Snaefell Mountain Course


Snaefell Mountain Course

Motorsport venue
Name = Mountain Course | Location = Douglas, Isle of Man
Time = GMT


Events = Isle of Man TT, Manx Grand Prix
Length_km = 60.72
Length_mi = 37.733
Turns = 200+
Record_time = 17:21.99
Record_driver = John McGuinness
Record_team = Honda
Record_year = 2007

Snaefell Mountain Course or Mountain Course ["Isle of Man Centenary TT - ACU/MMCC Official Race Guide" pp67 Isle of Man Department of Tourism and Leisure (2007) Mannin Media Group Ltd] is a road-racing circuit used for the Isle of Man TT and Manx Grand Prix Races held in the Isle of Man from 1911 and 1923 respectively. The racing is held on public roads closed for racing by an Act of Tynwald (the parliament of the Isle of Man). It is the oldest motor-cycle racing circuit still in use.

The course is 37.733 miles (60.72 km) [Official TT Guide 1992 pp 45 Mannin Media Publication/Isle of Man Department of Tourism] and the start-line is on the A2 Glencrutchery Road in Douglas. The racing circuit is based on a number of public roads on the Isle of Man including the primary A2 Douglas to Ramsey Road, A1 Douglas to Peel Road, A3 Castletown to Ramsey Road and the primary A18 Mountain Road. The highest point of the course is on the primary A18 Mountain Road between the Bungalow and Hailwood's Height at spot height 422 meters (1,384 feet) above sea level. coord|54|14|47.47|N|4|27|57.18|W|display=inline

History

Motor racing began on the Isle of Man in 1904 with the Gordon Bennett Car Trials and were originally restricted to touring automobiles. As the Motor Car Act 1903 placed a speed restriction of 20 mph on automobiles in the United Kingdom, the Secretary of the Automobile Car Club of Britain and Ireland approached the authorities in the Isle of Man for the permission to race automobiles on public roads. ["Island Racer" 2004 pp 112-113 Mortons Media Group Ltd ISSN 1743-5838] Tynwald's The Highways (Light Locomotives) Act 1904 gave permission in the Isle of Man for the 52.15 mile Highroads Course for the 1904 Gordon Bennett Car Trial. ["The Statutes of the Isle of Man Vol VII from 1896 to 1905" pp569 Edited by C.T.W Hughes-Games Brown and Sons Ltd]

For the 1905 Gordon Bennett Car event it was decided to run a trial for motor-cycles the day after for a team to represent Great Britain in the International Motor-Cycle Cup Races. The inability of the motor-cycle competitors to climb the steep primary A18 Mountain Road section of the course forced the organisers to use a 25 mile section of the Gordon Bennett Trial course. For this reason the 1907 Isle of Man TT Race used the 15 miles, 1,470 yards St. John's Short Course. The 1906 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race for automobiles course was reduced from 52.12 miles to 40 miles 2 furlongs and 60 yards. For the 1908 Tourist Trophy Race for racing automobiles, the course was again reduced to 37.5 miles with the removal of the Peel and Sandygate loops and was known as the Four Inch Course. ["TT Pioneers - Early Car Racing in the Isle of Man" pp 103-104 Robert Kelly, Mercury Asset Management (1996)(1st Edition) The Manx Experience, The Alden Press ISBN No 1 873120 61 3] The name of the course derives from the regulations for the 1908 Tourist Trophy adopted by the Royal Automobile Club which limited the the engines of the competiting automobiles to an cylinder diameter of four-inches. The Four-Inch Course was adopted by the Auto-Cycle Club for the 1911 Isle of Man TT Races. The Four-Inch Course was subsquently became known as the Snaefell Mountain Course or Mountain Course when used for motor-cycle racing.

