Looking towards the Junior/Senior races at the 2017 Manx Grand Prix, at least 12 riders in my opinion have a great chance of scooping a marque Manx victory.
PRF Racing’s Barry Evans, fourth in last years Junior race is highly fancied by many to seal honours at minimum in one of the premier races.
Photo by Nick Wheeler
Established amongst Wales leading pure road racers, Barry’s stock within the real roads scene is increasing and increasing.
Same applies to fellow anticipated front runners Andy Farrell, Darren Cooper and Richard Charlton, keep an eye as well on the likes of Sean Connolly, Tom Robinson, David Lumsden, Rhys Hardisty, Michelin backed Wayne Humble.
Plus Jonathan Perry, Scarborough’s Nick Anderson and the vastly experienced Dennis Booth.
Photo by Jim Gibson
Leading local challengers include the two most recent Newcomers A winners, Peter Wilkinson and Martin Bullock Manxsport’s Michael Evans.
Both riders will have large support in abundance for their latest Manx GP campaigns, as will fellow countryman Glenn Harrison, Dean Osborne, Paul Smyth Racing’s Brendan Fargher, Robert Nelson and Matt Mylchreest.
Photo by Nick Wheeler
There’s also a strong overseas challenge which includes the highly rated Triumph mounted Royce Rowe (Australia), Rob Whittall (New Zealand), Frederic Besnard/Nicolas Pautet/Richard Vuillermet (France), Erik Kjuus (Norway) and Andreas Psychogyios (Greece).
The quality of the entry is endless and when you add in more talented riders such as Justin Collins, Paul “Potchy” Williams, Steven Procter, Chris Cook and Rodger Wibberley.
Plus Allan Brodie, Marc Ironside, Callum Ward, James Chawke and Gary Vines, first class Mountain Course action is a guarantee.
We shouldn’t forget of course the 19 newcomers entered, with high profile debutants such as Brad Vicars, Shirlaws Motorcycles backed Kris Duncan, Arnaud Seydoux, Mike Norbury, Bertus Folkertsma and Darryl Tweed all tipped to impress.
Since the Manx Grand Prix first started in 1930, a who’s who of road racing has won the coveted Junior and Senior crowns.
At a glance just some of the famous names to have won the blue riband Manx GP races include Ryan Farquhar, John Simpson, Malachi Mitchell Thomas, Billy Redmayne, Andy Lawson, Michael Sweeney, Davy Morgan, Ian Pattinson, Tom Weeden, Andy Dudgeon and Alan “Bud” Jackson.
In recent times the pace has rocketed up in the four lap races, with various 120 mph laps recorded plus overall pace that would have contended for top 15 finishes within the Supersport encounters at the TT Races.
As long as conditions are spot on and the competitors are in the right frame of mind, expect more of the same at this years Manx Grand Prix.
Words by Stevie Rial