TT riderThe return of the TT for the first time since 2019 has the potential to be a “very special” event, an MHK has said.

Rob Callister, who has responsibility for motorsport with the Department for Enterprise, said it was shaping up to be a “very exciting TT”.

The event, which runs until 10 June, attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the island.

That influx would provide a much needed boost to tourism and hospitality on the island, Mr Callister said.

Mr Callister said while the overall number of visitors due to travel to the island during the fortnight was likely to be “slightly less” than the 46,000 in 2019, that “has to be expected” after the impact of Covid.

Input from the government, local authorities and the private sector meant there would be a “record number of entertainment events” across the island during the period, he added.

During the hiatus, a new safety management system for the racing, which includes digital flags around the course, has been rolled out.

Clerk of the course Gary Thompson said the new system was designed to “enhance marshalling rather than to replace” it.

A total of 602 marshals are needed at about 400 marshalling points around the Mountain Course before any racing can take place.

More than 1,000 volunteers registered with the TT Marshal’s Association prior to the event.

With a UK-based training team established for the first time, the percentage of those fully-trained in incident management was now “much higher than it has been in the past”, chairman Jane Corkill said.

Looking ahead to the start of the 2022 event, Mr Callister said: “The race schedule looks fantastic, the teams are in top condition, the riders are in top condition, I think we’re in for a really special TT.”