discover the classic courses of the most famous road races in the world

The 1906 International Motorcycle Cup was held in Austria. Auto-Cycle Club secretary Freddie Straight, together with Charlie and Harry Collier of Matchless Motorcycles and the Marquis de Mouzilly St. Mars, together proposed a race the following year for road touring motorcycles based on the car races organized on the island. of man on closed public roads.

For the 1906 Tourist Trophy race, the Highroad course was changed to a distance of 40.38 miles to avoid disruption of rail services. The start has been moved from Quarterbridge to the A2 Quarterbridge Road/Alexander Drive junction adjacent to a property called Woodlands in Douglas. Again the course was based on a number of closed public roads for the race.

A new breed was proposed in 1907 by the editor of The motorbike magazine at the annual Auto-Cycle Club dinner held in London.

It was proposed that the races would be held in two classes, with single-cylinder machines averaging 90 mpg and twin-cylinder machines averaging 75 mpg.

St John’s Short Course

In 1907 the Isle of Man Motorcycle Tourist Trophy Race, as it was known, again used a shorter course. Known as St John’s Short Course, it was 15 miles 1,470 yards in length and was in use until 1910.

Racing was held as a time trial on public roads closed to racing by a law of the Tynwald (the Isle of Man parliament) around a circuit starting in the village of St John’s, passing through Ballacraine , Kirk Michael, Peel and back to St. John’s.

The start line was located in St John’s and ran along the A1 Douglas to Peel road, the A3 Castletown to Ramsey road and the A4 Peel to Kirk Michael Coast Road. The single-cylinder class was won by the Charles Collier on Matchless, with Rem Fowler taking the twin-cylinder class.

And again that fastest lap: 53.15 mph.

four inch course

For the 1908 Tourist Trophy race for cars, the course was again reduced to 37.5 miles with the removal of the Peel and Sandygate loops from the short Highroads course. This was known as the Four Inch Course, the name deriving from the regulations for that year’s TT adopted by the Royal Automobile Club, which limited the engines of competing cars to a cylinder diameter of four inches.

The start line has been moved from the A2 Quarterbridge Road / Alexander Drive junction at Hillberry Corner on the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road.

He took the A21 Johnny Watterson’s Lane junction, then the C10 Scholag Road to Cronk-ny-Mona in Douglas and on to the junction with the A22 Ballanard Road.

From the course, head east to St Ninians crossroads, then up the A2 Bray Hill and towards Quarterbridge. From there they went through Ballacraine to the junction of the A3 Castletown road at Ramsey.

From Parliament Square to Ramsey, competitors traveled the A9 Albert Road, including two small sections of private road near the northern junction of the main A18 Snaefell Mountain Road and to the finish at Hillberry Corner .

The four-inch course was adopted by the Auto-Cycle Club for the 1911 motorcycle races when the starting line was moved to a flat section of Quarterbridge Road between Selborne Drive and 1st Milestone/Alexander Drive.

It later became known as the Isle of Man TT Snaefell Mountain Course, or simply the TT Course when used for motorcycle racing.

The Clypse course

In 1954, the organizers of the TT decided to reintroduce the Ultra-Lightweight and Sidecar events. They opted to create a shorter secondary course on which full group races could take place, rather than the time trial format of the main TT races.

Known as the Clypse Course, the start and finish remained on Glencrutchery Road, headed along Bray Hill but then turned sharply through Parkfield Corner and onto Willaston Corner. A tricky section of bends led to Cronk-ny-Mona where the mountain course was rejoined, although it now turns in the opposite direction to normal towards Creg-ny-Baa, after which it turned right and is descended via Ballacarrooin.

The riders then joined the Onchan-Laxey road and the Manx Arms, where the course twisted right through the nursery curves to Signpost Corner, where it continued along the mountain circuit road to at the arrival. The total length of the course was 10.79 miles.

In 1955 the Lightweight (250cc) race was also transferred to the Clypse Course for a nine-lap race.

The Lightweight, Ultra-Lightweight and Sidecar classes continued to use the Clypse course until 1959, after which racing reverted to the full mountain course. Parts of the Clypse course were used in subsequent years for cycle racing and also during the Manx Rally.

The Willaston Circuit

The first race was in 1936 and although the course has been used for some motorcycle racing it was last used in 2000 by the Manx Motor Racing Club just before the foot and mouth disease outbreak in the islands Britons stop all motor racing on the Isle of Man in 2001. .

The Willaston Circuit route passes the TT Grandstand on the Mountain Course and turns right at Parkfield Corner, right at Willaston Corner, then passes through Cronk-y-Berry and Edge’s Corner before rejoining the Mountain Course at Cronk- ny-Mona and turn right again at Signpost Corner towards The Nook and Governor’s Bridge.

This 3.5 mile course is used today for bicycle and vintage car racing.

Race calendar

Qualifying for the TT races runs from May 29 to June 3.

Race week begins June 4 with the Superbike event at noon and the Sidecar race at 3 p.m.

On June 6, the Supersport race is at 11:45 a.m. followed by the Superstock event at 2:45 p.m.

On June 8, the Supertwins start at 11:45 a.m. and the second Supersport race is at 2:45 p.m.

The final day of racing, June 10, includes the second Sidecar race at 11:45 a.m. and the Senior TT prestige event at 1:15 p.m.


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