Isle of Man TT Looking to Make a TT World Championship

03/16/2011 @ 5:31 am, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Isle of Man TT Looking to Make a TT World Championship Three Legs of Man Triskelion 635x476

The Isle of Man TT has just confirmed that it has launched a feasibility study into whether TT-branded events could be held around the world, as a part of a larger TT Championship racing series. The study is to start soon, as the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Economic Development is considering whether taking the IOMTT global could help the event, with plans to implement the idea possibly occurring as early as 2014, should the study show favorable interest.

The Isle of Man TT lost its World Championship status in the 1976, when the FIM stopped sanctioning the event because of safety concerns, and an exodus of prominent riders. Despite that setback, the historic race just celebrated its 100th racing year anniversary (racing was interrupted during World War II), and has been at the forefront of pushing motorcycle advancement since its first race in 1907. The 99th running of the IOMTT was also the first sanctioned electric motorcycle race ever, another hat-tip to the series’ forward-thinking direction and prestige. Thanks for the tip Frank!

In theory the TT Championship would take the Isle of Man TT format, and bring it to new venues around the world, thus differentiating itself from other road racing series that take place on closed racing circuits. No details have been released yet on the IOMTT’s exact plan, but they are reaching out to venues and partners for collaboration, and this latest press release seems to be more of solicitation for partners in the series.

In implementation, the series presumably would have a mix of regular traveling riders (the Isle of Man TT has an obvious interest in promoting its mostly-Manx ridership), as well as local racers, who would take to the streets in a Manx-style gala, not too dissimilar from events we’ve seen Red Bull and others run here in the United States and abroad (Red Bull Air Race/Flugtag anyone?). However the biggest hurdle for the TT Championship would of course be the safety concerns that racing on public roads brings, but if that could be overcome, we think there could be a winning formula to this plan from the Isle of Man.

In a statement released to the press, the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Economic Development said the following:

“The move is part of the plans to develop the TT brand internationally and promote the Isle of Man.”

“The TT Races, which have been held on the Isle of Man since 1907, is a significant contributor to the positive national identity of the Isle of Man internationally and it is also the Island’s most recognised brand.”

“The Department funds the TT Races to drive economic development on the Isle of Man to generate tourism and commercial income and to provide a sports-based platform for Isle of Man-based companies to make business contacts, as well as profiling the benefits of businesses incorporating on the Isle of Man.”

“The intention is to build a platform that will increase the return on investment for the Isle of Man Government in the TT Races brand through sponsorship, television, licensing and hospitality, generate revenue-earning opportunities for the competitors and teams who take part, and to provide economic and commercial benefits for the destinations and other commercial partners who host rounds.”

Source: Isle of Man TT

Comment:

  1. Bjorn says:

    That would be awesome! I would so love to see an international series get off the ground. Hard men and women racing hotted up road bikes on the road; what more could you want?
    A mate who raced at the TT in the 90′s described it perfectly, “Really really real road racing.”

  2. Dabber says:

    Do it! I love watching it on discovery. It would be awesome to see scenery around the world and motorcycles running though different towns and landscapes. I think some of those towns surrounding the Blue ridge parkway would be a great place to race here in the states.

  3. Jake Fox says:

    As entertaining as I find the race, it strikes me as an anomaly that it hasn’t been shut down at the Isle of Man yet. I haven’t checked sources for exact statistics but it seems that every year (or nearly) there is at least one fatality involved in the race. With all the modern safety improvements that are absent at a road course (run-off areas, air walls, gravel pits, etc.) I question whether the Isle of Mann event should be replicated elsewhere. Also, how many localities will want to embrace such an idea, knowing in advance the high costs involved?

  4. Mike J says:

    This has happened before with the Formula TT series that started in the late 70’s. It started off as an IOM event and then gradually grew to encompass other events (Ulster GP, Barcelona Motnjuich Park, the old Bruno street circuit, Assen). But as the series grew in popularity and more “normal” closed circuit events started creeping into the calendar, many riders who gravitated to the series from short circuit racing started making noises about “having” to race the dangerous road circuits in order to contest the championship and it was back to the early 70’s again. The series was eventually killed off by the rise of WSBK but the writing was already on the wall for the pure road events on the calendar.

    The TT has proven that it can survive, and flourish, as a stand alone event, as has the NW200 and the Ulster GP. I don’t think a new championship will do it any favours.

  5. mark says:

    There was an attempt to have an IOMTT-sanctioned TT on the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton a number of years ago, but it fell through after the local government failed to approve it after long negotiations. Will be interesting to see whether there’s any more success this time.

  6. gnmac says:

    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. rick slark says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Isle of Man TT Looking to Make a TT World Championship – http://aspha.lt/dd #motorcycle

  8. kumo says:

    Would be totally cool if they partner with the Macao GP Both are great challenges for SBK tipe bikes.

    Also, with this movement TT-Zero could get more support and attention.

  9. Keith says:

    ooo, I know a perfect track for the states. Going to the sun road and loop back to the start on US 2.