TT hero smashes lap record… in a jet

Lap records tumbled at last week’s TT races in the Isle of Man but the quickest was set by Cessna Citation Excel business jet – an average speed of 288mph round the 37-mile course.

The seven minutes 37 seconds lap was set by Naljets managing director Craig McLeod with former motorcycle racer Tony Jefferies and ex-Red Arrows pilot Andy Robins on board.

For 1970s TT works rider Tony, who won the 350cc Junior TT race and then followed it up by winning the first TT Formula 1 race, the event brought back memories of when his son David smashed the record books. David Jefferies was the first to break the 125, 126 and 127 mph TT lap records, as well as the first sub 18-minute lap, along with 9 TT wins.  He was tragically killed in a high speed crash at the 2003 TT.

Tony Jefferies now runs a motorcycle deadlership in West Yorkshire. He said, “I am a keen supporter of disabled aviation charity Aerobility, and I was asked if I could arrange an auction prize for Aerobility’s annual ball. Paul Philips, the TT Development Manager, offered a rally experience around the TT circuit in a Subaru, won by generous bidder Andy Robins, a trustee of Aerobility. Craig McLeod and Naljets then kindly offered to provide hospitality and fly the group to the Isle of Man.

“At the end of a full-on day in the IoM, it was time to go home. We boarded the plane and after a full-blooded Red Arrows-style take-off, Craig surprised us all by asking air traffic if we could fly around the circuit.

“Next, we were following the circuit line with me shouting out the corner names and the jet at some severe angles at 250 knots. It was a great experience and my son Dave would be laughing his head off at our antics. It has been a record breaking week, with Dunlop and Hutchy on bikes, Higgins in the Subaru race car and Jefferies in the jet. Well done Craig, you are a star.”

Craig McLeod said, “I have always loved motorbikes and when the opportunity to fly Tony over to the TT races presented itself I thought we could make a proper day of it for all.”

Andy Robins said, “The whole experience was utterly awesome… from our ‘rockstar arrival and departure’, courtesy of Naljets, to having Tony Jefferies, IoM TT royalty, introducing everyone to us. It was truly a day to remember.”



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