Ryan Kneen received the 2018 PokerStars Spirit of the TT Award on Friday following his brother Dan’s fatal accident during practice week.
The Kneen family have close links with the road racing community and Ryan, who was also competing in this year’s TT, completed a tribute lap at the back of the qualifying session last Friday two days after his brother’s tragic accident.
Dan sadly died when he came off the Tyco BMW at Churchtown. He had set his best ever lap of the TT the previous evening at 132mph.
With the blessing of the Kneen family, Northern Ireland’s TAS Racing team raced on, with Michael Dunlop winning the RST Superbike race last Saturday before dedicating his win to Dan’s memory.
The PokerStars Spirit of the TT Award is given annually to the ‘person or persons who best represent the ethos and values of the TT Races including decency, honesty, generosity, courage, compassion, integrity, respect, teamwork and commitment to the development of the races’.
The presentation of the award was made on Friday – Senior Race Day - on the Grandstand podium ahead of the PokerStars Senior TT Race.
Guy Templer, Chief Operating Officer, The Stars Group, who presented the award, commented: “The Kneen family has shown incredible resilience and spirit and this was typified by Ryan’s gesture in his tribute practice lap to his brother that received such an incredible reaction from the fans at the event and a remarkable surge of support on-line as well.”
Rob Callister, MHK, Isle of Man Government’s Tourism and Motorsport representative added: “Everyone in the local community and the broader road racing scene, was affected by Dan’s death. He was a hugely popular figure on the Isle of Man and made a great impact on everybody that met him. He will be sorely missed.
“It is entirely appropriate that this year’s PokerStars Spirit of the TT award goes to Ryan whose spirit and dignity is a shining example of the values and ethos of the event.
“I personally attended the legacy lap on Sunday and it was incredibly moving to see Ryan and his father Richard leading around 8,000 bikers around the TT course.”
Representatives from the Isle of Man Government's Motorsport team including Rob Callister MHK, TT rider liaison officers Richard Quayle and John Barton, ACU Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson and the Stars Group Chief Operating Officer Guy Templer judged the award. Nominations were invited from members of the public and from officials associated with the TT.