Monday, 2 September 2013

Classic TT Formula 1 snaps

There aren't many places in the world I like more than the Isle of Man when the sun is shining. These are my phone snaps of bikes lining up for the inaugural Classic TT Formula One race, last Monday. 
Our mate and fellow DTRA racer, Paul Baleta has been racing the Manx for seven years. This year he also competed in the Classic TT Formula 1 race and was third privateer! Amazing result. He was also 14th out of 29 in total in the race that was won by multiple TT winner Michael Dunlop. Paul's average race speed for the 4-lap race was close to 106mph average and he won a Silver Replica.
His pit crew was his girlfriend and his brother.
Redmaxspeedshop rebuilt the 888 motor that finished the gruelling race. Redmax boss, Steve Hillary is a Ducati 8-valve expert.
Paul was also 19th out of 44 in the Supertwin Manx GP on a Suzuki SV650. He had an Aprilia Mille to compete in the Senior too, but the race was abandoned due to poor weather.
Massive respect!
Read more about Paul's racing antics at his Speed Therapy blog
My favourite bike to line up. Reno, Nevada resident Jimmy Mac borrowed this Bakker-framed Z1000 from a mate of his and came to race. He was smiling and not showing his nerves as we chatted in the holding area. He did admit that he felt he'd bitten off more than he could chew. 'This is not my niche'.
The Trident Engineering XR69-style Suzuki team took advantage of the slack rules to fit GSX-R1100/Bandit 1200 motors, instead of the GSX 8-valve based motors they are forced to use in normal classic racing. They also fitted 17s not the usual 18s.
This is Conor Cummins' bike. The team had the seat off with about 5 mins to go, hence the tape all over the seat pad. 
Conor (below) came in second, lapping at 120-plus mph on the steel-framed GSX-R1100 on treaded tyres! 
This bike, and the winner's Suzuki, were both fitted with Racefit Ti Legend pipes.
As long as his Suzuki kept running there was never any doubt Michael Dunlop was going to win this race. He was doing 125mph practice laps and, he admitted, just taking it easy.  In the end his fastest race lap was 123.6 and he won at a canter.
 I love oil-cooled GSX-Rs and there were plenty here. Cheap race bikes (comparatively).
Among the TT winners and professional looking teams there was this Guzzi and pit crew in sombreros. The TT has become so fast and professional you don't see much of this at the TT any more. There's still room for it at the Manx/Classic though. Rider Rob Paget was final finisher, in 29th place. Doesn't sound impressive, but the amount of bikes that don't make the finish would fill a ferry. This team did a great job with the only Guzzi in the race.
TT frontrunner (and winner) Gary Johnson was racing this wonderful Yamaha FJ1200 Harris. Didn't finish though.
 German Kenny Hinck. ZXR750RR
Russ from Blackheart Racing was over with a big crew of Americans. Couldn't find his RC30 on the results sheet and left before I had chance to catch up with him.
Harris XR69 replica. Orange bib denotes newcomer.
Two eras in one photo. The Classic TT was a great event. G


Harley said...

I spent some time chatting to Jimmy Mac in the pits (he was part of the Cretins Race Team - all US based loons) and that Z1000 really looked a handful. He had to kick start it too as they didn't have any rollers to hand and the starter motor had been dumped to save weight.
It was a shame the weather caused the Senior to be scrapped but otherwise I don't think I've ever seen so many rare bikes being used in anger. The T shirt one rider was wearing over his leathers said it all "Parade lap? My arse".

A40 said...


Hot Shoe said...

Fantastic line up of classic racers. Makes a refreshing change from the usual classic bike meeting with grids full of Honda 350K4s.

Harley said...

Plenty of K4s in the Junior Classic race!

747 said...

Really neat!

Hot Shoe said...

Oh yes Harley there was indeed plenty of K4s in the JC. They're so successful now it makes you wonder why the grids weren't full of them way back then. :)

Pete Stansfield said...

Looks bloody great, long live oil boilers.

User.One said...

Bloody great pics there, thanks.

Steve said...

From the pictures,looked like a great vibe and great bikes.
Nothing can compare.