We have been really privileged for the first day of racing. We were given passes to the start/finish line for the day. The weather was a bit cooler than yesterday, excellent for racing.
We have never watched a day’s racing from the starting area before and had a great time. We started off joining in the paddock walk where many of the riders were signing autographs. It amazed us that just a couple of hours before the start of racing they were spending their time with the fans, who have free run of the pit paddock. Very different to the Moto GP and the V8 Supercars.
I’ve never worried about signatures before, but this year had my cap signed by John McGuinness.
His team mate Keith Amor.
Local Manxman Connor Cummins.
And finally, Kiwi Bruce Anstey.
However, everyone’s favourite, but notoriously unpredictable, Guy Martin was nowhere to be seen. Then, to the crowd’s delight, he turned up on his pushbike through the crowd. No chance to get an autograph though.
After this we headed out to the side of the track and watched the preparations. We couldn’t get over how simple it all was, compared to what we have at Bathurst.
Here I am beside the start/finish line. Definitely not where I expected to be watching from.
Very low tech fancy bits.
The ITV4 television crew was getting ready.
Then the pit crews got in position.
Finally, at noon, John McGuinness, started off on the first race.
Go Cameron Donald.
Pit stops were fascinating to watch.
The race runs over 6 laps and they have to refuel after the second and then refuel and change the tyre after the fourth. Here comes Cameron.
And the result – John McGuinness won his 16th TT race, with Cameron Donald second and Gary Johnson third. Unfortunately, Guy Martin and Bruce Anstey both had to retire with mechanical problems. There was a big “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oi, Oi, Oi” from the crowd when they interviewed Cameron. That’s him in the helmet with John McGuinness in the red, white and blue leathers.
After a break the sidecars were out for their first three lap race. Number 11 is a mate of Al’s.
The winners were Klaffi and Sayles, who have been going brilliantly all week.
After the racing we had a bit of a wander along the promenade in Douglas. Lots of bikes lining the road.
It has been transformed during the week into a fun fair. There was a beautiful old merry-go-round for the littlies.
Much wilder rides for the older ones.
Then just as we were getting home we saw the steam train go past. What a great way to finish the day.
No racing tomorrow, as it is “Mad Sunday”. We have a new adventure due to start.