THE SENIOR RACE THE T.T.
HANDLEY’S RECORD-BREAKING RIDE at 74.24 m.p.h.
THE Senior Tourist Trophy of 1930 will be remembered for all time for W. L. Handley’s magnificent record-breaking ride, and for the completion of the sweeping success of the Rudges, who followed up their Junior victory by again occupying three of the first six places,—first, second, and sixth.
It was an achievement unprecedented in the history of the T.T., and one which is likely to stand unsurpassed for many years.
So often has it happened that much of the interest of a fast Senior has been lost through the early leaders failing to keep going, and many have expressed the hope that one day one of the stars will have a machine which will keep going at lap record speed for the whole distance. This year their prayers were answered when Handley, who has so often had to retire with engine failure when in the lead, drove his Rudge hard from the start, and _ covering lap after lap at speeds which set up new records all the time, not only led for the whole race, but never for a moment looked like being caught. His orders were to drive as hard as he liked till he burst something, when another Rudge would be waiting, but if he kept going,—well, he did, and the result is now history ; 7 laps at 74.24 m.p.h. and 6 laps within the 3 hours I Nearly the whole distance of the race at an average which only the most .sanguine had believed possible for one lap. The day of the race dawned dull and with signs of rain to come. The previous night had seen heavy rain, which did the course good, and by the start had dried off, and. the roads were in excellent con
dition. There was, however, that ominous report, “mist on the mountain.”
No one who has not experienced it can realise the full meaning of those words to riders, or can imagine the ordeal of roaring along the narrow winding road over Snaefell, only able to see a few yards in any direction, depending solely on knowledge of the course, not just a knowledge of the roads and. corners, but a knowledge of every bush and rock and blade of grass, every change of camber and surface, to tell when the next corner will loom out of the fog, too late to get round unless its position is exactly known before it appears. And. yet there must be little or no slowing through the mist for those who have hopes of the Trophy.
In the opening stages of the race the conditions on the mountain were much better than has often been the case, and it was not till the final two laps that heavy rain became general and a dark pall descended over the island. Even under these conditions, and knowing that he had a comfortable lead, Handley lapped in little over 33 minutes ! From the start it was evident that the pace was going to be hotter than ever before. When the times were taken, as the score-board clocks moved to Ballacraine, then Kirkmichael, then the mountain, it was evident that records were being broken. As the riders were gathered on the starting “grid,” a Klemm monoplane flown over from Germany by Herr Hirth for the race circled the grandstand before landing. Jimmy Simpson, starting No. 4, was already catching up his rivals, and as the later numbers’ clock hands were moving steadily, the red light appeart. d over Simpson’s number and the Norton roared through the stands, having lapped in 30m. 55s. Then machines came through in rapid succession, and a great cheer went up when Handley flashed by, many places ahead of his starting position, and. soon his time went up-29m. 47s. from a standing start. 76.03 m.p.h. I
Dodson, last year’s winner, in spite of a lap in under 31 minutes, was not in the first six.
FIRST LAP LEADERS.
Evidence of the cracking pace is given by the early retirements, L. H. Davenport (A.J.S.) being stuck at Ramsey with gear box trouble, and E. Twonlow with clutch trouble on his Cotton. Reports showed that the mist was getting worse on the mountain near Craig-ny-baa, but clearer at the summit. Simpson filled up at the end of his second lap, but in spite of this his second lap time was 30m. 16s., a new record, but it did not stand for long. First lap speeds do not count for record, as the starting square is 75 yards beyond the official finishing line, but Handley did not need to wcirry about this, for his second lap time was 29m. 45s., or 76.11 m.p.h.
SECOND LAP LEADERS.
Obviously O’Donovan has not been idle since he joined the Raleigh Company, for they proved themselves among the fastest machines in the island, and C. J. Williams was following up his fine ride in the Junior by an even better effort. It was extremely hard luck that he crashed on the mountain at half distance and sustained a broken leg. May he have a speedy recovery and a clear run next time. Guthrie (A.J.S.) was not repeating his Wednesday’s no-trouble run, anl his engine packed up on the descent of the mountain and he had to retire. At this point all the six leaders had averaged a higher speed than last year’s record lap, and it seemed as if the pace could not last. However, G. L. Hack, of Rudges, was again showing that he did not need to be told much about building fast motors, and they were now in the first three places.
