TT Record Breakers Then and Now

by Amelie J Rose published on 10th June 2016

As this year’s TT races draw to a close, we take a look at some of the records that have been set during the 109-year history of the world-famous Isle of Man motorcycle race event, and the characters behind them.

TT Races
TT Race photographed by Scott Mitchell

Ian Hutchinson

Ian Hutchinson is one of the main success stories of TT 2016, having won a treble in the Supersport class for two consecutive years. During his career he has won a total of 14 victories at the TT races, which makes him the third most successful solo biker in the race event’s history. Ian is also a TT record holder, having become the first man to win five solo races in one TT competition in 2010.

Joey Dunlop

The most successful solo rider in the history of the TT is Northern Ireland’s Joey Dunlop. Between 1976 and 2000 he clocked up an overwhelming 26 victories. Nine of these were hat-tricks, in 1985, 1988 and 2000, across a wide variety of classes from Ultra Lightweight through to Senior TT. Tragically, Joey was killed in a motorcycle race in Estonia in the year 2000, aged just 48. His legacy will live on, however, as he is remembered as one of the greatest motorcyclists and sportsmen of all time.

First Ever Winners

The first TT races were held in 1907. The winner of the single-cylinder class was Charles R Collier, whose Matchless bike managed an average race speed of 38.21mph! The twin-cylinder class was won by Rem Fowler, who rode a Norton, and stormed to victory with a dizzying average speed of 36.22mph!

Rem Fowler astride his winning Norton in 1907
Rem Fowler astride his winning Norton in 1907

Fastest Laps

The TT course is 37 ¾ miles, which constitutes one lap. Racers in some of the categories have to complete as many as six laps. The record for the fastest ever lap was set at the 2016 event by Michael Dunlop, who on June 4th completed a lap in 16 minutes and 58 seconds, at an average speed of 133.4mph. This smashed the previous records which had been set by TT veteran John McGuinness. His fastest lap averaged 132.7mph in the 2015 competition.

Youngest and Oldest Competitors

The youngest competitor in the 2016 TT races was Josh Daley, who is aged just 19. Hailing from Wigan, UK, Daley already has his own motorbike team. 2016 was his first TT experience. This is in sharp contrast to the eldest participant, 85-year-old Ted Renwick! A lifelong motorcycle fanatic, Renwick entered the Pre-TT Classic Race, which he has previously won in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

TT Women

The first female rider to compete in the TT was Beryl Swain, in 1962, who rode a 50cc Itom with an average speed of 48mph. Things have come a long way for women riders since then. The female lap record holder at the TT is Jenny Tinmouth, who in 2010 notched up an average speed of 119.95mph during her record-breaking lap.

Jenny Tinmouth photographed by Steve Sargeant
Jenny Tinmouth photographed by Steve Sargeant

The event may be over for another year, but it has been a dramatic and eventful week of highs, lows and new records. How many of them will still be unbeaten this time next year?

Follow Amelie on Twitter @ameliejrose