1954 Isle of Man TT

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United Kingdom  1954 Isle of Man TT
Race details
Race 2 of 9 races in the
1954 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season
Isle of Man TT Course (OpenStreetMap).svg
Date 14–19 June 1954
Official Name Isle of Man Tourist Trophy
Location Snaefell Mountain Course
Clypse Course (Ultra Lightweight and Sidecars)
Course Public roads
Mountain Course – 60.72 km (37.73 mi)
Clypse Course – 17.63 km (10.92 mi)
500 cc
Fastest lap
Rider Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Ray Amm Norton
Podium
First Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Ray Amm Norton
Second United Kingdom Geoff Duke Gilera
Third United Kingdom Jack Brett Norton
350 cc
Fastest lap
Rider Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Ray Amm Norton
Podium
First New Zealand Rod Coleman AJS
Second United Kingdom Derek Farrant AJS
Third United Kingdom Bob Keeler Norton
250 cc
Fastest lap
Rider Germany Werner Haas NSU
Podium
First Germany Werner Haas NSU
Second Austria Rupert Hollaus NSU
Third Republic of Ireland Reg Armstrong NSU
125 cc
Fastest lap
Rider Austria Rupert Hollaus NSU
Podium
First Austria Rupert Hollaus NSU
Second Italy Carlo Ubbiali MV Agusta
Third United Kingdom Cecil Sandford MV Agusta
Sidecars
Fastest lap
Rider United Kingdom Eric Oliver Norton
Passenger United Kingdom Les Nutt
Podium
First United Kingdom Eric Oliver Norton
United Kingdom Les Nutt
Second Germany Fritz Hillebrand BMW
Germany Manfred Grunwald
Third Germany Willi Noll BMW
Germany Fritz Cron

The 1954 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy was the second race in the 1954 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season and proved highly controversial for course and race changes. The 1954 Junior TT was the first race where the official race distance was reduced from 7 laps to 5 laps. The 1954 Senior TT Race was stopped at half distance due to the weather conditions on the Mountain Section of the course.

The first world championship event for the 1954 Isle of Man TT Races was the 350cc Junior TT Race. The race was led on lap 1 by Fergus Anderson from Gilera team-mate Ken Kavanagh by 10 seconds and Ray Amm riding for Norton a further 6 seconds adrift in 3rd place. On lap 2, Fergus Anderson retires at Kirk Michael with an engine problem and Ken Kavanagh retires at the pits with an engine mis-fire on lap 3. The race is now led by Ray Amm by 24 seconds from Rod Coleman riding for AJS motor-cycles. However, Ray Amm retires at Barregarrow on lap 5 allowing Rod Coleman to become the first New Zealander[1] to win an Isle of Man TT Race at an average race speed of 91.54 mpg.

The new 10 lap (107.90 miles) Side-Car TT held on the Clypse Course is led from start to finish by Eric Oliver and passenger Les Nutt riding a Norton side-car outfit with a "dust-bin"[2] fairing at an average speed of 68.87 mph. The Norton outfit of Bill Boddice/J.Pirie hits a bank at Creg-ny-Baa and flips-over on lap 7, but continues on to finish the race in 6th place.[3] The winner of the 1954 Lightweight TT race, Werner Haas crashed at Governor's Bridge on lap 1 of the 1954 Ultra-Lightweight TT Race, also held on the Clypse Course.[3] This allowed Rupert Hollaus to win the race in 1 hour, 33 minutes and 3.4 seconds at an average race speed of 69.57 mph.

In deteriorating weather conditions and with reduced visibility on the Mountain Section of the course the 1954 Senior TT Race is held after a short delay and starts at midday. Despite the conditions, Geoff Duke riding the works Gilera sets a time of 25 minutes and 41 seconds an average speed of 81.18 mph and leads Ray Amm riding for Norton by 14 seconds on lap 1.[4] On the second lap, Geoff Duke laps in 26 minutes and 23 seconds at an average speed of 86.97 mph and Ray Amm laps at an average speed of 86.49 to reduce the lead to just 2 seconds.[5] Further heavy rain and low cloud on the Mountain Section reduces speed further and the conditions cause 'John Grace' and Ted Frend to retire at the TT Grandstand on lap 2 and Ray Amm uses "feet-down"[3] tactics on the slower corners. The leader, Geoff Duke decides to refuel on lap 3. Ray Amm in second place goes straight through without stopping and laps in 25 minutes and 28 seconds at an average speed of 88.93 mph and now leads Geoff Duke by 32 seconds.[5] At the Windy Corner on lap 4, the visibility is down to 20 yards and a decision is made to stop the race because of the conditions. This allows Ray Amm, due to refuel at the TT Grandstand on lap 4, to win the 1954 Senior TT Race in 1 hour, 42 minutes and 46.8 seconds at an average race speed of 88.12 mph. The controversial decision by race organisers to stop the 1954 Senior TT Race on lap 4, just as the weather started to improve, was protested by the Gilera management.[5] This was on the grounds that the works Norton team were told of the decision allowing Ray Amm to lead the race on lap 3, but the official protest was rejected by the race organisers.[6] During lap 1 of the 1954 Senior TT Race, Simon Sandys-Winsch riding a Junior Velocette crashed at the Highlander and died in hospital a few days later.[3]

