ISLE OF MAN – The fastest man ever around the famous Isle of Man Mountain Course, New Zealand’s Bruce Anstey will be teaming up with fellow Kiwi Ken McIntosh for a second attempt at the Classic TT presented by Bennetts on Aug. 23.
Nine-time TT winner Anstey was running second last year in the inaugural Senior Classic TT when a piston failure caused his retirement on the second lap of the four lap race.
In June this year Bruce Anstey entered the history books when he became the first man ever to top 132 mph average for a lap.
Last year Anstey rode a Classic bike for the very first time and was amazed at how precise the steering was. He commented that he had to re-learn all his old 250 lines where you used every inch of the road, and sometimes more! “He wouldn’t let me change any of the setting on the ‘Featherbed’ Manx” said McIntosh.
With previous riders Kevin Schwantz, Cameron Donald and Andrew Stroud all winning races on the bike the setup was already well established for shorter circuits but it also proved to be good on the many jumps and high speed corners on the TT course as well.
This year McIntosh will return with two identical models of his New Zealand built 1962 Manx Norton replicas for Anstey, so that the race bike is still fresh at the end of qualifying, giving Bruce his best chance of a finish.
“It was a major blow to be the fastest single cylinder bike in all the practices and never miss a beat all week and then fail to finish when lying in second place,” said McIntosh. “We had to come back and give our New Zealand built bike another chance to live up to its ‘Manx’ Norton name.”
Bruce Anstey will be competing for the Mike Hailwood Trophy awarded for 500cc single cylinder machines using a machine that is essentially true to 1962 specification against the much later pre-1973 period multi-cylinder bikes.
“With Bruce’s speed and the fickle nature of true TT racing he is certainly in with a chance of an overall podium finish,” said McIntosh. “Mike Hailwood lived in New Zealand when he retired from racing the first time so there is a special Hailwood connection there.”