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1953 Ultra Lightweight TT

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 113.19 miles (3 laps)

Description: Race report from the Ramsey Courier 12 June 1953 (p. 5) below which is a full list of competitors:

“Baby” T.T. Won By Les Graham
His First T.T. Success.
Ultra-lightweights Amazing Speeds
Lone German Rider’s Fine Performance
The Ultra-Lightweight T.T. postponed from Wednesday to Thursday because of mist on the Mountain, was won in great style by the well know rider Les Graham, recording his first T.T. win. It was a very popular victory and he was given a great reception. Another feature of the race was the fine performance of a lone German rider, W. Haas, who on the last lap overtook Sandford, on an Italian Agusta, to ride his N.S.U into second place by a margin of only two seconds.
It provided a dramatic finish to a race in which the little bikes reached amazing speeds. With the exception of the N.S.U., which was runner-up, all remaining places in the first six were gained by the Italian Agustas.
Thursday Morning
After Wednesday afternoon’s postponement on account of fog on the Mountain there were sighs of relief all round when we found Thursday had provided a lovely June morning with first class racing conditions.
The Ultra-lightweights, or “the babies” as they are called sometimes, were lucky today and as they lined up for a massed start we looked forward to an exciting race. There were twenty-two starters out of the original entry of 33.
Only two of these were British, Foxall on a B.S.A. and N.R. Jones, also on a B.S.A.
First Lap
The little bikes created a tremendous din as they roared away towards Bray Hill. Early retirements were those of Dicky Dale (Mondial) who was stopped at Birkin’s Corner and L.J.B. French (Sulby E.M.C.) who after an eight minute delay at the Start because of plug trouble only reached Union Mills. D.E. Bell (E.M.C. Puch) packed in at Crosby with a seized engine.
Les Graham’s Agusta led the field on the first circuit and was closely followed by C.C. Sandford (Agusta). The gap between them passing the Start, was 150 yards.
Lap Record Broken From Standing Start
The first four men through the Start each broke the existing lap record from a standing start and Graham’s time was 29mins. 7 secs. an average of 77.77 m.p.h.
Second Lap
The first lap times indicated that a keen struggle was going on between the Italian and German machines and as they screamed round the course on their second circuit eyes were fastened on the scoreboard clocks to see how the battle was going. Les Graham was certainly getting every ounce out of his Agusta and by the time the Mountain Box was reached on the second lap he had increased his lead over Sandford to 31seconds.
Another Agusta hope – A.E. Moule – who was not doing so well; his first lap time being 33 mins. 37 secs. was stated to have damaged the clutch of his machine when warming up on Wednesday and was not taken by surprise when things did not run too smoothly today.
At the end of the first lap Les Graham’s mechanics, in their bright orange suits, gave him the signal on a blackboard as to his position and their estimate was that he had a 25 seconds lead on Sandford. The latter was also told how he stood as he flashed by.
But this was a conservative estimate because Quarter Bridge on the third lap gave the gap as 53 seconds and the official time at the end of the lap showed that the actual margin was 38 seconds.
The 125c.c.’s were putting up a great show and they attained some incredible speeds on lap two. Graham setting the pace with a circuit accomplished in just under 29 mins., averaging almost 78m.p.h.
C. Ubbiali, one of the Italian stars, pulled in at the end of the second lap and it was stated that he had had trouble with his oil tank and he retired. He had been riding in sixth place.
Last Lap
The Italian Agustas were flying round the course on the last lap in five of the first six places. The lone German, Haas, on his N.S.U., was stated by observers to be closing up on Sandford and challenging him for second place. Haas gained four seconds on the way to Ballaugh and reduced the margin to four seconds and we all waited to see what separated the pair at Ramsey.
Hopes were expressed that Les Graham, who has had wretched luck in his previous races would maintain his 40 seconds lead to the end.
A buzz of excitement went round the crowds as the commentary switched over to Ramsey and we heard from Bert Rowell that Haas had overtaken Sandford. The machines were almost wheel to wheel at the Square and a superb test of riding was going on. Haas kept ahead as far as the Mountain Box but somewhere between East Snaefell and the Bungalow the German was overtaken by Sandford.
A crash at Greeba
Meanwhile news came through that Albert Moule, a veteran T.T. rider, who was riding an Agusta, crashed at Appledene, near Greeba Bridge on his last lap. He injured his shoulder and was taken to hospital.
Graham Wins!
Les Graham, motoring beautifully, flew over the finishing line 87 Minutes after the start and he got an enthusiastic welcome from the cheering crowds on winning his first T.T. race.
Immediately afterwards came the most thrilling spectacle of the day – Haas leading Sandford along the straight by a 20 yards margin. The German shot over the finishing line in grand style followed by Sandford and both riders were applauded for their performance.
More News About Moule
A further report concerning Moule stated that the cause of his crash was a broken frame and the rider threw himself off his machine. He complained of his shoulder and back being hurt but was in good spirits as he went off to hospital for examination.
Fastest Lap
Fastest lap of the race was accomplished by Graham in 28 mins. 57 secs. an average of 78.21 m.p.h.
Pushed In From Hillberry
B. Purslow, Agusta rider, who was stated to be touring past the Creg, had to push in from Hillberry and was just about “all in” when he wheeled his machine over the finishing line and he had to be supported by marshals as he went through the paddock to the refreshment tent


1Graham, Les1:27:19.0077.79MV
2Haas, Werner1:28:00.0077.18NSU
3Sandford, Cecil1:28:02.0077.15MV
4Copeta, Alfredo1:32:39.0073.44MV
5Jones, Albert1:40:39.0067.48MV
6Webster, Bill1:41:16.0067.07MV
7Fenn, Archie1:41:20.0067.03Mondial
8Webb, Norman1:43:20.0065.73MV
9Thomson, James1:44:56.0064.73MV
10Purslow, Fron1:49:44.0061.9MV
11Purslow, Brian1:52:42.0060.27MV
12Jones, Neville2:03:07.0055.17BSA
RFoxall, WilliamBSA
RDale, DickieMondial
RUbbiali, CarloMV
RBell, DouglasPuch
RBurman, FrankPuch
RFrench, LionelPuch
RPassmore, FredPuch
RClark, HaroldMV
RMoule, Albert E.Mondial
RFisher, JohnMV


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