John McGuinness collected his 17th TT victory by taking a strong win in the Senior race on his TT Legends Honda, the final event in the 2011 Isle of Man TT Festival.
He had to wait for it, though – bad weather at the north end of the Island put the race start off from noon to 5:00 p.m. Even racing into the evening, he set a new race record time.
The win nicely bracketed the week for McGuinness, who also won the first Superbike race a week ago and collected two other podiums along the way. That made him the comfortable winner of the overall TT Championship taking the Joey Dunlop Trophy by 31 points from Keith Amor and Guy Martin.
Martin, seemingly ever to be the bridesmaid at the TT, came in second on his TAS Relentless Suzuki after leading through the first pit stop, but McGuinness caught him up on the third lap (of six) and from there just pulled ahead. At one point he had more than a 15 second lead, but eased off on the last lap for an eventual 7.2-second gap. Third place went to Bruce Anstey on a Padgett’s Honda.
Cameron Donald, Keith Amor, and Michael Dunlop were also in the mix at one time or another, but by the end the top three were the only serious contenders for the final win of the week. They finished within 15 seconds of each other, while it was nearly a minute back to Cameron Donald in fourth (riding for the Wilson Craig team that Martin was with last year).
It’s worthy of note that the first privateer to finish was also the best newcomer, English racer Simon Andrews taking a superb 11th place on his Ice Valley BMW. He also managed a 125 mph-plus lap, the second-fastest ever lap by a TT debutante.