Shropshire Star

Racers head to Isle of Man for Classic TT

The Isle of Man has beckoned once more for some of Shropshire’s finest racers, this time as the Classic TT and Manx GP return.


Bridgnorth’s Michael Rutter will be leading the way in the classic, riding in four classes.

Fellow TT veteran Mike Cookson, from Welshpool, who has raced sidecars on the island for years, has entered popular Czech rider Michal Dokoupil into the classic on one of his own machines.

Meanwhile, Wem’s Ben Plant has returned to the Manx for the second time while Welshpool’s Alun Brooks is making his debut.

Rutter has rejoined Ripley Land Racing and will again campaign a 350cc Drixton Honda in Junior Classic TT, a class he has previously won twice in 2015 and 2016, as well as coming second to Michael Dunlop in 2016.

He was leading last year’s race before a puncture halted his progress and led to eventual retirement, while his fastest lap on the 350cc Honda of 104.002mph is the third quickest in the class ever, behind Dunlop and Dominic Herbertson.

Rutter will start at number four for the Junior as well as the Superbike Classic TT, on board the Team Winfield 1200 Yamaha, the Senior Classic TT, on a Ripley Land Racing, Matchless, and the Lightweight Classic TT, although his ride for that class is to be confirmed.

“I broke down in every race last year and it all depends on if you can just finish the race on these machines,” said Rutter. “The 350cc is the one we’ve got the best chance on but F3 12000 is also really good fun to ride.

“A bike is now classed as a classic if it was built in 1992 or before, which is around the time I actually started racing.

“To be honest, I have a lot more fun riding the bikes built in the 1980s or 1970s.”

Cookson is running Czech roads star Michal ‘Indi’ Dokoupil, who is sampling the Classic TT for the first time.

The Cookson Travel Racing team, which is returning for a third year, will pilot an 750F1 Durex Suzuki Superbike Classic TT, which was raced last year by Wilmslow’s Sam West to an eighth-placed finish that saw him become the first Suzuki home.

Indi, who recently doubled his International road race wins tally at the Ulster GP, finished in the top 15 of this year’s Lightweight TT and has raced around the infamous 37.73-mile mountain course since 2009.

The Czech rider has enjoyed six top-15 finishes and seven top-20 finishes at the main Isle of Man TT races, with a personal best result of 10th in the 2014 Lightweight TT.

Indi will also be helping and supporting his partner, Veronika Hankocyova, who is set to compete in the Lightweight Manx GP races, aboard one of Mark Coverdale’s S1-R Patons.

Brookes will be racing in the Newcomer A race and Senior races at the Manx GP, with Plant in the Junior and Senior races.

Races are due to start on Saturday (AUG 24), with the Senior Classic TT and Lightweight Classic TT, which are both four laps.

The four-lap Junior Classic TT, Superbike Classic TT and Manx GP Newcomers A races follow on bank holiday Monday.

Wednesday, August 28, is the four-lap Junior Manx GP and Lightweight Manx GPs, with the second Lightweight Manx GP and Senior Manx GP on August 30.

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