Excitement is building with only 50 days to go until the start of qualifying for the Manx Grand Prix. This year's event has a headline sponsor, IMGold, for the first time in the event's 91 year history.
Competitors representing eighteen countries will line up on Glencrutchery Road, including riders from destinations as far flung as the United States of America, Australia and the Faroe Islands as well as Germany, France, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Austria. Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man are all well represented.
Entries are at their highest number since 2003. The five race programme - Newcomers (A, B and C) Race, the Junior, the Supertwin, Lightweight and the Senior - was oversubscribed with multiple entries for each class.
Following a week of qualifying, which starts on Saturday 16th August 2014, the racing gets underway in earnest with the now traditional curtain raiser, the Newcomers Race, which this year runs on Monday 25th August. This year 76 newcomers will line up in the three category races – up to 750cc, 650cc and 125/400cc.
Wednesday's double-header race day opens with the Junior Manx Grand Prix and front runners confirmed to take part include Wilson and Collins rider Mike Moulai and Loughborough's Andy Soar, who finished second in a remarkable race in the 2012 MGP Senior, his debut year. Manchester rider Anthony Redmond has the prestigious number 1 slot and is also one of the expected front-runners as are Manx riders Glen Harrison and Paul Smythe and the 2012 Newcomer A race winner Kamil Holan from the Czech Republic.
The Raceday concludes with the SuperTwin Race for 650 machines and the Lightweight Race for 125/400 machines. This exciting class, which was introduced in 2011, boasts an increased entry of 65 riders including 1993 F1 TT Race winner Nick Jefferies. Rob Hodson, from the Wigan racing dynasty, Andy Farrell and Joe Phillips are all expected to challenge for honours while 2013 Newcomers B Race winner Callum Collister from the Isle of Man will also be looking to get on the podium this year. In the concurrent 400cc class Alex Sinclair, Ben Rae, the 2013 newcomers C race winner and Isle of Man riders Dave Corlett and Dave Taylor are among the pre-race favourites.
The meeting concludes with the prestigious Blue Riband Senior TT, which is sponsored this year by Martin Bullock's Full Factory - Winnerswear. Past winners of this iconic Race include Harold Daniel (1933), Geoff Duke (1949) and Phil Read (1960). None of the confirmed starters has ever won the race before so a new name will be inscribed on the trophy. As well as the stunning trophies, this year's race winners will each also receive a silver ingot from MGP sponsor IMGold.
Harvey Garton, Chairman, Manx Motorcycle Club commented:
"We are delighted to have such a high number of entries for this year's Manx Grand Prix from all around the world, testament to the event's growing appeal. For many of our competitors appearing in the Manx Grand Prix represents a huge personal and financial commitment and I would encourage everyone to come and support these remarkable individuals and celebrate their achievements."