TT 2011: Ted Fenwick claims Pre-TT Classic win at 83
At the age of 83, Ted Fenwick stormed to victory in the opening race of the Blackford Pre-TT Classic Road Races, held on the Billown course on Saturday.
Mr Fenwick piloted his beloved 250cc Ducati to an emphatic 38-second victory, beating riders a fraction of his age.
Held over six laps of the 4.25-mile circuit in the south of the Isle of Man, the grandfather-of-three averaged close to 75mph during the race.
Speaking after his victory, Mr Fenwick said: "I am really pleased to win. It was a smashing race."
Mr Fenwick also won the class in last year's wet conditions but when asked if he would be back to add to his four Billown titles in 2012, he said he was not sure.
Mr Fenwick finished 38 seconds ahead of Ian Ward with another previous winner, Terry Kermode, completing the podium.
Kermode was full of praise for the winner: "I can't believe it. He is a credit to us all.
"His riding style is fabulous."
The retired engineer discovered his love of motorbikes as a teenager and raced all over the UK for 20 years before taking a break to raise his family.
RESULT, 250CC PRE-TT CLASSIC
- 1. Ted Fenwick - 74.819mph
- 2. Ian Ward - 72.606 mph
- 3. Terry Kermode - 70.391 mph
'Thrilled to bits'
His family have always supported him in his pursuit for racing glory but he admitted that his wife Margaret would be "thrilled to bits" if he stopped.
He returned to racing in 1982 and has been coming back to the Isle of Man since 1987.
"It all started when I was doing grass-track racing as a teenager.
"After going to see a road-race meeting I was hooked and it's been with me ever since. I bought an old bike and I've been racing ever since."
During his racing career, Mr Fenwick has been hospitalised on several occasions, breaking many bones along the way.
"It's never put me off. I've just been lucky. A lot of people with injuries like that wouldn't be here. If you love it, you carry on with it - that's my motto."
The Pre-TT Classic Road Races act as the traditional curtain raiser for the TT fortnight on the Isle of Man.
The main race day will be held on Monday 30 May with the prize presentation taking place on Tuesday 31 May in Castletown square.