MOTOR CYCLES IN THE ISLE OF MAN
RENEWED INTEREST IN THE TOURIST TROPHY RACES.
w_ITH the depression in the motor cycle industry and the undoubted supremacy of the Norton machines in last year’s races the famous Manx classics seemed almost to be doomed to failure, but this year’s series happily showed a revival in every respect.
There were a larger number of starters in” each race, and firms such as A. J.S., Triumph and Sunbeam took a small but definite part. The Husqvarna machines, from Sweden, were said to be at least a match for the Norton in speed and acceleration, and handled well, while the Italian Guzzi has several times given our machines a good run in the Lightweight Race. The foreign riders could hardly hope to compete with the picked men who had driven there for the past ten years, but nevertheless their presence added to the technical and spectacular value of the races.
The Junior Race.
Twenty-seven starters took their places on the starting grid for the first of the week’s races, and No. I was G. Rowley, who was riding an A. j.S., in place of Stanley Woods. Guthrie, the Norton star, got away after some hesitation, and the popular riders Simpson, Dodson and Handley all received fine ovations as they took their turns. Velocettes outnumbered the other makes with an entry of 11, arid were said to be fast enough to press the Nortons strongly.
Guthrie after his slow start was going well, and had overtaken Rowley by the time they reached Ramsey. He was therefore first round, while Archer (Velocette) had kept his place in front of the redoubtable Jimmy Simpson, but had dropped three seconds of his half-minute start. Handley with a standing lap of 28 minutes over the 37 mile circuit had to be content with third place, while Nott on the only Husqvarna running in the Junior joined the other stars on the leader board.
First Lap Leaders.
J. Guthrie (Norton), 28m. 54s. (78.35 m.p.h.).
J. H. Simpson (Norton), 28m. 56s. (78.26 m.p.h.).
W. L. Handley (Norton), 29m. Os. (78.07 m.p.h.).
L. J. Archer (Velocette), 29m. 45s. (76.11 m.p.h.).
H. E. Newman (Velocette), 29m. 54s. (75.73 m.p.h.).
G. E. Nott (Husqvarna), 29m. 56s. (75.65 m.p.h.).
Guthrie evidently fancied a bigger lead and was away at ever-increasing speed. and there was no surprise to learn that he had made a record lap of 28 mins. 16 secs. or (80.1 m.p.h.), 19 seconds better than last year’s record. When the second lap leaders were painted up it was seen that Nott had displaced Newman from 5th place. Tyrell-Smith (A. J .S.) usually well up, came off and broke a foot rest. Simpson was making great efforts to catch the leader, and pulled up 3 seconds. Handley did not seem too happy, and was being overhauled by Archer, and nearly caine off at Governor’s Bridge. Daniell, winner of last year’s Senior Grand Prix,
came off at Signpost and retired, while Tyrell-Smith, whose handlebars were thought to have been damaged by his crash continued after they had been inspected at the Start.
Simpson and Guthrie both made rapid pit stops in just under 36 seconds, but the latter was still gaining and at the fourth lap had a one minute lead. Nott on the Swedish machine had displaced Archer on the Velocette, and was only 7 seconds behind Handley. Guthrie’s average was 79.46 m.p.h., and the Norton team manager seemed to be given full liberty to all the team to ride their own race.
Filth Lap Leaders.
