The first arrivals at the TT paddock last weekend were an alliance sidecar team representing Australia and New Zealand.
The boys from the lands down under set-up camp in the paddock ‘Hilton’ on Saturday where they were busy putting the finishing touches to their Shelbourne Honda outfit the next morning.
Darryl Rayner of Sydney, Australia and Richie Lawrence of Auckland, New Zeland have both raced the TT before, but not together.
Driver Darryl made his Mountain Course debut in 2009 and returned for more in 2012, while Richie first rode the TT in 1996 with his elder brother Chris, who lived in the island for several years.
The siblings competed together here again in 1999 and 2000, but suffered a hefty smash at the 32nd Milestone in 2003 when the back tyre of their outfit stepped out.
Chris got away with a broken ankle, but Richie suffered a head injury, fractured collarbone, several ribs, a punctured lung and a haemorrhaging wallet!
Darryl and Richie rode last October’s Barry Sheene Challenge meeting at the Hampton Downs circuit, near Hamilton, North Island, after which they decided to give the TT a go.
Their ambition is to finish with a replica, anything else would be a bonus they agree.
To help, they have brought a couple of mates along with them - Daniel and Jeff - one each from Australia and New Zealand to balance things up. After the TT they are off on a six-month sojourn around the British Isles and Europe in a camper van.