Search records

1957 Lightweight TT

Course name: Clypse

Course length: 114 miles (10 laps)

Description: Race report from the Isle of Man Weekly Times June 7 1957 (p. 7), below which is a full list of competitors:


Time: 1h. 25m. 25.4s.
Speed: 75.8 m.p.h.
Sammy Miller’s Minor Crash When Leading

The Start, Wednesday.
The Lightweight 250 c.c. International was won over the Clypse circuit today by C. C. Sandford (Mondial), after a record-shattering ride. His time was 1 hour 25 minutes 25.4 seconds – speed 75.8 m.p.h.
Drama of the event came in the last lap, when Sammy Miller from Belfast came off at Governor’s Bridge after he had been signalled as leading the field at Signpost. He was relegated to fifth position after pushing in his machine from the bridge.Miller’s misfortune let L. Taveri, from Switzerland (M.V.), into second place, and R. Colombo from the same camp was third.

Lap records went from the word “go.” The old record of 73.13 m.p.h. was beaten by many drivers – first of all by Sandford himself in his first lap, but the record to beat all lap records was achieved by Tarquino Provini (Mondial) in 8 minutes 18 seconds – average speed 78 m.p.h. Unfortunately, Provini had to retire at Parkfield with mechanical trouble on his sixth lap. Ubbiali also packed up for a similar reason.

A strong fresh breeze blew; conditions at the Grandstand were extremely cold, but the clouds were drifting away, leaving patches of blue, and there was a promise of sunshine.
There were 32 starters; 11 of the entrants having withdrawn for one reason or another – including non-arrival on the Island. Included in the list was John Hartle, injured in the Junior race, and Bob McIntyre, who it is believed, decided to forego this race in preparation for the Senior.

Precisely at 10 o’clock, the riders set off en masse with a deafening roar that all but split the eardrums. Snaking away in front was the young Belfast rider Sammy Miller, on a Mondial, followed by Ubbiali (M.V.) and Cecil Sandford (Mondial). At Creg-ny-Baa Sandford had passed Ubbiali, but Miller was still in the lead. This young Irish rider has been tutored by Artie Bell, himself a T.T. winner, and he did extremely well last year, leading the field in this event until his retirement with engine trouble.

Sandford was going great guns. He passed Miller between the 51/2 mile stone and Hall’s Corner and then roared through the pits followed closely by the Belfast man and Ubbiali while the remainder of the riders passed through as the field was stretched out.

On the second lap, Sandford was two lengths ahead of Miller at Creg-ny-Baa, both riders were going extremely well. Both were putting in some hectic cornering, though they were riding well within their limits, but Ubbiali was challenging strongly.

Provini (Mondial) was not on the first leader board, due to a bad start; he was, in fact, way down the field, about 38 seconds behind the leader, but those who knew how he had driven in practice waited. They knew their man!

In the meantime the record lap of 73.13 m.p.h. went with a bang! Sandford started the ball rolling on his first lap – time, 8 mins. 46 secs.; speed, 73.85 m.p.h. He was driving extremely well, with Sammy Miller clinging to his tail, to return an average of 73.74 m.p.h. (his time by the way was less than a second longer than Sandford’s). Both men appeared to be drawing away from Ubbiali.

It was reported that Rutherford had come off his N.S.U. at Ballacoar, but was O.K.; that Rensen (Velocette) had retired at the pits with engine trouble and that F. E. Heath (Benelli) was stopped at Parkfield.

In the meantime, Provini was getting into his stride, making up for his bad getaway. Driving his Mondial with the one intention of getting his number on to that leader board, he ended up the third lap in fourth position. And this had, in part, been possible because in his second lap he had smashed Sandford’s record – time, 8 mins. 28.6 secs.; speed, 76.37 m.p.h. Riding a German N.S.U., Manxman Jackie Wood covered his first lap in 9 mins. 47.6 secs and lay in 13th position.

Second Section
Provini and Ubbiali “Pack Up”
Tarquino Provini retained his fourth position with four laps completed, and the real duel of speed was between Sandford and Miller. They were some considerable distance ahead of the field; both were driving magnificently, and excitement was rife around the small Clypse circuit, the vantage points of which were “crammed” with spectators.

Sammy Miller hung on to Sandford’s tail – there were only a couple of lengths between them as they battled for supremacy. Then there was a minor sensation at the grandstand. At the end of the fourth lap Provini streaked ahead of Ubbiali, Taveri and Colombo – all driving M.V.’s – in the succeeding positions for the time being – and Provini was cramming on the speed.

