Bales have appeared around the TT course, a sudden and concerted effort has been directed at repairing the roads, the TT grandstand is a hive of activity, and the weather is currently cold, grey and miserable - and that can only mean the TT is around the corner.
The next few days will see a cavalcade of motor homes, trailers, vans and pantechnicons grinding up the hill from the Sea Terminal to Noble’s park paddock area. Security fencing has already been erected around the competitors’ camping, a crane was being used by workmen to put advertising banners on the grandstand tower and, encouragingly, the beer tent is already in position.
Some teams have been present in the paddock for a number of days now and more are arriving by the hour.
The Snoozebox accommodation at the St Ninian’s end of the park has made a return with workmen slaving to erect the visitors’ temporary village over the past two weeks.
The large L-shaped hospitality suite, with its own private grandstand facing the course on Glencrutchery Road, is also now in position ready for the TT and, later on, the Manx Grand Prix and Classic TT.
Last week, the police launched the annual TT road safety campaign which will see unmarked vehicles, including bikes, being used, as well as road safety representatives talking to visitors as they travel over on the ferries.
Today (Friday) the mountain section of the TT course will close from 9.30am to 4.30pm to allow the Department of Infrastructure workers to position cones and put the TT one-way system in place. It will then be one-way until 4.30pm on Monday, June 13.
Tomorrow (Saturday), the mountain road will close for first practices at 4.45pm from Barrule Park in Ramsey and from 5pm from the Bungalow. The rest of the course will close at 6pm, and practice sessions should start with Newcomers’ sighting laps at about 6.20pm. Roads will close at the same time throughout practice week, Monday, May 30, to Friday, June 3.
On race days (Saturday June 4, Monday 6, Wednesday 8 and Friday 10) the Mountain Road will close 9.15am from Barrule Park in Ramsey and at 9.30am from the Bungalow. The remainder of the course will close at 10am, reopening no later than 9.30pm. Anyone still wishing to marshal can sign in at the marshals’ office in the top corner of the hardstanding paddock area behind the grandstand.
As for the traditional TT weather, a meteorological office spokesman said it could buck the trend – for practice week at least.
The prediction is for dry, sunny, warm and clear weather, through the bank holiday weekend and into next week. As for race week, however, the jury is still out.