Classic TT: Bruce Anstey destroys rivals to claim Formula 1 honours

Bruce Anstey on the Valvoline Padgetts YZR500 Yamaha
Bruce Anstey on the Valvoline Padgetts YZR500 Yamaha

New Zealand’s Bruce Anstey was untouchable on the ex-factory Grand Prix YZR500 Yamaha as the veteran racer dominated the Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 race at the Classic TT on Tuesday.

The 45-year-old had set practice alight on the Valvoline Padgetts-sponsored machine and carry his form into Tuesday’s race, which had been held over from Monday due to poor weather.

It was the right call by the organisers, with the Isle of Man bathed in beautiful sunshine for the feature race of the festival.

Anstey blasted down the Glencrutchery Road on the 500cc two-stroke racer and by the time he reached Glen Helen, his lead over Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki was already three seconds.

That was as close as anyone would get to the fastest road racer in the world, who became the outright lap record holder this year at the Isle of Man TT with an astonishing 132mph lap, adding the honour to his 2010 lap record at the Ulster Grand Prix of almost 134mph.

And Anstey was at it again, smashing Dunlop’s record for the class from a standing start with a speed of 123.894mph to disappear in the distance – the fastest ever two-stroke lap of the Mountain Course, bettering Ian Lougher’s previous benchmark of 122.93mph.

The Kiwi held an advantage of 15 seconds over Dunlop as the leaders came in for fuel at the end of the first lap.

Ulsterman Dunlop, winner of the corresponding race in 2013, ran into trouble on lap two with the XR69 and retired in the pits.

But it was all about Anstey, who routed his rivals as he wowed the huge crowds around the Mountain Course on the exotic Yamaha, going on to win by a mammoth 1m 12.360s at he end of the third and final lap from James Hillier (Jackson Racing Kawasaki), with Russ Mountford (Team York Suzuki) taking the last rostrum place by 1.063 seconds from Steve Mercer on the Mistral Racing Kawasaki ZXR750.

Lee Johnston (team Classic Suzuki), who won the Okell’s 350cc race earlier in the day, Ryan Farquhar on Roger Winfield’s Harris F1 Yamaha and Kiaran Hankin were the top six.

Meanwhile, Ian Lougher won the concurrently run Formula 2 race on the Brian Scott Racing TZ250 Yamaha from Chris Moore and Stuart Garton.