Ryan Farquhar completed a crushing victory in Wednesday's Classic 500cc race to mark his return to the Festival in fine style. The Northern Irishman missed last year's event due to injury and was desperate to put that behind him, and his long-awaited success was emphatic.
Farquhar on his 1972 Paton pulled out an 11 second lead over Watty Brown by the time the riders reached Glen Helen, with Chris Palmer and Roy Richardson in hot pursuit of the second-placed man.
The lead increased to 40 seconds at the completion of the first lap but this time it was Richardson leading the next group having overtaken Brown at the Bungalow. Richardson's '68 Aermacchi Ala D'Oro 476cc hit brake trouble though on lap two which forced him into retirement, allowing Palmer into second after pulling out a 22 second lead over Brown.
Farquhar's victory was never in doubt and he duly confirmed it after four laps and 86 minutes of racing. Palmer was a minute and a half back in second but Mark Herbertson took third in dramatic fashion after Brown hit problems at Governors and was forced to push his bike home, falling to tenth.
Meanwhile, local racers Dave Moffitt and Billy Smith claimed popular victories in the Manx Grand Prix SuperTwin and Lightweight races respectively. The Douglas riders comfortably took the honours in their respective classes to the delight of the home crowd at the mountain circuit.