THIRD LAP LEADERS.
Simpson, having got one replenishment over, was pulling up, and Duncan on another Raleigh was among the leaders to
take Williams’ place. He had a close call, however, hitting the post office wall at Union’s Mills, scraping along it and damaging the machine. In spite of this he got going again in five minutes, after sundry repairs.
FOURTH LAP LEADERS.
Dodson, in spite of having averaged considerably more than the speed which gained him the Trophy last year, only appeared among the leaders for the first time on this lap, a good indication of the pace the Rudges were setting. Weather conditions were getting worse and rain
was beginning to fall. The slippery roads were causing trouble, and several riders were put out of the race by crashes. Dick Birch fell at Braddan, and nearly obliterated the flag man in the process. He had the misfortune to break his collar bone and retired. Ruston (Sunbeam) crashed on a bank and retired, but was not hurt. Stuart Williams (A. J.S.), an overseas rider, who was putting up a good show, had to retire with clutch trouble, and another visitor, J. G. Lind, on a similar machine, was also delayed, but got going again. Isaacs, the Jamaican rider, in attempting to pass outside another rider at Craig-ny-baa, failed to stop for the corner, and crashed into the telephone box, injuring the operators and wrecking his machine.
FIFTH LAP LEADERS.
Some changes were now going on among the leaders. Tyrell-Smith was evidently suffering from some minor trouble, as he dropped a place. This was made up for by another Rudge in the hands of G. B. Nott, the third man of the official Rudge team, moving up into the first six. There were four of these machines in the first six, and victory was virtually certain. Handley was riding a marvellous race. His cornering was still perfectly accurate. and his engine was still as healthy as ever, He pulled in to fill up and take some fresh goggles and was away in 24 seconds. Mainwaring (Scott) crashed at Ballacraine, wrecking his machine, and retired. Stanley Woods shed a chain at the start and was considerably delayed refitting it. G. B. Meade, riding a perfectly standard B.S.A.,
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was out to have an interesting ride.
SIXTH LAP LEADERS.
With the leaders all on their final circu.t, everyone was hoping that no stroke of fate was going to rob Handley of his well-deserved victory. The rain was getting heavier and heavier, and the least mistake on those glistening roads would have spelt disaster. Then Handley’s clock remained at the start far too long. He should have reached Ballacraine minutes ago. Then a cheer went up from
the rain soaked crowds as his painter went round to Kirkmichael. He had beea missed at Ballacraine, it seemed. From then to the finish there was little incident. The Craig-ny-baa telephone, temporarily disabled by the accident, was working again, and his pointer moved round. Then the red light, and the distant note of an engine, and a few seconds later the Rudge screamed over the line as Handley concluded his record-breaking ride in 3 hours, 33 minutes, 30 seconds.
The second man home was that wonderfully consistent veteran, Graham Walker, whO has been more than once in sight of a T.T. victory, but whom fate has always disappointed at the last minute.
J. H. Simpson, hero of many record laps, in past years, was third, while last year’s winner, Charlie Dodson, gained fourth place at 71.99 m.p.h. T. P. Bullus, at last mounted on a machine which would carry him through, brought his Sunbeam into fifth place. The Rudge-Whitworth team, consisting of Graham Walker, Tyrell and Nott, won the manufacturers’ team prize, thus
setting the seal on the most remarkable achievement in the history of the T.T.
FASTEST LAP.-W. L. Handley, 29 mine. 41 secs. =76.28 m.p.h.
THINGS THAT COUNTED. in his victorious ride:
Handley used the following in his victorious ride: Shell petrol, Castrol oil, Dunlop Tyres, and saddle, Coventry chains, Tecalemit lubricating equipment, Don clutch linings, Fibrax brake linings, a d Axnal carburetter.
The Lightweight winner used: Pratts petrol, Castrol oil, M-I., magneto, K.I.,.G. plugs, tycett saddle, Duran brake linings, Amal carburetter, and Renold chains.