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• THE LAST OF THE PRIVATEERS PART TWO – DAVE PETERSEN IN EUROPE •
AT HOME WITH
FAUSTO GRESINI – TWO-TIME WORLD CHAMPION TO TEAM BOSS • REAL NOT REPLICA – GILERA FOUR TESTED • GOODWOOD TRIUMPH BUILD • THE WORLD’S LARGEST CLASSIC SHOW • AN HOUR WITH CONOR CUMMINS • THE CLASSIC RACE SEASON BEGINS • AND ALL THE REGULARS
No. 162 July/August 2013
TT tough guy Phillip McCallen looks back
Classic Racer shares a day in the Sheene workshop
BREAKS HIS DUCK June 1973 F O R M U L A
7 5 0
hen Peter Williams lined up on the John Player Norton for the 1973 Formula 750TT he had no less than six runner-up spots under his belt, but to that day a win had eluded him. The studious looking Williams had come close the previous Saturday; when with a massive lead in the Production race his Norton gearbox failed – a not uncommon occurrence. But the Formula 750 was to be a different story altogether. From a standing start Williams shattered the lap record, taking it to 106.59mph and clearly had the race in his pocket assuming the Norton
twin kept going. Chasing Williams home after one circuit was Jack Findlay, but he knew he had the disadvantage of requiring two fuel stops on the thirsty Suzuki. Stan Woods (Suzuki), who was also forced to make stops, held third from Tony Jefferies (Triumph), Williams’ team-mate Mick Grant, and Geoff Barry (Oakley Seeley Norton), rounding out the top six. Williams continued to dominate, lifting the lap record to 107.27mph, and averaged an impressive 105.62mph for the race, making it the second fastestTT ever, just a fraction off Mike Hailwood’s 1967 all-time record. As if Williams’ domination wasn’t enough to please the partisan fans, John Player
Norton team-mate Mick Grant slipped in to second for a team one-two, with Jefferies, who suffered a split fuel tank as early as lap two and reported “a horrible ride” nursing the Triumph Three in to third. Charlie Williams, on the first of the fancied 350cc Yamahas just missed out on the podium, despite a trip up the slip road at Ballacraine, with Stan Woods fifth and former Manx Grand Prix winner Ken Huggett, also on a 350 Yamaha, sixth. Words: Malc Wheeler Photography: Mortons Archive – Nick Nicholls Collection www.mortonsarchive.com
REGULAR PADDOCK GOSSIP
PaddockGossip >>The latest straight from the paddock >>
TT ACES IMMORTALISED NEWS BRIEF >>LIVE RACE COVERAGE Manx Radio, the Isle of Man’s National Broadcaster, will be covering the Steam Packet Southern 100 International Road Races in July, as they did for the Blackford Financial Services Pre-TT Classic Road Races and the Metzeler Post-TT Road Races. Maurice Mawdsley will be broadcasting from the start-finish line, as he has been doing since 1988, with Roy Moore out at Cross Four Ways. Chris Kinley will be providing the post-race interviews.The Steam Packet Southern 100 International Road Races are on Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, July 8-11. Details can be found at www.southern100.com
>>BRACKLEY BIKE FESTIVAL
The unique Brackley Bike Festival is set for August 18 and will again see the whole of the town centre packed with racing motorcycles and fans in an atmosphere more reminiscent of the Isle of Man than a small town in south Northamptonshire. There will be a full paddock of racing machinery in front of the town hall and a high street short circuit for parading at pace, making it the only place in England where you can see racing motorcycles at speed on the streets. Admission is free, with donations from the large crowd going to various local charities. Last year collector, Steve Wheatman, was on hand with his Classic Team Suzuki, as were Phil Read, Paul Smart, Rex Butcher, Charlie Williams, Rod Scivyer and Mick Hemmings. Event organiser, Roger Charlesworth is currently working hard to assemble an equally impressive cast list for this year.
