Isle of Man TT

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Joey Dunlop between Kate's Cottage and Creg ny Baa (1992)
Nick Jefferies at Creg ny Baa (1992)
Map of the Snaefell Mountain Course

The Isle of Man TT (usually short TT for Tourist Trophy) is a motorcycle race that has been taking place on the Isle of Man since 1907 . It is considered to be the oldest, most dangerous and most controversial motorcycle race in the world. 259 racing drivers have died on the road circuit since 1911 (as of June 2019). Over 40,000 racing fans flock to the island every year for the one-week series of competitions that are held as part of the TT, which is roughly half the population of the island.


This oldest motorcycle race in the world takes place on the Snaefell Mountain Course, which is not a permanent circuit , but consists of normal roads on the island. These will be closed to private traffic during training and the competition . The race is one of the most important road races in the world.

The route starts and ends in Douglas . The 37.733  mi (60.725  km ) long route places demands on people and equipment like no other race. It is hardly possible to memorize every curve and the associated braking points. Siegfried Schauzu commented:

"Missing the ideal line by 10 cm can mean the path to the afterlife."

- Siegfried Schauzu

In the race there is no common starting field, but the opponents start individually with a time delay. During pit stops, the time is neutralized. The average speed in the TT is over 130 mph (209  km / h ) in the races with the fastest machines  . For comparison: on the modern racetracks on which motorcycle Grand Prix are driven, an average of approx. 160 km / h is achieved.

Fatal accidents occur almost every year; From 2000 to 2013 alone, 21 deaths were registered. Fall rooms and catchment areas are sparse or even non-existent. The participants move on the asphalt between houses, stone walls and embankments. Road crests, such as those on bridges, have hardly been defused or have only been leveled in later years.

Mad Sunday

Every TT also includes the Mad Sunday , on which the route is cordoned off and opened in one direction to private drivers. Recently, however, this one-way regulation only applies to the Mountain Road from Ramsey to Creg Ny Baa, but on all days on which the route is open.

The most successful TT drivers

The most successful driver in the TT is Joey Dunlop , who won a total of 26 times. Dunlop was killed in the Estonian road race Pirita-Kose-Kloostrimetsa in 2000 . John McGuinness has been the second most successful driver since 2009 with currently 23 victories. In the sidecar category, local Dave Molyneux is the most successful driver with 17 victories so far. The first racer in history to win all five solo motorcycle races in the same year was Ian Hutchinson in 2010 .

The current lap record was set by Peter Hickman in 2018, the lap time was 16: 42.778 min - which corresponds to an average speed of 135.452  mph (217.989  km / h ). Previously, John McGuinness was the first rider in TT history to achieve an average of over 130 mph (209 km / h). The most successful driver from Germany is Siegfried Schauzu , who was able to achieve nine overall victories in the sidecars on the Isle of Man . The first woman to take part in this race was Inge Stoll in 1954. The first female solo driver in 1964 was Beryl Swain . In 2010, both races (June 5 and 10, 2010) of the sidecar were won by the Austrian Klaus Klaffenböck , who is the first Austrian winner since Rupert Hollaus in 1954. The Birchall brothers have held the lap record in the sidecar class since 2017 with 117.119 mph (188.485 km / h).



It was only after 1900 that the first motorcycle races on the continent took place under the name Coupe International, alternating in the country of the last winner. A set of rules was used that stipulated the weight of the machine and its driver. At that time it was already becoming apparent that England would take the lead in motorcycle racing. However, the British government soon passed a regulation that banned racing on non-permanent circuits.

The regulation of continental races with regard to weight, the ban on events in England and the urge for progress in motorcycle racing brought the solution in the form of a circuit race on the Isle of Man, which did not belong to the United Kingdom, but had a special position as an autonomous crown possession and therefore the ban did not had to pay attention.

