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1951 Lightweight TT

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 150.92 miles (4 laps)

Description: Race report from the IOM Weekly Times 9 Jun 1954 (p. 4) below which is a full list of competitors:
Fine Performance by Tommy Wood
Fergus Anderson’s New Lap Record for Course
No Accidents of Any Kind
Tommy Wood, British rider of a Guzzi, with many Continental successes to his name, on Wednesday won the International Lightweight T.T. at record speed after a great duel with Dario Ambrosini, last year’s winner, almost 9 seconds behind. A Guzzi rider, Fergus Anderson had set a hot pace up to his retirement, and annexed the lap record at over 84 m.p.h.
Fergus Anderson’s Guzzi roared around the course on the first lap and he knocked 43 seconds off Ambrosini’s lap record by doing the circuit in 27 mins. 16 secs at a speed of just over 83 m.p.h. He then had a 44 seconds lead on Tommy Wood. Ambrosini was third, 10 seconds behind Wood. We expected fireworks after that. We got it! Anderson put the lap record up to 27 mins. 3 secs (84.37m.p.h), and his average speed for the two laps was 1 m.p.h. slower than Ambrosini’s winning speed last year. Wood was then 1 min. 31 secs. behind, and he was 3 seconds in front of Ambrosini.
At 9.30 No. 1 H. Hartley (Rudge), pushed his machine away from the starting square, and the engine barked into life immediately. Thereafter the men were dispatched at second intervals, the last man, H. W. Billington (Guzzi) being bothered with a spluttering engine until the top of Bray Hill was reached.
Anderson rode on his way round the course, and his Guzzi performed wonders. He gave the thumbs-up signal to his pit attendant as he passed the stands.
T. L. Wood (Guzzi) was second, 28 mins, 0 secs. with Ambrosini (Benelli) third in 28 mins. 10 secs.
Ambrosini accomplished the second circuit in 27 mins. 43 secs. Wood took the comparatively longer time of 27 mins. 50 secs. Bob Foster pulled in at the pits to report that he had driven from the Guthrie Memorial with only one gear, and his growing time was 59 mins.55 secs. – not good enough to be in the first six. Ultimately he retired. Lorenzetti was still running fourth, with his growing time of 56 mins. 43 secs., with Pike fifth, in 59 mins. 17 secs., and W. G. Hutt (Guzzi) sixth in 59 mins. 17 secs.
In the third circuit came the most unfortunate and unpredictable shock of the race – Anderson had packed up with engine trouble at Ballig Bridge.
Anderson’s retirement meant that the Guzzi team’s hopes were dashed to the ground and the race for victory was a struggle between T. L. Wood’s Guzzi and Ambrosini’s Benelli, with only three seconds dividing them at the start of the lap.
W. G. Hutt (Guzzi), entered by his club and not by a manufacturing firm, was lying fourth, R. H. Pike (Pike Rudge) was fifth, and A. Wheeler (Excelsior) was sixth.
The Winner
This is not the first time that Tommy Wood, from Southampton, has figured prominently on a Guzzi in the Lightweight T.T. In 1949, when the race was won by M. Barrington, Tommy shared the lap record of 80.44 m.p.h. with Dickie Dale.
He is well known on the Continent, where he has had many successes.
He is 36, is married and has a 15-years-old son. He served in the R.A.F. during the war and got in 5,000 flying hours. He was in seven races this year on the Continent and won the Spanish Grand Prix in the 350c.c. class on a Velocette, and was second in the Senior on a Norton. He came over from Switzerland by ‘plane with Geoffrey Duke.
With only 9 secs. between the first two men, the last lap of the race had that sense of excitement inseparable from a hard struggle for supremacy.
With perfectly miraculous driving both Wood and Ambrosini climbed the mountain for the last time and at 11.26 Ambrosini flashed past the finishing post, the first man to do so.
Tommy Wood finished the race the winner, with about the same margin as he started the fourth circuit – almost nine seconds.
Winner’s “Bad Moment”
After his win, Tommy Wood said that he had one bad moment during the race. He developed a terrific wobble while going down Bray Hill on his second lap. The cause was an Ultra Lightweight machine which, although on its correct racing line, was going more slowly that Wood’s 107 m.p.h. Wood had to take a different racing line, with the result that the model developed a wobble and the driver had a job correcting it.


1Wood, Tommy1:51:15.8081.39Guzzi
2Ambrosini, Dario1:51:24.2081.29Benelli
3Lorenzetti, Enrico1:55:00.0078.75Guzzi
4Hutt, Wilfred1:57:48.8076.88Guzzi
5Wheeler, Arthur2:00:34.0075.11Velocette
6Purslow, Fron2:02:28.4073.95Norton
7Sorensen, Sven2:07:44.8070.89Excelsior
8Cope, Frank2:09:22.0070AJS
9Jones, Albert2:12:40.8068.25Excelsior
10Hartley, Harold2:13:20.0067.92Rudge
11Evans, Wilmot2:13:46.6067.69AJS
12Keys, Basil2:15:12.8066.97Keys spl
13Billington, Wilf2:15:56.4066.62Guzzi
14Harrison, Henry2:30:17.8060.25OK
15Sparrow, Jack2:37:15.0057.59Excelsior
RBayliss, LenEllbee Spl
RBrett, CharlieExcelsior
RMcCredie, JockExcelsior
RWebb, NormanExcelsior
RAnderson, FergusGuzzi
RLashmar, DennisLEF
RWebster, BillRudge
RMead, RonnieVelocette
RFoster, BobVelocette
RGeeson, BobREG
RPike, RolandRudge
RJones, NevilleExcelsior
RBeevers, BillExcelsior


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