The date for the annual TT Riders’ Association is Wednesday, November 27, 2013 and will be held at the National Motorcycle Museum.Tickets and more detail will be available from Frances Thorp on email@example.com
Two of the most successful riders in TT history, John McGuinness and Dave Molyneux, have had sections of the TT Mountain Course named after them following an illustrious list of former TT legends. The newly named parts of the course points, come as the Isle of Man Government has redesigned and replaced the existing directional boards and mile markers around the 37¾ mile course. John McGuinness’ total of TT victories stands at 19, and he is the outright lap record holder with a lap of 131.578mph, while Manx sidecar ace Dave Molyneux has won 16 sidecar races including winning both sidecar races in 2012 with his current passenger Patrick Farrance. John’s point of the course, which will now be known as McGuinness’s, is at Shoughlaigue on the high speed run towards the top of Barregarrow, which is his favourite part of the course. Dave’s corner is
the fearsome right-hander at the end of Cronk-yVoddy straight, which is now called Molyneux’s. As the most successful local competitor by some distance, Molyneux’s will be also be represented by the Island’s three legs. The new directional signs retain the now iconic orange background but importantly include some new features. Fans will immediately spot the large TT logo that tops all the signs, and the new versions also incorporate the famous Mountain Course name along with a retro-inspired chequered board pattern that reflects the event’s long heritage. The original signs are being sold on eBay, with some already topping £1000. Also on offer are the old style yellow Shell fuel fillers used up until the mid-1980s. All funds raised from the sale are being invested back into the costs associated with running the TT.
ISLAND RACER 2013 Island Racer, the definitive guide to the famous Isle of Man TT, past present and future, is on sale now at the price of £7.99, which includes a free DVD worth £16.99, from all branches of WH Smith or direct by calling 01507 529529.
All 148 pages are packed with stunning images and exclusive features, written by the sport’s most knowledgeable writers, with a special look at the Island’s other Mountain Course race, the Manx Grand Prix and this year’s inaugural Classic TT.
OFFICIAL NORTON TEAM FOR Norton Motorcycles will run an official two rider team in the inaugural Classic TT races, with Norton’s TT riders, Dan Hegarty and Ian Mackman on a pair of 500cc Manx Nortons. Mackman rode the Norton SG1 at last year’s TT Race meeting, and was the first man to qualify a Norton for the Senior in 20 years although the race was cancelled.
Hegarty made his TT debut in 2010 and clocked a 121.73mph lap on a Supersport bike last year. Stuart Garner, MD Norton Motorcycles said: “It was hugely frustrating not to have the bike on the grid when last year’s Senior TT was cancelled but that has only made us even more focused to put two competitive bikes on the grid this year.
“As a team the pressure is always on when you race at the TT Races but we are all looking forward to going to the Classic TT and just relax and unwind a bit. We felt that Norton had to have a factory presence at the event in its first year and we look forward to putting on a show and entertaining the fans.”
COOPER TESTS YCRT YAMAHA Ferry Brouwer’s Yamaha Classic Racing Team tested at Assen in April with Gloucester racer Dan Cooper, ahead of his ride on the OW45 Yamaha which he will race in August’s Isle of Man Classic TT Races. The former British 125cc Champion, and rising TT star Cooper really warmed to the task and by the end of day two he was posting times as fast as the Dutch Superbike riders he was sharing the track with. Team owner and former factory Yamaha mechanic, Ferry Brouwer, was impressed by Cooper’s attitude and commented: “It was great to see the grin on his face and the enthusiasm and passion that Dan has for the bike. It looked like it was made for him when he went through the chicane with his chin on the tank.
“We changed the gearing during the session which allowed Dan to go right through the gearbox and I’m confident that the bike is now ready to race, apart from stripping the engine and changing the chain and brake pads, and we’ve now got it set up correctly for Dan.” A clearly delighted Dan Cooper said: “My dad has been trying to give me advice on how to race a two-stroke bike but he forgets that I was British 125 champion. It was great to get a feel for the bike which is a powerful machine to ride and having tested it I’m now looking forward even more to taking it round the Mountain Course.” At the end of this season Ferry Brouwer is winding down YCRT with the majority of the machines having already found new homes.
A Dan Cooper was quickly on the pace on the 0W45 at Assen.
US RIDERS FOR CLASSIC TT A team of US racers is confirmed for the Classic TT which forms part of the 90th anniversary of the Manx GP in August. Seven riders, plus their machines, are planning to make the trip to the Isle of Man and race at the Manx Grand Prix and Classic TT races. The riders will compete in the Senior, Formula Classic, Formula 1 Classic, Classic 250, and Class A Supertwins Lightweight races. James McKay (Kawasaki Z1), Russ Granger (Honda RC30), Wade Boyd (Kawasaki 750) and Dave Crussell (Yamaha TZ750) will complete in the Formula 1 Classic, while Scott Fabbro (Norton 750) will race in Formula Classic, Bill Blythe in Class A Supertwins and Mark Parrett will ride Ron Halem’s BSA/Goldstar Manx. The team has two members that are returning to the Island,
Wade and Dave. The rest are newcomers, anxious to enjoy the thrill of the Island for the first time. Dave Crussell said: “I came to the IoM for the first time last year and rode my P&M Kawasaki Z1. I absolutely fell in love with the Island; there is
nothing like it. I am really happy to come back this year with some buddies to share the fun. This should be a fantastic event. And we have to say a big thank you to the IoM Government for helping to sponsor the shipment of our bikes across the Atlantic.”