Race results[edit]

1954 Clubmans Senior Results[edit]

10 June 1954 – Mountain Course (4 laps – 150.92 miles)

Rank Rider Team Speed Time
1 United Kingdom Alistair King BSA 85.76 mph 1:45.36.0
2 United Kingdom J Ben Denton BSA 85.69 mph 1:45.41.6
3 United Kingdom Ewan Haldane BSA 85.26 mph 1:46.12.2
4 United Kingdom Tony A Ovens Triumph 84.47 mph 1:46.42.2
5 United Kingdom M R Baigent BSA 84.74 mph 1:46.51.8
6 United Kingdom Percy Tait BSA 84.58 mph 1:47.05.0
7 United Kingdom Dave Chadwick Norton 83.20 mph 1:47.05.0
8 United Kingdom Eric Cheers Triumph 76.53 mph 1:58.20.0
9 United Kingdom Len R King Triumph 82.92 mph 1:50.17.2
10 United Kingdom Eddie Dow BSA 81.40 mph 1:50.33.0

1954 Clubmans Junior Results[edit]

10 June 1954 – Mountain Course (4 laps – 150.92 miles)

Rank Rider Team Speed Time
1 United Kingdom Phillip Palmer BSA 81.83 mph 1:50.39.4
2 United Kingdom Des A Wright BSA 81.68 mph 1:51.50.8
3 United Kingdom Jimmy W Davie BSA 81.66 mph 1:50.54.4
4 United Kingdom A Sandy Bowie BSA 81.56 mph 1:51.06.0
5 United Kingdom Geoff Tanner Norton 81.54 mph 1:51.04.0
6 United Kingdom George E Arnold BSA 81.20 mph 1:51.30.8
7 United Kingdom Jimmy Buchan BSA 80.75 mph 1:52.08.6
8 United Kingdom Willie Gibson BSA 80.05 mph 1:53.08.0
9 United Kingdom J Muir Norton 79.70 mph 1:53.08.0
10 United Kingdom Bill Robertson BSA 78.37 mph 1:55.33.0

1954 Isle of Man Junior TT 350cc final standings[edit]

14 June 1954 – 5 Laps (188.56 Miles) Mountain Course.

Place Rider Number Country Machine Speed Time Points
1 New Zealand Rod Coleman New Zealand AJS 91.51 mph 2:03.41.8 8
2 United Kingdom Derek Farrant Britain AJS 90.14 mph 2:05.35.0 6
3 United Kingdom Bob Keeler Britain Norton 90.03 mph 2:04.43.6 4
4 New Zealand Leo T Simpson New Zealand AJS 89.17 mph 2:06.58.8 3
5 United Kingdom Peter A Davey Britain Norton 88.13 mph 2:08.26.4 2
6 United Kingdom John R Clark Britain AJS 90.49 mph 2:08.26.4 1

1954 Isle of Man Lightweight TT 250cc final standings[edit]

14 June 1954 – 3 Laps (113.00 Miles) Mountain Course.

Place Rider Number Country Machine Speed Time Points
1 West Germany Werner Haas Germany NSU 90.88 mph 1:14.44.4 8
2 Austria Rupert Hollaus Austria NSU 89.99 mph 1:15.28.6 6
3 Republic of Ireland Reg Armstrong Britain NSU 89.92 mph 1:15.31.8 4
4 West Germany Hermann Paul Müller Germany NSU 88.87 mph 1:16.25.6 3
5 United Kingdom Fergus Anderson Britain Moto Guzzi 86.48 mph 1:18.32.2 2
6 West Germany Hans Baltisberger Germany NSU 86.46 mph 1:18.33.6 1

1954 Isle of Man Ultra-Lightweight TT 125cc final standings[edit]

16 June 1954 – 10 Laps (107.90 miles) Clypse Course.

Place Rider Number Country Machine Speed Time Points
1 Austria Rupert Hollaus Austria NSU 69.57 mph 1:33.03.4 8
2 Italy Carlo Ubbiali Italy MV Agusta 69.52 mph 1:37.07.4 6
3 United Kingdom Cecil Sandford Britain MV Agusta 66.35 mph 1:37.35.8 4
4 West Germany Hans Baltisberger Germany NSU 65.78 mph 1:38.25.2 3
5 Canada Ivor Lloyd Canada MV Agusta 62.68 mph 1:43.16.6 2
6 United Kingdom Brian Purslow Britain MV Agusta 60.84 mph 1:46.24.6 1