For the 1920 Isle of Man TT Races, changes were made to the Mountain Course and competitors now turned left at Cronk-ny-Mona and followed the primary A18 Mountain Road to Governor's Bridge with a new start/finish line on Glencrutchery Road which lengthened the course to 37¾ miles. More changes to the course followed in 1923 with the adoption of a private road between Parliament Square and May Hill in Ramsey. The course had previously had negotiated Albert Road and Tower Road in Ramsey and the new course length was now 37.739 miles (revised to 37.733 miles in 1938). [Official TT Guide 1992 pp 45 Mannin Media Publication/Isle of Man Department of Tourism]

For the 1934 Isle of Man TT Races major alterations to the Mountain Course are carried out which includes the removal of the East Mountain sheep-gate. ["Isle of Man Examiner" dated 31st May 1934] This is followed by the removal of the hump-backed bridge at Ballig and the road work is completed for the Manx Grand Prix in September 1935. Road widening occurs on the Mountain Course at the Highlander, Laurel Bank, Glen Helen (between the Old Quarry and Brew's Restaurant) and at Brandywell with the removal of the Beinn-y-Phott sheep-gate for the 1935 Isle of Man TT Races. ["Isle of Man Weekly Times" dated 25th May 1935]

Before the commencement of racing for the 1953 Manx Grand Prix, the cottage at Appledene Corner is demolished between the 6th and 7th Milestone road-side marker on primary A1 Douglas to Peel road on the Mountain Course. ["Isle of Man Examiner" pp12 dated 14th August 1953] Further changes occur to the Mountain Course to facilitate racing on the Clypse Course and during the winter of 1953/54 road widening occurred on the primary A18 Mountain Road at Creg-ny-Baa, Signpost Corner, Cronk-ny-Mona and the approach to Governor's Bridge. ["Isle of Man Examiner" pp12 dated 5th January 1954] The approach to the Quarterbridge on the primary A2 Douglas to Peel road is widened and reprofiled and the jumps at the Highlander and Ballagarraghyn near Ballacraine are removed for the 1954 Isle of Man TT Races. ["TT 100 - The Authorised History of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Racing" by Mick Duckworth pp111 (2007){1st Edition) Lily Publications ISBN 1-8996067-4] Other major course alterations for the 1954 Isle of Man TT Races include road widening at Appledene, Handley's Corner, Barregarrow, Ballaugh Bridge, Ginger Hall(Sulby) and Kerrowmoar(20th Milestone). ["Isle of Man Examiner" pp6 dated 28th May 1954] During the winter of 1957/58 the hotel at the Bungalow tram-crossing is removed on the Mountain Section of the course. ["Isle of Man Examiner" pp1 dated 10 April 1958] ["TT 100 - The Authorised History of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Racing" by Mick Duckworth pp29 (2007){1st Edition) Lily Publications ISBN 1-89960-67-4]

During the 1960s further road-widening occurs at Ballig and also at Greeba Bridge on the primary A1 Douglas to Peel road. In 1963 a roundabout is added to the road junction at the Quarterbridge. ["Isle of Man Examiner" pp5 dated 6th June 1963] The winter of 1970/1971 road-widening occurs on the A18 Mountain Road at Verandah by cutting into the hillside. ["Isle of Man Weekly Times" pp1 dated 6th January 1971] The winter of 1975/76 road-widening and landscaping occurs at Snugbrough on the primary A2 road at the 2nd Milestone. Road re-profiling and widening occurs at Quarry Bends during the winter of 1986/87. During the winter months of 1991/1992 the A18 Mountain Road is closed for repair work to the road foundation between the 26th Milestone and the Mountain Box and also between the Windy Corner and Keppel Gate. From 2003 to 2006, road repair work is carried-out on the primary A3 road from Barregarrow to Cronk-y-Voddy, including Handley's Corner and the 11th Milestone. In 2004 the western-side embankment is removed from Guthrie's Memorial on the A18 Mountain Road. Also, during the winter of 2004/2005 road widening occurs at the Windy Corner followed by Brandish Corner during the winter of 2005/2006 by the Isle of Man Department of Transport. In October 2007 the Isle of Man Department of Transport begin road widening at Braddan Bridge on the Mountain Course with the creation of a new roundabout incorporating the 'Jubilee Oak' Tree on the A1 Douglas to Peel Road. The Department of Transport also announced the proposal of building a new section of road and roundabout for the Mountain Course with a link road from Signpost Corner to Governor's Bridge using the existing A18 Bemahague Road. This road widening scheme began in February 2008 ["Isle of Man Examiner" pp5 dated 5th February 2008] with the removal of trees on the Bemahague Estate.

peed and lap records

The lap record for the Mountain Course is 17 Minutes and 21.99 seconds at an average speed of 130.354 mph set by John McGuinness during the 2007 Senior TT Race.

