WHERE: The Isle of Man

WHEN: September 9, 1976

VETERAN motorbike racer Les Trotter is back on the Isle of Man this month, 40 years after his greatest moment in the saddle.

Trotter has sailed over to the motorsport mad island to take up scrutineering and marshalling duties at the Senior Manx Grand Prix – the same event he won himself in 1976.

The Walney race ace gained the biggest accolade an amateur motorcycle rider can claim by winning the Senior Manx Grand Prix by a mere 1.49 seconds.

After two-and-a-quarter hours and 225 miles of racing on a 500cc Crooks Suzuki, that was all that separated him from his close friend and rival, Manxman Danny Shimmin

The 1.49-second gap was the closest finish in the history of the races at the time and stood for around 10 years, until Bob Heath and Bill Swallow crossed the line together with a 0.05-second margin between them.

More than 100 competitors set off from the start, and during the race Trotter recorded his first ever 100 mph average speed laps of the TT course.

Trotter and Shimmin met up again on the rostrum 20 years later in 1996, when Shimmin took third place in the 350cc Classic Manx Grand Prix and Trotter finished as runner-up in the 250 cc race. Sadly, Shimmin lost his life on the TT course the following year.

Before setting off on the journey to this year's event, Trotter said: “I couldn't believe it was 40 years ago until some anorak mentioned it to me at the Aintree Races last weekend.

“The boys are hoping to take over a Douglas pub and have a nostalgia celebration night – sounds good to me!”