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Apr 23, 2018

American Pete Murray To Compete In The Isle Of Man TT

Pete Murray (53). Photo by Phil Hawkins/www.ishootfromthehip.com, courtesy of Arizona Speed.

Arizona Speed Engineering 

Phoenix, AZ

For the second year in a row, Phoenix, AZ businessman and airline pilot, Pete Murray, will be the sole representative of the United States in the world’s most challenging motorcycle road race. Murray is set to ride for UK-based VRS Racing in the 2018 Isle of Man TT which takes place on the Isle of Man over a two week period from the 25th of May to the 8th of June 2018.

Pete Murray has been quietly racing motorcycles in support of a small motorcycle shop since the turn of the millennium all the while managing the additional responsibilities of being an airline pilot. Murray maintains that racing is critical to the ultimate purpose of his company, Arizona Speed Engineering, stating: “I compete in motorcycle racing in general, and on the Isle of Man in particular, to promote my business and if my participation in this most challenging of events inspires someone else to push, to excel, to never give up in whatever endeavors they choose... my business has served its purpose and my dreams have come to fruition.” And at age 47, the tenacious Dansville, New York native will not only be the 2018 TT’s sole American rider; he'll also be one of its oldest.

On the other side of the pond, Pete has been working with VRS Performance principal, Robbie Silvester. Robbie started competing on the Isle of Man in 1986. Although injuries sustained in an incident at the 2006 TT preclude him from riding at the moment, he hasn’t missed a TT as either a rider or team manager in 33 years. Showing his dedication to the sport, Robbie started fielding motorcycles for other riders to compete on in 1999, well before he was sidelined by injury, and his VRS Racing outfit has hosted a who’s who in motorcycle road racing. But it’s not just Robbie’s, and VRS’s, past success and continued dedication that keep Murray signing on with the West Yorkshire based team; it’s the trust he has in the man’s ability to keep him safe on the course.

The setting for the race is the Isle of Man. The residents of this idyllic island in the Irish Sea saw their first TT, or Tourist Trophy, run through their public streets in 1907. Motorcycles hurling past stone walls, store fronts, and shear cliffs make for a thrilling spectacle and an internet search may return hair-raising stories of the dangers associated with its Snaefell Mountain course, however, such a search is just as likely to turn up information on kippers, fayries, four-horned sheep, and something called the Laxey Wheel. The Isle of Man, an emerald gem of an island, packs as much diversity in its 30-odd mile length as the competitors in its famous race pack in personality and its 37.73 mile race course packs in challenges. It's a rare place that can be as exciting and as welcoming as Ellan Vannin.

So, if you are looking for a little excitement this summer, or a serine getaway, check out the Isle of Man and its famous Tourist Trophy race. And if you are feeling patriotic, look up a certain former United States Marine carrying the number 61 in the lightweight race and let him know you’re behind him and his motorcycle dream.