Throughout the past week there has been important, notable, major news a plenty regarding the TT Races breaking cover online, including of course the statement issued via the ACU (Auto Cycle Union), relating to unfortunate events from last year.
The statement which candidly reveals details about proposed changes in terms of safety regulations, issued via https://www.acu.org.uk/, is as follows:
“The Auto-Cycle Union wish to announce some important changes which will take place following the Jones Inquiry which was commissioned by the ACU, after an unfortunate incident at the TT on 30th May last year.
Directors of both ACU Ltd and ACU Events Ltd who organise the TT in conjunction with the Isle of Man Government have read, digested the report and take the content very seriously. However, the report is not solely based on circumstances or practices within the IOM TT event.
A lot of the content relates to the structure, management and operating methods of the ACU, which again, the Directors have implemented changes, but some content is very business sensitive.
Therefore, it has been decided that this Press Release will be the final statement provided but by listing all of the relevant points it is hoped that all questions are answered and we can all look forward to the 2019 event.
Ahead of listing the salient changes, both ACU Ltd and ACU Events Ltd are pleased that Steve Mercer is making progress and would point out that through our extensive insurance arrangements, assistance is being given with his rehabilitation process.
Turning to the outcome of the report the following recommendations have been put in place – or will be ahead of TT 2019.
Improved Training for all Senior Race Officials. A comprehensive Table Top exercise took place at the Grandstand on 3rd April.
Improved and more structured Marshal Training.
Emphasis on Competitors reading and understanding the rules and regulations for the event.
More in depth Rider briefings, TETRA radio training for all Officials.
GPS Tracking devices to be fitted to all non-race vehicles.
All Course Cars/Course Inspection Car and TTMA response cars to have warning lights fitted to the roof of the vehicle.
Imposed speed limits on all Course Cars.
A more comprehensive Event Safety Plan.
The appointment of an Event Safety Officer.
In addition to the above, both the ACU and ACU Events Ltd, have made structural changes to its staffing in ACU Head Office with Gary Thompson’s sole responsibility within ACU Events Ltd being that as TT Clerk of the Course.”
Reactions via Facebook, Twitter from various racers, prominent members of the International roads fraternity, to the above statement, has attracted a mix of differing opinions.
One aspect I’m sure we can all agree on though, is to wish Steve Mercer all the best in his continuing recovery.
A top, top racer, one can’t but not admire Steve’s strength, courage, heroism over the past 9 to 10 months.
Outside of the aforementioned ACU statement, additional notable TT news to enter the horizon recently, has been that there will be new signage gracing the Mountain Course for TT 2019, with the announcement of a sign named in recognition of super TT fan, true road racing aficionado and all round Manx legend, Harold Leece.
The new signage which will carry the title Harold’s, is a technical right hand bend, on the run up to the notoriously quick Gorse Lea section.
May Hill Resurfacing:
The notoriously bumpy May Hill section of the Mountain Course, will have a more silky, serene feel to it at TT 2019, following recent resurfacing.
May Hill’s new surface, will most certainly prove popular with the vast majority of TT, Manx GP, Classic TT competitors, who’s run up to the Mountain section of the Mountain Course, has been made more than a touch less bumpy, and a lot smoother.
Factory Backed Triumph Machinery At TT 2019:
Triumph will join Honda, Kawasaki, BMW, Norton, Paton, Mugen in having an official presence at TT 2019, having recently confirmed their backing of Smiths Racing, Peter Hickman’s Monster Energy Supersport challenge.
As at the previous two TT meetings, Hickman’s 675 Triumph steed for TT 2019, will once again carry title sponsorship from the famous TROOPER beer brand.
Alongside TT 2019, Hickman will also pilot his new factory supported steed at next months North West 200, and at August’s Ulster Grand Prix.
Words by Stevie Rial, Photo credit featured image – Mark Corlett