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1959 Senior TT

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 264.25 miles (7 laps)

Description: 1959 Senior TT

Race report from the TT Special 8 June 1959 (pp. 1, 16), below which is a full list of competitors:

Saturday's Soaking Senior

Surtees (M.V.) Does the Double Again and Breaks Lap Record from Standing Start.


Heavy Rain Slows Speeds After First Lap.


OWING to heavy mist on the Mountain, Friday's Senior Race was postponed until the following day. Weather conditions were reasonable on the first lap, and from a standing start John Surtees broke the 1957 Lap record, raising it to 101.18 m.p.h.
Then it started to rain - light at first, but soon becoming lashing - pelting. Speeds dropped quickly, and, in spite of his first lap at 101.18, winner John Surtees averaged only 87.94 m.p.h.
Of the 58 starters only 23 finished the race and only 15 received Silver or Bronze replicas—as against 43 last year.
Due to the weather, it was the "slowest Senior" since 1949; and almost immediately the race was over the sun came out, and at 3 p.m. there was not a cloud in the sky!

The Start. Saturday, a.m.
10 a.m. So here we are again!
The warm-up period has started; there is obviously a certain amount of mist on the Mountain, but it is clearing and conditions are not too bad. The race is on.
10.15—the "warm-up '' is over —silence at the pits. Weather report: "Visibility good all round the course; the strong wind is expected to last."
10.25 a.m.—the maroon. Five minutes to go—two minutes— one minute—No. 1, Bob McIntyre is off. The Senior race has started to time.
Bob McIntyre is shown first at Ballacraine, but John Hartle is there only two or three seconds after him, and then comes No. 4, John Surtees. It looks as if John S. had picked up seven or eight seconds on Bob Mac.
All get away easily until No. 38, Harry Plews, whose machine is a little slow in taking the throttle.
McIntyre and Hartle (Nos. 1 and 2) are clocked at Kirk Michael almost simultaneously, and Surtees (No. 4) is shown there 12 seconds later.
10.41 a.m.—now they're all away, and the early numbers are approaching Ramsey.
Surtees (No. 4) is leading on the roads at Ramsey, followed by Hartle (No.2), McIntyre (No. 1) and Brown (No. 3).
Two early retirements —Jimmy Buchan near Crosby and L. B. Ranson at Quarter Bridge; both riders O.K.
The postponement of the race does not seem to have reduced the crowds in the Grandstand and at various vantage points round the course, which are all packed to capacity.
Now Surtees is shown as Signpost—and here he is screaming past to complete his first lap. Hartle is next along, but he pulls into his pit, just as Bob McIntyre comes past. Hartle changes his goggles and is soon away again.
The order on the roads of the first dozen is as follows: Nos. 4, 2, 1, 3, 5, 8, 6, 9, 11, 12, 16 and 14. Arthur Wheeler has retired at Ballaugh rider O.K. The troubles is announced as broken magneto fixing. Bad luck, Arthur.
Now some big news—John Surtees has broken the lap record, and from a standing start!
His time was 22 mins. 22.4 secs. —speed 101.18 m.p.h. The previous record, established by Bob McIntyre in 1957, was at 101.12.
11.2 a.m. — News from Sulby Bridge—it’s raining there!

Surtees is at Ramsey as the last number in the race - J. Bullock is signalled at Signpost. Barry Cortvriend (Matchless) draws in to his pit and retires, and T. C. Hesketh (Norton) has retired at Ramsey - both riders O.K.
11.10 a.m. — Now it's raining at the Start, and the outline of the Mountain is shrouded in mist. Conditions are deteriorating.
H. Kassner retires at the pits and S. R. Cameron at Hillberry —both riders O.K.
11.15 a.m. approx.— Surtees screams past at the end of his second lap, 1 min. 15 secs, ahead of John Hartle on the roads. Bob McIntyre is next along, but he draws in to his pit and stays there for several minutes.
Eric Hinton coasts in with a dead engine and retires. Dickie Dale and Mike Hailwood have come off at Glentrammon and have retired — both O.K.—whilst B. J. Daniels has packed in with engine trouble at Ballig.
11.27 a.m. — McIntyre gets off at last, but he has been at his pit for nearly ten minutes, so is obviously well off the leader board now.
And it's just lashing with rain.
First hand news of conditions from Barry Cortvriend (in the refreshment tent!). Barry, who retired at the end of the first lap, tells us that the weather all round the course was just foul—heavy rain and a very strong wind, but visibility O.K. “I just can't imagine how Surtees does it," he says.
What's happened to John Hartle? Surtees (No. 4) and Bob Brown (No. 3) are both shown at the Mountain, and Bob McIntyre (No. 1), after his long pit stop, is at Kirk Michael; but Hartle has not yet reached Ballacraine.
11.43 a.m.—Surtees draws in at the end of his third lap and is away again in about 35 seconds. Alastair King (No. 8) is the next to be shown at Signpost, and then No. 3, Bob Brown. King goes straight through, but Brown pulls in to re-fill. Alastair is obviously running second now, and Bob Brown third.

