YOU Can Race The TT races are a spectacle unlike any other in the world of motorcycling, but the excitement and enthusiasm brought about by the event carries with it the constant specter of injury and death on the course, so dangerous it defies explanation. The Snaefell Mountain Course, the series of roads where the race has been run since 1911, has not changed much since the race began, and riders still must negotiate the course’s 264 turns not on a manicured race track, but on public streets lined by hedges, curbs, lamp posts, and rock walls centuries old.
What has changed, however, is the speed at which the course is run: the top speed at the first TT was a little over 41 mph, and this year, riders in the top classes will all break the 200 mph mark. That means that a course that was dangerous to begin with becomes more dangerous every year, as machines get faster. Three riders have already lost their lives this year to the course, and four died last year on the course.
No motorcycle race in the world is more deadly – but no race is more unique or more celebrated either. The stark contrast between today’s safety-obsessed society and the danger of the TT is in fact the essence of its charm – the spectacle of death-defying speed only inches away from viewing areas is fascinating for spectators, and for racers, the cold realization that every race could well be their last gives the race a legendary status. As veteran racer Guy Martin said in his book about the race, “everything’s been so sanitized with bloody PC nonsense and health and safety that there’s nothing else is there? If it was dead safe, I wouldn’t do it.”
Isle of Man is the Mt. Everest of motorcycle racing – to say you finished it makes you pat of a living legend, one that people are willing to risk their lives to be a part of. Challenged like this are a siren song to some types of people – and as the Isle of Man TT has ballooned in popularity in the last several years, more and more riders have been asking themselves if they have what it takes to take on the legendary course.
If you happen to be one of those people – whether you’re a skilled racer, or racing on the Isle is just a bucket list item you can’t shake – the good news is that racing on the Isle of Man is within reach! Many riders just like you and I have fulfilled their dreams of racing on the Isle of Man, even if just once – and here is how to do it.
The Key To TT – The Manx Grand Prix
After over a century of racing, the Isle of Man has had its legendary status developed for a long time – and, understanding the mass appeal that racing on the Isle has, the Manx government has long facilitated a means for amateur racers to race there and take the first steps to the “big leagues” of the TT. The key to TT is actually a lesser-known race that takes place every year on the same course, but later in the year – the Manx Grand Prix.
You might call it the “local version” of the TT races – the same race, but geared toward amateur racers and privateer teams, and with a much more laid-back attitude that draws primarily locals from the Isle and the rest of the U.K. The Manx GP is designed to be a gateway to higher-level racing at TT and beyond, and has been the stepping stone for many racers who went on to race there, and even go on to professional road racing careers. As such, entry is much more accessible than TT! Click Here…