New look MGP plans revealed

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PLANS for the new-look Manx Grand Prix retaining the current mixture of classic, modern and off-road attractions have finally been unveiled by the government.

The new event, which will take place next year, coincidentally the event’s 90th anniversary, will see a three-day classic festival based around the middle weekend, incorporating the classic races on Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday as well as the VMCC Festival of Jurby on Sunday.

Practices will take place in the first week and the four Classic races in the middle weekend will be rebranded as the Classic TT Races.

The event remains a two-week affair with the modern races - now branded as the Manx Grand Prix Races - taking place on the Wednesday and Friday of race week. The new Manx Grand Prix Festival will also encompass the Manx Classic and Manx Two-Day trials and the VMCC Manx Rally. A title for the overall festival is to be confirmed shortly.

Manx Motor Cycle Club chairman Harvey Garton said they would be working with the Department of Economic Development to build and promote the event.

‘We have a clear way forward for the Manx Grand Prix Races as part of the Festival,’ he said.

‘There is compromise on both sides so no-one should be claiming victory. The good news is we can still accommodate the people who have traditionally ridden the MGP and the ordinary people who would like to tackle the Mountain Course, so it is a very very good compromise. It’s good news for people like hoteliers who were anxious at the concept of a shortened event.’

The Classic TT will be promoted by the DED. The Manx Motor Cycle Club will continue to organise all the races and promotion of the modern classes - to be known separately as the Manx Grand Prix - will be its responsibility with financial support from DED.

Earlier this year government plans to shelve most of the modern bike classes and focus on classics were met with a demonstration outside Tynwald, formation of the MGP Action Group and an on-line petition or around 10,000 signatures.

Economic Development Minister John Shimmin MHK said: ‘We are very pleased to announce progress with our ongoing discussions with the Manx Motor Cycle Club. We are confident that we have a clearly segmented and focused festival that can generate additional visitors to the Island and the team will look to further develop the Classic TT and Festival.’

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