Anstey smashes records to take Lightweight Classic TT win


Bruce Anstey wins the Lightweight Classic TT Race
Bruce Anstey celebrates his win at the end of the Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race. (Credit: Stephen Davison)

Bruce Anstey broke multiple records to take victory in the Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race for the second year in a row.

The New Zealander started by breaking the outright 250cc lap record on his opening lap and becoming the first rider to do a 250cc lap under 19 minutes, followed-up by becoming the first 250cc rider to post a 120mph lap on his second lap.

To top this impressive list off, Anstey also broke his own race record by over a minute. In the winner’s enclosure, Anstey revealed that the team had been specifically targeting the 120mph lap.

He said: “Clive [Padgett] ’s done brilliantly getting the bike up to spec over the winter. We have been targeting the 120mph lap so it’s great to get it in the bag. I used Ian as a bit of a target and went flat out for the first two laps.”

The unstoppable Anstey was joined on the podium by Michael Rutter on the Red Fox Grinta Racing Ducati, with Ian Lougher taking third spot on the Laylaw Racing Yamaha.

It was Lougher who got proceedings underway and despite leading on the road at Glen Helen at the opening checkpoint, Anstey had already taken 9 seconds out of him on the clock.

Anstey moved in front on the road at Ballaugh on the opening lap and extended his race lead over the Mountain section, before posting an opening lap of 119.888mph/ 18:52.960 – the fastest ever lap by a 250 machine. This was also the first lap to to be set under the 19-minute barrier – all the more remarkable as it was set from a standing start.

Behind Anstey, Dan Sayle was trying his best to give the Kiwi some competition on his Steelcote Solutions Yamaha bike, but the Manx rider was already 25-seconds down with his opening lap of 117.225.

Rutter was next-up in third spot, two seconds ahead of Lougher who was being chased down by Ivan Lintin in fifth.

The top five remained the same on lap two, with Anstey breaking his own lap one record with a lap of 120.475/ 18:47.438 – the first 120mph 250cc lap in the history of the Mountain Course.

Anstey’s record breaking opening two laps gave him a lead of over 50 seconds from Sayle, with Rutter maintaining his podium challenge five seconds behind in third.

Sayle’s good run would come to a premature end as he was reported as a retirement at Garey Ford near Kerrowmoar. This elevated Rutter up into second, with Lougher jumping up into the final podium position.

Anstey’s lead at the end of lap three, after a lap of 113.233mph, was a decisive 70 seconds ahead of Rutter with Lougher (111.580) a further 13 seconds back.

This is how the top three would finish, with Anstey taking the race in a new record time of / 117.853/ 1:16:50.072.