Peter Hickman eyes glory as Isle of Man TT goes virtual for 2020

Peter Hickman is among the high-profile names to go for glory in the Virtual Isle of Man TT as an alternative for the real thing

Peter Hickman - Smiths Racing

Of all the many things we’ll miss out on in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the Isle of Man TT stings the most for many people, fans and competitors alike.

It seems a long time ago since the blue riband road racing centrepiece was entirely scrapped for this year as other organisations were pondering whether it was feasible to re-arrange their various events, but a couple of months on and there is little doubt the correct decision was made.

That doesn’t necessarily make the outcome feel any better though, not least at this moment when we should have been gearing up for what would have been several days of high-octane, balls to the wall racing around the iconic Mountain Course.

Nonetheless, the 31st May to 12th June period won’t pass by unnoticed for the TT after promoters revealed it will mark the occasion with a series of alternatives it calls the ‘TT Lock-In’ which, while not the real thing, should give us a little fix for action and whet our appetite for its full-scale return next year. After all, if 2020 is probably a write-off, just think how excited we will be twelve months from now!

As part of the initiatives, the TT has perhaps inevitably gone down the route of nearly every other motorsport series by launching an esports competition, which helpfully coincides with the latest TT game, with eight ‘TT heroes’ – including Peter Hickman, Conor Cummins and Davey Todd – taking to the starting line to tackle the course from the comfort of their sofa. While there won’t be quite the same level of risk involved, the stakes are still high with each TT star teaming up with an experienced gamer to fight for the Virtual TT 2020 Champion.

As part of the ‘TT Lock-In’, there will be eight nights of TT content, with interviews and ‘indiscreet revelations’ being pored over by vlogger Chris Pritchard and TT race winner Steve Plater.

These will include a re-run of Ultimate TT Races looking back over the years at some monumental battles, including the 1992 Senior TT battle between Carl Fogarty and Steve Hislop, Joey Dunlop’s 2000 Formula 1 win and a controversial 1994 Junior TT race.

TT stars – such as John McGuinness, Dean Harrison, Rob McElnea and Hickman – will give their own unique insights into the classic race, as well as various behind-the-scenes clips and shows.

Click here for the complete schedule, which can be watched directly on the website or the official Facebook and YouTube channels.