One of the Isle of Man’s leading sidecar drivers, Michael Jackson, will make his debut at the Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy, this year, with the Manxman contesting the two Sidecar races.
Joined by passenger Harry Payne, Jackson, who won the 2017 ACU British Formula Two Sidecar Cup, will compete in the two three-lap races on a newly acquired DMR chassis built by 17-time TT winner and fellow Manxman Dave Molyneux. The outfit will use a 600cc GSXR Suzuki engine.
Having secured the Wirral 100 Championship in 2016, Jackson and his MJR team made a huge impression on the British F2 Sidecar Championship last year. With Callum Crowe in the chair, Jackson won the Cup competition by a comfortable 66 points having done the double at Donington Park, Anglesey and Cadwell Park with another victory, his seventh in total, being taken at the final round of the season.
In total, Jackson stood on the podium nine times during the 14-race campaign and only failed to finish once all season.
In addition to winning the Cup, the former trials rider finished seventh overall in the main F2 British Championship where he was only beaten by Pete Founds, Steve Ramsden, Conrad Harrison, Lee Crawford, John Lowther and Sean Hegarty.
His reliability and consistency was key to his and Crowe’s overall success, which is sure to pay dividends on his first appearance on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course. Payne, meanwhile, has scored strong results at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough and was originally lined up to partner Molyneux at last year’s TT before he opted for multiple winner Dan Sayle instead.
With strong results behind them, Jackson and Payne are the latest high profile sidecar pairing to make their TT debuts with the duo certainly having the potential to secure top twenty finishes in both races.
Photo credit: Richard J Martin