The fearsomeTZ750 which Dave Crussell is to ride in the ClassicTT.
s you can see within the pages of this crammed issue the show and race season has really started with a bang after the weather affected start to the year. What really shocked me, following the cancellation of the Classic Racing Motorcycle Club’s Brands Hatch meeting was finding out that the club had to take the total hit on the cost of the circuit hire. Now I try to keep this column informative and non-controversial, but wouldn’t you have thought the mighty MSV (owners of Brands, Cadwell, Oulton and Snetterton) could have at least met the club halfway? With the Isle of ManTT in full swing, as I write this, my thoughts keep drifting to the ClassicTT in August.You can see from the packed pages of Paddock Gossip that the new event is gathering pace rapidly. On a personal note what was promising to be a great few days in August on Mona’s Isle just got a whole lot better. My very good friend Ferry Brouwer has a great sense of humour, but likes to tease a little, so when he said I could have a ride on his 250cc four-cylinder, four-strokeYamaha at the Festival of Jurby I was delighted. It was only when I got another email from Ferry, with theYamaha Classic RaceTeam entry list for the parade lap onThe Mountain, with my name as a team member, that I realised he was having fun with me. Now I really can’t wait for the ClassicTT to come around. As this issue was about to go to press I learnt of the sad passing of Denis Gallagher. I had been told he was ill when I was up at the Scottish show recently, but like so many more was hoping for better news. Denis was a wonderful man, modest beyond belief, and a fierce competitor to the end. I have seen some wonderful tributes on email and Facebook already. Norman Christie, who did such a great job in our recent feature on Denis, has promised a proper tribute to a great man in the next issue. Enjoy this issue.
CLASSIC RACER PEOPLE
An hour with CONOR CUMMINS MANXONMANX Manx born and raised, it’s entirely fitting that TT star Conor Cummins’ Classic TT debut will be made on a quad of Tony Dunnell’s Manx Nortons this year. Bruce Wilson spends an hour with Conor to get the inside line. Words: Bruce Wilson Photography: Joe Dick
BW: SO HOW DID THE RIDE COME ABOUT? CC: Paul Phillips – theTT and motorsport development manager – made it happen. He knew how keen I was to race a classic bike and whenTony Dunnell asked him whether he knew of anyone who would be right for racing his bikes, he put my name forward. A little while later I got a phone call fromTony and we sorted the gig out. It’s been something of a dream really.
“TONY’S DONE AN AMAZING JOB OF CUSTOMISING THE BIKES TO SUIT ME.” BW: SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BE RIDING? CC: Tony’s kitted me out with four amazingly stunning bikes. I’ve got two 350cc and two 500cc Manx Nortons.They look amazing and they sound even better. Tony’s done an amazing job of customising the bikes to suit me.The frames have been made over an inch bigger to try and accommodate my lanky frame. And he’s also adjusted the bikes so that they’ve got left foot gear changes. I don’t doubt I could have learnt to change with my right foot, but it’s one less thing to worry about. BW: DO YOU THINK YOU’LL BE COMPETITIVE? CC: I haven’t ridden the bikes yet, so it wouldn’t be right to say. All I know is that if the bikes ride as well as they look, they’re going to be more than good enough for the job. But there’s no real pressure. I’d love to win, but I realise the competition will be pretty stiff. Practically the whole of theTT’s top 10 riders are lined up to race at the ClassicTT, which
means there’s going to be some scrapping. If I were to have one important skill on my side, it would be my high corner speed. My size means I can lever bikes around a lot easier than most, so I can carry that momentum easier into a corner.That’s going to be crucial on less powerful bikes like the classic machines. On aTT bike, having 200bhp means you can get away with a lot more. BW: WHAT KIND OF PACE ARE YOU EXPECTING TO RUN AT? CC: People are saying that 110mph laps are doable. I reckon that’s pretty fast on a classic machine. I’m not going to pressure myself into
a certain pace. I work better when I’m enjoying myself.The times will come. Whoever I’m racing with will pull me on to the times for this year. It’s hard to predict very much on the Island. It’s too full of surprises. BW: WHEN WILL YOU GET YOUR FIRST RUN OUT ON THE BIKES? CC: I’m not entirely sure. I’m sure we’ll find time to get out before the ClassicTT, but my schedule’s pretty rammed right now. It’ll probably be after we’ve got theTT over with. That’s the focus right now. But worst case, we’ll just turn up and ride.That’s what practice is there for.
