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Manx practice begins

Published: 12 August 2003

The 80th anniversary Manx Grand Prix gets underway Saturday evening with the start of the first practice session.

Evening practice sessions take place throughout the week with two additional morning practices on Monday and Wednesday. The racing starts with the Newcomers and the Senior Classic race on Monday August 25, with the Junior/Lightweight classic race and Junior Manx GP on Wednesday August 27 and the Lightweight/Ultra-Lightweight Manx GP on Friday August 29.

This year is the first time that the event will use electronic transponders to record the times of the riders. The new system will link the transponders up to a central computer to give split lap times from the Grandstand, Glen Helen, Ballaugh Bridge, Ramsey Hairpin, and the Bungalow.

This year is also the first time that a two-stroke has been allowed to compete in the 500cc Senior Classic class. Officials have previously denied entry to several 500cc two-strokes but Ian Rycroft’s entry for the smaller capacity 350cc Greeves Oulton, which is bored out to 380cc, has been accepted.

Former TT winner and Senior Manx GP winner Nick Jefferies is expected to ride the Manx Norton formerly ridden by the late Barry Sheene. The bike was ridden by Sheene in the international classic series last year and helped him win both of the classic races that accompanied the British Grand Prix at Donington last year.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry company is offering reduced fares. The Starlight fare is available for as little as £89 return for a bike and two passengers, the stay is not limited to any length of time but both journeys must be on crossings departing between 6.30pm and 3am. Or if you want to travel at a more sociable hour you could take the five-day short break fare of £131 return for a bike and rider.

For full details of prices and available crossings call 08705 523 523.

Check back regularly for updates on the Manx GP throughout the next two weeks.

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