The first of two Manx Grand Prix Newcomer’s Weekends took place over the weekend of 28th February, 1st & 2ndMarch and attracted 25 prospective Newcomers who intend to enter the 2014 Manx Grand Prix Races, which this year take place between 16th & 29th August, as part of the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling.
The latest group to attend the instructive weekend certainly had an international flavour, with two arriving from The Netherlands and one from France to add to the mix of new competitors from the UK, Northern Ireland, Eire and the Isle of Man.
Dutch riders Olaf Romijn and Kevin Van der Gulik have previously raced in the Isle of Man at the Southern 100 International Road Races, with Kevin having also experienced racing on the ‘other mountain circuit’ – Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough.
Lancelot Unissart hails from Paris and has previously been on the Island to see the Manx Grand Prix Classic Races in 2011.
Whilst here all 25 had time to complete several sighting laps of the Mountain Course in a minibus and cars with experienced riders who were able to answer questions and provide advice and relay their experiences of riding on the most famous 37.73-mile ribbon of road in the world.
In addition, the enthusiastic party had chance to put official names to faces as they met with MMCC Chairman, Harvey Garton, Clerk of the Course, Phil Taubman, Chief Technical Official, Peter Maddocks, as well as David Stevens MBE and other members of the Committee and were able to take part in a question and answer session.
They were also introduced to Adrian Earnshaw, a trustee of the Mike Hailwood Foundation, who assist in the cost of bringing prospective riders to the Island each year and have been doing so for a long number of years.
Three of the party had a short distance to travel, being resident, Jack Hunter, Ali Foster and Stephen Nathan.
All found the weekend enlightening, instructive and gave them a valuable insight into what lies ahead for them, come August when they all look forward to lining up on the start-line on Glencrutchery Road in the Newcomers Race and commence their Manx Grand Prix career.
The second Manx Grand Prix Newcomers Weekend takes place on 28th, 29th & 30th March when a further 25 potential newcomers will be present.
An insight into weekend can be found on the Manx Grand Prix Official Facebook pages (https://www.facebook.com/ManxGrandPrixOfficialFanpage?ref=hl )and on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frqmyAiV-3k
The Mike Hailwood Foundation was established in 1981 in response to the wish from his many fans to find a way to commemorate the life, talent, success and popularity of the eight-time world champion. Since the late 1980s, the Mike Hailwood Foundation has done a lot of work to attract newcomers to the MGP and TT, a process which is on-going and an extension to its original remit. The charity is run by a small band of enthusiasts.