The 2011 Manx Grand Prix Festival is less than a month away and spectators are set to be treated with a spectacular blend of classic and modern motorcycling with trials events, vintage parades and rallies and the best in classic and modern racing at the Manx Grand Prix. The festival, which has been held ever since 1923, will also mark the centenary of racing on the 37 mile mountain course.
This year's festival will also feature the introduction of a new event, the 'Party on the Prom' on Tuesday 30th August which will include a beach race, organised by the Peveril Motorcycle and Light Car Club and a Concourse d'Elegance display of classic and vintage bikes, organised by the Vintage Motor Cycle Club. There will also be a beer tent featuring live bands on the promenade every evening from Friday 26th August to Friday 2nd September.
Geoff Corkish, Political Member of Isle of Man Tourism, is hopeful the event will be a huge success, with something lined up for everyone.
“We hope that we have lined up something for all motorbike fans with the 2011 Manx Grand Prix Festival which is a real celebration of two-wheel racing for modern fans as well as those who prefer their racing heritage and history. There will also be plenty going on both on and off the track around the rest of the Isle of Man during the fortnight.”
Practice and qualifying for the Manx Grand Prix races will get underway on Saturday 20th August with 250cc, 350cc and 500cc machines doing battle once again while a number of classic classes will also take centre stage. Post Classics were first introduced to the meeting in 2009 and this year the Senior Post Classic has been renamed The Classic Superbike Race, for 1050cc machines up to 1985.
Away from the mountain course, the Manx National Two Day Trial (also known as the Clubman's National) will take place over the weekend of the 27th/28th August as the course takes the competitors and spectators well off the beaten track and riders experience a wide range of terrain and conditions – everything from slate quarries to Moorland becks, volcanic rocks by the sea and muddy glens.
The following weekend will see The Manx Classic Trial Meeting which regularly attracts a field of up to 200 riders from the UK and Ireland as well as riders from as far afield as South Africa, USA, Canada, Italy, France and Spain. The first 50 places are reserved for twin-shock machines, but the majority of the entrants are genuine classics with special awards for rigid forks and pre-unit construction.
Since its inception, the meeting has grown into one of the largest and most popular observed classic motorcycle trials in the British Isles covering an average of 40 sections each day with many new and rarely used trials venues around the Island, linked by tracks, open moorland, forests, lanes and main roads.
Vintage bikes are also celebrated by the Isle of Man branch of the Vintage Motorcycle Club who run a series of runs, rallies to Laxey and Castletown, a mountain course closed road parade and the ever popular 'VMCC Festival of Jurby' that sees thousands of fans gather to watch and display some of the world's leading vintage and classic bikes as they circuit the former airfield.
Spectators will also be able to see an exhibition of iconic TT and Manx Grand Prix images, organised by classic bike magazine publishers Morton's Media while the paddock will have a food-court area, a beat tent and the latest range of MGPF merchandise.