REGULAR READERS WRITE
readerswrite Have your say
PIP HARRIS REFLECTIONS Dear Malc Sorry to hear of the passing of Pip Harris. Among other leading sidecar racers of the 1950s and 60s, Pip was a regular visitor to our ReynoldsTube Co and together with Bill Boddice, Bill Beevers, and Fred Hanks helped with the development of leading link forks for sidecar racing which are now universal for that branch of motorcycle sport. We also made for Pip, the framework in which he installed the BMW engine. This was so successful that further frames were made for Bill Beevers, Florian Camathias and others. As you can see from the copy of a letter I have enclosed from
BMW, they themselves requested framework for their then works rider, Max Deubel, which was duly supplied, though this is another story. The photograph shows Pip during one of his visits to us, trying out one of the then projects that we were working on, an ‘Airscooter’. This was a small ‘fold up’ motor bike for an entrepreneur to ride from his parked motorcar to his private airplane; just another interesting Reynolds project that never materialised. These were the days when the motorcycle racing fraternity was more sporting and less professional, when after a TT
COMPLETELY FREE! Remember to keep sending in your letters every month, here at Classic Racer we want to know your thoughts! Plus every issue’s star letter will win two fantastic free DVDs courtesy of Duke Video!
Dear Malc Thank you for including my photograph of Brands Hatch award-winner’s group in the last edition of Classic Racer, issue 160. I did get several phone calls identifying the unknown rider, who is Gerald Stokes. Enclosed is yet another mystery photograph of a 50cc Garelli, which I took at my late friend Terry Lamer’s small collection some years ago. The question is what is its history, and who raced it? I have a feeling it was one of the British importers, Agrati of Nottingham’s machine. However, once again, I would be grateful if you could include the photo and request for info in the Classic Racer at your convenience, with anyone responding to please call the phone number 01642 287164. Ernie Crust Middlesborough
practice or race, we all gathered in the Cadbury’s cocoa tent for a friendly ‘get together’. Sadly many of those personalities are no longer with us and with Pip’s passing we
GEOFF DUKE IN THE PURSUIT OF PERFECTION DVD RRP £16.99
Geoff Duke O.B.E. is the original superstar of motorcycle racing. The proud Lancastrian scored 33 Grand Prix wins in a career spanning little more than a decade. In Pursuit of Perfection is the most comprehensive and revealing ﬁlm ever made about this British sporting hero.
have lost one more of that elite group to which I was privileged to be associated. Ken Sprayson Stirchley Birmingham JOEY, RAY & RIVALS DVD RRP £19.99
Documenting the ﬁerce but friendly rivalry between Joey Dunlop’s Armoy Armada and Ray McCullough’s Dromara Destroyers, Joey, Ray and Rivals features interviews with members of both teams and includes contributions from William Dunlop, Guy Martin,Connor Cummins and more.
USA CULTURE SHOCK
Dear Malc I much enjoyed the feature on Ralph White in the January/February issue as he was one of the first American racers that Rod Gould and I met when we spent the winter of 1967/68 in the States. Like everyone else we met on that trip he was a really nice guy, very welcoming and very helpful to a couple of wide-eyed young Brits getting a real California ‘culture shock’. Just to set the record straight, by the way, that wasn’t an early Kawasaki H1R in the picture on page 24. It was, in fact, either an A1R 250 twin or its bigger A7R 350cc brother, more likely the former. The shot would probably have been from 1968, when Ralph was riding for Kawasaki in the 250cc class and when the H1R was probably still a twinkle in some Kawasaki designer’s eye! Rod Gould also rode one at Willow Springs that winter (just beating the Yamaha of Jody Nicholas in a really close race) and that led to him being signed to ride with Ralph and Walt Fulton Jr on the Kawasaki team at Daytona for 1968. Those A-series twins were pretty fast and, as I seem to recall, had rotary valve induction like the factory Yamaha twins of the mid-Sixties. They
Dear Malc I am writing in response to Gerald Davison’s tribute announcing the ‘riding on’ of Michiko Aika or Aikasan as we came to know him through reports of Honda’s racing years. I for one am grateful for his part in the creation of any of the Honda racers but, in particular the MT 125. This bike was the predecessor of all the various 125 models that came after it, right up to the last RS 125s that were confined to the history books with the demise of the 125 GP class. Who hasn’t enjoyed the battles in the 125 class of recent years? As I have a CR93 (the first over the counter 125 Honda Racer) an MT125, 1980 RS125RW and a 1990 RS125R, I can’t imagine the fun I would have missed out on while racing these bikes, if not for the help of this wonderful man! There were many great UK racers that rode MT 125s in the series created by Gerald (many thanks to you also Gerald!). I have pictures of the one Steve Hislop owned. I am sure Jerry Lodge and those who take part in the CRMC’s 125 races would join in my thanks to Aika-san and Gerald. I did briefly meet Aika-san at the Manx Grand Prix one year when he was guest of honour and got his autograph and I would certainly agree with Gerald’s assessment of his manner. Thank you and vale Aika-san! Brian Donovan Armadale West Australia
