The overnight rain carried on throughout Tuesday morning and into the afternoon, it began to look like it would be either a very wet practice or cancelled all together due to standing water. The met office had forecast that it would rain throughout the day and then clear up late afternoon. With little under two hours before the roads were due to close the rain stopped falling and the skies brightened and the temperature rose.

The inclement weather gave me a chance to review the S100 Programme and then give me the opportunity to correct my previous mistake. There are in fact 14 races and not 11 as previously stated. The high number of entries for the 600 cc Races meant that there was an A & B race for each of the two 600 races, the fastest qualifiers going in race A. The sidecar consolation race is in the programme as Race A. Another idiosyncrasy is that race 7, the G H Corlett Founders Race comes before Race 6, The Island Aggregates Senior Race.

The Programme, priced at £7.00 is a 90 page A5 booklet which incorporates the Race Guide. There are grid position and lap charts that can be filled in for each race and a place to record the first three and the fastest lap. At the back there are pages with the previous winners and the fastest laps. There is also a couple of pages showing the closest finishes ranging from Phil Read and Alan Shepherd's dead heat in 1961 to the 105th closest finish of 0.893 seconds between winner Dave Taylor and Adrian Kershaw in the 2015 125 400 race, a statistician's delight. Inside there are articles on the first 100 mph lap in 1983 by Brian Reid, he will be doing a couple of demonstrations on during Thursday afternoon's races. There is also a tastefully written article 'To the Fallen', a tribute to the S100 competitors who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the last 12 months. For me, any race meeting is about the riders and a programme is a must.

The TT programme and Race Guide has moved away from the traditions of the TT. There are no Previous Winners or Fastest Laps in the main magazine and the race guide has moved away from the lap grids beside each riders name. As a child it was always a fight with my siblings as to who would tick off the riders in the Race Guide at the TT or MGP. This activity was part of what drew me into a sport that I have loved all of my life, the mystery if someone did not go though on a particular lap and hoping that they had broken down and not crashed. The youngsters of today do not not have this opportunity to become interested and involved. There are so many other activities for kids to do, not least social media, every opportunity should be taken to attract their attention and it needs to start when they are young.

The roads were nearly dry through out the course, apart from a few damp patches, by the time by the time the roads closed at 6pm. Dean Harrison was the man of the night, topping both the 600 and 1000 cc leader boards with laps of 107.868 mph and 111.489 respectively. Jamie Coward topped the 650 / 250 class with a lap of 102.43 mph as well as being second fastest in the 600's. Michael Dunlop was slightly off Dean Harrison's pace being third fastest in the 600's, 0.847 seconds behind Dean and second fastest in the 1000 cc practice 0.885 seconds behind Dean. Michael is still recovering from a serious crash in the Donegal International Rally in which he appears to have damaged his shoulder.

Photos taken by Mike Hammonds.

Michael Dunlop on board the 1000 cc Tyco BMW Motorrad

The impressive French Newcomer Xavier Denis entering Cross Four Ways

The sidecars didn't go without incident, the session was red flagged when the crews were on their second circuit,
Dan Knight and Matty Rostrum crashing at Ballawhetstone. There was a delay whilst the helicopter
and an ambulance took the injured crew to hospital. Although a high speed crash the
injuries are not to serious.

Dan Knight and Matty Rostrum before their unfortunate spill

Tim Reeves with Mark Wilkes in the chair were the quickest of the night with a speed of 100.077 mph.

John Lowther and Robert Childs at Cross Four Ways

John Holden and Lee Cain being pressed by Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley

Practicing has now concluded and racing will start in earnest tomorrow evening.

Mike Hammonds.