Ex-Armoy Armada rider Jim Dunlop has been granted the opportunity to represent his brother Joey in a special parade lap celebrating the Isle of Man TT legend’s greatest rivals at the Classic TT Races.
Dunlop wasn’t part of the 26 riders initially invited to participate in the parade, entitled ‘Joey Dunlop Road Racing Legend – The Rivals’ Parade Lap,’ which will take place on Saturday, August 23.
And last week Jim told the News Letter of his disappointment at the omission, saying the decision felt ‘like a kick in the teeth’.
In response, the Isle of Man Government’s David Cretney said he ‘appreciated that any list of Joey’s greatest rivals will undoubtedly be subjective and provoke great debate,’ but added that the list had been compiled by ‘The Department’s Officers… after consulting a number of respected representatives of the motorcycling community’.
However, on Wednesday a statement issued by Mr Cretney said Dunlop would represent his brother Joey after all, becoming the 27th rider to participate in the parade.
“The original concept was a parade of Joey’s greatest rivals over the course of his career, with 26 riders selected to represent his 26 TT victories selected after much research and consideration by the Motorsport team given his illustrious history in our sport,” said Mr Cretney.
“Subsequently we received a request that Joey’s brother Jim Dunlop be part of the parade and have therefore arranged for him to be the 27th rider in the parade, representing Joey himself in the lap, something also endorsed by Joey’s widow Linda. He will appear on one of Joey’s ex-race bikes.
“From my own point of view I am delighted that we are able to have Jim as part of the parade, representing Joey as I have known them both for a very long time and I look forward to welcoming him to the island.
“Also I want to put on public record my grateful thanks to Joey’s family for all their support in arranging such a fantastic parade representing his rivals and very special motorcycles that have been made available from them and others.”
The special parade lap includes a sensational line-up, including Ray McCullough (represented by Denis McCullough), plus fellow Dromara Destroyers members Trevor Steele and Brian Reid.
Armoy Armada riders Mervyn Robinson and Frank Kennedy will be represented by Paul Robinson and Bill Kennedy respectively, while Steve Parrish will represent Tom Herron.
Sam McClements will be represented by Ryan Farquhar, with Bangor’s Steven Cull returning to the Isle of Man for the lap, along with Carl Fogarty, Mick Grant, Charlie Williams, Ian Lougher, Phillip McCallen and John McGuinness.
The line-up is completed by Neil Robinson (represented by Jamie Hamilton), Virginio Ferrari (represented by Neil Hodgson), Andy McGladdery (represented by Geoff McGladdery), Roger Marshall (represented by Gary Johnson), Phil Mellor (represented by Jamie Whitham), Steve Hislop (represented by Steve Plater) and David Jefferies (represented by Nick Jefferies).
Michael Dunlop will represent his father Robert, riding the famous Norton Rotary 588.