Moto Media

There's money in Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling

The Treasury originally surveyed the Manx Grand Prix in 2009 before replicating the study this year at the inaugural Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling which included the newly created Classic TT, the Manx Grand Prix, the VMCC Festival of Jurby and the Classic and Two Day Trials.

The research revealed an overall increase in visitors to 13,407 for the August event, compared to 8915 in 2009. The study showed that these visitors spent a total of £8.4M compared with £4.9M in 2009 and that this is contributed £1M to the Exchequer.

While there was a significant 37% increase in all forms of sea passengers - foot, motorcycle and other vehicles - the notable increase was in air traffic, which was up 172% to 2,346 this year from 860 during the same period in 2009.

Figures supplied by Ronaldsway airport show that the air traffic growth was particularly significant in the last year, with a reported 11.6% increase* in visitors compared with the same period in 2012.

As with 2009, the majority of visitors were from England (80%) with campsites (31%) proving the most popular type of accommodation although 20% of visitors were revealed to have stayed in hotels.

Laurence Skelly MHK, the Political Member responsible for motorsport at the Department of Economic Development commented: "The survey has given the Department some excellent data in measuring the work that has been carried out over the last four years to generate more visitors to the August Motorcycling Festival. The survey has shown that there has been a significant increase in visitors to the event and the economic contribution that the festival now delivers. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank all of our event partners, the race officials and marshals as well as other Government departments on what is a major success story. We will now look to build on this success to ensure the long-term viability of the Festival and to generate the highest possible contribution to the Island's economy.’

A full copy of the Isle of Man Treasury Festival of Motorcycling 2013 report can be downloaded from travel,-traffic-and-motoring/ passenger-survey

*A total of 33,792 passengers 2013 travelled to Ronaldsway between 17th and 30th August 2013 compared with 30,254 passengers between 18th and 31st in 2012.

Bruce Anstey on the Britten
lassic TT 2013
lassic TT 2013

What does 2014 have in store?

The Isle of Man Government, Department of Economic Development has today confirmed the race programme for the 2014 Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts.

Following a week of practice and qualifying, the race programme will get underway with the Bennetts 500cc Classic TT Race on Saturday 23rd August. The second and final day of racing takes place on Bank Holiday Monday 25th August with the Okells 350cc Classic TT Race being followed by the combined Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 and Formula 2 Classic TT Races.

The Classic TT Races form part of a four-day festival of motorcycle nostalgia from the 22nd to 25th August, which also includes a Paddock Carnival, classic racing machinery displays, photographic exhibitions, the Festival of Jurby and a whole host of social events. The Classic TT is one of the events that make up the 2014 Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling between August 16 and August 31. The festival also includes the Manx Grand Prix (27th to 29th August), Manx 2-Day Trial (23rd and 24th August) , Manx Classic Trial (30th and 31st August) and the VMCC rally and The Festival of Jurby (24th August).

Following the success of the inaugural Classic TT, the Department has reviewed all aspects of the event and carried out consultation with teams, competitors, commercial partners and race fans with a view to refining and building upon the 2013 activity.

This review has led to a number of racing specific changes for 2014 including the withdrawal of the 250cc and Formula Classic TT Races. Whilst machines from these races will still be allowed to compete (in the 350cc and Formula 1 Classic TT Races respectively) the limited numbers of entries and finishers in 2013 has led to the decision to remove them from the programme.

A number of new awards have been added for 2014 to recognise the achievements of different specifications of machinery in the races. These awards will be presented in a tribute to some of the greatest names in TT history, and will feature these legendary riders helmet iconography in the trophy design. The new awards will be as follows –

1) The Joey Dunlop Classic TT Trophy (Presented to the rider of the first 750cc machine to finish in the Formula 1 Classic TT Race).

2) The Mike Hailwood Classic TT Trophy (Presented to the rider of the first 500cc single cylinder machine in the 500cc Classic TT Race).

3) The Geoff Duke Classic TT Trophy (Presented to the rider of the first 350cc single cylinder machine in the 350cc Classic TT Race).

4) The Phil Read Classic TT Trophy (Presented to the rider of the first 250cc machine in the 350cc Classic TT Race

The competitor sub class categories have also been redefined for 2014. The ‘GP Rider’ and ‘Privateer Rider’ competitor sub classes were introduced to ensure competitors of all abilities and experience could compete in the Classic TT Races in an environment that promotes equality and sportsmanship. The sub classes were used to determine the awarding of trophies, replicas and qualification times.

Changes for 2014 will see the qualification for the ‘GP Rider’ sub class be defined as follows:

1) A rider who has finished in 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a 500cc, 350cc, Formula 1 or Formula 2 Classic TT Race in any of the previous two years.

2) A rider who has lapped at a threshold speed in a 500cc, 350cc, Formula 1 or Formula 2 Classic TT Race in any of the previous two years. These threshold speeds will be105mph in 500cc, 100mph in 350cc, 115mph in Formula 1 and 108mph in Formula 2.

3) A rider who has finished in the top 20 in a Superbike, Supersport, Superstock or Senior TT Race in any of the previous two years.4) In exceptional circumstances any other rider at the promoters discretion based on their experience and machinery.

Work is ongoing in co-operation with the Classic TT Race Organisers, the Manx Motor Cycle Club, to identify improvements to practice and qualification track time allocation as well as logistical issues relating to technical inspections and the Parc Ferme ahead of next year’s event.

The technical regulations for the Classic TT Races are also currently under review, and whilst some minor amendments are likely to be made, there are currently no plans to make any significant alterations to the key technical specifications. The full regulations for the Classic TT will be released along with those for the Manx Grand Prix Races in early 2014.