J. Guthrie, 2h. 23m. 18s. (79.00 m.p.h.). J. H. Simpson, 2h. 23m. 26s. (78.93 m.p.h.).
J. Guthrie (Norton), 3h. 20m. 14s. (79.16 m.p.h.).
J. H. Simpson (Norton), 3h. 20m. 23s. (79.10 m.p.h.).
G. E. Nott (Husqvarna), 3h. 26s. 2s. (76.93 m.p.h.).
H. E. Newman (Velocette), 3h. 26m. 16s. (76.84 m.p.h.).
A. Mitchell (Velocette), 3h. 27m. 3s. (76.55 m.p.h.).
L. J. Archer (Velocette), 3h. 28m. 24s. (76.05 m.p.h.).
W. F. Rusk (Velocette), 3h. 29m. 55s. (75.51 m.p.h.).
F. Aranda (Velocette), 3h. 37m. 56s. (72.73 nap.h.).
V. N. Brittain (Velocette), 3h. 39m. Os. (72.37 m.p.h.).
W. L. Handley, 21i. 26m. 36s. (77.23 m.p.h.).
E. R. Nott, 21i. 27m. 44s. (76.64 m.p.h.). H: E. Newman, 2h. 27m. 45s. (76.63 m.p.h.).
L. I. Archer, 2h. 28m. 18s .(76.34, m.p.h.). A. Mitchell (Velocette), 2h. 28m. 18s. (76.34 m.p.h.).
Handley pulled up a little on Nott, but on the sixth lap the Norton rider did not come round. His indicator light showed that he had reached Governor’s Bridge, and the news soon came through that he had come off and was receiving medical attention.
Newman (Velocette) displaced Nott from third place during the sixth lap but in a final spurt the latter picked up 15 seconds in his final lap and so recaptured his place.
There was a breathless struggle between Guthrie and Simpson for first place, but the Scotsman only dropped a second in his final round and added another T.T. victory to his bag.
II. C. Lamacraft (Velocette), 3h. 42m. 42s. (71. 17 m.p.h.). (The above received first-class replicas.)
G. E. Rowley (A. J.S.), 3h. 46m. 8s. (70.09 m.p.h.).
J. Adams (Velocette), 3h. 46m. 9s. (70.08 m.p.h.).
W. Balgarnie (Velocette), 3h. 48m. 58s. (69.22 m.p.h.).
C. H. Manders (New Imp.), 3h. 50m. 3s. (68.90 m.p.h.).
J. Fletcher (Velocette), 3h. 53m. 4s. (68.01 m.p.h.). (The above five received second-class replicas.)
H. Pilling (Norton), 4h. 7m. 25s. (64.06 m.p.h.).
The Lightweight Race.
Four teams, Rudge, Excelsior, New Imperial, and Cotton were entered for the second day’s racing, for which there were 24 entries. The riders of course were in many cases the same as in the other events and included Simpson, unfamiliar on a Rudge, and Stanley Woods on the Italian Guzzi. Visibility was only 100
yards at the Start, though better on the low-lying stretches of the course, while thick fog was reported from the Mountain.
Paddy Johnson, the veteran Cotton rider, was the first to appear in the starting square and as the flag fell at 10 o’clock, shot away strongly into the murk at the top of Bray Hill. The Guzzi was a bad starter, and Simpson lost valuable seconds through the cold weather affecting the carburation of the Rudge.
On the first lap Charlie Dodson (New Imperial) was making good progress, but Stanley Woods was dropping back, possibly owing to a repetition of the gear-box trouble experienced in practise. Johnson was first through the Start, followed by Mellors (New Imperial). Simpson stopped at his pit to change goggles.
First Lap Leaders.
C. J. P. Dodson (New Imp.), 32m. 53s. (68.86 m.p.h.).
E. A. Mellors (Excelsior), 33m. 31s. (67.56 m.p.h.).
G. E. Nott (Rudge), 33m. 38s. (67.32 m.p.h.).
J. H. Simpson (Rudge), 33m. 48s. (66.99 m.p.h.).
L. J. Archer (New Imperial), 33m. 56s. (66.73 m.p.h.).
C. W. Johnston (Cotton), 34m. 29s. (65,66 m.p.h.).
Considering that bad visibility and even fog prevailed over much of the course, an average of 69 m.p.h. took some doing. Barrow on an Excelsior had come off on the Mountain section, and was unable to continue, while Crabtree was reported slow at Ramsey and had not yet reached the Bungalow. Woods and Simpson now seemed to have got going properly, so much so that the latter lapped in 32 mins. 33 secs. or 20 seconds faster than Dodson, and this fine piece of riding brought him into second place, 7 seconds behind Dodson, and only 34 seconds separated the first four men.
Simpson, riding at ever-increasing speed, shot into first place on the third lap with a time of 31m. 57s. or 70.9 m.p.h., giving him over a minute’s lead over Dodson, while Nott (Rudge) also overtook the New Imperial rider on the same lap. After a 36 seconds pit stop, Simpson sped on, while those on the Stands wondered if this Lightweight machine would stand up to his furious driving. Mellors who had so far been well-placed retired at this stage with engine trouble.
