Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Mike’s TT Comeback

The 1978 TT witnessed the greatest comeback in any sporting event, when Mike Hailwood rode a convincing Formula 1 victory aboard the Sports Motorcycles Ducati.
Photo: Nick Nicholls Collection, Mortons Archive.

Arguably the most memorable and emotional moment in the TT’s 110 year history will be central to the celebrations at next year’s Classic TT presented by Bennetts, which forms part of the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling.

Twenty-three time TT winner John McGuinness will ride a parade lap on the original Sports Motorcycles Ducati which Mike Hailwood raced to TT victory in his 1978 comeback. The lap, which will take place on Saturday, August 25, will celebrate the 40th anniversary of ‘Mike the Bike’s’ Formula 1 TT race win, after an 11-year absence.

Commenting on the parade John McGuinness said: “I’ve already had some special moments on the Mountain Course in my career – both racing and with parades – but this is undoubtedly going to be one of the real highlights. It’s truly an honour and a privilege to be asked to represent Mike, even though I was only six when he came back and won the F1 race. It’s an iconic moment in TT history and a story that everyone who follows the event knows about.”

Mike Hailwood’s family – wife Pauline, son David, and grandson Mike – will attend to witness the parade lap with the original machine which is being kindly supplied for the event by New York-based collector Larry Auriana.

Other memorable Classic TT moments since the event’s inception in 2013 have included Steve Plater’s lap of the Mountain Course on an authentic factory six-cylinder 250cc Honda Six; the ‘Joey Dunlop Road Racing Legend – The Rivals’ parade lap in 2014 that saw many of Joey’s greatest rivals, or representatives of his rivals, appearing in a tribute lap; Michael Dunlop’s re-creation of the first 100mph Mountain Course lap by Bob McIntyre on the Gilera replica and the unforgettable John McGuinness and Giacomo Agostini tribute to the 1967 Senior TT battle between Agostini and Mike Hailwood.

After a week of qualifying, the now well established four-day festival kicks off with
the Classic TT Paddock Carnival on Friday, August 24, ahead of the final full qualifying session for the four-race Classic TT programme.

Racing gets underway with the Bennetts Senior Classic TT on the morning of Saturday August 25, followed by the Hailwood parade lap, and the Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race, ahead of the evening’s Classic TT party in the VIP hospitality suite.

The action moves to the north of the Island on Sunday 26th for the now traditional nostalgia-fest, the Festival of Jurby, organised by the Isle of Man Section of the VMCC, a fitting preview to the evening’s RST Legends dinner back at the TT Grandstand.

The action returns to the Mountain Course on Monday 27th with the Junior Classic TT Race, followed by the Classic Racer Magazine lap of honour; which gives you the chance to see memorable marques and former TT and Manx Grand Prix riders tackling the Mountain Course, ahead of the RST Classic TT Superbike Race.

Go to iomtt.com and click through for information on travel and accommodation options, grandstand seats and a choice of special events and official VIP hospitality experiences available from the Classic TT’s officially licensed travel partners.

Read more in the January/February issue of Classic Racer – on sale now

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