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 one of the strongest of recent times, with a great mix of rising roads stars, high calibre IRRC competitors and ambitious overseas riders all entered.
Newcomers A entry wise, ones to watch include Scotsman Steven Haddow. Twice a winner on his debut last year at Oliver’s Mount, at the Barry Sheene Festival meeting, the talented Haddow unquestionably has the ability to gel quickly with the fabled Mountain Course.
Seasoned Irish roads exponents Thomas Maxwell, Paul Fallon, Dave Murphy, Andy McAllister and Alan Johnston all have the core roads experience to make a considerable impression on the higher echelon of the leader board.
Added ones to watch include Arnie Shelton, KY-JAX Racing’s Ben Shuttlewood, James Field, PRB Racing backed Grant Gaskell and Chris Preston Racing’s Nathan Harrison, brother of Tommy Club member Glenn Harrison.
Talented IRRC (International Road Racing Championship) exponents to keep an eye on include experienced Frenchman Herve Somson, plus Switzerland’s John Pilloud.
Looking towards the Newcomers B class, two of the standout entrants include Japan’s Yoshihiro Kishimoto and VRS Racing’s Daniel Fernandez.
Fernandez a former Pikes Peak competitor, is set to make history this August as being the first rider from Colombia to sample the Manx Grand Prix.
Whilst leading Japanese road racer Kishimoto owner of leading TT Zero outfit Team Mirai, has in recent years secured notable results at Pikes Peak and on the famous Cemetery Circuit in Wanganui, New Zealand.
Photo by Rod Neill
Another International star Mountain Course bound is leading Czech road racer Veronika Hankocyova.
A former Super Twins victor at Dymokury, plus third within the 2016 Irish Road Race Junior Support Championship, she definitely has the credentials, plus proven roads craft to in my opinion, be a dark horse for a rostrum finish.
Further depth to the Newcomers B entry is added by Billown specialist Jack Fowler, Cookstown Junior Support winner Barry Sheehan, Paul O’Rourke, Derby’s Sam Grief and Manxman James Smith.
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