Again this fortnight, it is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of two competitors who died in separate incidents while at the Isle of Man TT. Ian Bell died during today’s Sidecar TT Race 2, and Andrew Soar who died during the Senior TT race.
Ian Bell, a 58-year-old from Bedlington, Northumberland, was killed in an incident at Ballaspur in the sidecar race. His passenger, who is also his son Carl, was uninjured in the crash.
The father-son team of Ian and Carl Bell dropped out of the Sidecar TT Race 1, after circulating in the 4th position, and were looking for a better result in Friday’s race. A distinguished TT racer, Ian Bell won the newcomers trophy in 1995, and had five podiums in his TT career, including a race win in 2003.
The day’s other fatality Andrew Soar, was a 32-year-old from Loughborough in Leicestershire. Andrew died at an incident at Keppel Gate.
He was an experienced TT competitor, and made his debut at the Isle of Man in the 2013 Manx Grand Prix, where he finished second in the Newcomers A and Senior MGP races.
He would go on to win the Senior MGP the next year, and make his Isle of Man TT debut in 2015. This year, Andrew retired in Lap 2 from the Superbike TT, though he would go on to finis 39th in the Supersport TT Race 1, 47th in the Superstock TT, and 32nd in the Supersport TT Race 2.
The TT paddock surely feels the loss of their presence today. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Ian and Andrew’s family, friends, and fans.
It is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of two competitors who died in separate incidents while at the Isle of Man TT. Dwight Beare died during today’s Sidecar TT Race 1, and Paul Shoesmith who died during this evening’s solo-class practice sessions.
Dwight Beare was a 27-year-old from Melbourne, Australia who moved to Onchan on the Isle of Man. While competing in the Sure Sidecar 1 TT, Beare unfortuantely did not survive a crash near Rhencullen, the race was red-flagged immediately after the crash.
Beare’s sidecar passenger, Benjamin Binns, was airlifted from the crash site to Nobles Hospital, and thankfully is reported to have only a fractured ankle.
Later that day, 50-years-old Paul Shoesmith from Poynton, Lancashire died during Saturday’s evening practice session. His incident occurred on the Sulby Straight. The practice session was red-flagged immediately following the incident.
It’s been 2015 Isle of Man TT since the Isle of Man TT, but preparations are already underway for the 2016 event.
Announcing a new timetable of events for the 2016 Isle of Man TT, the Manx organizers have made it so the solo class and sidecar class champions crowned on the same day.
Accordingly, this means that the Senior TT will remain on the final Friday (June 10th) of racing, capping the fantastic road racing event, but now it will be joined by the second Sidecar TT race as well, which will lead the final day’s activities.
Making way for the sidecars, the Lightweight TT will be moved to the now vacant racing slot, on Wednesday (June 8th). Additionally, the TT race organizers have made the Lightweight TT a four-lap race, so as to reflect the growing popularity and stature of the class.
A world traveler on two-wheels, Asphalt & Rubber reader and good friend Colin Evans is attending his first Isle of Man TT this year. We asked him to share his perspective on the trip, as both someone new to the Isle of Man, but also as a veteran of the world and riding motorcycles. Our hope is that it will be an informative, yet different, perspective than your typical coverage of the IOMTT. Please enjoy! -Jensen
Everyone here it seems has their favorite rider, and it’s usually someone from their home towns across the UK and across the world; whether it be Morecambe, Ballymoney, Wellington, Bingley, or Grimsby.
But I could not find a team to cheer from my part of Nottinghamshire until this afternoon, when I found sidecar outfit driver and passenger brothers Ben and Tom Birchall – from Mansfield.
I didn’t ever live in Mansfield, but it’s the town next door where I went to school. The picture of them on the podium says it all; they are clearly instantly likable blokes who are pleased as punch with their victory – and they speak with the same accent as I do. All good enough for the fan club registration.
I decided prior to the start of the second sidecar race that I wanted to get to the grandstand for the podium. Photographing a TT podium does place some restrictions on where to shoot the race, while still enabling you to get away.
After a bit of deliberation I decided on the bridge at Union Mills. This is a popular spot, particularly for the solos, as you can catch them leaned over with the back wheel popping off the ground as they go over the bridge.
It can also be good for the sidecars, as the front runners just take off as they hit the bridge. If you time it right you can catch them with all 3 wheels off the ground.
Once the leaders had gone through on the final lap, it was time to jump in the car and head to the grandstand to get the podium shots.
Due to the weather, another postponed race yesterday (Wednesday), meant that I had the opportunity to shoot the second sidecar race and a couple of practice sessions from another location.
Looking for a place I hadn’t been to before, I thought that the backdrop of Kirkmichael village would make for a dramatic image that really shows off the spectacle of the Mountain course.
Accelerating through the village, between rows of houses only a yards away from the curb, the exhaust notes reverberate down the road, giving any spectators an aural treat that will raise the hairs on the back of their neck and arms.
A fairly straightforward place to shoot from, this public viewing point gave me a chance to play around with different ways to frame the riders and really try to convey the experience of watching the TT from the roadside.