A special tribute to Isle of Man TT legend Joey Dunlop will be held at the Classic TT in 2014.
The Ulster sporting icon remains the most successful rider in the history of the world-renowned road race with an unprecedented 26 victories - six more than nearest challenger John McGuinness, who claimed his 20th success on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course in the Senior race this year.
Dunlop tragically lost his life in a crash at Tallin in Estonia in 2000 only weeks after an incredible performance at the TT, where the Honda hero triumphed in the Formula One race and completed a treble with a two-stroke double in the 125cc and 250cc races at the age of 48.
The Ballymoney man is still revered by TT fans around the globe and next year the Classic TT Races - held for the first time to great acclaim this year - will remember one of the Isle of Man’s favourite sons.
Entitled ‘Joey Dunlop - Road Racing Legend’, the Classic TT weekend will celebrate ‘Yer Maun’s’ achievements at the TT in addition to his five Formula One World Championship crowns and his success on the roads on his home patch in Northern Ireland.
The tribute will have a special focus on the 1980s, when Joey was at the pinnacle of his career on the works Honda machines.
The Isle of Man Government’s Department of Economic Development is working with Joey’s family to curate an exhibition of his racing machines, which will be put on free display in the paddock through the Classic TT, which will have an eighties theme in 2014.
There will also be a parade lap sponsored by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company featuring Joey’s 26 biggest career rivals, including many of his leading fellow competitors from the Formula One World Championship and his opponents from the Irish national road races.
Trevor Hussey, Head of Motorsport, Isle of Man Government Department of Economic Development, said: “There seems to be an unwritten rule that Classic Racing is just pre-1960s machines but we are looking to change that with the Classic TT. The 1980s not only gives us a rich motorcycling theme but was also a strong cultural decade and we will look to really expand on that.
“It also gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to one of the greatest names in the TT’s long history and we are really keen to develop an appropriate celebration of Joey Dunlop’s racing career as his name is synonymous with the TT races.”
A fancy dress carnival will take place at the Grandstand on Friday, August 22 next year, following on from the success of the sixties theme at the inaugural event in the summer.
The Classic TT weekend will again feature two race days on Saturday, August 23 and Monday, August 25, when the programme again includes Formula One and Formula Two machines, a 350cc race and the 500cc event.
The popular Festival of Jurby will again take place on Sunday, August 24.
Visit www.iomtt.com for further information about the festival, which also incorporates the Manx Grand Prix.