THE T.T. THE LIGHTWEIGHT RACE
Guthrie on A.J.S. Wins at 64.71 m
COMI’,.:G. as it does, between the two great struggles of the Junior and Senior races, the Wednesday event of T.T. week is always liable to appear a quiet affair in comparison. This does not mean that the Lightweight does not produce some good racing on occasion,who will ever forget the Paddy JohnstonGhersi duel of 1926 ?-but the smaller entry, and the predominance of ” assembled” machines, takes some of the ” snap ” out of this event.
Although the entry this year Was above normal, this was counteracted by the remarkable number of retirements. The 250 c.c. engine is, as a rule, very reliable under racing conditions, but this year proved an exception, and only 13 finished out of the 30 starters.
Unfortunately the chief International interest of the race was eliminated by the absence of the Guzzi entries, which last year gave our men very seriously to think when Ghersi led for most of the race and broke the lap record, which remained to be broken this year by the irrepressible Wal Handley. There were also various changes among the balance of the entry. Somerville Sikes took over R.untsch’s O.K. Supreme, but had the bad luck to retire on the seventh lap at Ramsey with a siezed engine, which had been giving signs of
trouble all the race and eventually packed up altogether. P. A. E. Vare and J. G. Lind took over Ventura’s Rex-Acme and F. G. Hicks’ A.J.S. entries respectively, however, the actual machine which Hicks was to have ridden was the one which A. J. Guthrie rode to victory.
This year seemed a fortunate one for first attempts, for in addition to it being the first time Rudges have entered in the Junior, it was also the first time that a 250 c.c. A. J.S. has been seen on the island course, and its victory at record speed for the race is therefore all the more creditable.
C. S. Barrow (O.K. Supreme) occupied the starting square as No. 1 and at the sound of the maroon led off; followed without a single reluctant starter by the remainder of the entry.
The first lap, however, gave signs of the troubles that were in store, for L. H. Davenport (A.J.S.) got no further than Quarter Bridge, while Tattersall (S.G.S.) and S. A. Crabtree (Excelsior) last year’s winner, both failed to reach Ballacraine.
The crop of retirements was probably augmented by the perfect conditions which prevailed for the whole race. Dry roads, and good visibility, certainly make for safety for the riders, but they also make for record speeds and overdriven engines, and in this case the early leaders all suffered from engine failure by about half distance.
Jock Porter, another ex-Lightweight winner, but of late dogged by ill-luck, was setting a fast pace to Ramsey but did not contrive to keep it up and eventually retired with a fractured petrol pipe. Great things had been rumoured of the o.h.c. engine of the O.K. Supremes ridden by Sarkis and Don Hall, and their undoubted speed was shown by Sarkis taking the lead on the first lap at 66.76 m.p.h. with Hall’s machine fourth. Handley for once was not in the lead but he remedied this omission by the
fine performanceTof setting up a new Lightweight lap record on his second circuit in 33 minutes 52 seconds at a speed of 66.86 m.p.h.
FIRST LAP LEADERS. tn. S.
Only just over a minute covered the first six, and trouble soon began to thin them out, L.C. Crabtree retiring with (it was stated) carburettor trouble, early on the second lap, followed shortly afterwards by Don Hall at Ballaugh. Jim Whalley was in trouble with a broken oil pipe and was attempting repairs at the pits, while P. Vane was working on his machine at Craig-ny-baa.
SECOND LAP LEADERS. h. m. s. m.p.h.
It looked now as if Handley was going to take the lead after catching up to but his luck retire within 6 seconds of Sarkis, was out, and he had to ire at Braddan Th with a broken oil pipe. e remaining overhead camshaft O.K. was now apparently feeling the pace, as was Franconi’s machine, and Guthrie, who had been lying only a few seconds behind, took the
THIRD LAP LEADERS. S.
Mellors was having trouble with his clutch the operation of which eventually ceased work entirely. It takes more than this, however, to worry Mellors and he continued without it, holding his position to the end, a very stout performance. Another good effort was that of S. Gleave whose top gear passed away and he had to hold it in continually, in spite of which he pulled up eventually to fourth place.
Barrow was still maintaining his position as leader on the road, in spite of a mild fall at Governor’s Bridge, but trouble was rife among the other riders. Vare had gearbox trouble, Stuart Williams retired with engine trouble at Union Mills, while Joe Sarkis did likewise at the Bungalow and eventually returned to the pits with Jack Adams (also retired) on a spectator’s machine! Ennever (Excelsior) came off at Governor’s Bridge and had to retire.
FOURTH LAP LEADERS. h. m. s. m.p.h.
The retirements had so thinned out the field that long intervals elapsed between each rider’s passing, and. yet further trouble was awaiting some of the machines. On the fifth lap Paddy Johnston gained appreciably and pulled up to second place, still however over 4 minutes behind the very consistent Guthrie, who, however, to judge by a certain amount of grass on his A. J .S., was finding the course none too wide in places 1
14IPTH LAP LEADERS.
The only change in the next lap was that S. Gleave passed J. G. Lind thus getting up to fourth place, and the intervals were sufficient to make any great changes in the order unlikely.
SIXTH LAP LEADERS.
and in a few minutes Guthrie roared past the cheering crowd on the Glencrutchery Road to register his first T.T. win, at 64.71 m.p.h., a record speed for the event. Paddy Johnston, the second man, also bettered last year’s winning time.
News was still being awaited about one or two missing riders, but at last it was learnt that Emery, K. Twemlow, and finally Sikes, had all retired with engine trouble, and the crowds melted away. Another T.T. race was over,