1954 Sidecar TT final standings[edit]

16 June 1954 – 10 Laps (107.90 miles) Clypse Course.

Place Rider Number Country Machine Speed Time Points
1 United Kingdom Eric Oliver/Les Nutt Britain Norton 68.87 mph 1:34.00.2 8
2 West Germany Fritz Hillebrand/M.Grünwald Germany BMW 67.48 mph 1:35.56.2 6
3 West Germany Willi Noll/Fritz Cron Germany BMW 65.22 mph 1:39.16.4 4
4 West Germany Walter Schneider/H.Strauss Germany BMW 64.45 mph 1:40.27.4 3
5 France Jacques Drion/Inge Stoll France Norton 61.91 mph 1:41.18.8 2
6 United Kingdom Bill Boddice/J.Pirie Britain Norton 62.28 mph 1:43.22.8 1

1954 Isle of Man Senior TT 500cc final standings[edit]

Friday 18 June 1954 – 4 Laps (150.74 Miles) Mountain Course. (Reduced Race Distance)

Place Rider Number Country Machine Speed Time Points
1 Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Ray Amm 93 Rhodesia Norton 88.12 mph 1:42.46.8 8
2 United Kingdom Geoff Duke 76 Britain Gilera 87.19 mph 1:43.52.6 6
3 United Kingdom Jack Brett 56 Britain Norton 86.04 mph 1:45.15.2 4
4 Republic of Ireland Reg Armstrong 53 Britain Gilera 86.63 mph 1:45.45.6 3
5 South Africa Rudy Allison 64 South Africa Norton 83.85 mph 1:48.06.6 2
6 Australia Gordon Laing 22 Australia Norton 83.85 mph 1:48.37.2 1

Notes[edit]

  • The 1954 World Championship season was used to re-introduce the Ultra-Lightweight TT and Side-Car TT Race to the Isle of Man TT Races. A new race circuit for racing in the Isle of Man, the Clypse Course, was used for these new races.
  • To facilitate racing on the Clypse Course, during the winter of 1953/54 road widening occurred on the Snaefell mountain course at Creg-ny-Baa, Signpost Corner, Cronk-ny-Mona and the approach to Governor's Bridge. Other major course alterations for the 1954 Isle of Man TT Races included the removal of a cottage at Appledene, road widening at Handley's Corner, Barregarrow, Ballaugh Bridge and Kerrowmoar.[7]
  • The course alterations were disputed by leading TT competitor Ray Amm describing the situation as a "Lot of trash to say the machines are beyond control..." and "To keep altering the course like this which has been going for 50 years is pure sacrilege they are wrecking it....It will finish-up like a racing bowl with all the character gone."[8]
  • The re-introduction of the Side-Car TT Race for the 1954 Isle of Man TT Race was controversial and the motor-cycle manufacturers "declare themselves as appalled"[9] by the inclusion of a sidecar race. It was also opposed by the motor-cycle manufacturers for the inclusion of the first female competitor, Inge Stol at an Isle of Man TT race. The matter of female competitors was raised in the Isle of Man Parliament, however "Tynwald refused to ban the Fräulein."[10]
  • A first-time visitor to the Isle of Man TT Races is Soichiro Honda the founder of Honda Motor Co., Ltd and returns with a works Honda team to compete in the 1959 Isle of Man TT.[3]
  • Practice for the 1954 TT races was dominated by a number of accidents. At Sarah's Cottage, during Wednesday evening practice, Bob McIntyre riding an AJS motor-cycle suffers a cut-chin and concussion after a crash and is detained in Nobles Hospital. Also, Keith Campbell suffers a broken right foot and Bob Cooper a broken collar bone at incidents at Sarah's Cottage, both riding AJS motor-cycles in the Junior class. During Monday evening practice, R.J.Ashford riding an AJS motor-cycle is killed instantly after crashing at Laurel Bank.[11]
  • Lap 1 of the 1954 Junior TT Race, Jack Brett riding for Norton retires at Ramsey with engine problem. At Sulby, Bob McIntyre retires with an engine problem riding an AJS motor-cycle. Riding a Norton motor-cycle, Maurice Qunicey, pushes in from Governor's Bridge and retires.[3]
  • At the Quarterbridge on lap 1 of the 1954 Senior TT, Derek Farrant riding for AJS crashes along with E. Houseley also riding an AJS motor-cycle. On lap 2, Fergus Anderson riding for Moto Guzzi retires at Barregarrow after falling-off. At the Stonebreakers Hut the Norton of E.W.L.Hunt hits the bank and retires.[3]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ [1] MNZ.co.nz Roll of Honour 1950–1959 (Retrieved 18 December 2006)
  2. ^ Official TT Guide 2004
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Isle of Man Weekly Times dated 19 June 1954
  4. ^ Official TT Race Guide 2004 page 43
  5. ^ a b c Island Racer 2004 page 115
  6. ^ Official TT Guide 2005
  7. ^ Isle of Man Weekly Times dated 29 May 1954
  8. ^ Isle of Man Examiner page 1 dated 4 June 1954
  9. ^ Isle of Man Weekly Times dated 22 May 1954
  10. ^ p.19 TT 2003 Race Guide. Motor-Cycle News.
  11. ^ Isle of Man Weekly Times dated 5 June 1954

External links[edit]