The news just keeps getting better for the inaugural TT Classic meeting. The latest motorcycling legend to join the cast list for the festival is Kork Ballington. The four-times motorcycle World Champion completed the 250cc – 350cc double in 1978 and 1979. He then moved in to the 500cc class in which his best season was 1981 when he finished 8th in the championship won by Marco Lucchinelli. In just 85 GP starts, Ballington secured a remarkable 31 wins, but none of those in the 500cc class.
The South African will lead a list of high quality riders turning out for Isle of Man-based Kawasaki parade team; Team Collins and Russell. TCR will display and parade a superb collection of green meanie machines during the Classic TT, which runs from August 23 to 26. The Australia based rider will participate in the Classic TT Lap of Honour and the Festival of Jurby on a Kawasaki H2R 750 Triple.
Team Collins and Russell, run by long time enthusiast and sponsor Des Collins and former Manx Grand Prix rider Ronnie Russell, will have up to 12 machines at the event, with Hurley Wilvert, one of the first riders signed by Kawasaki in the early 1970s, also confirmed on another H2R.
The American will also be on board a 250cc A1R along with former Lightweight Manx Grand Prix winner Tony Duncan. The Manxman; recently appointed Chief Travelling Marshal for the TT, Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix, will have outings on the H2R; as well as one of the team’s 750cc ZX7-RRs, where he’ll be joined by fellow Manxman Gary Carswell, the 1997 Senior Manx Grand Prix winner who is still a regular TT competitor.
All of the unique machines will be on display in their own marquee in the paddock, where classic bike collector Chris Wilson will be displaying the immaculate ex-Ballington KR500 as well as one of the formidable KR750s made famous by Mick Grant, Barry Ditchburn and Gregg Hansford.
Other machines on show will include a KR1-S 250, ZX600R, ZX-10 and XR125, while Dave Crussell will have his H2R 750 and P&M Z1000 in the Island.
Malcolm Anderson will be demonstrating his H1R-A machine and it is also hoped Rory McIntosh will have the ex-Simon Beck ZX7-RR on display.
All of the machines will be on display in the paddock throughout the Classic TT event.
Isle of Man Department of Economic Development TT & Motorsport Development Manager Paul Phillips said:
“Following the commitment we’ve already had from the Yamaha Classic Racing Team and Team Classic Suzuki, it is great news to have another major manufacturer represented at the inaugural Classic TT with a high quality, professional display of exotic racing machinery.”
“Des and Ronnie have a long and distinguished racing pedigree and are quickly establishing themselves on the classic racing parade circuit throughout the UK and Europe.”
“I am sure the fans are going to love to see so many iconic Kawasakis in the one place, as well as the excellent list of riders representing the team, not least multiple World Champion Kork Ballington, who is always a crowd puller wherever he goes.”