ISLE OF MAN – Triple TT winner and former Grand Prix star Rob McElnea will make his return to the Isle of Man this month at the Classic TT presented by Bennetts.
The Humbersider has confirmed his participation with outings in both the Joey Dunlop Road Racing Legend – The Rivals Parade Lap sponsored by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and Classic Racer Magazine Classic TT Lap of Honor. McElnea will ride the same Suzuki XR41 he rode in 1983, the machine now owned by Steve Wheatman.
McElnea made his TT debut in 1982 after twice leading at the Manx Grand Prix before retiring and a year later he was a fully-fledged member of the factory Heron Suzuki team alongside Mick Grant, the duo going head to head with the Honda pairing of Dunlop and Roger Marshall.
McElnea won that year’s Senior Classic TT ahead of Con Law with Joey back in third and the following year the two rivals would be involved in more titanic battles. Dunlop came out on top in the World F1 Championship race but the mid-week Senior TT race would prove to be one of the best ever on the island.
There was little to choose between the two for the first five laps as the lead constantly changed hands with McElnea smashing the outright lap record on his second lap, beating Norman Brown’s mark of 116.19 mph with a lap of 118.24 mph. However, Dunlop looked to have the race sewn up on his three-cylinder two stroke Honda as he went quicker still on his fifth lap, averaging 118.47mph to reclaim the lead. On the last lap though, he ran out of fuel, leaving Rob to come home ahead of Marshall and Trevor Nation.