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1959 Lightweight TT

Course name: Clypse

Course length: 114 miles (10 laps)

Description: 1959 Lightweight TT
Race report from the IOM Weekly Times 5 June 1959 (p.4), below which is a full list of competitors:

M.V.'s Keep 250 c.c. Trophy

Hailwood Leads But Packs Up



AFTER a race which had spectators in a frenzy of excitement all round the course, Tarquino Provini today won the Lightweight 250 c.c. T.T. for Italy on an M.V. Agusta, and in repeating his win of last year he broke the lap record, which went three times during the race and added nearly one mile per hour to last year's record speed. Mike Hailwood (Mondial), the 19-year-old British rider, who was third to Provini and Ubbiali last year, today managed to separate the two .M.V. aces, then took the lead in a thrilling duel which had everything a race needs. But Mike had to give up with engine trouble, and the two M.V.'s, who finished within half a second of each other, were left without a challenger.

The Start, Wednesday.
White clouds flecked the blue skies as the Lightweight 250 men warmed up their machines on the Glencrutchery Road. Shortly before 10 o'clock the Governor arrived and the warm sunshine streamed down on an animated scene, though the grandstand was noticeably empty of spectators. There were eight non- starters: No. 2, George Catlin (N.S.U.); No. 5. Geoff Duke (N.S.U.), who failed to qualify; No. 8, Venturi (M.V.), non- arrival; No. 24, R. Mclntyre (N.S.U.), who also failed to qualify: No. 29, R. H. Dale (Benelli), whose machine did not arrive; No. 30, S. Grassetti (Benelli), non-arrival; No. 32 Frank Cope (Norton) and No. 33, G. Beer (Adler) injured in prac-tices. There were 27 starters. The met. report stated that there would be sunshine all day, with increasing cloud in the afternoon. The wind was Southwest at 15 knots.

At 10-30 there was an almighty roar as all the machines bar that of D. C. Moore (N.S.U.), sprang into life and screamed on their way to Parkfield, with Ubbiali, Mike Hailwood, Provini, and Fugner in the lead. Moore pushed his machine to the pits to make adjustments and it was noticed that Junior winner, John Surtees was an interested spectator in the pits, chatting to the Italian mechanics.

At Creg-ny-Baa Ubbiali was still in the lead, but close on his heels were Fugner, Dave Chadwick, Taveri and Hailwood. Announcer David Lay, said that at Ballacarron Ubbiali was about 30 yards ahead of Fugner and the leading men were "incredibly fast," with Chadwick coming up very strongly. Moore was reported to have retired at the pits. At the Manx Arms the order was, Ubbiali, Provini, Hailwood, Chadwick, Fugner and King—so the Czechoslovakian M.Z.'s were challenging the Italian machines ridded by the first four men. In a few moments there was an ear- splitting cacophony as the three leading men howled past the pits and a blanket could have covered Ubbiali, Provini and Hailwood.
Some 20 seconds behind were Chadwick, Fugner and King, but as H. Stanford (Mead Norton), pulled in to retire, the leaders had reached the Creg in the same order, but Fugner had taken Chadwick. As the leaders screamed through to start their third lap, Provini and Ubbiali had put some distance between themselves and Hailwood on his Mondial, while the order of the chasing trio remained unchanged. The third lap brought great thrills as Provini shot ahead of his team mate Ubbiali, and Hailwood was breathing down Carlo's neck. Before the leading men got to Ballacoar, young Hailwood had sandwiched himself between the two M.V.'s, and this was the order at the Manx Arms. The grandstand spectators waited tensely as the leading trio were signalled at Signpost, and it was Ubbiali-Provini-Hailwood going through in a tight pack. As the leaders screamed round the Creg on the fourth lap. with Provini in the lead and Ubbiali and Hailwood separated by a wheel's breadth, Tommy Robb, was stopped at Ballacarroon working on his G.M.S., and no sooner had this been announced than the crowds gasped to see Fugner—one of the leading men —come into the pits with a silent engine. He retired. It was Provini . Hailwood, and Ubbiali at the Manx Arms and there was a thrilling moment as Provini howled through chased by Hailwood, and these two had drawn away from Ubbiali, while Degner was in fourth place, while Chadwick and Alastair King had fallen away. Irishman Tommy Robb, must have carried out some speedy adjustments because he took over sixth place on the board, and then to everyone's regret, King pulled into the pits.

