Conor Cummins joins John McGuinness on Team Winfield for Classic TT

John McGuinness and Conor Cummins stick with Honda Racing for 2016
John McGuinness and Conor Cummins Honda Racing for 2016

One of the most successful Classic teams in recent years, Team Winfield, will again take to the Mountain Course in 2016, continuing with a strong two-man line up for the Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts.

The team will concentrate their efforts this year on the Bennetts Senior Classic TT race with Honda Racing team-mates John McGuinness and Conor Cummins piloting Roger Winfield’s rapid 500cc Patons.

John McGuinness riding the Winfield Paton 500cc twin during Thursday’s Classic TT qualifying session
John McGuinness riding the Winfield Paton 500cc twin during Classic TT qualifying in 2015

It’s the fourth year in a row that 23-time Isle of Man TT Race winner McGuinness has campaigned the Italian machine and both he and the team will be hoping for a change in fortune having yet to complete a race since the combination came together at the inaugural Classic TT in 2013.

The Morecambe Missile has shown his pace in practice, with his best lap to date coming in 2014 at 112.031mph, unofficially a class lap record, but on each occasion he’s been denied the victory he craves for.

However, there’s no doubt that the combination of McGuinness’s skill and talent and Winfield’s engineering expertise is one to be feared and they will come into this year’s event as one of the pre-race favourites again. If it all comes together on race day, McGuinness and the Paton will take some beating.

Ryan Farquhar on Roger Winfield’s 500cc Paton
Ryan Farquhar on Roger Winfield’s 500cc Paton in 2014

Cummins, meanwhile, will get his first taste of the 500cc Paton with the Manxman taking over the seat usually filled by Ryan Farquhar. With the Dungannon rider continuing his recuperation following the serious injuries he sustained at the North West 200, the Ramsey Rocket has a superb chance of taking victory around his favourite Mountain Course despite only having one previous outing at the Classic TT in 2013.

Riding the Dunnell Nortons, he was out of luck in the 500cc race but took a solid seventh in the Okells 350cc Classic TT before going on to claim an excellent second place on the Team Classic Suzuki in the Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 Classic TT.

Farquhar took the Paton to victory in the 500cc Classic Manx Grand Prix on no less than five occasions between 2007 and 2012 and both McGuinness and Cummins will be keen to give Winfield his maiden victory at the Classic TT.

Speaking about this year’s Classic TT, team owner Roger Winfield said

“We had some terrible luck with John at the Classic TT and we hope this year will see an end to that and we can enjoy watching him complete four fast laps. There is no doubt that if he crosses the finish line, he is going to be among the leading riders and his times in practice previously make him unofficially the fastest rider ever in this class.

Ryan Farquhar gets air on the Paton over Ballaugh Bridge (photo: Dave Kneen)
Ryan Farquhar gets air on the Paton over Ballaugh Bridge in 2014 (photo: Dave Kneen)

We are delighted to welcome Conor back to the team. He has ridden with us at the Island Classic in Australia for the past few seasons and always done a great job. This will be his first ride on the Paton for us and there is no doubt he has the speed to be one of the favourites for victory come the race.”

John McGuinness and Ryan Farquhar about to start a qualifying session at Classic TT 2014 on the Winfield Patons. Credit Stephen Davison Pacemaker Press Intl
John McGuinness and Ryan Farquhar about to start a qualifying session at Classic TT 2014 on the Winfield Patons. Credit Stephen Davison Pacemaker Press Intl