were almost a match for the Yamaha TD1C in 1967 but not for the TD2 which Gary Nixon, Phil Read, Art Baumann, Yvon du Hamel and Mike Duff debuted at Daytona in 1968. They were also not the best handling bikes, especially in fast corners where the front end was light and prone to patter. In the first Daytona 250 heat race, Rod went down in a big way on the 120mph left-hander through the infield while nose to tail with Phil Read on the new TD2 and Bobby Winters on a TD1C. He’d also been off at the same spot in practice and was so knocked about that he couldn’t start the big race (Daytona 200) as a team-mate to Gary Nixon on a Doug Hele-prepared factory Triumph 500. The shot of Ralph in the Tecate Grand Prix brought to mind an amusing story told to me by Kenny Clark, former Yamaha USA race manager and a racer himself before that. He was one of the riders in that Tecate race which, by the way, was mainly run over dirt trails with just a relatively short section through the streets of that little Mexican border town. Before the race, there was a rider briefing during which the Chief of Police tried to allay riders’ fears about stray dogs on the course. “If my men see a dog on the track, they have orders to shoot eet,”
RalphWhite,Walt Fulton Jnr and Rod Gould at Daytona.
he said. Whereupon some joker at the back of the room shouted out: “What about if some crazy Mexican runs on the course?” Without even pausing for a second, the Chief replied: “Then they will shoot heem too!” Bruce Cox Via email It was great to hear from you Bruce and even better to know I’ve tempted you out of writing retirement to provide some features for Classic Racer.You can enjoy Bruce’s first hand experiences in future issues of Classic Racer. Malc
MIKE AND BENELLI
Dear Malc I write with reference to Terry Birch’s letter in Classic Racer 161, and enclose a photo, taken without the benefit of an SLR camera or telephoto lens, on Perutz (German) colour slide film in 1962. I had just spent £232 on a new Aermacchi Alaverde from Bill Webster of Crewe, so had no money left. The shot shows Mike the Bike on Fron Purslow’s 250 Benelli at the 1962 TT. After two or three laps the fairing came loose and was removed at a pit stop. But Mike still retired with mechanical trouble. Phil Kersey Burge Castle GreatYarmouth
Dear Malc It was with great sadness and sorrow I read Colin Seeley’s fitting tribute to the late Pip Harris. I rode with Pip, two or three times and against him many times, when on the social side we met up, he introduced me as: “The man who liked his feet tickled.” This caused amusement and puzzlement until Pip explained. I was riding with Cyril Smith at the Belgium GP, the old circuit at Spa; I’m lying flat in the chair, my feet sticking out at the back as we go flat out down the long Masta straight. Pip slipstreaming closely with his streamlining nudging the soles of my racing boots. This went on for several laps, before traffic or a breakdown stopped the fun. May I echo Colin’s words; Pip was indeed a privilege to have met and a good friend. Happy, happy times. Eric Bliss Croxley Green Rickmansworth Wonderful to hear from you again Eric, and for you to share your personal Pip Harris story. Colin (Seeley) did a great job on his tribute.
MORE ON MIKE
Dear Malc Thanks for your reply in Classic Racer 162 to my letter about the Benelli racer. I hope you can find the Lincolnshire collector who purchased that bike and you manage to get a story of some of its history. Like you I’ve always had a passion for Italian racing singles especially in the 250cc class. I well remember that day in early 1962 when Mike Hailwood turned out at Mallory Park on the Fron Purslow owned ‘ex-works’ single. The beauty of that little red single was to stay with me to this day. The following year, on my first visit to Oulton Park in 1963, I saw that single close up in the paddock, this time being ridden by Ralph Bryans. Fron Purslow imported two of these ‘ex-works’ 1961 singles, one being sold to Alan Dugdale, who raced this bike during the 1962/1963 seasons. After Mike Hailwood, who rode the Purslow owned bike a number of times during the 1962 season, most notably at Mallory and Silverstone, it was ridden by a number of different riders and suffered from lack of spares, crashes and proper factory maintenance that a ‘works’ bike needs. Terry Birch Nottingham
CLASSIC RACER PEOPLE
DAVE PETERSEN the last of the privateers
Dave Petersen was a South African Grand Prix regular in the 1980s and ended up riding for the official Roberto Gallina run HB Suzuki team as a replacement to Franco Uncini. In our last issue he described joining the ‘Continental Circus’, now he continues the story...
