The Manx Motor Cycle Club, organisers of the Manx Grand Prix has negotiated a title sponsor for the Manx Grand Prix, the first in the event's ninety-one year history.
Isle of Man based IMGold, a gold bullion depository and trading company in Victoria Street, Douglas, will become the title sponsor from 2014 in a multi year deal. The event will be known as the IMGold Manx Grand Prix.
As well as the MGP naming rights, IMGold will also receive a package of sponsorship benefits including high profile startline, trackside, podium and winners enclosure branding, advertising in the official MGP programme and website and tickets to the MGP VIP Hospitality Club
Ed Pearce, IMGold Managing Director, said:
“We’re very proud to become the first title sponsor of the Manx Grand Prix in its 91 year history. As a company that values its Manx roots, we are honoured to be associated with such a prestigious event that over many years has attracted competitors and fans to the Island from around the world. We are delighted to be playing a part in ensuring that the MGP has a bright future, not just as a premier motorsports event in its own right, but also in its role as a stepping stone in the careers of many young riders who go on to become TT champions.”
Harvey Garton, Chairman, Manx Motorcycle Club, commented:
"We are delighted to have secured IMGold as a commercial partner for the Manx Grand Prix. The sponsorship represents a major commitment to the event and is an important step for us as we look to build and grow the event and secure its long term future."
The Manx Grand Prix runs in late August and early September. It is part of the Isle of Man Festival of Motoring that also includes the Classic TT, the two-day and Classic Trials and the Vintage Motorcycle Club Rally and Festival of Jurby.
This year's Manx Grand Prix features the newcomers race across three classes on Monday 25th August, the Junior MGP (Supersport) and Lightweight SuperTwin on Wednesday 27th and concludes with the Senior MGP on Friday 29th August. The meeting also includes the 'MGP Riders Reunion' invitational evening including Newcomers prize presentation on Wednesday 27th August.
The Manx Grand Prix began in 1923 as the 'Manx Amateur Road Races' until 1930 when it was renamed the Manx Grand Prix. One of the world's oldest continuous motorsport events, it has run every year apart from the Second World War years and in 2001 due to Foot and Mouth precautions on the Isle of Man. The event has provided a platform for competitors to experience the Mountain Course and many of the most successful riders have graduated to compete in the TT itself.
Notable names from history such as Harold Daniel, Freddie Frith, Phil Read, Alex George, and Steve Hislop amongst many others first experienced the TT Mountain Course through the Manx Grand Prix while the legendary Geoff Duke won the 1949 MGP Senior ahead of his first TT victory in 1950 and Bob McIntyre was the winner of the 1952 Junior before he went on to be the first rider to break the magical 100mph barrier at the 1957 TT.
Other previous competitors at the Manx Grand Prix have included TT race winners Carl Fogarty, Charlie Williams and Phillip McCallen while current TT competitors who made their Mountain Course debuts at the Manx Grand Prix include Ian Hutchinson, Michael Dunlop, Ryan Farquhar, Dan Kneen and Ivan Lintin. Last year's MGP newcomers included Alex Picket and James Cowton who are also competing at this year's TT.
Other notable events in the races' 91-year history include Gloria Clark who, in 1989, became the first woman to race in the MGP. She entered the Guinness Book of Records in 1991 as the fastest lady on the TT Circuit. Manx resident Carolynn Sells, now a Director of the MMCC is currently the only woman to have ever won a race on the Snaefell Mountain Course which was during the 2009 Manx Grand Prix.