If you ask people around the world what the Isle of Man has to offer you may get several different answers. The Laxey Wheel, or "Lady Isabella" will probably be mentioned as it is the most visited tourist location on the Island. Possibly they will talk about one of the heritage attractions such as Peel Castle, or the Manx Steam Railway. But, more often than not, they will mention the TT Races.
Running over 2 weeks, with the last week in May for practice and the first week in June for racing, the Tourist Trophy Races form the major part of the Isle of Man TT Festival. Held on the Snaefell Mountain course, a closed road circuit, riders have competed to complete a number of the 37.73 mile laps since 1911 ranging from sea level to over 1300 feet.
The week includes 9 races covering vehicles from traditional race bikes through to sidecars and, since 2010, has included the "TT Zero" race which replaced the TTXGP race. These have the goal of racing without using carbon fuels and to have zero toxic/noxious emissions.
The highlight of the TT Races is the Senior TT which runs, weather permitting, on the Friday of race week for the Maruis de Mouzilly St.Mars trophy. Running for 6 laps the race record is a staggering 1 hour 45 minutes and 20.394 seconds for the 236.38 mile race distance.
With average lap speeds of just under 132 mph this is not a spectator sport for the faint of heart and, with huge numbers visiting for the TT Festival each year, booking well in advance is highly recommended.
TT race schedule 2017*
The full programme of events is due to be published in November 2016, however will include:
Blackfords Pre-TT Classic - 26th, 27th May, 29h May 2017
TT Qualifying & Races - 27th May until 9th June 2017
* Please note this schedule is subject to change by the event organisers or through inclement weather.