THE SENIOR RACE
J. M. Muir ( Norton) wins at 71.79
THURSDAY morning brought with it larger crowds and the greater interest which generally accompanies the Senior Race. There was a greater number of starters (50 against 41), amongst them Vfavrogordato on his Scott, who was running 3rd last year when his front fork broke, while such riders as Muir and Harding were given another chance to show their form. Harding was undoubtedly fast, but on a three speed ” 350 ” could hardly hope to win against the larger machines. Pine, now mounted on an Excelsior, was a force to be reckoned with.
Conditions were not as favourable as on the day of the Junior event. The road was dry, but heavy clouds hung overhead, while bad visibility was reported from Snaefell. The first rider, H. A. Saunders, was sent off at 10 o’clock, but was very late in getting to Ballacraine. Other early numbers arrived regularly until H. Cook, on a Velocette ; he was reported as having retired at Crosby with a split engine. Lea had picked up a place and ” Mavro ” sounded very finicky, Muir was steady and fast. Harding was obviously travelling at a great pace, and his name appeared on the leader-board with a lap of 73.68 m.p.h. “Too hot to last” said the sages on the stand. Pine and Muir were both consistent and dead-heated on time, while a spot of excitement was caused by news that J. K. Swanston had charged the crowds at Creg-na-baa, but continued quickly enough to take third place. And quickly it was, for the first six men lapped faster than the best time of the Junior two days before.
. . FIRST LAP.
1. W. A. Harding (Velocette), 30m. 44s. 73.68 m.p.h. .
2. N. Gledhill (Norton), 31m. 3s. 72.93 m.p.h.
3. J. K. Swanston (Norton), 31m. 40s. 71.50 m.p.h.
4. D. J. Pine (Excelsior), 31m. 45s. 71.31 m.p.h.
5. J. M. Muir (Norton), 31m. 45s. 71.31 m.p.h.
6. W. H. Rigg (Rudge), 31m. 48s. 71.2 m.p.h. The second lap brought with it considerable changes in the leader board. Harding slowed up near Michael-perhaps his supertuning had been too much for the Veloce while Swanston crashed in the same part of the course, and this time came to a finish. Muir and Pine were evidently pretty even, but Pine’s machine pinked furiously as he left Braddan., while his rival was quite at his ease. Swabey, on a Rudge, appeared from down below with a lap of 31m. 29s., while
Gledhill, who had stepped into Harding’s place, replied with 30m. 49s. or 73.47 and set up a new record.
1. Gledhill (Norton), lh. 1 m. 52s. 73.2 m.p.h.
2. Muir (Norton), lh. 2m. 59s. 71.9 m.p.h.
3. Pine (Excelsior), lh. 3m. 24s. 71.43 m.p.h.
4. B. W. Swabey. (Rudge), lh. 3m. 30s. 71.31 m.p.h.
5. H. Hartley (Rudge), lh. 3m. 54s. 70.87 m.p.h.
6. L. R. Courtney (Rudge), lh. 4m. 53s. 69.79 m.p.h. The leaders in the second lap were maintaining a speed nearly as high as that in the first, in spite of the showers and greasy patches which were showing up under the sprinkling of rain, but Muir’s pace was increasing at a greater rate than that of Pine. News then came through that Gledhill had retired at Crosby, held ,
up by lack of fuel and gear trouble, so the steady men had quite soon reached the front. Rigg on a Rudge, who had reached the leader-board on the first lap was announced to have lost second gear, but was continuing. A good many riders suffered from this trouble, and no doubt the high speeds demanded of the machines, and the many changes accounted for this. J. H. Jones came off at the 33rd milestone without injury, but his machine struck two spectators and did considerable damage.
J. H. Carr, who had been second in the Junior race, now appeared on the board for the first time, and improved his position steadily as time went on.
1. Muir (Norton), lh. 33m. 58s. 72.29 m.p.h.
2. Pine (Excelsior), lh. 34m. 55s. 71.57 m.p.h.
3. Swabey (Rudge), lh. 35m. 26s. 71.17 m.p.h.
4: Hartley (Rudge), lh. 36m. 55s. 71.09 m.p.h.
5. Courtney (Rudge), lh. 37m. 35s. 69.61 m.p.h.
6. J. H. Carr (Norton), lh. 39m. 21s. 68.37 m.p.h. The unpleasant weather prevailing round the course now reached the Stand, and Governor’s Bridge and Quarter Bridge demanded great caution. Evidently the earlier showers had warned the men what to expect and no one came off, but P. S. Verity, an Oxford entrant, had some bother at the Nook, which is rather treacherous at this time of year. Waite on a Rudge had an anxious descent to the Quarter Bridge, where he hit the kerb, but picked himself up and rode on. The speeds of the leaders were all down,
but Muir had increased his lead to over l minutes.