Words and photography: Dave Petersen
t had taken Dave Petersen two years racing as a self-funded privateer, in the blue riband 500cc class, in order to graduate as a paid rider in a factory team. This is his story of hardship and mixed emotions, as one of the last ever privateers, at a time when you could actually purchase a genuine Grand Prix machine and race at the very pinnacle of the sport. “I knew you would easily qualify you bleedin’ idiot!” exclaimed my mentor and friend Barry Sheene. I agreed with Bazza on the second part of his statement but was not so sure about the first. I had qualified on the fifth row of the grid for the French Grand Prix at the ultra-fast Paul Ricard Circuit in the South of France. Qualification meant two things to me and my tiny team of helpers. Firstly, we could afford a proper meal for the first time in a week and we could pay the mounting bills that I had incurred up to that point. Peter Ingley was supplying Dunlop tyres to me on a credit basis and with relief I could pay him after the race with the guaranteed start money. I could also pay Swiss competitor Wolfgang Von Muralt for an ignition system that I had to replace on my brand new Suzuki RG500 which had still been in its original packing crate when we arrived at the circuit just one day ago. My team (wife Deirdre and two mechanics, who had come along on holiday) was overjoyed with the result but we still had a few issues to deal with before the start of the French Grand Prix. By now I was beginning to feel at home on the bike but with the increased performance came a number of set-up problems which I had not encountered in my production bike based riding career.
The RG500 had a cassette type gearbox that could be adjusted internally, using different cogs for a vast array of gear ratios. Nailing down the perfect gearbox was a standard conversation piece among competitors. With a power band of just three or four thousand RPM a 500c Grand Prix machine required the perfect gear ratio combination for competitive lap times. It was all a bit mind boggling for me, as well as mechanics Barry and Alaine. Adding to the gearbox conundrum was the no small matter of carburettor settings as well as suspension setup but much more important was our sleeping arrangements or lack thereof. It was a Saturday night and Deirdre and I had spent the previous night sleeping on a blow-up mattress beside our rented van! Barry and Alaine were using the Transit van as a bedroom and workshop, whereas we had simply bedded down under the stars which unfortunately were absent, with batches of drizzle drifting through the area. Barry Sheene had offered the sleeper cab of his transporter as a sleeping place, but one of his mechanics had got lucky with a French lass and was using the bunk for other purposes. Deirdre and I literally walked around the paddock with sleeping bags underarm while the warm and dry mechanic had his way with the girl. The life of a Grand Prix rider! Here I was about to compete in a Grand Prix and nowhere to sleep. Eventually the rocking motion from the cab ceased and the mechanic (nameless!) vacated our bedroom at one in the morning. My wife Deirdre was all for complaining to Barry about the incident. I had to explain that he probably had far bigger issues going into a learning curve
“FIRSTLY, WE COULD AFFORD A PROPER MEAL FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WEEK AND WE COULD PAY THE MOUNTING BILLS.”
CLASSIC RACER MACHINE
gilERA Words: Alan Cathcart Photography: Phil Masters
500 QUATTRO EnginE: DOHC air-cooled transverse inline 4-cylinder 4-stroke with 2 valves per cylinder and central gear camshaft drive DimEnsiOns: 52 x 58.8mm CApACiTy: 499cc OUTpUT: 67bhp at 10,600rpm (at gearbox sprocket) COmpREssiOn RATiO: 11:1 igniTiOn: Lucas magneto CARbURATiOn: 4 x 28mm Dellâ€™Orto with paired remote float chambers (as tested) gEARbOx: 7-speed with gear primary (as tested) ClUTCh: Multi-plate oil-bath ChAssis: Twin-loop tubular steel duplex cradle sUspEnsiOn: 34mm Gilera telescopic forks (F). Tubular steel swingarm with twin Girling shocks (R) hEAD AnglE: 26.5 degrees TRAil: 96mm WhEElbAsE: 1375mm WEighT: 149kg dry WEighT DisTRibUTiOn: 48/52% (as tested, with later dolphin fairing) bRAkEs: Gilera 250mm four leading-shoe drum (F). Gilera 220mm twin leading-shoe drum (R) TyREs/WhEEls: 3.00 x 19 Dunlop KR76 triangular on WM1 Borrani wire-laced rim (F). 3.50/4.50 x 19 Dunlop KR83 Racing on WM2 Borrani wirelaced rim (R) TOp spEED: 260kph/163mph (with full streamlining) yEAR Of COnsTRUCTiOn: 1956 OWnER: Piaggio & C. SpA, Pontedera, Italy
How appropriate that Alan Cathcart’s chance to ride the ultimate evolution of Gilera’s multi came at the company’s home circuit, Monza, before it was closed in 1993.The historic Italian marque’s Arcore factory was a long stone’s throw from the Royal Park in which the historic Autodromo is located. Alan shares the experience.
