Over 55 racers are entered within the new-look Sure Lightweight Manx GP field, which now alongside the much loved 250 two-strokes also features Moto 3, Supersport 400, unlimited single-cylinder four-stroke steeds, with prizes on offer for top pilots per category. Agonisingly close to race victory last year, Jim Hind astride the Dennis Trollope Racing derived TZ 250 Yamaha, is aiming to put the wrongs of 12 months ago, right next week. Sixth within the second Supersport race of TT 2023, Hind is an increasing Mountain Course force and is widely tipped for further future tumultuous feats. Laylaw Racing scored a memorable 1-2 finish in 2022 and with reigning class Champion Michael Browne, ten times TT winner Ian Lougher back on-board alongside Tobermore’s Adam McLean, expectations are high again for Gerry Lawlor and Eddie Laycock’s outfit. Like the aforementioned Hind, it’s Yamaha’s TZ 250 mount which is the machine of choice for Browne, Lougher and McLean. In contrast, 25 times TT winner Michael Dunlop, venturing back to his road racing roots, sticks with RS 250 Honda tackle. Last month crowned ‘Race of Legends’ Champion for the tenth time at Armoy, it’s easy to forget his pedigree on 250’s. Given his current form alongside obvious core talent, brute pace, you’d be foolish to not consider ‘Maverick’ as a contender for yet another roads scene triumph. Additional podium finishing contenders include Pre-TT Classic pace setters Rhys Hardisty, Chris Moore, third place finisher last year Stuart Hall and No.1 plate holder Dominic Herbertson. Keep an eye as well on 2021 IRRC Supersport Champion, Super Twins TT Race 2 runner-up Pierre Yves Bian plus Sidecar TT legend Dan Sayle, previous Newcomers B class winner Gary Vines, Ian Stanford, Adrian Morris and next generation IOM roads participant, Gareth Arnold. Outside those on 250 two strokes, Paul Jordan astride Faraldo Racing’s 450 steed, 125/Moto 3 specialist Tom Snow should fare prominently as should Kramer pilot, ‘130 Mph Club’ member Shaun Anderson. ‘Tommy Club’ inductee Dan Ingham, J.A.P Racing Honda mounted Jonathan Perry, Michael Rees, the most finishing TT racer in history, Dave Madsen Mygdal, Leon Murphy, Rad Hughes, Paul Cassidy feature amongst those expected to tussle it out for top Supersport 400 exponent. Newcomers looking to impress include Belgium’s Jeffrey Vromont, Connor Wade, Brendan Ryan, Richie Welsh and Andrew Jones. Distinct iconic action will be what’s anticipated in the Sure Lightweight class aside great soundtracks modern and yesteryear, evoking memories from the heyday of 250 TT racing whilst also celebrating contemporary class machines. Photo credit: Mark Corlett, Nick Wheeler Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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