1. Muir (Norton), 2h. 6m. 14s.
2. Pine (Excelsior), 2h. 7m. 46s.
3. Swabey (Rudge), 2h. 8m. 13s.
4. Courtney (Rudge), 2h. 9m. 46s.
5. Carr (Norton), 2h. 12m. 50s.
6. Hartley Rudge), 2h. 14m. 46s.
In the fifth lap the rain ceased in many places and Muir increased his speed. Pine was still holding on to second place but looked rather anxious after rounding Governor’s Hairpin. Not without reason, for at the far corner his machine gave up completely and he had to foot in to the Start. A large piece of crank-case was found near the timing-box, so he was definitely out of the race after a fast and well-judged run. Swabey was also late at Governor’s, and it was announced that he was returning under man-power from Hillberry. Another rider in trouble was Stobart (Scott) who came off at Braddan.
1. Muir (Norton), 2h. 37m. 34s. 71.84 m.p.h.
2. Pine (Excelsior). 2h. 40m. 14s. 70.65 m.p.h.
3. Courtney (Rudge), 2h. 46m. 59s. 67.8 m.p.h.
4. Carr (Norton), 2h. 47m. 22s. 67.65 m.p.h.
5. R. Harris (Norton), 2h. 49m. 35s. 66.76 m.p.h.
6. Hartley (Rudge), 2h. 53m. 20s. 65.32 m.p.h.
With the retirement of Pixie, Muir had over 9 minutes in hand and could afford to slow down slightly, and unless something unexpected happened, was a certain winner. His pointer moved steadily round the dial, though there was a hush as an announcement from Cregna-baa stated that his face was seen to be bleeding. A cheer went up as his pointer clicked on to Hillberry, and in a short time the roar of his machine was heard as he accelerated away from Governor’s Bridge. He crossed the line at great speed and provided a mild thrill by locking his back wheel at the far end of the stand, and was thrown from his machine, which slid along the straight after him, sparks flying from the scraping backstand. Happily he was not hurt, and was chaired and borne away by cheering friends, the winner at 71.79 m.p.h. Muir, who is a member of the Cambridge University Club, rode a very consistent race, his average speed varying only 1 m.p.h. through
out the six laps ; he improved on last year’s time by over six minutes.
For some time it was doubtful whether Courtney or Carr would take second place, and the difference in their starting numbers made calculation difficult. Fortunately for the peace of mind of amateur timekeepers, Carr was slower on his last round, so that the final order remained as in the fifth lap.
J. M. m.p.h.
L. Courtney, 3h. 19m. 14s. 68.19 m.p.h. J. H. Can-, 3h. 22m. 29s. 67.09
Harold Hartley, 3h. 30m. 21s. 64.59 m.p.h. (The above receive replicas.)
W. L. Stranger, 3h. 33m. 17s.
R. G. Williamson 3h. 34m. 52s.
J. Fletcher, 3h. 35m. 32s. J. M. Sugg, 3h. 38m. 30s. Morris Cann, 3h. 38m. 50s. R. Harris, 3h. 39m. 35s. C. D. Reich, 3h. 39m. 50s. Herbert Hartley, 3h. 46m. 46s.
W. H. Singleton, 3h. 51m. 32s.
C. J. Harding, 3h. 57m. 9s. P. S. Verity, 3h. 59m. 3s. R. M. Campbell, 4h. 6m. 22s.
FINAL ORDER. Muir, 3h. 9m. 15s. 71.79
ally left at the bottom and thence on to the main part of the track. The pits would be immediately after the left hand hairpin, or better still, at the extreme top of the finishing straight, and off the part of the track that would be used for the race. An alternative, and perhaps better course, would be the one used on later 200 mile races, not using the track behind the Members’ Hill except perhaps for pits. A substantial prize should be given to the leader at the end of the
first day to encourage high speeds during the first part of the race.
The suggested race would provide a sporting course for the driver and the spectators, and would be an excellent test of the ” roadability ” of the cars and drivers taking part.
I feel sure that two races of the kind could be run with advantage, one for sports cars, and one for all comers, either of which could take the place of one of the beat the handicapper” Bank Holiday meetings.
I am not suggesting for a moment that anything I have put forward is at all novel, with the exception of the pit arrangements, but I think the various points in combination would provide a good ” draw ” to the public and competitors alike.
Perhaps a discussion on this question by your readers would prove instructive as to the public’s views on the matter.
Geoffrey Taylor. Surrey. (Alta Car & Engineer ing Co., Ltd.)