The class act of the golden age of racing
CLASSIC RACER PEOPLE
At home with
‘BAZZA’ L O O K I N G
B A C K
Y E A R S
In 1994, motorcycle journalist Hamish Cooper and photographer Andre Kammer travelled to Australia’s Gold Coast to interview Barry Sheene, who had moved there a few years previously from the UK. ‘Bazza’ soon conned them into joining him in his home workshop to help work on one of his old race bikes. Words: Hamish Cooper Photographs: Hamish Cooper Archive and Andre Kammer
Back tothe future It’s a case of history repeating itself as Graham Veryard takes on a Triumph project and finds himself going back to the future. Words and photography: Graham Veryard
emories of the past eh? It’s weird isn’t it? I remember in 1972 being in the warm-up area at the top of Cadwell Park on a rare, warm sunny day with Ron Storey on board my TZ350. Ron was typically with steely forward focused eyes and I just happened to say: “this is the life Ron – racing motorcycles, beautiful countryside and fresh air”. Ron turned his head slowly and pulled his eyebrow down over his eyes, focused on me, frowned and didn’t say a word but I instantly knew why the wry look. We were standing in what was effectively a tank full of two-stroke smoke and fumes. He headed off to the grid shaking his head in disbelief as I realised what I had said. Well here we go again, last time I wrote in Classic Racer it was to tell the story of how I got sucked back into building race bikes 35+ years later, by building my 2008 TZ350 Yamaha which went on to win the ICGP in 2009, with Lea Gourlay on board. Lack of sponsorship, to help with the running costs, when ICGP rounds seem to be getting further and further away, put paid to any future racing, other than the odd Brands Hatch outing or Goodwood Festival of speed. In that previous article I mentioned I fell off a 500 Triumph at Brands Hatch and gave up riding the damn things in favour of building them. Well a certain Mr Andrew French invited
Jacquie and I to The Goodwood Revival meeting and for anyone who hasn’t been, it’s one to add to the bucket list! I was reintroduced into the world of Nortons, Triumphs, Castrol ‘R’, oil leaks and the painful memory of having the cheeks of my backside being parted by a raised turf at Paddock Bend after falling off such a bike!
“Well here We go again, last time i Wrote in ClassiC raCer it Was to tell the story of hoW i got suCked baCk into building raCe bikes 35+ years later.” At the end of it all Froggy (as he’s affectionately known) mentioned that for 2013 the cutoff date is 1966, and soon my thoughts were thinking, ‘Daytona 1966 and Buddy Elmore’s winning 500 Triumph’ oh and ‘Percy Tait and his 500 Triumph’ which he also campaigned pre 66 and later.
After completing the Harris Suzuki XR69 and a Harris Decorite Rotax for Stuart Melen I was pacing the garage looking for something to do. Neither Froggy, nor myself, could justify getting in debt for a Manx Norton or G50 but I could afford and build a Triumph with the emphasis on it being fun rather than competitive. Peter Carrana (AL Carter Engineering) a friend for 45 years, who was featured in Motorcycle Mechanics, back in the 1960s at least six times a year 500cc Triumph man, and over a beer or two us old farts often reminisced on days when Triumph was a force to be reckoned. And we both had made noises about building another for old times’ sake, but never quite got round to it. After a few sleepless nights and another read of Claudio Sintich’s book, Road Racing History of the Triumph 500 Unit Twin, here was our chance. I awoke with a mission, excited at the thoughts of getting to Goodwood again and all those miniskirts, hot pants, and maybe even a few CRMC parades?
Left: IntrepidTriumph pilot, Andrew French heads for the Goodwood circuit in a previous race.Tuner Graham Veryard still has work to do before the 2013 mount is ready.
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➥ Alternative ratio gears available for many classic / post classic racing machines inc: Honda - Suzuki - Yamaha - Kawasaki - Bultaco - Montesa etc. ➥ Worn / damaged gears and shafts replicated ➥ Conversion sets to convert road gearboxes into ratio’s suitable for racing. ➥ 1 offs no problem.
