THE new-look Manx Grand Prix will capitalise on the popularity of nostalgia, heritage and classic racing but it will also be a shorter event, coming to a climax on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
The idea is to cash in on visitors who want to take short breaks and it will also minimise the commitment and cost for competitors, officials and marshals, and lessen the disruption to residents and businesses.
Costs of staging the event for the government would also be reduced and these could then be reinvested in it.
Department of Economic Development chief executive Colin Kniveton said he was grateful to everyone who had contributed to the research process which was started by the government four months ago.
‘The proposals are built very much on our consultations and market and media feedback and it is anticipated that a revised format to the Festival would give the Isle of Man real potential to increase visitor numbers, media profile and commercial incomes.
‘Implementing these proposals would allow us to tap into the fast-growing nostalgia market that we have seen with events such as the Goodwood Revival and drive a tangible return on the ever increasing investment required to stage the event.’
The new format will come into play in 2013 and this year’s event will remain unchanged.
The Department has said it hopes to create the most prestigious series of races for classic motorcycles in the world, featuring modern day TT stars along with existing classic racing specialists bringing the most exotic classic racing motorcycles in the world to the Isle of Man.
The event would also include two Clubman’s TT titles which would be applied to two races for amateur riders on modern machinery. One would be a Supersport race for modern four cyclinder 600cc bikes and the other a Lightweight event for 650cc twins.
Designed as a more focused feeding ground for the current TT, the Clubman’s TT classes would incorporate a rider development structure with the opportunity for riders to receive sponsor-funded TT scholarships and guaranteed entry into the TT. There would also be three classic races including one for classic Superbikes which would form the finale.
Economic Development Minister John Shimmin MHK said: ‘In the current economic climate, we have a responsibility to maximize returns from the significant investment required to run events of this nature. Local businesses have clearly indicated the opportunities that the Manx Grand Prix provides and I look forward to maintaining the existing levels of dialogue with the Manx Motor Cycle Club in order to resolve any concerns that might exist with regard to the new proposals.’
The races would be supported by a festival of motorsport nostalgia including parade laps featuring legendary riders and machines from Mountain Course history, off road events including the Manx Classic Weekend Trial and exhibitions of exotic motorcycles and memorabilia.
The event would also include the Isle of Man Vintage Motor Cycle Club activities including the popular Festival of Jurby event that attracted more than 15,000 visitors last year.
The new format is expected to be more attractive to the motorsports media and be underpinned by a programme of commercial activity including international television coverage, sponsorship, brand licensing, digital activation and event ticketing.
PROPOSED 2013 SCHEDULE
Saturday Classic Trial all day; evening MGP practice
Sunday Classic Trial all day
Monday Evening MGP practice
Tuesday Evening MGP practice
Wednesday Evening MGP practice
Thursday Evening MGP practice
Friday Afternoon MGP practice; Evening racing Lightweight Clubman’s TT
Saturday Afternoon racing 350cc Classic Race; Evening racing Clubman’s Supersport TT
Sunday Festival of Jurby
Monday Afternoon racing 500cc Classic Race; Evening racing Classic Superbike Race