The first regulations of the Tourist Trophy 1907 were simple, clear and uncomplicated: There were no limits on engine displacement or weight. However, the competitors had to make do with an average consumption of 3.1 liters of gasoline per 100 km for single-cylinder machines and 3.8 l / 100 km for two-cylinder machines (one gallon / 4.55 liters for 90  mi (145  km ) or 75 mi ( 121 km).) For the 1908 race, the values ​​were reduced to 2.8 and 3.5 l / 100 km.

A tool kit also had to be carried - it was really needed. The motorcycles had to have well-functioning exhaust systems, a proper saddle, fenders, and two-inch tires. Another important provision stipulated pedals so that they could support the forward thrust - so pedaling was allowed in the first TT. Pedals were banned as early as 1908.

Rem Fowler after his TT victory in 1907

The races on the Isle of Man

On May 28, 1907, the first race on the Isle of Man with 25 drivers took place. At that time it was about the St. John's Short Course , which led from St. John's via Ballacraine, Kirkmichael and Peel . The 25 km long route had to be lapped ten times. The first winners were Charlie Collier in a Matchless single-cylinder and Rem Fowler in a Norton with a Peugeot engine in the two-cylinder. In 1909 and 1910 only one class was advertised. This was open to both single-cylinder machines with displacements of up to 500 cm³ and two-cylinder machines with up to 750 cm³.

The 60.7 km long Snaefell Mountain Course , which automobiles had been using since 1904, was used for the first time in 1911 . In addition, there were again two categories that still exist by name today, the junior class with up to 350 cm³ displacement and the senior class with up to 500 cm³. In the senior race, the first three places went to the Indian brand . The First World War interrupted the races from 1915 to 1919.

In 1920, the first Isle of Man TT after the war brought another expansion of the regulations: Lightweight 250 was introduced as a further class, but was not officially included in the rating until 1922. In 1921 the Senior TT was won for the first and only time by a driver with a 350 cc machine. Howard Dowies succeeded in doing this on AJS In 1925, the entire route was paved for the first time .

In 1927 Archie Birkin had a fatal accident in one of the training runs that were held in the early morning hours with traffic on the Snaefell Mountain Course. He hit a wall with his 500 cc McEvoy in Rhencullen while trying to avoid a delivery truck heading towards Peel and was dead on the spot. The curve on the A3 between Kirk Michael and Bishopscourt has been called Birkin's ever since Bend. From 1928 onwards, the training sessions for the Isle of Man TT and the Manx Grand Prix were no longer held while traffic was running.

In the 1931 race, the average speed was over 80 mph (129 km / h) for the first time. In 1935, Irishman Stanley Woods won his fifth TT title on Moto Guzzi , having previously won four times on Norton . In 1937 a foreigner won a TT for the first time in the lightweight TT , the 250cc class: Omobono Tenni on Moto Guzzi. In the following year, Ewald Kluge won a TT race in a DKW , also in the 250cc class, as the first German. In 1939 Schorsch Meier was the first foreigner to secure the coveted 500 trophy on a BMW .

After the Second World War

After the Second World War, the Tourist Trophy of numbered 1949 bis 1976 the Motorcycle Road Racing World Championship the FIM . In 1951 the range was expanded to include the 125 cm³ class. In 1957, on the golden jubilee , the Scot Bob McIntyre overcame the 100 mph limit (approx. 161 km / h) for the first time on his 500 cm³ Gilera. In 1958, MV Agusta was the first brand to win all four solo classes. In 1959 Honda sent a team to the TT for the first time and immediately won the team award. In 1960 John Surtees won the senior TT for the third time in a row.

In 1961 Mike Hailwood Honda secured the first two titles (in the 125cc and 250cc class) and won the Senior TT on Norton. In 1962 - for six years - the regulations were expanded again: the 50 cm³ class (ultralightweight TT) was added. In 1965 Jim Redman achieved a one-two result for the third time in a row.

