Road Racing News

Manx Grand Prix Preview – Part 1 Newcomers Race

First run in 1978, the Newcomers Manx GP races have over the years launched the Mountain Course careers of multiple future TT greats.

This year’s Newcomers entry, is in my opinion the strongest since 2014 with a great mix of rising roads stars, high calibre IRRC competitors and ambitious overseas riders all entered.

One of the most high profile debutant’s is Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed. Back to back 125/400 winner at the Southern 100, he’s firmly established amongst Irish road racing’s most promising next generation riders.

Given his proven roads pedigree, it would not at all be a surprise to see Darryl in contention for Newcomers A success, same applies to Brad Vicars.

Photo by Jim Gibson

Following in the footsteps of his dad, long time Manx GP competitor Neil Vicars, Brad has impressed many this year with his performances at Oliver’s Mount, Cookstown, Armoy and Billown.

Added ones to watch include rising force at Scarborough Mike Norbury, Aaron Mellish, Stephen Casey, Steve Tobin and David McConnachy.

Talented IRRC (International Road Racing Championship) exponents to keep an eye on include Daryl Dorlich, Switzerland’s Arnaud Seydoux and Sebastian Witt who competes for the experienced DP Coldplaning/TC Racing team.

The truly international flavour of the Newcomers A entry, is further illustrated by the likes of Ramon Basomba (Spain), Fabrice Faivre/Teddy Bresson (France), Miroslav Sloboda (Slovakia), Adam Bauer (USA), Francesco Curinga/Nicolo Capelli (Italy) and Austria’s Hubert Kalthuber.

Looking towards the Newcomers B class, two of the favourites for race honours include Manxman Lee Bass and Dave Quine.

Photo by Jim Gibson

Competing respectively for Slick Performance Racing and Martin Bullock Manxsport, they will be aiming to keep up the Isle of Man’s rich heritage within the class, with Manx based riders winning three of the last five Newcomers B races.

Recent winner at the Barry Sheene Road Race Festival at Oliver’s Mount Ian Stanford, Derek Wilson, Martin Currams and Jordan McFerran are all capable of sealing rostrum finishes.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

Don’t discount as well New Zealand’s Nick Southerwood and Ben Rosendaal, a prominent exponent of Super Twins machinery, plus a podium finisher in February at the famous Paeroa roads venue.

For all of this year Manx GP newcomers, competing for the first time on the Mountain Course, is a lifetimes ambition.

Road Racing News wishes them all an enjoyable, safe and successful maiden two week campaign, on the Isle of Man’s legendary 37 and three quarter miles roads course.

Words by Stevie Rial