness storms to 23rd TT victory". IOM Today.
- TT 2015: Lap record goes as Birchalls complete sidecar double IoM Today, 10 June 2015, Retrieved 15 October 2015
- "2015 Bennetts Lightweight TT results" (PDF). IOMTT.COM.
- IoM TT.com, News, 28 December 2012 Retrieved 14 September 2015
- Barker, Stuart (2007). 100 One Hundred Years of the TT. EMAP ISBN 1-84605-235-1
- Duckworth, Mick (2007). TT 100 – The Authorised History of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Racing. Lily Publications ISBN 9781899602674
- Harris, Nick (1991). Motocourse History of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races 1907–1989 Hazelton Publishing ISBN 0-905138-71-6
- Mac McDiarmid (2004). The Magic of The TT. A Century of Racing over The Mountain Haynes Publishing. ISBN 1-84425-002-4
- Noyes, Denis (1999) 50 Years Of Moto Grand Prix. Hazelton Publishing Ltd ISBN 1-874557-83-7
- Pidcock, Fred & Snelling, Bill (2007) History of the Isle of Man Clubman's TT Races 1947–1956. Amulree Publications ISBN 1-901508-10-2
- Savage, Mike (1997) TT Heroes. Amulree Publications ISBN 0-9521126-9-8
- Snelling, Bill (1996). The Tourist Trophy in Old Photographs Collected by Bill Snelling. Sutton Publishing ISBN 1-84015-059-9
- Stroud, Jon (2007). The Little Book of the TT. Green Umbrella Publishing ISBN 1-905828-24-1
- Wright, David (2007). 100 Years of the Isle of Man TT Races. A Century of Motorcycle Racing. Crowood Press ISBN 1-86126-906-4
- Wright, David (2006). TT Topics and Tales. Amulree Publications ISBN 1-901508-09-9
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Isle of Man TT Races.|
- Isle of Man TT Unofficial web site
- Isle of Man TT official web site
- Route of Isle of Man TT (Google Maps)
- Motorcycle Classics article on the 100th anniversary of the Isle of Man TT