Isle of Man TT | The Most Fatal Race Ever

Isle of Man TT Event has been going on since the year 1907 and since then it has already claimed more than 260 lives. Many lives, sometimes, in the same event, same year.


Isle of Man

The Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) is an international racing event that takes place at the island of Mann. Mann is a self-governing British Crown dependency situated in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. Queen Elizabeth II holds the title of Lord Of Man. The defense forces of the United Kingdom have the responsibility to defend the Island. The total population of this island is 83,314. The Island got its name from sea god Manannan. Capital city is Douglas. The total area of the island is 221 sq miles.

The Isle of Man TT or Tourist Trophy races are annual motorcycle sport event. This event takes place in Isle of Man in May/June of most years since its inaugural race in 1907. There have been a total of 100 races since 1907.

CourseSnaefell Mountain Course
TypePublic Road Course
Clerk of CourseGary Thompson MBE BEM
Event OrganiserACU Events Ltd
Principal SponsorIsle of Man Department Of Economic Development


Motor racing started in 1904 with the Gordon Bennett Eliminating Trial.

The first Isle of Man TT race took place on Tuesday 28 May 1907 and was called the International Auto-Cycle Tourist Trophy.

The race took place on St John’s Short Course of 15 miles and was called the International Auto-Cycle Tourist Trophy. The race got transferred to much longer Snaefell Mountain Course of 37.40 miles in 1911. This course starts at sea level slowly ascending and goes to the height of 1,300 feet. Race started with a single race with two different classes in 1907. Later in 1911, Isle of Man TT expanded into two individual races for the 350cc Junior Tourist Trophy and 500cc Senior Tourist Trophy race.

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The race did not take place from 1915 to 1919 due to the First World War and then again from 1940 and 1945 due to the Second World War. In 2020, Tourist Trophy was due to take place between 30 May and 13 June but got cancelled as a protective measure to protect the population against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Eligibility :

The racer must possess the FIM Sponsors License for Road Racing. The driver also needs a driver’s license or motorcycle certification or a driver’s license from a country that is recognized by the UK comparable department of transportation standards.

Records :

  • The first winner was Charles R. Collier who won the race of 1907.
  • The rider who won the largest number of races is Joey Dunlop, who won 26 races between 1977 and 2000.
  • The record for the fastest driver belongs to Peter Hickman who completed a lap of 37.40 miles in 16 minutes and 42.778 sec with an average speed of 135.452 mph (217.989 km/h) in 2018.

Why the Race is so fatal ?

As we said race takes place on Isle of Man starting from sea level reaching to the altitude of 1,300 feet. This 60 km track has more than 260 turns and twists which are very tough to navigate at such a high speed. These turns have consumed many life over the past century. These roads have killed many more rider than any other race course in the world.

The total number of fatalities is around 269. The riders died on the spot or suffered heavy damage, becoming handicap for life.

In 2016, 5 riders died on the course during official practices or races. In 1970, there were 6 fatalities among the competitors making it the deadliest year in the history of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy events.

Safety Measures :

As it is evident that there are absolutely no speed limits. After the completion of a practice or race period, a vehicle displaying the notice “Roads Open” proceeds around the Mountain Course. They pass each point opening the roads including side-access junctions to public use.

Travelling Marshals :

After many accidents on the course, the management decided to do something about it and the result were travelling marshals. Originally introduced in 1935, there are eight vehicles placed on the statically significant points of the course. They provide rapid response to any incident on the course. They have selected riders with first-aid training. These vehicles or machine carrying medical equipment that can assist in managing casualty. They also have other duties to perform. These duties involve:

  • Course inspection
  • Observation of machines on the course for visible faults
  • Review and report any course incidents

The legendary Tourist Trophy is the worlds oldest motorcycle race. It brings around 7 million euro in revenue every year. This results in great economic benefit to the Isle of Man. Around 50,000 tourists attend the event every year. This year it resulted in a huge loss for the Isle of Man. In the world that’s obviously increasingly tightly regulated, the Isle of Man TT represents the freedom. While other extreme racing sports have lost their extreme nature. Tourist Trophy has still maintained its nature of being the most dangerous sports in the world. They want to maintain the purity of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy and keep entertaining the extreme race lovers.

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