In 2006 New Zealander Bruce Anstey holds the current top speed record of 206 mph (331.51 km/h). [http://www.motorcycledaily.com/20june06_ttspeed.htm New Isle of Man Top Speed Record (retrieved 12 August 2006)]

Cycling

The same course has also been used for cycle racing, including individual time trials and, from 1936, the Manx International massed-start road race. The first race on the 18 June 1936 was won by Charles Holland of the Midland Cycle and Athletics Club in 1 hour and 42 minutes and 57 seconds for one lap of the Mountain Course. ["Isle of Man Examiner" pp15 dated 29 January 2008]

Course names

Named corners

It is estimated that there are over 200 corners on the Isle of Man Mountain Course and about 60 corners have names. The first corner to be named after a competitor was Edges Corner in 1920 on the primary A21 road on the Mountain Course between Cronk-ny-Mona and Ballanard Road in Douglas used between 1911 and 1922. ["TT 100 - The Authorised History of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Racing" by Mick Duckworth pp29 (2007){1st Edition) Lily Publications ISBN 1-89960-67-4] Part of the Mountain Course was named Brandish Corner after Walter Brandish crashed in the right-hand gutter while trying to pass another competitor at Upper Hilberry Corner between Creg-ny-Baa and Hillberry and broke a leg during practice for the 1923 Isle of Man TT Races. ["Isle of Man Weekly Times" pp3 dated 9th June 1923] During an early morning practice session for the 1927 Isle of Man TT, Archie Birkin swerved to avoid a fish-van travelling to Peel and collided with a wall and was killed. The corner in Kirk Michael on the A3 primary road where the accident occurred was renamed Birkins Bend. From 1928 practice sessions for the Isle of Man TT Races and Manx Grand Prix where held on closed-roads. Handley's Corner is a corner between the 11th Milestone and the 12th Milestone. The name derives from Walter Handley riding a Rudge motorcycle, crashed during lap 1 of the 1932 Isle of Man TT in the Senior TT Race sustaining a back injury and subsequently retired from the race. In 1939 a stone memorial to Jimmie Guthrie was built at the "The Cutting" and the S-bend corner is renamed Guthrie's Memorial. ["Isle of Man Weekly Times" pp18 dated 17th June 1939]

A crash during practice for the 1952 Isle of Man TT Races by Bill Doran between Ballig Bridge and Laurel Bank the corner was renamed Doran's Bend. A stone shelter in a style of a small mountain Alpine Lodge was built in 1955 in memorial to Les Graham on the A18 Mountain Road. ["Isle of Man Examiner" pp9 dated 10th June 1955] The corner is named Les Graham Memorial or sometimes referred to as the "Bungalow Bridge". In 2003 the 32nd Milestone has been renamed 'Dukes' ["TT News - Issue 1" pp20 dated 1st June 2003] after the 1950s world motor-cycle champion Geoff Duke and the 26th Milestone renamed "Joey's" after the former Formula 1 TT motor-cycle champion Joey Dunlop. In contrast, the name 'Ago's Leap' is a misnomer for the section of road between Brunswick Road/Selborne Drive and Quarterbridge Road junction with Bray Hill/Cronkbourne Road in Douglas and is an unofficial name used by the media and TV commentators.

ee also

Isle of Man TT Races
Manx Grand Prix
Clypse Course
St. John's Short Course
List of Snaefell Mountain Course fatal accidents

ources

External links

* [http://www.iomtt.com/TT-2008/Circuit-Guide.aspx Circuit Guide] with Steve Hislop, 11 times TT winner
* [http://www.iommgp.com/tour/map.shtml Map of course]
* [http://www.iomguide.com/races/tt/tt-maps.php 2D and 3D Maps of the TT Course]


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