Boycott the race and change status

After Gilberto Parlotti in the World Cup 1972 season was cc in the class to 125 crashes lying fatally lead, decided Giacomo Agostini , never to go back on the dangerous course. Top drivers such as Phil Read , Barry Sheene and Rodney Gould joined this boycott , so that until the 1976 World Championship season the races were more or less only contested by private drivers. The FIM took the Tourist Trophy in late 1976 from the valuation of the streets Cup. In 1977 a new series was created with the Formula TT as a replacement, which also had world championship status. This was divided into three categories (TT-F1 to TT-F3) and existed until 1989 as a world championship, which was replaced by the newly created Superbike World Championship . In 1977 and 1978 the TT winner was also world champion in the respective class, after which other races were included in the championship standings.

The event's anniversary race took place in the week from June 2nd to June 8th in 2007.


At the Junior TT 1926 Garelli appeared with the most powerful motorcycle of the time. The racing machine had four carburettors and developed around 20 hp at 4500 revolutions per minute. There were two carburettors on each side, coupled in such a way that normally only two were in operation, while the other two carburettors did not work until the driver turned the throttle grip above a certain point. It was also noteworthy that the machine had two exhaust ducts. The experts on site kept talking about the huge noise that the two-stroke made and about Erminio Visioli , who kept falling off the curve during training. In the end, however, he retired from the main race due to a break in the throttle linkage.

The Audi TT was named after the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy , u. a. based on Ewald Kluge's victory on a DKW.

Winners list

Victories driver
26th Joey Dunlop
23 John McGuinness
19th Michael Dunlop
17th Dave Molyneux
16 Ian Hutchinson
14th Mike Hailwood
12 Bruce Anstey
11 Steve Hislop , Phillip McCallen
10 Giacomo Agostini , Ben Birchall , Rob Fisher , Ian Lougher , Stanley Woods
9 Mick Boddice , David Jefferies , Siegfried Schauzu
8th Jim Moodie , Phil Read , Charlie Williams
7th Mick Grant , Chas Mortimer , Michael Rutter , Tony Rutter
6th Geoff Duke , Jimmie Guthrie , Jim Redman , John Surtees
5 Alec Bennett , Nick Crowe , Robert Dunlop , Peter Hickman , Brian Reid , Carlo Ubbiali
4th Klaus Enders , Freddie Frith , Wal Handley , Trevor Ireson , Dave Leach , Chris Palmer , Ray Pickrell , Tarquinio Provini , Barry Smith , Bill Smith , Jock Taylor , John Williams
3 Ray Amm , Adrian Archibald , Graeme Crosby , Harold Daniell , Max Deubel , Ryan Farquhar , Carl Fogarty , Alex George , Dean Harrison , Tom Herron , Alan Jackson jr. , Tony Jefferies , Geoff Johnson , Klaus Klaffenböck , Rob McElnea , Bob McIntyre , Phil Mellor , Dave Morris , Walter Schneider , Ian Simpson , Rolf Steinhausen , Luigi Taveri , Barry Woodland
2 Hugh Anderson , Fergus Anderson , Manliff Barrington , Artie Bell , Geoff Bell , Lowry Burton , Kel Carruthers , Bernard Codd , Charlie Collier , Steven Cull , Howard Davies , Freddie Dixon , Charlie Dodson , Cameron Donald , Iain Duffus , Bob Foster , Dick Greasley , Shaun Harris , John Hartle , Fritz Hillebrand , Malcolm Hobson , Gary Hocking , John Holden , Percy Hunt , Bill Ivy , Gary Johnson , Alistair King , Con Law , Eddie Laycock , Ivan Lintin , Bill Lomas , Graeme McGregor , Trevor Nation , Gary Padgett , Steve Plater , Jock Porter , Cecil Sandford , Dave Saville , Tom Sheard , Edwin Twemlow , Malcolm Uphill , Eric Williams
1 Steve Abbott , Dario Ambrosini , Frank Applebee , Ken Arber , Reg Armstrong , Georg Auerbacher , Mark Baldwin , Rob Barber , Harry Bashall , Ian Bell , Dieter Braun , Eric Briggs , Norman Brown , Ralph Bryans , Jimmy Buchan , Trevor Burgess , Roger Burnett , Florian Camathias , Maurice Cann , Phil Carpenter , Phil Carter , Harold Clark , Rod Coleman , Harry Collier , Syd Crabtree , Dave Croxford , John Daniels , Leo Davenport , Geoff Davison , Tommy de la Hay , Ernst Degner , GP Douglas, Eddie Dow , Percy Evans , Helmut Fath , Jack Findlay , Frank Fletcher , Rem Fowler , Syd Gleave , Oliver Godfrey , Leslie Graham , Stuart Graham , Werner Haas , Dave Hallam , Roy Hanks , Bryan Hargreaves , Conrad Harrison , Ron Haslam , Ronnie Hazlehurst , Chris Heath , Freddie Hicks , James Hillier , Robert Holden , Rupert Hollaus , Clive Horton , Eric Houseley , Dennis Ireland , Mitsuo Itō , Brian Jackson , Nick Jefferies , Lee Johnston , Paddy Johnston , Ken Kavanagh , Bob Keeler , Neil Kelly , Basi l Keys , John Kidson , Ewald Kluge , Ray Knight , Dennis Lashmar , Monty Lockwood , Frank Longman , Heinz Luthringshauser , Jack Marshall , Keith Martin , Hugh Mason , Cromie McCandless , Georg Meier , Ted Mellors , Mark Miller , Derek Minter , Brian Morrison , George O'Dell , Eric Oliver , Matt Oxley , Philip Palmer , Len Parker , Denis Parkinson , Graham Penny , Alex Phillip , Derek Powell , Cyril Pullin , Brian Purslow , Richard Quayle , Johnny Rea , Harry Reed , Tim Reeves , Brett Richmond , Tommy Robb , Alastair Michael Rogers , Nigel Rollason , Dave Roper , Fritz Scheidegger , Martin Sharpe , Dave Simmonds , Bill Simpson , Jimmie Simpson , Henry Tyrell-Smith , Cyril Taft , Omobono Tenni , Steve Tonkin , George Tucker , Kenneth Twemlow , Chris Vincent , Terry Vinicombe , Graham Walker , Frank Whiteway , Cyril Williams , Paul Williams , Peter Williams , Tim Wood , Tommy Wood , Stan Woods