Fourth Lap Leaders.
J. H. Simpson, 2h. 10m. I Is. (69.58 m.p.h.).
E. R. Nott, 2h. Urn. 24s. (69.93 m.p.h.). C. J. P. Dodson, 2h. 13m. 3s. (68.08 m.p.h.).
Graham Walker (Rudge), 2h. 17m. 8s. (66.05 m.p.h.).
L. A. Devonport, 2h. 18m. 26s. (65.43 m.p.h.).
Stanley Woods (Guzzi), 2h. 18m. 42s. (65.31 m.p.h.). No news of Crabtree had been forthcoming since the first lap, but an announcement was now made that he had been seriously injured. The unfortunate rider had actually crashed into a gate-post on the Mountain road in the fog, and was killed instantly. A gallant
and skilful driver of car and motor-cycle, his death greatly grieved his many friends when the full facts were learnt.
With most of the spectators ignorant of this sad accident the race continued and as weather conditions improved, the pace grew hotter, and Simpson put in a fast lap of 30m. 47s. on his sixth round.
During the last rounds, the leaderboard altered a good deal, for Davenport came in slowly from Hillberry to retire, while Dodson, who dropped out of the race on his way to Ramsey on the last lap, was reported stopped at Ballaugh with engine trouble. At last the notoriously unlucky Jimmy Simpson, who had raced on the Manx circuit since 1922, had won a race, and won it under some of the worse conditions which he could have encountered.
J. H. Simpson (Rudge), 3h. 43m. 50s. (70.81 m.p.h.).
G. E. Nott (Rudge), 3h. 47. 7s. (69.79 m .p.h .).
Graham Walker (Rudge), 311. 54m. 13s. (67.67 m.p.h.).
Stanley Woods (Guzzi), 3h. 54m. 41s. (67.54 m.p.h.).
C. H. Manders (New Imp.), 3h. 59m. 42s. (66.12 m.p.h.).
S. Gleave (Excelsior), 4h. Om. 27s. (65.92 m.p.h.).
C. T. Tattersall (C.T.S.), 4h. 5m. 55s. (65.45 m.p.h.). (The above received silver replicas.)
L. G. Martin (Cotton), 4h. 21m. 10s.
(60.69 m.p.h.). . (No. 13 received a bronze replica.)
The Senior Race.
The Senior event was better supported than has been the case for some years, and apart from the greater speed of the 500 c.c. machines there was the added interest of foreign bicycles and riders. There were three Husqvarnas ridden by Nott, Stanley Woods and Kalen, Aranda, a Spaniard on a Velocette, Hamervell on a Dutch Eysink, and Rene Brook on a Sarolea. Wal Handley, who had been injured in the Junior Race, was an absentee, but 39 starters finally lined up. Rain, fog, and haze were reported from various points, but visibility was up to 100 yards on the mountain, so there was considerable improvement on Wednesday’s conditions. •
Stanley Woods was No. 1 on his Husqvarna, and with open roads in front of him would take a lot of catching. Ernie Nott, the other fancied rider of the Swedish make, was slow away, Guthrie and Simpson, the Norton stars, got going at once, as indeed they needed to do, for Woods was on his mettle. The first lap seemed distinctly unhealthy for the foreigners, for Nott went out of the race with gear-box trouble,
Brooke retired with engine, and the Dutchman crashed at the Bungalow.
First Lap Leaders.
J. Guthrie (Norton), 29m. 22s. (77.11 m.p.h.).
S. Woods (Husqvarna), 29m. 58s. (75.56 m.p.h.).
j. H. Simpson (Norton), 30m. 21s. (74.60 m.p.h.).
