The first post-war Manx Motor-cycle Grands Prix Races, held recently over the T.T. course in the Isle of Man, attracted by far the biggest entry in their history – 190 compared with the previous record of 188.
It was not to be expected that record speeds would be achieved. For one thing, “Pool” petrol only was permitted, as against the petrol-benzole mixture of pre-war days, and for another, the majority of the machines were far from new. As a final handicap, the weather on both race days was as bad as it can ever have been.
The Junior Race was won by the favourite – K. Bills (Norton), winner of both Junior and Senior events in the 1938 “Manx,” at an average speed of 74.18 m.p.h., compared with his 1938 winning speed of 78.71. Nortons were also second and third, in the hands of P. M. Aitchison and D. Parkinson, at 73.89 and 72.86 m.p.h., respectively.
The winner of the Lightweight event, run concurrently with the Junior, was a newcomer, L. W. Parsons, who rode a Rudge. His average speed was 65.11 m.p.h.
Bills, again on a Norton, was a hot favourite for the Senior race, but much attention had been roused by E. Lyons, an Irishman with a very interesting Triumph model, on which he had shown excellent form in the practising. The machine had twin carburetters, an aluminium cylinder head and an unique suspension system incorporated in the rear hub.
The Irishman took the lead from the first lap, and held on to it, gradually improving his advantage until he finished 2 min. 13 sec. ahead of the Junior winner, having averaged 76.73 m.p.h. He also made the fastest lap, at 78.8 m.p.h. Bills’ average was 75.78 m.p.h., and H. M. Rowell, also on a Norton, finished third at 72.93 m.p.h.