Manx GP: Steve Blackney completes TT circuit in admirable style, in first of three races
Manx GP – Race day !! – Aug 30th – Blog by Alan Boyter at Vendetta Racing-By 7am, we are all up ready for breakfast and the sun is shining! not a cloud in the sky. By 8am we are in the pits and changing the tyres as we purposefully left the intermediates on, no point tempting the fate of the rain gods, best let them be.
The girls left to get a spot where they can get photo’s leaving us to struggle on and figure out exactly what the pattern of starting is. You would think its simple but when you have to keep a tool kit, spare wheels/tyres and fuel down in the pit lane yet have both paddock stands, tyre warmers and tools (should anything go wrong) up in the paddock/startline with the bike, a bit of thought needs to go into the process.
In no time at all we were called up to the main road to where the start line is and as Steve is number 8, in no time at all we were go! We got back down to our little pit area, Jason, Ben and myself and watched the local scouts battle with the timing board. The timing board truly is a magnificent piece of history, since 1907 the local boy scouts have worked the timing board which is all done by a arrow showing which area of the track the riders are and painted boards showing times. To be honest its not required as all the timing is done by transponders but its nice that the historic tradition is still kept up, bearing in mind that there is 100 bikes on the track at any one time, it’s a lot of data to manually enter!
Steve went flying past us to start lap 2 at 147mph, another 20 minutes or so and we would have to pull him in for a pitstop. we have a small booth about 4ft square which has 2 paddock stands, 1 set of wheels, 2 jerry cans, and various tools…a bit crowded to say the least but come the end of lap 2 in he came and we got him re-fueled and back out without any hiccups.
We also looked over the bike for any issues and changed his helmet when he was there as the visor is covered in bugs but its safer to change the entire helmet should you break a visor!
Steve went on to complete the following 2 laps and as he crossed the line we were all unsure if he had finished 10th or 12th as there was another 2 bikes yet to finish which were doing almost identical times as he was.
As it was he finished 12th with a total time of 1hr 27 min 41 sec, this equates to a 103.2mph average over the entire race distance. Its worth bearing in mind that this also included a pitstop as a tank of fuel only lasts 2 laps and all the roads are normal back country roads, narrower than your average race circuit! brave lad!
Needless to say we’ve been celebrating in the beer tent ever since, enjoying the fantastic weather and re-living the race through everyone else’s eyes.
What a great day, well done Steve! just another 2 races to go!
Jasons advice for the day: Eye of the Tiger!
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