Classic TT dropped as plans for new-look Manx Grand Prix confirmed

The Classic TT has been dropped as a new-look Manx Grand Prix takes centre stage on the Isle of Man this year.

By Kyle White
Monday, 17th January 2022, 1:33 pm
Updated Monday, 17th January 2022, 2:04 pm

The changes come following a ‘root and branch’ review of the event last year and include a reduction in the duration of the festival from 14 days to nine, with the Manx GP – set to mark its centenary in 2023 – running from Sunday, August 21 until Monday, August 29.

In a further development, the event will now be run by Isle of Man TT organisers ACU Events Ltd, taking over from the Manx Motor Cycle Club.

The revamped schedule for modern machinery is more closely aligned to the TT races format, with the Senior and Junior Manx GP races, for Supersport and Supertwin bikes respectively, running to similar specifications incorporated at the TT.

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Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki at Ballacrye during the Superbike race at the Classic TT in 2019.

There will be no newcomers’ races, although a Lightweight race will be held for GP250cc and Moto3 machines.

Two MGP Classic races will be held, with the Senior race catering for machinery up to 500cc and a Classic Superbike race.

The full five-race programme will be held under the Manx Grand Prix title following the decision to axe the Classic TT designation.

The review is ‘designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Manx Grand Prix,’ while the Department for Enterprise said the scaled down event would ‘ensure sufficient marshalling cover can be provided for all qualifying sessions and races, whilst reducing the overall net cost of the event to the Isle of Man taxpayer and lessening the impact of road closures on local residents and businesses’.

The Manx Grand Prix will also follow the Isle of Man TT Races by adopting the new Safety Management System being introduced for racing on the Mountain Course, which is aimed at driving safety performance across all areas of the events.

A spokesperson for the Manx Motor Cycle Club said: “Having continually evolved since its inception in 1923, these latest set of developments announced today for the Manx Grand Prix mark an exciting, new chapter for the famous event.

“Ensuring its long-term sustainability, we have acted not only to address the challenges that the event faces, but also to inject new energy into both the look of the event, to which we believe will lead us to a successful future that stretches long beyond the centenary event in 2023.”

Rob Callister, Political Member with responsibility for tourism and motorsport, said he welcomed the changes implemented for 2022.

“Having played an important role in our visitor economy for almost 100 years, I greatly welcome the developments announced today with regards to the Manx Grand Prix,” he said.

“This key event contributes a significant £7.1m to the wider Manx economy and, when combined with the Isle of Man TT Races, accounts for £44m of visitor spending, which could be supporting up to 815 jobs in the island’s economy.

“It was therefore crucial that, together with the Manx Motorcycle Club, we undertook this review to identify ways that can help us to ensure the long-term sustainability of the event ahead of its centenary in 2023.

“As the event enters a new and exciting phase, working alongside all key delivery partners, we are committed to ensuring its future success, supporting the Manx Motor Cycle Club and the other organisations involved for many years to come.”

The Classic TT was first held in 2013 in conjunction with the Manx Grand Prix and attracted many of the top riders from the Isle of Man TT to compete in classic racing around the Mountain Course.

Last held in 2019, the Classic TT/Manx Grand Prix was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

The Isle of Man TT is also set to return this year from May 29 to June 10.

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