Scott Lawrie and James Neave, one of the UK’s leading sidecar outfits has confirmed that they will be making their first time appearance on the Mountain Course at the 2012 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy. The pair made the announcement at ‘TT Day’ at Motorcycle Live at the NEC.
Scottish driver Lawrie has had a rapid rise in the British F1 Sidecar Championship and, after finishing 12th in 2010, he shot up the table this season to take a superb 3rd place overall, only denied the runner-up spot to eventual Champion Tim Reeves after bad luck in the closing rounds. With 9 podiums from the 20 race series, it’s clear the talented Edinburgh man will be one to watch as he pits his wits against the 37 and ¾-mile circuit for the first time.
He also impressed on the World stage and although he only had two appearances in the 2011 World Championship, he made it count with 4th and 5th at the two races held at Oschersleben and 8th in race 1 at Schleiz. That was good enough to place him 9th overall in the Championship table and backed up his 7th place in the 2010 series where his best race result was again 4th, at Rijeka, Croatia.
Meanwhile, Neave, despite being one of the youngest passengers on the grid at 23, has already tasted race action at the TT having been in the chair with Andy Laidlow in 2009 where they finished 10th in the only race held that year. Their fastest lap was a more than creditable 106.069mph and, having partnered Lawrie since 2009, he’ll be the perfect ballast come June.
As well as going into 2012 as major British and World Championship F1 contenders, Scott and James are keen to make an impression at the Isle of Man TT, an event they have always been keen to try together and, with this in mind they have readily entered this year’s event where they will contest both three-lap Sure Sidecar Races.
The pairing have already begun preparing both outfits for the coming season and will call on the expertise of Steve Webster, the ten-times World Champion, who has been assisting their quest in recent years.
Talking about his debut, Lawrie commented:
“I’ve been thinking about contesting the Isle of Man for a while and believe the time is now right for me to make my debut. The F2 MR Equipeoutfit will be new to me as well as the Mountain Course, obviously, so I realise that I still have a lot to learn but with James already having solid experience on the Island it will stand us in good stead. The Newcomers have done incredibly well in recent years but I’ll approach the event in my own way and won’t set myself too many targets in my first year. It’s a long term project for me so the main thing for 2012 is to learn the course, do a good, solid job, enjoy myself and come back stronger in subsequent years.”
With two former World Champions, Tim Reeves and Ben Birchall, again on the entry list for the 2012 TT, as well as the established leading runners, including John Holden and the returning 14-times winner Dave Molyneux, the F2 Sidecar races at the Isle of Man continue to be the most prestigious sidecar races in the world and the two races in June promise action and quality of the very highest order.
Paul Phillips, TT and Motorsport Manager, commented:
“I’m delighted that we have secured the participation of this outfit as they are hugely promising competitors who I’m sure will do well on the Isle of Man for many years to come. The sidecar class, once again promises to be the unofficial World Championship and there are a number of very interesting crews in this year’s race.”
The 2012 Isle of Man TT begins with a week of practice from May 26th through to June 1st with the two three-lap Sidecar Races set for Saturday June 2nd and Wednesday June 6th.