Organisers of the Classic TT have announced an all-star lineup of riders for the curtain raising 500cc race, almost certain to provide as much excitement and entertainment as the Isle of Man TT itself.
The list of riders for the 4-lap race includes TT legends John McGuinness, Ryan Farquhar and Ian Lougher, all aboard multi-cylinder Patons, arguably the pre-race favourites. McGuinness made his Classic TT debut in 2013, but mechanical issues plagued his week, although his qualifying lap of 111mph showed his pace. He will have to pull more of the same out of the bag again if he hopes to get to the top step this year.
Farquhar, meanwhile, will be riding the same Paton that Olie Lindsell rode to take the inaugural 500cc Classic TT win in 2013, while Lindsell has swapped rides with Lougher, with the former riding the Royal Enfield that the Welshman used twelve months ago. Outright lap record holder Bruce Anstey, who was running second in 2013’s 500cc race before being forced to retire, will also be expected near the top of the time sheets aboard Ken McIntosh’s Manx Norton.
Backing up the Norton charge is double four-wins-in-a-week man Michael Dunlop and fan favourite Guy Martin, while Gary Johnson and Dean Harrison add to the list of potential winners on a brace of MV Augustas. Other entries aboard a range of machinery include William Dunlop, Keith Amor, James Hillier, Dan Stewart and James Cowton.
The event as a whole will have a 1980s feel to it, celebrating the life of the great Joey Dunlop, featuring music, fashion and, of course, bikes from the era.