Second practice and the weather is perfect again........... Out for another lap, all seems to be ok but then yet another set back....... engine decides to blow, piston 3 has packed up and another retirement during practice. Thats engine number 1 too so we're pretty gutted about that! Wayne , teddy and kenny work on the outfit the next day to change to the number 2 engine but we didnt quite make it out in time for the 3rd practice session!
31st May...............Practice.................. out with our #2 motor in. should be strong, holding up well through Glen Helen, over Ballaugh, heading down Sulby straight.............BANG!!!!
Thats the engine rodding itself, engine ruined. Nothing can be done about it, just pull over and sit tight until ACU pick the boys up! Not had this sort of bad luck for a long time!!
However....... The saddest news of the evening was that the very talented and experienced road racer, from the Island, Dan Kneen, had been tragically killed. A freak accident...... none of us could believe it! A huge shock around the paddock. RIP Dan.....thinking of all the family and friends.
To finish the night off on a sad note, an incident involing a course car and Steve Mercer, another very experienced racer, left Steve critically injured and flown to Aintree. We have heard that his condition is said to be stable. Sending our very best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Not to put a finer point on it, but we're not having the best TT so far! We have to change to motor number 3 before the race but we've encountered some problems.The sandwich plate which the oil cooler connects to, is badly damaged from the blow out and so we have to find someone on the island to can make another peice to fit it! A trip into Ramsey, get it made, back to the paddock, fit it.......oil still leaks!!! ARRGHHHHH!!!!.. Race day tomorrow!
We go back and get another bit ground down and borrow a bit from Nigel Smith, but even with all the will in the world, we cant spot the problem for the oil leak! Race 1 is going to be going up for scruteneering soon and we're not ready, we cant race without the oil cooler on.... it could blow this engine too. Thats it.....I have to officially withdrawl us from Race 1. This has never happened to Wayne before....we're all really disspondant!!
We watched from the Nook and after the start of the race it was, unfortunately red flagged, an incident involving Tony Baker and his passenger, daughter Fiona. Both were taken to hospital and are said to be recovering slowly. Get well soon both of you...... Wayne has you teeth Tony...OK?
Heads together........measuring everything down to the last tenth of a millimeter......we've found it! Back to Ramsey to see our chap one more time! Another piece made and it fits the cooler!!
Sorted............. Time for a few laps round Jurby testing and running the engine in before practice on wednesday. all ok........
Wednesday practice evening............... bit of a rush getting up to scrutinering..... had a change of gear box, which isnt a 5 minute job! Wayne and Kenny had to get into leathers and i was left on my own to get the outfit into parc ferme!! Im pretty strong but why havnt these machines got power steering?? Luckily, Paul Lusty, our friend from WMB, We Move Bikes, was on hand to help me, and Kenny got back just in time to push the outfit through. Its going to be tight......the time was ticking, the Birchalls had already gone off down Bray Hill......I really didnt think the official was going to let us out but we got up onto the start line just in time...... last off the grid......a little slipping incident leaves me with an injured wrist but i was just glad to see hem get out for practice!!
A good lap, the bike seemed to be running well, perfect conditions yet again.... 105. lap time, cut slighty short as they were sending the solos out off the pit lane, so the actual lap time was a little faster than that, last sector time was 109 at Cronk y Mona. Thats more like it!
Finally, we have the chance of doing a full race and this would be end of a very stressful coupe of weeks........ They set off in position 16...... thats ok...... Not too much traffic around...... passing through each section and bring in some decent times. Lap 2 nearly done, we an hear them coming down govenours, out of the dip and........wow........so close to the pit lane wall!!!! The bike sounded sharp and a reasonable time coming round..........
Where are they at the Glen Helen sector???? They didnt go through.....what now!??? A marshall grabs us and informs us that they had to retire at Crosby!! A cracking place to stop if youre going to break down!! However...we needed to know what had happend so i phoned the pub and Wayne came on....... 'Whats happened now?' i said... 'the chassis has broken' Wayne replied..
We could not believe it!! The beautiful Ireson has had a real breakdown and decided to finish this TT in style!! Wayne believes there could of been an issue over the mountain section but by the time they got to Bray Hill on the last lap, he realised the outfit just wasnt handling right and his toes were pretty close to the floor.... too close for comfort!! Crosby was the best place to pull in and settle down to watch the senior race. Eventually, after a non productive phone call to get the recovery vehicle to collect them... it didnt...... Wayne and Kenny made it back to the paddock. Tired, fed up, but safe.
As for the outfit..... well she will be staying on the island to be mended by the capable hands of Moly and we'll collect her ready for the Southern 100 in July.
Lets hope we can have a more succesful race then and move forward from all the events of this years TT. It can only get better!!
Thoughts too for the family and friends of Adam Lyons, sadly killed during his time on the island. another young and talented racer taken too soon.... RIP
Many Many thanks go out to the marshalls, medics, scrutineers, organisers, security, office staff, timekeepers.....oh wow... sorry if ive forgotten any one.
Huge thanks to all our sponsors and friends who came and supported us, sorry we could get any further this year, well try again in 2019!! Hopefully the weather will be as fantastic for the Southern 100,. We have had wall to wall sunshine for 2 weeks.... its made it all so much more bearable and the Manx ice cream taste better!!
Huge 'THANK YOU' to Neil Jones @ Crovan Imaging for all of his help, support and supplying all the best action shots he could get of us for the time the boys were actually racing!!
Thank you to Kenny for hopping on at short notice and the lovely Shirley for keeping us in stitches for the fortnight!
A memerable one for sure!!