A. Tyler (Vincent H.R.D.), 31m. 4s. (72.89 m.p.h.).
V. N. Brittain (Norton), 31m. 12s. (72.58 m.p.h.).
W. A. Harding (O.K. Sup.), 31m. 28s. (71.96 m.p.h.). Woods was going fast enough to hold his position, but Guthrie had already started to pull away from him. Mellors (Excelsior) who had been going well, stopped on the mountain, and later toured in with a split petrol tank. Balgarnie, an Australian rider of a Velocette, had a nasty moment when he crashed at Quarter Bridge, but was unhurt, and continued. In the second lap the leaders remained the same, except that Dodson moved up into sixth place as Harding, the Manx rider, retired
at Kirk Michael with broken front-forks. Woods came in and filled up, and was at that time a minute behind Guthrie, while Simpson was coming up steadily. At this stage the announcer’s time seemed chiefly occupied in relating the adventures of West (Triumph) whose back brake was said to be faulty, and who had been stopped at nearly every post round the course. On the third round Woods again slipped into it, and lapped at 28m. 8s., 3 seconds faster than Guthrie. However the Norton team had no special need for worry, for apart from the first and third man, Brittain, the other member of the team,
was running in fourth place. Charlie Dodson was reported to be going slowly with a misfiring engine, while Tyler (Vincent H.R.D.), who had been 5th, retired at Sulby with engine trouble.
Crashes and engine trouble were taking toll of the runners, and Horton (Excelsior) came off at the 33rd Milestone and sustained a broken ankle. Rain was reported from the North of the Island, and both Guthrie and Woods were travelling more slowly, but Guthrie was again outpacing the Irish rider. Fletcher on a Sunbeam skidded on Ballaugh Bridge and hit a stone wall and was fortunate to escape unhurt.
Fifth Lap Leaders.
J. Guthrie, 2h. 25m. 30s. (77.81 m.p.h.). S. Woods, 2h. 28m. 9s. (76.42 m.p.h.). J. H. Simpson, 2h. 31m. 46s. (74.39 m.p.h.).
W. F. Rusk, 2h. 35m. 8s. (72.98 m.p.h.). V. N. Brittain, 2h. 35m. 38s. (72.75
m p. h .) .
L. J. Archer, 211.37m. 15s. (71.99 m.p.h.).
The weather was getting worse at Creg ny baa and Hillberry and must have inflicted a greater strain on Stanley Woods than on the members of the Norton team. Simpson was riding under difficulties, as he was troubled with cramp in one of his hands. In spite of this the intervals between the leaders seemed so great that there was little likelihood of change.
However, the unexpected happened. Woods started on his last lap in fine style, was reported at Ramsey, and was said to have reached East Mountain Gate very quickly indeed. On the heels of this came the dramatic announcement that he had run out of petrol only a few hundred yards further on, and was out of the race. A wretched ending to a magnificent race. It was therefore certain that Guthrie would win and he flashed over the line at 1.37 p.m. Only 13 machines finished the race, and as will be seen the Velocettes put up a fine performance against the
Nortons. Newman and Balgarnie rode Junior machines, fitted with 350 c.c. engines.
J. Guthrie (Norton), 3h. 23m. 10s. (78.01 m.p.h.).
J. H. Simpson (Norton), 3h. 30m. 35s. (75.27 m.p.h.).
W. F. Rusk (Velocette), 3h. 36m. 19s. (73.27 m.p.h.).
L. J. Archer (Velocette), 3h. 38m. 22s. (72.58 m.p.h.). V. N. Brittain (Norton), 3h. 39m. 25s. (72.24 m.p.h.),
G. Walker (Rudge), 3h. 44m. 32s. (70.59 m.p.h.).
H. G. Tyrell Smith (A. J.S.),3h. 44m. 38s. (70.56 m.p.h.).
H. E. Newman (Velocette), 3h. 48m. 20s. (69.42 m.p.h.).
(The above received silver replicas.) H. L. Daniell (A. J.S.), 3h. 49m. 2s. (69.20 m.p.h.).
A. Mitchell (Velocette), 3h. 50m. 46s. (68.68 m.p.h.).
N. Gledhill (Norton), 311, 55m. 46s. (67.23 m.p.h.). G. E. Rowley (A. J.S.), 3h. 57m. 55s. (66.62 m.p.h.),
(The above received bonze replicas).
W. Balgarnie (Velocette), 4h. 10m. 46s. (63.21 m.p.h.).