Classic TT: Ian Lougher toasts victory in 500 race

Michael Rutter led the 500cc Classic TT race until mechanical trouble ended his hopes on lap three
Michael Rutter led the 500cc Classic TT race until mechanical trouble ended his hopes on lap three

Ian Lougher overcame a 30 second time penalty to win the Bennetts 500cc race at the Classic TT Races on the Isle of Man.

Lougher, who came out of retirement to compete at the event, clinched victory on the Flitwick Motorcycles Paton over Dan Cooper, with Kiwi Bruce Anstey finishing third on Ken McIntosh’s Norton.

The veteran Welsh rider, who made his debut on the Mountain Course 31 years ago, believed he had blown his chance after receiving a 30 second time penalty for speeding in pit lane following his pit stop at the end of lap one.

However, he battled his way back and took full advantage when Ryan Farquhar on the Winfield Paton and race leader Michael Rutter on the G50 Seeley were forced out with mechanical issues.

Lougher, though, still had his work cut out to reel in Cooper on the Molnar Manx Norton, who had a lead of 13.9 seconds at the start of the fourth lap.

But the 10-time TT winner was on a mission and had taken the lead by the time they reached Ballaugh Bridge before pulling away to open a lead of 18.5 seconds at Ramsey.

Cooper limped home with a broken exhaust and handlebar problems to finish second with Anstey claiming the final rostrum place.

John McGuinness, also riding a Paton for Roger Winfield, had stormed into the lead on lap one by eight seconds at Glen Helen but his race came to a premature end at Ginger Hall.

William Dunlop was also a retirement on the opening lap at Sulby on the Davies Motorsport Honda, with Farquhar’s race over at Sulby on lap three as he trailed Cooper by around seven seconds.

Michael Dunlop, who had been holding fifth place, was forced out at the end of lap three with machine trouble and retired in the pits.

Behind the top three, Connor Behan took fourth ahead of the impressive Maria Costello (Paton) with Mike Godfrey completing the top six.

Last year’s winner, Olie Linsdell, was a non-starter due to a cracked frame on his Royal Enfield.