  • Ernst Leverkus: TT - The Golden Years of the Tourist Trophy: 1907–1976. Motorbuch / Schrader, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 978-3-613-87222-6 .
  • Maria Keck: Isle of Man - Tourist Trophy Motorcycle Festival: The travel guide to the island and races. Günter Keck, Stockstadt 2017, ISBN 978-3-9813268-4-0 .

Web links

Commons : Isle of Man TT  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. MOTORRAD Revue , 1979 edition, p. 100
  2. Isle of Man TT visitor numbers up by 6% for 2017 festival. BBC, August 9, 2017, accessed June 17, 2019 .
  3. MOTORRAD Revue , 1979 edition, p. 103
  4. Tourist Trophy: Motorcycle pilot Matsushita dies on Isle of Man. Spiegel Online , May 28, 2013, accessed May 28, 2013 .
  5. 100 years of the Tourist Trophy: Island in a sloping position . In: Spiegel Online , May 29, 2007 (accessed October 29, 2011)
  8. ^ Contribution from excerpts from the book "Motorrad Sport" by Peter Carrick and Helmut Krackowizer from the chapter "The Roaring Twenties and Thirties" with the kind permission of the heirs and owners of the copyright
  9. Dream of the lighter . In: Der Spiegel . No. 32 , 1961 ( online ). "For the first time, Japanese racing motorcycles competed in the famous 'Tourist Trophy' (TT) on the English Isle of Man."
  10. Oldtimer Markt , 6/2007, pages 20–27.
  11. MOTORRAD Revue , 1979 edition, p. 102
  12. Erwin Tragatsch: The fast two-strokes from Garelli .
  13. The new Audi TT in detail: International Audi TT workshop in the museum mobile