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1951 Ultra Lightweight TT

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 75.46 miles (2 laps)

Description: 1951 Ultra Lightweight TT
Race report from the IOM Weekly Times 9 Jun 1951 p. 4 below which is a full list of competitors:

Fast Speeds in new “Baby” Class
Comrie McCandless Wins at nearly 75 m.p.h.
Great Race with Carlo Ubbiali
Record Lap of 75.34 m.p.h

Comrie McCandless, the young Belfast man who won the 1949 Junior Manx Grand Prix and is married to a Douglas girl, formerly Miss Phoebe Cubbon, on Wednesday won the first 125 c.c. event ever run on course at an average speed of 74.85 m.p.h. He led the race throughout finishing the first lap at 74.37 m.p.h., an amazing speed for an engine of this capacity. Ten seconds after him came Carlo Ubbiali, the Italian ace, also on a Mondial, with Gianni Leoni, making Mondials first, second and third.

Six of the 18 starters were Continentals. Of these, three were Italians, and three Spanish, and there were also two British riders astride Italian machines. R. L. Graham had replaced an Italian rider on the only Augusta entry, and C. McCandless was riding a Mondial. As the machines warmed up for the start, the oracle Mondials from Italy sounded more powerful than the other machines.

Graham the First Retirement

The healthy roar from Graham’s Agusta was misleading as while the clocks of the other competitors showed that they were making steady progress round the course on their first lap his stuck ominously at zero. Then came the news that he was out of the race, engine trouble being the cause and that he had called it a day on Bray Hill, less than a mile from the start.

An Italian rider, G. Leoni, a last minute substitute, also riding a Mondial, was in third place with a time of 31 mins 51 secs and average speed of 71.09 m.p.h. at the end of the first lap. Another Italian, Pagani (Mondial) held fourth place with a lap time of 32 mins. 30 secs., and a speed of 69.68 m.p.h. The Spanish challengers held fifth and sixth places, Bulto lapping in 35 mins. 30 secs., his speed being 63.79 m.p.h. and Llobet, the sixth man, returning a time of 37 mins. 2 secs., and at a speed of 61.14 m.p.h. Both were riding Montesas.

McCandless, holding off the challenge of Ubbiali, covered the second lap in 30mins. 3 secs., which gave him an average speed for the lap of 75.34 m.p.h. and premier honours.

As will be seen by the list of finishers, the first four places were gained by Italian Mondials all of which had covered the 75.5 miles of the race at an average speed of over 70 m.p.h.
The remarkable features were the speed of the Italian Mondials and their reliability. There were four of these amazing little machines in the race, and they finished in the first four places, a record which has probably never been equalled in the history of T.T. racing. There was never any doubt about them winning the manufacturers’ team prize. The Spanish Montesas occupied the next two places, and then came the first British machine, E. V. C. Hardy’s D.O.T. But every British machine which started finished the course. In the last place was veteran rider Paddy Johnson, who won the Lightweight T.T. away back in 1926. He helped the Leinster Club win the Club Team Prize along with H. A. Grindley and W. G. Dehany. Only two of the 18 starters failed to finish.

The Winner

The winner, 31 year old Cromie McCandless, a Belfast engineer, is one of the most popular men in the race and is married to a Manx girl. They have one child. He is a member of the Arts Club and has many racing successes to his credit in Ireland. One of his biggest successes was in junior M.G.P. in 1949, when he broke the record by six minutes and won at an average speed of 81.82 m.p.h., beating Geoff Duke by 35 secs. The latter had a spill in the fifth lap.


1McCandless, Cromie1:00:30.0074.85Mondial
2Ubbiali, Carlo1:00:52.4074.38Mondial
3Leoni, Gianni1:03:19.8071.52Mondial
4Pagani, Nello1:04:36.6070.08Mondial
5Soler-Bulto, Juan1:11:21.0063.46Montesa
6Llobet, Jose Maria1:14:01.4061.18Montesa
7Hardy, Eric1:18:16.2057.86DOT
8Grindley, Howard1:19:34.6056.9DMW
9Caldecutt, Leslie1:20:19.0056.38BSA
10Holton, Robert1:20:24.6056.36Pankhurst spl
11Horn, Chris1:23:10.4054.45DOT
12Newman, Guy1:25:01.8053.25DOT
13Salt, Charlie1:26:15.4052.5BSA
14Dehany, Bill1:26:48.4052.17Royal Enfield
15Jones, Albert1:33:16.8048.5Excelsior
16Johnston, Paddy1:34:03.0048.18Sun
Rde Ortueta, JavierMontesa
RGraham, LesMV


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