|1995 Junior - Fastest Newcomer Tells His Story|
Here is my account of my one and only appearance at the TT, an article that
I put together for a magazine in New Zealand after my return from the Isle
of Man in 1995.
I went to the Isle of Man, I saw and I didn't conquer, but I had a
bloody good time. If getting to the Isle of Man for the TT races isn't one
of your top priorities in life, then change 'em. This place is wild, imagine
if you will, an Island thirty miles long and ten miles wide with forty
thousand, yes that's right, FORTY THOUSAND motorcyclists, partying all
night, every night for two weeks.
There's a saying about the Isle of Man thatgoes something loke, " A large
rock with 70 thousand alcoholics hanging off it", which some may is correct,
and they all look forward to and love TT fortnight. You can imagine the
atmosphere this creates (I suppose about the closest you could relate it to
in New Zealand is the Paeroa street races, for anyone who has been there).
The streets are literally clogged with motorcycles of every size, make,
model and description from Bimotas, Harris specials, Aprillias and Cagivas
through to CBR900's by the dozens and also quite a number of Ducati 916's
including some very horny SP's.
They have a main downtown sort of area called The Promenade, which turns
into a congregation point for the hordes. As you can imagine, this results
in a street party every night with two or three live bands playing, bungy
jumping off cranes, wild bronco mechanical bull rides and the odd
spontaneous bare breasted women on a motorcycle fly-by.
The police are very good at taking a high profile but, not interfering
unless called for, in fact they enjoy it as much as anyone. By the end of
the fortnight the Promenade is covered in tyre marks from burn outs and
wheel stands and I think the island heaves a big sigh when the ferry's
finally set sail.
Well, back to the reason we went to The Isle of Man (what do you mean !),
the TT races. The course is in one word, "awesome", I couldn't take the
smile off my face for about an hour after the first dry practice (we only
got three completely dry practices out of twelve) however, I soon got down
to the serious business of trying to get around the 37 mile course in some
sort of reasonable time without plastering myself on an eighteenth century
cottage named Sarah or Kate or something.
By our last practice on Friday, I was starting to know generally, what was
around the next corner - sort of, and I qualified 35th out of 90 entrants. I
was quite happy with this as I had only got three laps in around the track
before practice started and then the weather didn't help, but probably my
biggest handicap was a standard bike in a class for modified bikes. As this
track has open sections where you are on full throttle for minutes on end,
this can make quite a difference however, don't take anything away from the
bike, as the Kawasaki ZX6R turned out to be an excellent machine.
Mark Lawford and Desma Scott, who travelled with me, managed to sneak up
into the Officials Tower for the last practice (because it was so bloody
cold) and noticed they were doing split times for the last 2 miles of the
track, which is a tight and twisty section and I was fourth fastest, so that
The race day dawned bright and sunny and we got away on time at 10.45am
(beats the hell out of 3.45am rises to make 4.30am scrutineering for 5.15
practices during the week). As the race is started one rider at a time, in
ten second intervals, I left quite a while after the leaders, in 44th
position. My race was fairly lonely, except for a couple of close calls with
the aforementioned cottage walls and one cliff face (very close to the one
where John Hepburn lost his thumb in fact!).
I finished in twenty-seventh place, with an average speed of 108 point
something miles an hour for the race. My fastest lap was nearly 111 miles an
hour so I was happy. I was second standard bike home, behind Simon Beck, who
finished fifteenth (incidentally he also finished third in the Formula One
TT on a factory Ducati). Unfortunately I missed out on a bronze replica,
which is awarded to riders who finish within a certain percentage of the
class winners time and with Ian Duffus winning in LAP and Race record times,
this was difficult to achieve. With the race lasting over an hour and twenty
minutes I missed out by some 22 seconds!.
However, the disappointment soon disappeared when I found out I had won the
fastest newcomer award for not only the junior class, but also for the event
overall. I received a lot of support from the local race organisers and also
from friends and sponsors in NZ. A big thank-you to Motorcycling New
Zealand, John Hepburn, Mark Lawford, Desma Scott, my brother Paul Gillard
who joined us from London and Jack Wood who organises the TT. Also thank-you
to my local sponsors who supported my trip, RK chains and SBS brake pads.
The festival wound-up, with a couple of huge parties, including the final
of the WET T-Shirt competition and slowly but surely a lot of sore heads
started heading for home. However, you can guarantee that the majority will
be back next year and I can see why, the racing, the atmosphere, the pubs
and wheelies and burnouts and parties, unreal, put the TT on your list of
MUST DO's, every motorcyclist in the World deserves the chance to enjoy at
least one TT in their life time.
Some Facts about Jared.
I have only competed once in 1995, however I have had offers to return just
about every year since.
In 1995 I was a team manager for Telecom NZ LTD
My hometown was Tauranga for most of my racing.
I live in Auckland now and
was born in Gore in the deep south.
I rode a brand new Kawasaki ZX6R which was completely stock except for an
Ohlins shock I took with me.
A local IOM businessman Des Collins provided the Bike, at a price. John
Hepburn made the contact.
Mark Lawford, my regular mechanic and best friend traveled with me as well
as my beautiful partner Desma Scott.
27th in Junior TT, 2nd standard bike home, Fastest newcomer for Junior and
I loved the fast parts, which is most of the course. Brae hill is heart in
Worst part was nerves and lack of practice.
I really enjoyed the challenge, of both mind and body. A real achievement
to finish yet alone excel.
This was my first and only overseas race.
I won the 1991 NZ 600 Production Champs and the 1991 600cc prod TT Title &
I finished third in the 1990 NZ 600cc production champs(1st season of
racing, Simon Crafar won champs).
I finished third in the 1993 NZ Superbike Title on a Yamaha YZF750.
Finished first in Formula one at Paeroa street race 1995 ahead of Tony Rees,
Jason McEwen, Robert Holden, Russell Josiah etc.
Not racing anymore - putting money back in the bank,
I am 6 foot 6 inches
tall and weight 100 kg skinny. Not the physical dimensions required for a