1954 Isle of Man TT
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 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" 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. 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. 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. 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. 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" 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. 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. 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. 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.
- 1 Race results
- 1.1 1954 Clubmans Senior Results
- 1.2 1954 Clubmans Junior Results
- 1.3 1954 Isle of Man Junior TT 350cc final standings
- 1.4 1954 Isle of Man Lightweight TT 250cc final standings
- 1.5 1954 Isle of Man Ultra-Lightweight TT 125cc final standings
- 1.6 1954 Sidecar TT final standings
- 1.7 1954 Isle of Man Senior TT 500cc final standings
- 2 Notes
- 3 Sources
- 4 External links
1954 Clubmans Senior Results
10 June 1954 – Mountain Course (4 laps – 150.92 miles)
|1||Alistair King||BSA||85.76 mph||1:45.36.0|
|2||J Ben Denton||BSA||85.69 mph||1:45.41.6|
|3||Ewan Haldane||BSA||85.26 mph||1:46.12.2|
|4||Tony A Ovens||Triumph||84.47 mph||1:46.42.2|
|5||M R Baigent||BSA||84.74 mph||1:46.51.8|
|6||Percy Tait||BSA||84.58 mph||1:47.05.0|
|7||Dave Chadwick||Norton||83.20 mph||1:47.05.0|
|8||Eric Cheers||Triumph||76.53 mph||1:58.20.0|
|9||Len R King||Triumph||82.92 mph||1:50.17.2|
|10||Eddie Dow||BSA||81.40 mph||1:50.33.0|
1954 Clubmans Junior Results
10 June 1954 – Mountain Course (4 laps – 150.92 miles)
|1||Phillip Palmer||BSA||81.83 mph||1:50.39.4|
|2||Des A Wright||BSA||81.68 mph||1:51.50.8|
|3||Jimmy W Davie||BSA||81.66 mph||1:50.54.4|
|4||A Sandy Bowie||BSA||81.56 mph||1:51.06.0|
|5||Geoff Tanner||Norton||81.54 mph||1:51.04.0|
|6||George E Arnold||BSA||81.20 mph||1:51.30.8|
|7||Jimmy Buchan||BSA||80.75 mph||1:52.08.6|
|8||Willie Gibson||BSA||80.05 mph||1:53.08.0|
|9||J Muir||Norton||79.70 mph||1:53.08.0|
|10||Bill Robertson||BSA||78.37 mph||1:55.33.0|
1954 Isle of Man Junior TT 350cc final standings
14 June 1954 – 5 Laps (188.56 Miles) Mountain Course.
|1||Rod Coleman||New Zealand||AJS||91.51 mph||2:03.41.8||8|
|2||Derek Farrant||Britain||AJS||90.14 mph||2:05.35.0||6|
|3||Bob Keeler||Britain||Norton||90.03 mph||2:04.43.6||4|
|4||Leo T Simpson||New Zealand||AJS||89.17 mph||2:06.58.8||3|
|5||Peter A Davey||Britain||Norton||88.13 mph||2:08.26.4||2|
|6||John R Clark||Britain||AJS||90.49 mph||2:08.26.4||1|
1954 Isle of Man Lightweight TT 250cc final standings
14 June 1954 – 3 Laps (113.00 Miles) Mountain Course.
|1||Werner Haas||Germany||NSU||90.88 mph||1:14.44.4||8|
|2||Rupert Hollaus||Austria||NSU||89.99 mph||1:15.28.6||6|
|3||Reg Armstrong||Britain||NSU||89.92 mph||1:15.31.8||4|
|4||Hermann Paul Müller||Germany||NSU||88.87 mph||1:16.25.6||3|
|5||Fergus Anderson||Britain||Moto Guzzi||86.48 mph||1:18.32.2||2|
|6||Hans Baltisberger||Germany||NSU||86.46 mph||1:18.33.6||1|
1954 Isle of Man Ultra-Lightweight TT 125cc final standings
16 June 1954 – 10 Laps (107.90 miles) Clypse Course.
|1||Rupert Hollaus||Austria||NSU||69.57 mph||1:33.03.4||8|
|2||Carlo Ubbiali||Italy||MV Agusta||69.52 mph||1:37.07.4||6|
|3||Cecil Sandford||Britain||MV Agusta||66.35 mph||1:37.35.8||4|
|4||Hans Baltisberger||Germany||NSU||65.78 mph||1:38.25.2||3|
|5||Ivor Lloyd||Canada||MV Agusta||62.68 mph||1:43.16.6||2|
|6||Brian Purslow||Britain||MV Agusta||60.84 mph||1:46.24.6||1|
1954 Sidecar TT final standings
16 June 1954 – 10 Laps (107.90 miles) Clypse Course.
|1||Eric Oliver/Les Nutt||Britain||Norton||68.87 mph||1:34.00.2||8|
|2||Fritz Hillebrand/M.Grünwald||Germany||BMW||67.48 mph||1:35.56.2||6|
|3||Willi Noll/Fritz Cron||Germany||BMW||65.22 mph||1:39.16.4||4|
|4||Walter Schneider/H.Strauss||Germany||BMW||64.45 mph||1:40.27.4||3|
|5||Jacques Drion/Inge Stoll||France||Norton||61.91 mph||1:41.18.8||2|
|6||Bill Boddice/J.Pirie||Britain||Norton||62.28 mph||1:43.22.8||1|
1954 Isle of Man Senior TT 500cc final standings
Friday 18 June 1954 – 4 Laps (150.74 Miles) Mountain Course. (Reduced Race Distance)
|1||Ray Amm||93||Rhodesia||Norton||88.12 mph||1:42.46.8||8|
|2||Geoff Duke||76||Britain||Gilera||87.19 mph||1:43.52.6||6|
|3||Jack Brett||56||Britain||Norton||86.04 mph||1:45.15.2||4|
|4||Reg Armstrong||53||Britain||Gilera||86.63 mph||1:45.45.6||3|
|5||Rudy Allison||64||South Africa||Norton||83.85 mph||1:48.06.6||2|
|6||Gordon Laing||22||Australia||Norton||83.85 mph||1:48.37.2||1|
- 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.
- 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."
- 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" 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
-  MNZ.co.nz Roll of Honour 1950–1959 (Retrieved 18 December 2006)
- Official TT Guide 2004
- Isle of Man Weekly Times dated 19 June 1954
- Official TT Race Guide 2004 page 43
- Island Racer 2004 page 115
- Official TT Guide 2005
- Isle of Man Weekly Times dated 29 May 1954
- Isle of Man Examiner page 1 dated 4 June 1954
- Isle of Man Weekly Times dated 22 May 1954
- p.19 TT 2003 Race Guide. Motor-Cycle News.
- Isle of Man Weekly Times dated 5 June 1954