Norton rescue could revive its Isle of Man TT programme too

TVS Motors hints it will continue with Norton Motorcycles' motorsport project suggesting plans to race again in the Isle of Man TT

David Johnson Norton Isle of Man TT

Norton Motorcycles’ new owners TVS Motors have intimated it plans to continue pursuing the brand’s return to the racing arena in the Isle of Man TT.

The British marque was saved from collapse by the Indian manufacturer in a deal worth £16million, just weeks after Norton collapsed into administration amid a brewing scandal over unpaid taxes and misuse of pension funds. 

Though the finer details of the deal – particularly the outcome of the outstanding debts – is yet to be determined, TVS has dropped several hints as to the direction it intends to take the company.

First and foremost it wants to get production up and running again in order to honour the existing standing orders that were placed in the run up to the company going bust under Stuart Garner’s leadership, as well as plans to invest in its existing business model to produce premium motorcycles from its Donington Park base.

However, TVS Motors’ joint director Sudarshen Venu told the Indian carandbike publication there are also plans to continue with the Norton Racing project.

Though it provides no further details, it would indicate a plan to put investment behind its Isle of Man TT bid with the V4 RR and Superlight 650.

Norton has established a glittering history in motorsport over the decades, this heritage setting the stage for its high-profile return to the premier road race in 2009. In that time it attracted several high-profile names, including Josh Brookes, David Johnson and John McGuinness, but success in terms of results was scant.

While McGuinness was reportedly among those to be chasing payment for his contract in the run up to the company’s collapse – prior to him signing with Quattro Plant Kawasaki – the firm’s Superlight class effort had also been delegated to Smiths Racing and Peter Hickman.

For now it remains to be seen what form Norton Racing will take, but with the 2020 Isle of Man TT cancelled due to the coronavirus, the chances of it returning with a much better funded, more professional effort in 2021 looks a lot stronger now.