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Iconic Motorsport Adventures: 2017 Isle of Man TT Tour

25 February, 2018

 


 

The Isle of Man is a great place to visit, with its picturesque landscape and architecture, but come race week for the TT, it transforms into something else altogether. Iconic Motorsport Adventures took their first tour to the Isle of Man in 2017 for the premier TT (Tourist Trophy) event. It was added to the list of iconic tours that Iconic Motorsport Adventures offer, with the Isle of Man TT arguably the most iconic motorcycle event that is held worldwide. The 37-mile course has a grim history of being hard to tame and conquer, however it still draws riders from all around the globe wanting to carve their name in history as a TT champion.

The tour started at Flitwick, which is about an hour north of London, and after the first night’s meet and greet dinner and accommodation at the beautiful Flitwick Manor, it was time to start heading north. First stop was the Donington Museum, at Donington Park Motor Racing Circuit, for a look at their great collection of vehicles including a lot of Formula One cars. The next day was spent travelling over to the Isle of Man on the ferry from Heysham.

From there, the following day and night were spent around the pit and paddock area where final qualifying was watched from the pitlane grandstand. There were plenty of opportunities to spend time in the pits and get those sort after photos of their heroes. For the rest of the week the tour was based around Ramsey where there is generous space for the convoy to park their motorhomes and visit The Traff, the local Trafalgar Hotel, to catch up with some locals.

Each day that racing was on, a different spot was picked around the circuit for viewing. At Kirk-Michael the team got a fantastic front row position, while other top viewing spots included up on the mountain at “the Bungalow”, and right beside the course at Ramsey.

On the lay-days when no racing took place, a visit to the Isle of Man Motor Museum at Jurby turned out to be surprisingly good. It houses a great collection of bikes but also a lot of cars and some quite unusual unique vehicles. A trip on the steam train to Port Erin and a drive to Peel Castle another day, also added to the overall tour.

They were able to cheer on the kiwis in person, with Isle of Man TT legend Bruce Anstey winning the TT Zero race, and the Lawrence brothers competing in the sidecar races.

After a week it was time to travel back to England on the ferry, and a visit to the National Motorcycle Museum which has one of the best collections of motorcycles anywhere in the world. A final night back at Flitwick Manor topped off what was a very successful tour.

For anyone that thinks the Iconic Motorsport Adventures Isle of Man TT Tour sounds like a bit of them, there are still places available for the 2018 Isle of Man TT Tour (May/June).

Check out all the details at iconicmsport.co.nz

Penny’s Pagoda – Mercedes Benz 230 SL

We scouted out a few different locations for photographing this car, but they all had one thing in common. At every stop, people could not help but come up and compliment owner Penny Webster on her stunning Horizon Blue Mercedes 230 SL.
There’s something about the ‘Pagoda’ Mercedes — so-called because the distinctive dipping curve of its roofline echoes that of the famous Eastern tiered temples — that encourages people to speak up.
Many classic cars attract a second look, but in most cases people keep their thoughts to themselves. It was striking how many people felt the need to express the warmth of their feelings about this car.
The expansive glass cockpit, the friendly, subtle lines, and its simple three-box shape seem to encourage openness among passers-by.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.