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1956 Lightweight TT

Course name: Clypse

Course length: 97 miles (9 laps)

Description: 1956 Lightweight TT
Race report from the IOM weekly times 8 June 1956 (p. 10), below which is a full list of competitors:

Taveri Injured and Out of 125 c.c. Event

On Wednesday morning Carlo Ubbiali, the great Italian rider, won the 250 c.c. Lightweight T.T. for his country on a M.V.Agusta after a thrilling five-lap duel with S. Miller, Irish rider of a German N.S.U. The two were out on their own almost from the word "go" in this massed start event on the Clypse circuit, run in heavy rain over rain-soaked roads, and when Miller gave up on the sixth lap Ubbiali was left an easy winner. Sandford shot into the lead on his Mondial, but it was Sammy Miller, the Irish rider of a German N.S.U., who led for the first two laps, closely followed by Ubbiali on the Italian M.V., and on the third lap the Italian took the lead. But at the end of this lap Miller was 1.4 seconds ahead of the Italian, and the crowds forgot the discomfort the weather caused them in the thrill of this great duel between M.V. and N.S.U. The third man, Colombo (M.V.). was over a minute behind his teammate. Miller still led after four laps, but Ubbiali was closing the gap and everything pointed to a great finish. Then next time round Ubbiali had forged ahead and had a five-second lead.


L. Taveri, the Swiss rider, sprained his arm in a spill and did not take part in the 125 c.c. event, in which he was second to Ubbiali last year. Shocking weather conditions prevailed all round the course. At the Grandstand rain fell heavily, the wind was icy cold, and one could see heavy clouds over the Clypse circuit.
For this first event there were 20 starters out of an original entry of 28.

Close on 9.25 the riders were lined up and all set for the massed start, which would take them on nine laps of this tricky circuit.

As the maroon sounded the screaming howls of the machines were heard in the massed start. The crowd on the grandstand were on their feet as Cecil Sandford (Mondial) led the pack away, and the machines sped towards Parkfield Corner, leaving Fox (M.V.) Webster (M.V.) and M. Webb (Guzzi) with silent engines. They struggled and pushed past the pits and finally their machines came to life, and they were on their way.

Cecil Sandford was reported first at Creg-ny-Baa, but it was Sammy Miller on the German N.S.U. who came through first at the end of the first lap, followed closely by Ubbiali and Colombo. Baltisberger (N.S.U.) pulled into the pits along with 60-year-old Frank Cope on his Norton.

On the second lap Sammy Miller was reported at Creg-ny-Baa as going extremely fast and safely, followed by Colombo. Cope and Baltisberger re-started at this moment, and weather conditions were atrocious. Heavy rain fell on all parts of the course, but Miller and Ubbiali were fighting a grim battle throughout.
At the end of the first lap Miller was reported to be six seconds ahead of Ubbiali, but when they came through at the second lap Ubbiali was only a short distance behind the leader.

Then, first sensation! It was reported at Cronk-ny-Mona that Ubbiali had passed Miller and was leading by a few yards. W. J. Maddrick (M. Guzzi) retired at the pits, having pushed from Governor's Bridge "full of water." Sandford was said to have a dying engine at Creg-ny-Baa but managed to keep going and rode for the start with his engine sounding healthy enough.
Taveri (M.V.) and Webster (M.V.) retired at the Manx Arms.

The battle of the little giants was an exciting spectacle. On the third lap, somewhere on the Creg-ny-Baa to Whitebridge section Miller had overtaken Ubbiali, and they both flashed through with little distance between them. The time margin was stated to be 1 and 2/5th seconds. Third and fourth men, Colombo (M.V.) and Kassner (N.S.U.) went through the pits shortly afterwards, fighting out their separate battle.
Another retirement with engine trouble at the Manx Arms — it seemed to be a popular place this morning - was M. P. O'Rourke (M.V.)

After Three Laps
The leader board remained unchanged at the end of the fourth lap, but Sammy Miller was only a short head in front of Ubbiali, followed by Colombo, Kassner and Cecil Sandford. And now - further sensation - Ubbiali was in the lead. He rocketed through with a five second lead over Miller. Both were pulling all the stops out. Ubbiali to increase the lead and Miller to regain the position which he had held for four laps. News was received that L. Taveri had sprained his arm and would not be riding in the 125 c.c. event. Wheeler was reported to be riding extremely well and Baltisberger was on the leader board riding very consistently.

Sammy Miller was out! Creg-ny-Baa announcer, David Lay. said that Miller was stopped on the sixth lap with a seizure of the engine. After getting off his machine, he pushed it towards the hotel. And here was another retirement. This time the dashing Cecil Sandford, who was lying in fifth position at the end of four laps. He walked back from Bray Hill direction and retired just as Miller 's retirement was also given.

After Six Laps
While Ubbiali was away ahead, Colombo and Kassner were having a rare fight, and Baltisberger moved up into fourth position. With the retirement of Taveri the M.V. Agusta No. 1 team was out of the race, and it was reported that D. V. Chadwick had retired at Creg-ny-Baa, which eliminated the M.V. Agusta No. 2 team. Another member of this team, O'Rourke also retired, and the third, F. M. Fox pulled into the pits to retire with a split oil tank. Both club teams were out the race.
With those and other retirements newcomer Bartos, the Czech, moved into fifth position, and Arthur Wheeler (Guzzi) was sixth man. With better weather, speeds increased, and Ubbiali was reported as going very fast through Creg-ny-Baa. The cracking pace and the weather conditions had wreaked havoc with the field and as Ubbiali went through to his last lap going great guns and steady as a rock, there had been nine retirements. Colombo had widened the distance between himself and Kassner, and all six leading men were putting up a grand show. Creg-ny-Baa reported that Ubbiali was cornering perfectly and giving no idea of his high speed with the neatness of his riding. Certainly, he had the race in his pocket, for Colombo could not possibly catch him.

Shortly before 11 o'clock Ubbiali came tearing down the road to finish as winner of the 1956 250 c.c. race. This was his second win on the Clypse circuit, his first victory being in the 125 c.c. class last year. As he came through his Italian mechanics waved their arms, cheered, and the crowd applauded a very fine performance. Second man, Colombo, came through, followed some seconds later by third man, Baltisberger, who had crept on to the leader board on the fourth lap.

The fastest lap was put up by H. Baltisberger (N.S.U.), 9 mins. 21.6 secs., at a speed of 69.35 m.p.h.


1Ubbiali, Carlo1:26:54.0067.05MV
2Colombo, Roberto1:29:02.6065.43MV
3Baltisberger, Hans1:29:24.6065.17NSU
4Kassner, Horst1:29:27.6065.13NSU
5Bartos, Franta1:32:05.0063.28CZ
6Wheeler, Arthur1:32:20.6061.1Guzzi
7Carter, Phil1:35:26.2061.06RDS
8Jones, Albert1:36:10.6060.58Norton
9Cope, Frank1:38:45.2059Norton
10Webb, Norman1:43:30.2056.3Guzzi
REdlin, DudleyEMC
RMaddrick, BillGuzzi
RSandford, CecilMondial
RChadwick, DaveMV
RO'Rourke, MikeMV
RTaveri, LuigiMV
RWebster, BillMV
RMiller, SammyNSU
RFox, Frank M.MV
RHarding, RichardGMV


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