Isle of Man TT master John McGuinness will make his classic racing debut at next year’s inaugural Classic TT races on the Mountain circuit.
The 40-year-old from Morecambe will ride a Paton in the 500cc Classic event after teaming up with sponsor Roger Winfield, who enjoyed a hugely successful association with Northern Ireland’s Ryan Farquhar at the Manx Grand Prix prior to the Ulster star’s retirement from road racing in August.
William Dunlop is also poised to make his debut in 2013 at the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling, which was traditionally known as the Manx Grand Prix prior to a major revamp of the meeting by the Manx Government.
The North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix Supersport race winner will ride a Honda for Davies Motorsport in the 350cc Classic TT race plus a four cylinder Honda in the 500cc race.
McGuinness, who is closing in on road racing great Joey Dunlop’s all-time TT record of 26 victories after notching his 19th win in June, is a massive draw and his entry is a real feather in the cap of the organisers.
He takes over from Farquhar on Winfield’s machine, which has taken the Dungannon man to give Manx Grand Prix successes.
Confirming his appearance at the event next August at the Motorcycle Live show at the NEC in Birmingham, McGuinness said he was looking forward to playing his part in a new era for classic racing on the infamous 37.73-mile public roads circuit.
“Ever since the Classic TT concept was announced I have wanted to get involved and support the organisers with this exciting new idea,” he said.
“I love the Isle of Man and I love riding a bike around the TT Mountain Course, so getting the chance to do it on a really special Classic bike is a dream come true.
“I’ve already had a little run out on the bike just for a bit of fun at the Festival of Jurby during this year’s Manx Grand Prix and straight away I was impressed by how good it was to ride.
“Roger is a fantastic guy to work with and when he invited me to ride the bike at the Classic TT it was an easy decision to make,” added McGuinness.
“I watched Ryan on the bike during this year’s Manx, and he looked incredible on it. The machine sounded really good as well and you could hear it for miles and miles after he had gone past.”