Isle of Man TT Sidecar tyre test set for Manx Grand Prix

A sidecar tyre test in view of the 2024 Isle of Man TT will take place at the upcoming 2023 Manx Grand Prix due to a change in tyre manufacturers.

Isle of Man TT sidecar

The Manx Grand Prix will host a series of tyre tests for sidecar outfits in view of the 2024 Isle of Man TT, it has been announced.

The tests have been deemed necessary due to the withdrawal of Avon Tyres from the Sidecar class from the end of 2023 due to the brand's easing of production as part of a change of approach which was announced earlier this year.

The situation for the Sidecar class at the Isle of Man TT is that there is no ‘spec’ or ‘control’ tyre, and the majority of competitors run Avon rubber. As a result, that majority of sidecar outfits will be switching tyre brands for 2024.

The replacement for Avon is set to be Hoosier Racing Tires, which has taken on development of a race tyre for the Sidecar class at the Isle of Man TT after discussions with some of the category’s “leading teams”, an Isle of Man TT press release reads.

At the Manx Grand Prix, the tyre tests will therefore involve sidecar outfits running the new Hoosier tyres to ensure they are safe to run over the course of a Sidecar TT.

Dave Hagen, Technical Director at the Isle of Man TT Races, said: “It’s unfortunate that such a tried, tested and trusted product (the Avon tyre) is no longer going to be available for the sidecars to use, but as was the case with the introduction of slick tyres for all the solo classes this year, a commercial decision has been made by a manufacturer and so we have to move on and adapt.”

“It’s more difficult in this situation as the outgoing manufacturer was the only tyre available, and so a lot of hard work has gone in to finding another brand to take on the challenge and to develop a replacement product.”

“There’s an argument to say this is the time to engage with a manufacturer and look to introduce a control tyre, but the technical team and the leading competitors are of the opinion that closing the door to other manufacturers would deter them from developing other products, meaning we could end up in a similar situation further down the line.”

“There’s no denying that it’s a big change for the class and it’s vital that the new tyres are up to the rigours of the TT Course, so we’ve worked with Gary [Thompson – Clerk of the Course] and a number of teams on a testing plan which will take place at the 2023 Manx Grand Prix in preparation for TT 2024.”

Four Sidecar crews will take part in the tyre test, with Ryan and Callum Crowe, Ben and Tom Birchall, and both Tim Reeves and Dave Molyneux driving their respective outfits with as yet unnamed passengers. The test will see them complete a total of four laps of the Snaefell Course at the Manx Grand Prix “with visual, thermal, and pressure inspections of the new tyres taking place during and after each lap,” the aforementioned press release reads.

The 2023 Manx Grand Prix will take place on 20-28 August. The 2024 Isle of Man TT Races are set to take place between 27 May and 8 June 2024.

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