NO riders or teams have yet been signed for the new-look Manx Grand Prix, which is to be named the Isle of Man Festival of Racing.
Replying to a question in Tynwald from John Houghton (Douglas North), Economic Development Minister John Shimmin said the Festival of Motorcycling will incorporate the Classic TT races and the MGP races, as well as the trials and other events associated with the old MGP Festival.
Mr Shimmin explained the Classic TT will feature classic machinery, while the Manx Grand Prix will feature modern machines only, under the compromise agreed with the Manx Motor Cycle Club, as previously announced by his department.
The Minister said no contracts had been negotiated or agreed yet with teams or riders for the Classic TT and, consequently, no appearance fees have been agreed.
‘This is work that will be completed over the next few months. We have no plans to pay prize money,’ he told Tynwald.
Manx Grand Prix competitors have never received any prize money or appearance fees in the past.
Mr Shimmin said the total budget for the event was still being determined.
‘The department is looking at a number of revenue generating opportunities and our expectation is that the additional costs will be defrayed by additional income. This work is ongoing,’ he said,
John Houghton (Douglas North) asked what was budgeted for start money and prize money for top riders brought over for the event.
Mr Shimmin accused Mr Houghton of attempting to undermine the work being carried out on the event and ‘revert us back to where we were in the past’.
‘I will not be dragged down that route,’ he added.
Mr Houghton asked for a figure for the projected increase in visitors.
Mr Shimmin replied that about 9,000 visitors came to the island for the previous Manx Grand Prix and his department’s target was to take this up to 20,000 by the year 2016.
He said: ‘It is obvious there is a new audience for a rebuilt TT classic event.
‘Rather than killing the Manx Grand Prix, we would hope to still encourage the existing 9,000 who have come for that purpose and build on that those who have come for the other associated events during the festival.’
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