See website for more info and previous commissions www.mpe07.co.uk • email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 07854 083780
CLASSIC RACER SPORT 1
Words: Richard Adams Photography: Russ Lee
The first meeting of the year was on the Brands Indy circuit, as part of the Bemsee weekend. Richard Adams brings us all the action from a closely fought weekend.
ries e S ic s s a l C Lansdowne Brands Hatch The
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“in the bonhams class russell bagged a pair of wins.” 84 ClassicRacer
Last year’s champion, Mike Russell, carried on where he left off by putting his Manx on pole in qualifying. The two Saturday races were damp and wet affairs with Glen English and Mike Russell sharing a win apiece in the Bonhams sponsored British Championship class. In the National Motorcycle Museum sponsored WRR class Sam Rhodes, on a new to him G50, took both wins as did Tim Jackson in the Avon Tyres sponsored 350 Championship on his AJS 7R. Sunday dawned an altogether better day, the first signs of summer perhaps? In the Bonhams class Russell bagged a pair of wins, and the WRR spoils were shared by Gordon Russell and Peter Crew, both on Manx Nortons, with Jackson continuing his winning ways in the Avon class. A great season opener with good close racing. The next meeting is again with Bemsee, June 1, Oulton Park, followed by Pembrey (CRMC) July 1314, Donington Park (CRMC) August 9-11, Brands Hatch GP circuit (Bemsee) August 17-18, and finally Snetterton (CRMC) September 21-22.
1 Winner of 3 races, Mike Russell – Manx Norton. 2 New boy to the Lansdowne, Alex Sinclair – GB Access Manx. 3 Duncan Fitchett (GB Access Manx) leading Glen English (Ripley Land G50) and Mike Russell. 4 Glen English winner of race 2 – Ripley Land G50. 5 Duncan Fitchett & Glen English braking into Druids. 6 A group of 500 manxes led by John Leigh Pemberton, Richard Ellis, Gordon Russell with StuartTonge bringing up the rear.
Words: Graham Lawlor Photography: Russ Lee
ley M CRMC Dar A P R I L
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“CRMC NEWCOMER, RICHARD BLUNT, WAS A SENSATION ON PHIL MARTIN’S P&M KAWASAKI 1260.”
After the disappointment of a snowbound Brands Hatch the CRMC guys and girls were keen to get on track at Darley Moor. Graham Lawlor rounds up an action-packed weekend.
1 Alex Sinclair was in superb form on Bob Light’s 350 and 500 Seeley Goldstars, winning all eight Goldie races. 2 First time out on the ex-Charlie Morgan JHT Waddon-Rotax, DavidTetley held off a horde of MT Hondas to take all four overall wins in the Earnshaws Motorcycles/Ultratape p/c 125 event. Here he leads Steve Reape (MT125). 3 Nick Houghton/PaulThomas (8, Windle BMW) and Brian Gray/Vicky Cooke (4, BGR Honda) were hard at each other all weekend in the Woods Cubed/MREquipe sidecars event,
which served up six incident packed races for slidies fans to enjoy. 4 Chris Chapman (95, RPSTrident) rounds the Darley hairpin ahead ofTony Rainford (7, Trident) and ChrisTurner (Honda 500) in the Three Bears F.750/Kevin Fawsitt Air-cooled 500 event. 5 CRMC newcomer, Richard Blunt, was a sensation on Phil Martin’s P&M Kawasaki 1260. He cleared off in all four legs of the Four Counties/Boyer Bransden 1300s, also setting the weekend’s fastest lap at 1:02.024.
6 Andrew Taylor (97, Dunnell Manx) pulls the train through the first chicane in the Norton Owners Club/Disco Volante 500 GP/Clubmans event. 7 Eddy Wright was blooding young Kieran Clarke in the sidecar of his Bellas Imp and they enjoyed a great weekend with a win and two second places. 8 Steve Reape (2,TZ350) holds off the similarly mounted Ant Hart in the fiercely contested Fondseca, Woodview Electronics & LC Owners Club GP350 event.
NEXTISSUE ISSUE 163 /// ON SALE AUGUST 15 www.c ww w.clas lasssic icrac racer. er.cco om wh wher ere lleg ege en nd dss lliv ive o on n... ... S Se ep ptte em mb be err/O /Occto to b be er 2 20 01 13 3
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Sept/Oct issue on sale at all good newsagents from August 15 or get your copy early and save money, call 01507 529529 Ad Deadline July 26 ClassicRacer 97