Ryan Farquhar ensured his 2015 visits to the Isle of Man ended on a high note on Monday when he finished in an excellent third place in the Formula One Classic TT race. Riding Roger Winfield’s 1200cc Harris Yamaha, the Dungannon ace was in contention throughout the four lap race and the rostrum position more than made up for the disappointment of retiring the Winfield Paton from the 500cc Classic TT race on Saturday.
Delayed by almost three hours, the Formula One race eventually got underway at 5pm on Monday and Ryan signalled his intentions from the outset as he led Michael Dunlop through Glen Helen on the opening lap. It was incredibly close though and positions were changing all the time but with his first lap being 123.854mph, Ryan slotted into third, 2.9s behind new race leader Bruce Anstey.
Ryan’s second lap was slightly slower at 123.265mph but he was still holding firm in third and a good pit stop saw him maintain that position. Third time around, James Hillier closed to within four seconds at one stage but Ryan was now up into second as Anstey dropped back due to a loose exhaust. However, the Kiwi flew on the last lap to overhaul him once more, albeit by just 1.9s, but Ryan was almost six seconds clear of Hillier to claim yet another podium position around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
Saturday’s 500cc Classic TT race is a race that Ryan had won five times previously at the Manx Grand Prix and, with the second fastest lap in practice at 110.006mph, just behind team-mate John McGuinness, hopes were high going into the race. Indeed, at Glen Helen on the opening lap Ryan was just one second behind the Morecambe rider. By Ballaugh, Ryan was in the lead and over 17 seconds clear as McGuinness ran into trouble but he too was to suffer similar misfortune and retired at Parliament Square with an electrical problem. In a strange quirk of fate, McGuinness retired at the same spot!
Ryan Farquhar: “I was really happy to end my Classic TT campaign with a podium on Monday and everything went to plan. We got the bike working really well during practice and the top end speed was excellent although it’s a big, heavy bike so the four laps were quite hard work. The sun was getting low and it was tricky getting past some of the slower traffic whilst I also started to run out of fuel on the final lap but to finish third is brilliant. I was happy with the lap times, happy to be the first air cooled bike to finish and happy to beat my team-mate Gary Johnson!”
“It definitely made up for the disappointment of retiring from the 500cc Classic TT race whilst leading once more. We haven’t had much luck of late with the Paton and the bike just cut out on me although when we got it back to the paddock, it fired up straightaway. It turned out there was a bad connection between one of the fuses in the wiring loom but that’s just how it goes sometimes. Team Winfield have been a pleasure to work with again and the whole team has worked incredibly hard so it’s great to reward them in the F1 race with a Classic TT podium.”
Ryan’s next outing comes at the International Gold Cup at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough on 12/13 September.
Picture by Stephen Davison – Pacemaker Press International