Honda Racing PR:
Honda has plenty to celebrate today as the manufacturer celebrates 50 years of racing at the cornerstone circuit of their racing activities – the Isle of Man TT in the United Kingdom.
Honda’s relationship with the TT began in 1954, when the company’s founder Soichiro Honda vowed to take part.
Five years later a party of four riders and five engineers set foot on Manx soil to begin Honda’s love-affair with the Tourist Trophy races.
The first year saw a sixth, seventh, eighth and tenth place claiming the Manufacturers’ title in only their second international road race, but just two years later Honda won its first race in the hands of legendary rider Mike Hailwood.
Its riders had dominated practice for the 1961 Ultra Lightweight TT and Hailwood led a sweep of five Hondas in the top six placings, which he followed-up with a win in the Lightweight TT later the same day.
Since then Honda has carried on winning at the TT – its current tally of victories stands at 139 – and Honda Racing currently holds the outright lap record of 129.451mph which John McGuinness set on-board his HM Plant Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade in 2007.
Honda (UK) will be celebrating the Japanese manufacturer’s 2009 TT campaign with a range of commemorative items including a previously unpublished image of the original 1959 Isle of Man TT team – consisting five riders (four Japanese and one American), the team leader and two mechanics – taken behind the main pit straight grandstand.
In association with the Isle of Man Post Office, a 50th anniversary of racing set of commemorative stamps has also been launched, each featuring one of Honda’s legendary riders spanning the decades of Honda’s competition at the TT.
The Treasury of the Isle of Man has approved the release of a new fifty pence circulating coin to mark Honda’s 50th anniversary of world championship racing, depicting multi winning TT rider John McGuinness on a CBR1000RR Fireblade.
An official anniversary book will also be launched in July following the TT, to ensure that all stories and results from the full fifty years are included.
Those going to the iconic event will also want to drop into the ‘Honda: The Golden Age 1959-1967’ anniversary exhibition at The Manx Museum, which will be open during the course of the 2009 TT.
Honda (UK)’s HM Plant Honda team – with 14 times winner John McGuinness and Steve Plater with sidecar duo Nick Crowe and Mark Cox – can be seen in action around the 37.75 mile mountain course between now and June 13th, on their class-leading CBR1000RR Fireblades in the Superbike and Superstock classes, CBR600RR in the Supersport class and Honda powered three-wheeler in the Sidecar TT.
For information on Honda’s involvement in this year’s TT, please visit: www.honda-racing.co.uk
For information on the CBR1000RR and CBR600RR, go to: www.hondamotorcycles.com.au