Pre-TT Classic to open a fortnight of racing on the IOM

The Pre-TT Classic road races on the Billown Course will open this year's fortnight of TT racing on the Isle of Man later.

The first practice session on the 4.25 mile circuit, in the south of the island, will be held at 18:15 BST before racing begins on Saturday.

Organiser Phil Edge said: "We are all geared up for some great racing and we've got a really strong line-up."

The traditional TT curtain raiser features bikes made before 1972.

Classes include 250cc and 350cc Singles, Lightweight, Junior, Senior, Unlimited Classic and Post Classic solo machines, as well as sidecar racing.

According to Mr Edge around a dozen former winners will be competing at this year's event including Chris Palmer, Dan Sayle and Roy Richardson.

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We hope everyone comes down to watch some thrilling between the hedges racing

Phil Edge Organiser

Mr Edge said: "We hope everyone comes down to watch some thrilling between the hedges racing."

Lining up on the grid will also be 85-year-old Ted Fenwick from York.

The grandfather-of-three has been racing motorbikes for six decades and is a four-time winner at the Isle of Man's Pre TT Classic races, most recently in 2011, aged 83.

Modern day TT stars including Maria Costello, Paul Coward and Mark Madsen-Mygdal will also compete.

Racing will continue at Billown on Monday with seven further races.

The event will culminate with the popular Open Air Concours d'Elegance of Racing Machines and a Prize Presentation in Castletown Square on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the first Isle of Man TT practice session on the Mountain Course will be held on Saturday evening with the Solo Newcomers first out.

The opening Superbike race will be held on Saturday 1 June.