THE SENIOR RACE
Another Norton 147111 Island Lapped at SO
THF, most arnazin.g performan,ce of the 1931 Tourist Trophy Races was undoubtedly J. H. Simpson’s wonderful third lap in 28m. Is. at the alino.-t incredible average of 80.82 m.p.h. Time and again this wond..Tful rider has broken the lap record only to retire, and his luck was still out for at Ballaugh on his fourth lap he braked heavily and the back wheel locked solid and jammed. Simpson crashed int-) the bridge wall and sustained a damaged wrist while the machine was also too badly damaged to be ridden further.
He was the first man to lap this course at over 70 m.p.h. when he rode an A.J.S. for 2 laps at this speed some five years ago, before the engine gave out under the terrific strain.
The weather was again good, though for the first lap care was needed as the roads had not fully dried up after a shower in the early morning. From the very start it was obvious that all records would once more be broken, and that the fine entry of 58 riders would
soon be thinned out by the cracking pace.
The first man away, Vic Brittain (Diamond) held his position on the road and came through the start first at the end of the lap. Hicks (A.J.S.) and Nott (Rudge) were early arrivals, and Hicks’ standing start speed was 76.78 m.p.h. Then the field followed and when the times went up it was seen that four Nortons ha.d beaten Hicks’ time, with Guthrie in the lead at 77.61 m.p.h., and the first five were all covered by 20 seconds.
FIRST LAP LEADERS.
J. Guthrie (Norton), 29m. 7s. 77.61 m.p.h.
J. H. Simpson (Norton), 29m. 8s. 77.56 m.p,h.
S. Woods (Norton.), 291n. 20s. 77.04 m.p.h.
P. Hunt (Norton), 29m. 21$. 77.00 m.p.h.
F. G. Hicks (A.J.S.), 29m. 26s. 76.78 m.p.h.
G. E.Nott (kudge), 30m.17s. 74.63 m.p.h.
The entry included a bigger proportion o f foreign a n d colonial riders than ever before, but their luck was not in to-day Fondu, a Belgian rider, Ericsson, from Sweden, and Vranconi, who has ridden in several previous races, all retired early, and many others who were riding at really wonderful speeds were totally eclipsed by the Nortons and Rudges which were out alone.
k Charlie Dodson, winner of two previous Seniors, had trouble on his first lap, but on his second put the lap record up to 78.21 m.p.h. but Simpson then outshone all other attempts by a lap at 79.92 m.p.h. which gave him the lead.
SECOND LAP LEADERS.
J. H. Simpson (Norton), Sim. 28s. 78.80 m.p.h.
P. Hunt (Norton), 58m. 9s. 77.88 m.p.h. J. Guthrie (Norton),
58m. 13s. 77.79 m.p.h. S. Woods (Norton), 58m. 20s. 77.63 m.p.h.
F. G. Hicks (A.J.S.), 58m. 40s. 77.19 m.p.h.
G. E. Nott (Rudge), 59m. 3s. 75.62 m.p.h.
Hicks and Nott were doing all they knew to catch the Nortons, but in, vain, and Simpson made his lead even more secure by his historic third lap at 80.82 m.p.h.
To anyone who has not seen and ridden round the I.O.M. course it is impossible to convey any idea of what this performance means. That this 38 miles of winding roads with its 1,300 ft. climb over the shoulder of Sna.efell, could be lapped at such a speed, would have been regarded as fantastic a few years ago.
It seems fantastic today, but it has been done, and heartiest congratulations are due to J. H. Simpson for his wonderful ride, and to the Norton company for producing the machine which made it possible.
Guthrie did a very fine third lap and regained second position from Hunt, but Simpson was now I f minutes ahead, a small amount after nearly 120 miles, but an almost impossible amount to catch up if he kept going.
THIRD LAP LEADERS.
J. H. Simpson (Norton), 1h. 25m. 29s. 79.47 ni.p.h.
J. Guthrie (Norton), lh. 27m. 3s. 78.35 m.p.h.
. P. Hunt (Norton), lh. 27m. 19s.
77.80 m.p.h. G. Hicks 1‘.3.7 (A.J.S.), 1h. 27m. 48s. 77 S. Woods (Norton), lh. 27m. 545. 77.28 m.p.h.
(2;.8. m.p.h. E..pNott (Rudge), lh. 29m. 3s. 76. However it was not to be, and at Ballaugh on his fourth lap Simpson met his
Waterloo in the shape of a crash due to a seized back brake, and Hunt once more passed Guthrie and took the lead. Stanley Woods also put in a terrific lap and went from fifth to second place, showing that he has lost none of the skill of past years.
Among foreign entries special mention should be made of the veteran Renier on a Rudge, who was now lying twelfth, and riding very well on this his first visit to the Island.
