Manx Grand Prix: Thomas Maxwell prevails to clinch Newcomers 'A' honours

Thomas Maxwell won the Manx Grand Prix Newcomers 'A' on Tuesday.
Thomas Maxwell won the Manx Grand Prix Newcomers 'A' on Tuesday.

Mullingar man Thomas Maxwell prevailed to win Tuesday's Newcomers ‘A’ race at the Manx Grand Prix.

The race was originally due to take place on Monday but was switched to Tuesday following delays to the Classic TT schedule, as a result of wet roads.

Maxwell follows in the footsteps of famous names such as Ian Hutchinson, Robert Dunlop, Michael Dunlop, Carl Fogarty, Phillip McCallen and Ryan Farquhar, who all won the Manx GP Newcomers races in the past.

Race leaders Michael Browne and Nathan Harrison were both forced to retire in a thrilling race, with Maxwell getting the verdict on his Yamaha.

Afterwards, he revealed he encountered some anxious moments in the closing stages of the race when his bike began to slow.

“I’d eased off over the last two laps to conserve fuel and I was getting different pit boards and I was really nervous when it went down to ten seconds,” Maxwell said.

“The bike felt down on power so it might need a bit of an engine rebuild.”

Scottish rider Steven Haddow had closed the gap to Maxwell but incurred a 30-second penalty for breaking the pit lane speed limit, which cost him any prospects of a win.

Ahead of the race, which got away on time at 12.15, Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson advised competitors that visibility was excellent all around the course, although there were some damp patches under the trees and crosswinds over the Mountain section of the course.

The race was started by local photographer and archivist Bill Snelling, who participated in the first MGP Newcomers Race 40 years ago.

Ireland’s Browne, the fastest qualifier, was first away in the Newcomers A category followed by Maxwell and the Isle of Man’s Nathan Harrison, with riders leaving the line in the order that they qualified.

Browne was first on the road to Glen Helen on the opening lap and was almost four seconds ahead of second placed man Harrison on the clock, who in turn was five seconds in front of Maxwell in the final podium place. Haddow and York based James Field completed the top five.

Race leader Browne seemed to be dropping time through the Sulby speed trap and shortly after was confirmed as a retirement at Sulby Bridge, which left Harrison as the new leader from Maxwell with Haddow moving into the top three.

Harrison’s opening lap of 119.369mph gave him a lead of over ten seconds from Maxwell with Haddow a further 20 seconds back in third.

However, Harrison was then reported as a retirement at on the run in to Kirk Michael on the second lap, which put Maxwell into the lead ahead of Haddow with Field now up into third.

There was drama at the end of the second lap with Haddow’s lap of 114.554mph putting him only six seconds behind race leader Maxwell (112.996mph) but he then picked up a 30-second penalty for a pit speed infringement.

Maxwell was now out on his own at Glen Helen with a 38 second lead over Haddow with Field a further 23 seconds further back in third.

Despite his concerns, Maxwell held on for the victory.

Welshman Michael Rees took the honours in the ‘B’ Race after a thrilling duel with James Hind after the lead had changed hands six times.