After 100 years of racing, the IOMTT could see route changes

The corner workers might need a suit of armour, like seen in the Isle of Man's flag, to deal with the fans next year.

More than a century after the Isle of Man TT began racing it in 1911 organizers are talking about making some changes to the race’s famed Mountain Course.

Motorsport is a constantly evolving scene, but the Mountain Course has been relatively unchanged for the past hundred years, and that’s been part of the race’s appeal. Hardcore fans know every bend and turn of the 37-mile public road course, which serves as the racetrack for both the Isle of Man TT and the Classic TT.

However, some locals are unhappy about having their streets shut down for hours at a time. The island also sees traffic jams when streets re-open, as everyone rushes about trying to take care of business.

For those reasons, organizers are talking about changing the course’s routing, a major change to the race, especially for the seasoned vets who’ve been there for decades. Isle of Man Today is reporting local civic leaders are discussing a re-routing that would include new roads, possibly.

There’s also a new grandstand in the works, says Isle of Man Today; the current grandstand has been around since the 1970s.

No doubt any changes will be decried by some longtime fans, but if the changes keep locals happy, it’s likely for the TT’s long-term benefit, as there’s no worse enemy of racing than disgruntled neighbours.


  1. I’d like to point out a few of a number of inaccuracies in this article. Firstly racing started in 1907, and moved to this particular course in 1911. Secondly the grandstand has been in use since 1986. And thirdly the course is 37 and three quarter miles

  2. If there’s truly “No need for the ‘nanny state’ to makes things ‘safer’ for ‘our own good’” then how about we get rid of those tiresome laws around “distracted driving is bad” and “no cellphone use while driving”? So what if a few bikers die because they get hit by a distracted driver on their cellphone? That’s just the price of the libertarian utopia of LAWS BAD and FREEDOM GOOD.

    Check your hypocrisy.

    • Your point is emotive but completely redundant, distracted driving and participation in the TT are completely unrelated. As the commenter said, if you think it’s too dangerous, don’t do it. If watching it fills you with dread, don’t watch it. It’s that simple. If you want to watch racing with a lot of the risks removed, watch track racing, here the riders compete in the ultimate test. It’s like climbing Everest, which if you do a little research you’ll find has had more deaths in a shorter history of being conquered. You may not have the drive and passion to conquer something like this but others do, and their decisions shouldn’t be made for them. It really is as simple as if you don’t like it, ignore it. Also, just as many people died when the races were at slower speeds. Distracted driving laws are a necessity to keep everyone safe from other people, here the only people at risk are the riders who CHOOSE to do it, and potentially spectators who again CHOOSE to watch the races on the sidelines, nobody involved in any way is coerced or forced here, so they don’t need anybody to step in and destroy this event. And anybody inconvenienced by the course is obviously either seriously forgetful as racing has taken place on the island since 1907 (1911 on this particular course), long before they were born, or perhaps they’ve moved here which I’m presuming is the likely explanation for these nonsense requests, then they obviously haven’t researched where they plan to live very well, either way they obviously aren’t worth the time of day on this issue. If you don’t like it, stick to sitting at home reading your sorry excuse for a newspaper.

  3. The libertarian in me compels me to wholeheartedly disagree: No need for the ‘nanny state’ to makes things ‘safer’ for ‘our own good’.
    Best as it is currently.
    If something is too dangerous for you…don’t participate.
    If watching something causes you to feel ‘dread’….stop watching it!
    There is no entity that is forcing participation or spectating of the IOMTT.
    The ability to choose is a very beautiful and ‘adult’ activity…no reason for censorship in the name of ‘for our own good’. We’re all ‘adults’, aren’t we?

  4. Anything that improves the safety of that course is needed. It’s brilliant racing, but the chances of dying on the course are way too high.

    As per the Sun in 2018:

    “There have been over 270 recorded competitor deaths in the Isle of Man since 1910 in official races or practices since its inaugural race in 1907. Recent history shows that two competitors have perished so far this year, adding to three in 2017 and five in 2016.”

    Running around that course at 40 mph in 1907 is a speed where you can make a mistake and not die.

    Running around that course at 100 mph in 1955 is much more dangerous, and when you make a mistake you are likely to die.

    Racing around that course at 130 mpg in 2018, is a whole new level of danger: You can die even if you don’t make a mistake.

    I get that there is a deep and powerful thrill to racing in such dangerous conditions, but as the speeds get higher it is on the verge of moving from dangerous to suicidal.

    It would be much better to put in a course that combines some of the safer high-speed areas with some dedicated racing sections that bypass the worst of the dangerous urban areas where the stone walls and hedgerows are lethal. That would be like the Circuit de la Sarthe used for the Le Mans 24 hours race.

    Frankly, it would be much more fun to watch the IoM TT without the sickening feeling of dread that someone is just about to die.

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