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Manx Grand Prix organisers aim for 2013 revamp

Article posted: 30/08/2012 15:26:37
Manx Grand Prix organisers aim for 2013 revampManx Grand Prix organisers aim for 2013 revamp

The Manx Grand Prix 2012 is well under way, with bikers donning their favourite motorcycle leathers and making their way to the Isle of Man en masse.

But while most enthusiasts will be looking forward to the outcome of the races, organisers have already set their sights on arrangements for next year.

Changes to the Manx Grand Prix 2013 have been agreed in principal, including some of the events being held under the Classic TT brand.

The Isle of Man government and Grand Prix organisers - the Manx Motor Cycle Club (MMCC) - have been in discussions about other possible changes, with plenty of opposition to some preferred MHK proposals.

When summer swings around again, riders pulling on their motorcycle clothing for the 2013 Manx Grand Prix will see a shorter schedule, with some changes to the type of events hosted.

The new festival is expected to incorporate Class TT races, Manx Grand Prix races and a Manx Classic, alongside other events. Classic races will be held over a dedicated three-day meeting, although the overall festival will remain a two-week event.

There has also been a change to the promotion of the event, which had historically been the responsibility of the MMCC. However, the Department of Economic Development will now take charge of promoting the Classic TT elements, while the MMCC will deliver the races.

Department for Economic Development minister John Shimmin said: "We are very pleased to announce progress with our ongoing discussions with the MMCC on the future direction of the event.

"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."

The four Classic TT races are scheduled to take place over the traditional middle weekend of racing, surrounding the August Bank holiday.

Organisers will be hopeful they can avoid the kind of disruption that has already marred the 2012 event. The first practice session of the Grand Prix was hit by a lack of marshals, which is likely to have provoked the ire of participants in the newcomer's controlled speed lap who were affected.

This added to mounting frustrations after fog mired the first qualifying sessions of the event. Poor visibility on the mountain part of the course during the opening lap resulted in the whole session being flagged. Riders had already prepared themselves for adverse weather, receiving a warning about the possibility of damp roads and high winds.

One element of this year's race organisers were keen to get right was road safety. Following the success of the Stay Alert, Stay Alive campaign during the most recent TT, the Isle of Man Constabulary decided to relaunch it for the Grand Prix.

Speaking to the BBC, sergeant Allan Thompson explained: "The dangers are obvious and we will be going the extra mile to ensure the riders and public stay safe throughout the fortnight.

"We will be doubling our staff and have high visibility cars around the course, especially in the speed restricted areas. We will also have covert cars with cameras on patrol."

This year's festival comes to end on Friday, when the exodus of racing fans will present new problems for authorities both on the island and the UK mainland.

Manx Grand Prix attendees are advised to plan their route in advance, checking with race organisers and authorities about the best way to get to their destination.

If you've not been fortunate enough to make it to the Isle of Mann for this year's festival, or have missed out on any of the races, there are plenty of videos, photos and reports on all the exciting events on the Manx Grand Prix website.

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