From Sir to Isle of Man TT celebrity

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Steve Wareham is swapping the classroom for one of the most infamous races in the world - the Isle of Man TT.

Fulbrook’s maths and PE teacher will be donning the leathers again this May and hopping in the sidecar to race the famous circuit.

It’s a place the 30-year-old from Gifford Park feels he has unfinished business though, after an unsuccessful trip to the island in 2012.

“Last time, we had a number of silly problems that prevented us from doing well,” Steve said. “The zip on my leathers broke and burst open when we were doing over 100 miles per hour, we had an air block in the water system and got covered in burning hot water.

“But they all culminated to prevent us from finishing.

“So I feel I have unfinished business there.”

And that unfinished business has left a sour taste in Steve’s mouth.

So much so that he has already lined up his aims and ambitions for when he and driver Dave Wallis return to the Isle of Man, though he isn’t setting his bar too high.

He said: “I think we’re in a good position. We are both as fit as we’ve ever been, and I think we’ll go in in good form.

“When we were there in 2012, we did a 105mph lap. Dave has done a 107mph lap before I joined him, but I think we can go 108-110mph.

“I also think we can finish within 110 per cent of the winner - that’d be a really great achievement.”

Fortunately, Steve will only have to miss three days of school, with most of the event falling over half term.

Steve says most of his students and colleagues really understand what he does.

However, crossing the Irish Sea, Steve admits it’s a completely different attitude.

“I don’t think they really understand it at school, but not many people to,” he said.

“But over there, it’s as close to being a celebrity that I’ll ever come!

“Everyone where is fanatical about the TT, and about racing.

“When we broke down, we went into a pub, without any money, but we had people lining up to buy us drinks because people really appreciate what we do.

“I have to admit I have been practicing my autograph!”

The TT is infamous in racing circles, not just for historical reasons, but for the dangers involved with racing around the streets of the island.

For Steve though, he said he doesn’t really consider the dangerous aspects of his job while he was doing it - only when he looked back on the video footage did he realise just how quick they were going.

He said: “It’s in the back of your mind, and you can’t let it overpower you.

“When we went last, I was prepared, I’d done my homework.

“I knew the course, where I should be on the bike, and what to do.

“I watched the footage back and realised what a feat it is to do a lap around there.

If you’re interested in sponsoring Steve and Dave’s bike for the TT, email teampetpals@outlook.com.