The battle royal between the leading men had the crowd agog with tremendous excitement and there were exclamations of delight when it was learned that young Hailwood had slipped into the lead at Hall's Corner. But there were sighs when announcer Bertie Reid added rather ironically, "but Provini is back in the lead at the Manx Arms." The break-neck speed of the faster men wreaked havoc with the slower fry. Amongst the notables who went out of the race was Taveri, who was a fancied man for this event. He pushed in from Governor's Bridge and retired, leaving only Degner to maintain the M.Z. challenge. At Cronk-y-Garroo, Ken James (Excelsior) retired, and news came that Alastair King had packed up at the pits with gearbox trouble, where there were two other retirements — W. M. Grobler (Mondial) and B. Clark (Ducati)—with engine trouble. A. Jones (Adler) was pushing his machine to the Start. This left 11 in the race, as Hailwood was once more in the lead on the back stretch. From the grandstand one could only imagine the exciting battle as the riders swept down the Whitebridge, with Hailwood leading the two Italians. The British boy was riding in immaculate style and through the twisting section to Governor's he picked up more time and screamed through some seconds ahead of the M.V. pair, who did not seem able to challenge the Mondial man—who had drawn further away by the time they had reached Willaston. Hailwood was now 69 yards ahead, and speeds were hotting up.
The leaders had left the rest of the field well behind and on the eighth lap the Italians were going all out to get the Oxford boy.

From the Creg to Ballacoar they closed the gap, when it was announced that on the seventh lap Ubbiali had broken the lap record, completing the circuit in 8 mins 6 secs., a speed of 79.93 m p h — .03 m.p.h. faster than Provini's record of last year. H Scheifel (Adler) and W. J. Maddrick (N.S.U.) both retired at the pits with engine trouble, which left 15 in the race out of an original entry of 36. It was Hailwood first through to the ninth lap, and the Italians neck and neck — 30 yards behind him. A fantastic struggle for supremacy which did not allow for any flagging of interest. To the rear of these three were the German, Degner, who was well ahead of Dave Chadwick, who in turn was some distance ahead of Irishman Tommy Robb on the special Geoff Monty machine. Although Ubbiali had broken the lap record, his team mate. Provini, had been two-fifths of a second outside the record. At the Creg, J. Autengruber (N.S.U.) hit the hedge and came off, but proceeded. Then came two startling an- nouncements. M.V.'s IN FRONT The Italians. Ubbiali and Provini, on thei r M.V.'s, had taken over the lead. But no news had come through of Mike Hailwood and his Mondial, who was some- where between "54" and Hall's Corner—at which point Provini was leading. The second incident was that Degner had gone off the leader board — retired at the pits. So the M.Z. challenge finally petered out.

In the shattering circling of the Clypse Course on their eighth lap. Provini and Ubbiali broke the previous lap record of Ubbiali. Carlo finished the lap in 8 mins. 4.4 secs., a speed of 80.19 m.p.h.. while Provini cracked that by one-fifth of a second, at a speed of 80.22 m.p.h. There was still no news of Hailwood as the Provini-Ubbiali duo screamed their way on to the final circuit. Their riding was something to be remembered for many years to come. Neither would give way, and they continually changed leadership as they swept through to the Manx Arms, where Provini was but three yards ahead of his team mate as they rocketed up the hill on their last leg. The welcome news was received that Hailwood was stopped at Brandish with engine trouble, and the rider was O.K. His father, in the pits, took off his hat and fanned himself with relief. As the sound of the snarling M.V.'s was heard, at Gover-nor's Bridge, everyone was on his feet to watch the final scrap between Provini and Ubbiali, but it was Tarquinio who took the chequered flag just ahead of Carlo. S. Lohmann (Adler), hit a wall at Creg-ny-Baa, but proceeded— rider o.k. There was a tremendous gap between the leaders and Dave Chadwick, who slipped into third place after Degner's retirement. The fourth man was Tommy Robb (G.M.S.) — a British machine, put up a very sound ride.

There were 12 finishers.


1Provini, Tarquinio1:23:15.8077.77MV
2Ubbiali, Carlo1:23:16.2077.76MV
3Chadwick, Dave1:26:52.4074.52MV
4Robb, Tommy1:27:57.0073.6GMS
5Kassner, Horst1:29:43.0072.18NSU
6Thalhammer, Rudi1:29:49.6072.07NSU
7Wheeler, Arthur69.55NSU
8Autengruber, Josef69.33NSU
9Purslow, Fron68.31NSU
10Lohmann, Siegfried67.76Adler
11Orr, Noel63.39NSU
12Andersson, Billy61.53Velocette
RScheifel, HansAdler
RClark, BrianDucati
RJames, KenExcelsior
RGrobler, W.M.Mondial
RDegner, ErnstMZ
RFugner, HorstMZ
RTaveri, LuigiMZ
RAndrews, DavidNSU
RMaddrick, BillNSU
RMoore, DaveNSU
RStanford, HarryVelocette
RJones, A.Adler
RMinter, DerekREG
RKing, AlastairNSU
RHailwood, MikeMondial


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