On 20 August 2023, road racer Gary Vines died as the result injuries sustained in a crash during the first day of qualifying at the 2023 Manx Grand Prix. The crash occurred in the Ballagarey section of the course, during the first lap of the opening Senior and Classic Superbike Qualifying round. The session was red flagged after the crash. Vines was 33 years old.
From Colchester, Vines was a regular at the Manx Grand Prix since 2015 and had also raced in the Isle of Man TT races in 2022 and 2023, as well as the Classic TT. In the 2015 Newcomers B Race at the Manx Grand Prix, Vines made his debut on a Yamaha TZ250 that he had prepared himself for the event. Although he competed against a field of Supertwin machines in a bit of a David versus Goliath situation, “he took a commanding and popular victory,” according to Manx Grand Prix organisers.
He had great love for two-stroke and classic racing in particular and was reportedly a regular at the GP Originals classic racing championship, as well as at Goodwood Members meetings. He was also a dedicated off-road rider and had previously competed in the Red Bull Romaniacs hard enduro event.
At the 2023 Isle of Man TT, Vines posted his fastest-ever lap of the Mountain Course during the Supersport Races. His average speed on that lap was an impressive 118.488 miles per hour.
“Gary was a well-loved and respected member of the paddock and his peers will fondly remember a skilled and stylish racer with an impressive racing CV. The loss of Gary will be deeply felt by all,” reads the official statement from the Manx Grand Prix organisers. They released an official statement on Monday 21 August 2023 confirming that Vines had died following his injuries in that crash.
All involved in the Manx Grand Prix extended their condolences to all who knew and loved Vines. We at RideApart and Motor1 wish to do the same and send strength and support to the greater motorcycle road racing community during this time. At the time of writing, the 2023 MGP is scheduled to continue its qualifying rounds through the afternoon of Friday 25 August 2023. Racing rounds for the event begin that afternoon and are scheduled to continue through Monday 28 August 2023.