FOURTH LAP LEADERS.
P. Hunt (Horton), lh. 55m. 38s. 78.32 m.p.h.
S. Woods (Norton), lh. 56m. 41s. 77.62 m.p.h.
J. Guthrie (Norton), 1h. 57m. 7s. 77.34 m.p.h.
F. G. Hicks (A.J.S.), lh. 57m. 48s. 76.89 m.p.h.
G. E. Nott (Rudge), lh. 58m. 55s. 76.17 m.p.h.
H. G. Tyre11 Smith (Rudge), 2h. 2m. 50s. 73.74 m.p.h. The fifth lap was marred by tragedy. F. G. Hicks, riding the race of a desperate man i.A his valiant attempt to snatch seconds from the all conquering Norton team, tore into the succession of S bends in the village of Union Mills. Driving down into the final dip for the last bend his machine got out of control. He made a magnificent effort to gain control, but in vain, and crashed into a shop. Thus, on the field of battle, ended the fine career of that wonderful little rider and tuner, one of the most popular personalities the island has known ; and Freddie Hicks goes to join the select band who have been overcome by the fate which, although fortunately rare, is at times inevitable in this great sport. The sincerest
sympathy of his many friends and followers will go out to his widow and relatives.
The Rudge team were gradually closing up and were now lying 4th, 6th and 7th, but they could not shake the Norton trio. The mechanical and other casualties were tremendous, only just over a third of the starters still remaining.
FIFTH LAP LEADERS.
P. Hunt (Norton), 2h. 24m. 44s. 78.18 m.p.h.
J. Guthrie (Norton), 2h. 25m. 52s. 77.61 m.p.h.
S. Woods (Norton), 2h. 27m. 4s. 76.98 m.p.h.
G. E. Nott (Rudge), 2h. 28m. 1 ls. 76.40 m.ph.
G. L. Emery (Sunbeam), 2h. 33m. 20s. 73.84 m.p.h.
G. W. Walker (Rudge), 2h. 33m. 28s. 73. 78 m.p.h.
Graham Walker was now riding with his clutch out of action and Mellors who had already shown his ability earlier in the week, was handling his N.S.U. magnificently and lying eighth, and pulled up to sixth on his next lap.
SIXTH LAP LEADERS.
P. Hunt (Norton), 2h. 53m. 30s. 78.30 m.p.h.
J. Guthrie (Norton), 2h. 55m. 30s. 77.37 m.p.h.
S. Woods (Norton), 2h. 57m. 23s. 76.58 m.p.h.
G. E. Nott (Rudge), 2h. 58m. 17s. 76.20 m.p.h.
G. W. Walker (Rudge), 3h. 4m. 24s. 73.68 m.p.h.
E. A. Mellors (N.S.U.), 3h. 5m. 41s. 73.16 m.p.h. The order of the leaders remained unchanged to the finish, and Hunt rode
faultlessly and recorded his second win. of the week, a magnificent performance, while his team mates, Guthrie and Woods kept on to make the Norton victory complete. Ernie Nott finished a wonderful ride at an average speed equal to last year’s. record lap, and yet had to be content with fourth place, which shows the terrific speed of the Nortons, for the Rudges are no sluggards, and Nott only missed third. place by 5 seconds over the 264 mile course. That is racing indeed
R.ESUI,TS. 3h. 23m. 8s
1. P. Hunt (Norton), 3h. 23m. 8s77.90 m.p.h.
2. J. Guthrie (Norton), 3h. 24m. 57s. 77.34 m.p.h.
3. S. Woods (Norton), 3h. 27m. 36s. 76.35 m.p.h.
4. G. E. Nott (Rudge), 3h. 27m. 41s. 76.32 m.p.h.
5. G. W. Walker (Rudge), 3h. 34m. 14s. 73.98 m.p.h.
6. E. A. Mellors (N.S.U.), 3h. 36m. 36s. 73.18 m.p.h.
7. A. Tyler (Raleigh), 3h. 38m. 18s. 72.61 m.p.h.
8. A. Simcock (O.K. Supreme), 3h.. 38m. 40s. 72.48 m.p.h.
9. J. G. Lind (Velocette), 3h. 41m. 14s.. 71.64 m.p.h.
10. S. Gleave (S.G.S.), 3h. 42m. 45s. 71.16 m.p.h. The above won Replicas of the Trophy..
11. J. Williams (Rudge), 3h. 45m. us. 70.39 m.p.h.
12. L. H. Davenport (Rudge), 3h. 49m.. 3s. 69.20 m.p.h.
13. G. W. Wood (Rudge), 3h. 51m. 15s.. 68.56 m.p.n.