Monday 23 September 2019

Skerries star calls time on great career after final Classic TT run

Corrys Corner

AFter a brilliant double at the 2018 Manx Grand Prix, Andy Farrell was allowed to return to the Manx this year, after the Manx Club changed the rules allowing previous winners back on certain conditions.

Farrell had another appointment at the Classic TT when he was one of two riders in the Steadplan/Primus Racing team along with Ben Rea on 750 Kawasakis. Andy had already competed on the bike at Skerries, and he also took the bike on its first outing at the Jurby short circuit meeting earlier in the year, taking the lap record for the class.

After an excellent 11th place in the Classic Superbike race, he started the Junior race on his 600 Kawasaki, and he takes up the story:

'I came to the Classic TT to have a good run out on the 750 Kawasaki, and that went really well for me; to be honest - better that I expected - finishing 11th and a silver replica. I decided to go back and race in the main Manx classes after the rule change, and the Junior was my first race.

'I went out with the intention of enjoying myself, as I really love the course, and I got a great start, lying in fourth at the end of the first lap.

'I decided to have a good go and see where things would go, and at the end of lap two I was in third.

'I started to push on, and as I rounded Glen Helen and started the rise up towards Sarah's Cottage on the final lap I was still cranked over when the front of the bike gave way. I thought, s**t, I am going for another hospital visit when I crash here, but thankfully I stuck my knee down and the bike rectified itself.

'As the lap went on I did some serious thinking and said to myself, that's it. I have too much family back in the pits to worry about me, and I am getting too old for this craic.

'I made the announcement when I got back to the winners enclosure, much to the delight of the family and team.

'I went to the Manx in 2009, and I was on the podium. I have won two races there, joined the Tommy Club, and have a number of podiums to go with everything, so I decided that the Junior was my last race there and wouldn't compete in the Lightweight or Senior race.

'I really can't thank everyone enough for all they have done for me over the years, especially my family and loyal sponsors like Ollie Grimes, Johnny Farrelly and Dean Pearce, to name a few.

'I have had two trips to Nobles hospital in that time, and have been lucky not to have been seriously injured.

'Overall, the Island has been good to me, and at times bitten me in the ass, but it's been a great experience, and adventure.

'When I get home I will get around to thanking all those who have been by my side in the years of racing, as I know that now I will leave someone out, and that wouldn't be good.'

Personally, I have been lucky to have been around Andy for those racing years, I have enjoyed reporting on his races, no matter where he has raced, and it has been a pleasure.

I know that I won't have to have pints with him in the 'Snug' and try to convince him to retire, as he never listened to me anyway.

Enjoy your retirement, Andy, and thanks for all the entertainment that you have given us over the years.

Fingal Independent