In this section he created another record. Those who know the turns, twists and the corners of the Clypse will realise he put up an incredible performance. Provini’s time was 8 mins 18 secs – speed 78 m.p.h. This was close on five miles an hour faster than the old record put up by Bill Lomas in 1955.
The Italian’s triumphant ride, unfortunately, was short lived. In the sixth lap he went out with engine trouble at Parkfield, and Ubbiali had to pack up at the end of the fifth at the pits

Jackie Wood had moved up to 11th place by the end of lap four, but commentator David Lay reported from Creg-ny-Baa that the Manx boy had stopped there and was working on his machine. It appeared, said Mr Lay that the N.S.U. engine had seized. Wood later succeeded in restarting his machine, but toured into the pits to retire.

Thrilling Finish
The seventh lap passed without any notable event. Sandford and Miller had established a very clear lead over the rest of the field. They had gone through the pits, round Parkfield and up towards Cronk-ny-Mona by the time the third man came through. As they sped towards Parkfield, Provini was walking back on the pavement to the Grandstand and at this time, Manxman Jackie Wood toured into the pits, after his retirement.

Sandford and Miller were still close to each other, as they sped through Hillberry and Creg-ny-Baa. It was absolutely fantastic the way in which Miller tucked in closely behind Sandford, all the way through on the tricky stretch from Creg-ny-Baa and the Morney bends. Both were driving superbly, and now in third position was the Swiss rider, Taveri, with Colombo fourth, and the Czechoslovakian, Bartos (C.Z.), fifth.

Then after this moment of quietude came the news that Sammy Miller had passed Sandford in the eighth lap and so was leading on the road at all events. It happened below Creg-ny-Baa. David Lay, able commentator at that point, said they had passed the corner “as one man.” Then Miller had gone ahead. Fine strategy this! He had hung on to Sandford’s tail for two-thirds of the race and it looked as though he might get the better of his stable-mate. But no! In the ninth lap Sandford passed the Belfast man – but there was absolutely nothing in it. This was going to be a ding-dong race for the last few miles.

At Creg-ny-Baa, with only a few miles to go, Sandford hung on to his marginal lead; at Hillberry it had been Miller’s turn to lead. People dared scarcely to breathe at the grandstands.

Then came the most dramatic and most cruel luck of all. It happened to Miller.
He came off his Mondial.

At Cronk-y-Garroo he had led the field again – then it had been announced he was “out on his own” – he was still in the lead at Signpost. Then came the dramatic news that he had come off at Governor’s Bridge and was pushing his machine.
So Sandford crossed the line the winner.
Miller came walking down the road from Governor’s Bridge pushing his machine into the pits, to be given fifth place. He was greeted by loud cheers for his very fine but unlucky performance. Second, third and fourth men home were Taveri, Colombo and Bartos.


1Sandford, Cecil1:25:25.4075.8Mondial
2Taveri, Luigi1:27:12.4074.24MV
3Colombo, Roberto1:27:21.8074.1MV
4Bartos, Franta1:29:22.4072.45Jawa
5Miller, Sammy1:30:47.0071.31Mondial
6Chadwick, Dave1:32:28.0070.02MV
7Kostir, Jiri1:33:42.2069.09CZ
8Wheeler, Arthur1:33:57.4068.91Guzzi
9Camathias, Florian1:35:27.0067.83NSU
10O'Rourke, Mike1:35:41.8067.65MV
11Andrews, David1:35:48.0067.58NSU
12Stastny, Franta1:36:02.6067.4Jawa
13Horne, John1:36:55.6066.79NSU
14Baughn, Jim1:37:33.6066.36Guzzi
15Smith, Bill1:37:57.6066.09Velocette
16Clark, John1:38:00.2066.06Norton
17Purslow, Fron1:38:48.2065.53NSU
18Jones, Albert1:41:23.0063.8LMA spl
19Edlin, Dudley1:42:13.0063.34EMC
20Cope, Frank1:42:16.0063.31Norton
21Chapman, Edward1:45:46.6061.31Velocette
RHeath, FrankBenelli
RJames, KenExcelsior
RMaddrick, BillGuzzi
RProvini, TarquinioMondial
RCatlin, GeorgeMV
RTinker, LeonardMV
RUbbiali, CarloMV
RRutherford, TomNSU
RRensen, RalphVelocette
RBrown, BobNSU
RWood, JackNSU


Optional, not displayed

Manx National Heritage (MNH) will always put you in control of the information we send you. Read our privacy policy