Kel Carruthers

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Kel Carruthers
Kel Carruthers 1969 Yemen stamp.jpg
Kel Carruthers on a 1969 stamp
Nationality Australian
Born 3 January 1938 (1938-01-03) (age 76)
Sydney, Australia
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 19661970
First race 1966 350cc Ulster Grand Prix
Last race 1970 250cc Spanish Grand Prix
First win 1969 250cc Isle of Man TT
Last win 1970 250cc Ulster Grand Prix
Team(s) Aermacchi, Benelli, Yamaha
Championships 250cc – 1969
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
56 7 22 0 8

Kelvin "Kel" Carruthers (born 3 January 1938) is an Australian former world champion Grand Prix motorcycle road racer.[1] He went on to become a successful race team manager, particularly in the US and Europe with Kenny Roberts.[2]

Carruthers, as the son of a motorcycle shop owner, learned how to work on bikes from a young age, started riding at 10, and entered his first race at 12.[2] By the early 1960s he had won the Australian 125 cc, 250 cc, 350 cc and 500 cc National Championships.[2]

In early 1966, he moved to Europe with his family to compete in UK and International short-circuit races,[3] including Grand Prix World Championship series riding a Drixton Aermacchi,[4] and for early 1969 season riding bikes for the Aermacchi factory.[2] Halfway through the 1969 season, he was offered a ride with the Benelli factory and won the Isle of Man 250 cc TT race, after which Aermacchi released him from their contract to continue as a factory rider with Benelli, winning the FIM 250cc road racing world championship after a tight points battle with Santiago Herrero and Kent Andersson.[1][2]

After the 1970 Grand Prix season, he accepted an offer from Yamaha to race in America.[2] Yamaha asked him to tutor a young American dirt track racer named Kenny Roberts.[2] In 1973, Carruthers became the manager of Yamaha's American racing team. Under Carruther's guidance, Roberts would win the 1973 and 1974 Grand National Championship for Yamaha.[2] When it became apparent that Yamaha didn't have a bike able to compete with the dominant Harley Davidson dirt track team, they decided to send Carruthers and Roberts to Europe to compete in the road racing world championships.[2][5] With Carruthers tuning the bikes and offering guidance, Roberts went on to win three consecutive world championships. Carruthers also managed Eddie Lawson to a 500cc World Championship.

Carruthers went on to work for several Grand Prix teams through to the 1995 season. In 1996, he took a job with the Sea-Doo watercraft factory racing team, helping them win several national and world titles.[2] He returned to motorcycling in 1998 running a Yamaha satellite motocross team.[2]

In 1985, Carruthers was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.[6] He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.[2]

Grand Prix motorcycle racing results[1][7][edit]

Points system from 1950 to 1968:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6
Points 8 6 4 3 2 1

Points system from 1969 onwards:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points 15 12 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Points Rank Wins
1966 125cc Honda ESP
-
GER
-
NED
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
8
ULS
8
IOM
12
NAT
7
JPN
-
0 0
350cc Norton GER
-
FRA
-
NED
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
4
ULS
-
IOM
NC
NAT
-
JPN
-
3 18th 0
500cc Norton GER
-
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
-
ULS
-
IOM
11
NAT
-
0 0
1967 125cc Honda ESP
-
GER
-
FRA
-
IOM
5
NED
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
5
ULS
4
NAT
7
CAN
-
JPN
-
7 8th 0
250cc Suzuki ESP
-
GER
-
FRA
-
IOM
12
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
CAN
-
JPN
-
0 0
350cc Aermacchi GER
5
IOM
10
NED
6
DDR
4
CZE
-
ULS
4
NAT
-
JPN
-
9 7th 0
500cc Norton GER
-
IOM
NC
NED
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
JPN
-
0 0
1968 125cc Honda GER
6
ESP
-
IOM
3
NED
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
-
ULS
6
NAT
-
6 10th 0
250cc Aermacchi GER
-
ESP
-
IOM
NC
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
350cc Aermacchi GER
3
IOM
NC
NED
-
DDR
3
CZE
4
ULS
2
NAT
-
17 3rd 0
500cc Norton GER
-
ESP
-
IOM
6
NED
5
BEL
5
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
-
ULS
6
NAT
6
7 11th 0
1969 125cc Aermacchi ESP
6
GER
10
FRA
-
IOM
2
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
CZE
9
FIN
-
NAT
-
YUG
-
20 10th 0
250cc Benelli ESP
-
GER
-
FRA
-
IOM
1
NED
2
BEL
3
DDR
5
CZE
3
FIN
4
ULS
1
NAT
2
YUG
1
89 1st 3
350cc Aermacchi ESP
2
GER
6
IOM
NC
NED
7
DDR
7
CZE
7
FIN
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
YUG
-
29 7th 0
500cc Aermacchi ESP
-
GER
8
FRA
-
IOM
NC
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
YUG
-
3 44th 0
1970 250cc Yamaha GER
1
FRA
NC
YUG
-
IOM
1
NED
-
BEL
2
DDR
-
CZE
1
FIN
-
ULS
1
NAT
2
ESP
-
84 2nd 4
350cc Yamaha GER
2
YUG
2
IOM
NC
NED
4
DDR
3
CZE
4
FIN
4
ULS
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
28 2nd 0

References[edit]

Kel Carruthers, Mallory Park 1970
  1. ^ a b c Kel Carruthers. Motogp.com.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kel Carruthers. Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Motorcyclemuseum.org.
  3. ^ Motor Cycle 13 December 1964, p.45 Still on form. "As a final warm-up for his forthcoming European race debut, Australian star Kelvin Carruthers won four races on his two-fifty Honda four at the Victorian Grand Prix". Accessed 24 May 2014
  4. ^ Motor Cyclist Illustrated, May 1968 pp.10, 12 Accessed 24 May 2014
  5. ^ American Motorcyclist Assoc (March 1979). American Motorcyclist. p. 30. ISSN 0277-9358. 
  6. ^ Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Sahof.org.au.
  7. ^ Kel Carruthers Isle of Man TT results. Iomtt.com. Retrieved on 14 July 2014.

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Phil Read
250cc Motorcycle World Champion
1969
Succeeded by
Rodney Gould