More retirements — W. Roberton (Norton) at the pits with clutch trouble. Local lad Syd Mizen has received medical attention at Kirk Michael – cuts on the face, but otherwise OK. He has of course, retired. Joe Glazebrook has retired at the pits.
News of Hartle at last. He came off at Glen Vine and has retired – but the customary “rider OK” is omitted.
Derek Minter (Norton) has retired at the pits, and Harry Plews (A.J.S.) at Ginger Hall, both O.K.
12 noon — Surtees is recorded at Ramsey, with Alastair King following soon after — and it is announced that Alastair has picked up 43 seconds on Surtees in the lap; this news comes from somewhere round the course.
Stop watches on them at the Mountain — Surtees is there, but it is over three minutes before Alastair arrives; it looks as if he has dropped back quite a bit since the end of the third lap.
More news of Hartle — "concussion" He will shortly be en route to Noble’s for a check-up.
The clocks must have been a bit slow in recording Alastair at the Mountain, for he draws into his pit to re-fuel less than 21 minutes after Surtees, as against the three minutes difference shown at the Mountain.
Albert Moule has retired at the pits, as has Bob Anderson.
Now Bob Brown, running third, stops at his pit for a few seconds only. D. Jarman (Norton) and O. Greenwood (Triumph) have retired at the pits.
J. A. Redman and T. Phillis also come into the pits to retire; the field is thinning out.
12.38 p.m. (approx.)—Surtees completes his fifth lap, but it is 4½ minutes before Alastair King comes along. He is still second, it seems, but has dropped back.

A correction is announced - T Phillis has not retired—he has proceeded. Ewan Haldane came in to retire, but on being told that the Scottish ACU team (of which he is a member) is now the only club team left in the race, changed his mind and went off again.
Bruce Daniels has come off at the Bungalow, and has retired – O.K.

12.50 p.m. – it is still lashing with rain, but the clouds are lifting and it is getting much brighter.
Still the same order, except that Roy Ingram has dropped back. Paddy Driver has moved up one and Alan Shepherd has come on to the Leader Board.
Now news of Roy Ingram—his engine stops at Governor's; he tries to re-start, but fails to do so, and some minutes later pushes into his pit. After a short stop he gets away again,
1 p.m.—It has stopped raining here, and the clouds are lifting.
1.5 p.m. — Surtees comes past to start his last lap, but it is over minutes before the second man, Alastair King, comes along; so Surtees now has a lead of well over four minutes.
Local lad "Sparrow" Costain retires at the pit, whilst L. P. Young packs up at Stonebreaker's; Roy Ingram has retired at Union Mills—all riders O.K.
1.15 p.m.—Surtees is at Kirk Michael, but Alastair has not yet reached Ballacraine.
Louis Carr has come off at Kerrowmoar, is O.K. except for a few abrasions, but has retired.
So Bob McIntyre, after his ten minute pit delay, is now running fifth - good work Bob. If it hadn't been for that pit stop he would probably be running second.
1.12 p.m.—Surtees is at Ramsey - only 14 miles to go for another "double " - and his eighth successive double in Championship events in the last twelve months.
Alastair is at Ramsey, 5 mins.28 secs after John, so on "corrected time" is 4 mins. 48 secs. behind him.

1.31 p.m. Surtees has done it again - and with a very comfortable lead. He has made record lap - and has won the slowest Senior T.T. since 1949 at 87.94 m.p.h.

1.38 p.m.—Alastair King is in now, obviously second, but Bob Brown has not as yet reached Signpost. Yes, there he is at last —and now he's past the pits.
Bob Brown comes in third five minutes odd behind Alastair, and Derek Powell is fourth, less than 18 seconds behind Bob.
And now the sun is shining, and the roads are beginning to dry off! Several riders still have a lap to do—and they should be having quite nice conditions for it!

Item of interest—G. A. Northwood has hit a seagull—Northwood O.K., seagull not.

2.1—Ewen Haldane finishes the race, so the Scottish A.C.U. has won the Team prize.
Last minute news of John Hartle—he is suffering from concussion and Injuries to his right wrist but is “comfortable”.


1Surtees, John3:00:13.4087.94MV
2King, Alastair3:05:21.0085.5Norton
3Brown, Bob3:10:56.4083Norton
4Powell, Derek3:11:14.2082.87Matchless
5McIntyre, Bob3:12:27.8082.34Norton
6Driver, Paddy3:14:55.4081.3Norton
7Shepherd, Alan3:16:27.4080.67Matchless
8Catlin, George3:17:33.6080.22Matchless
9Rensen, Ralph3:18:08.2079.99Norton
10Pawson, Peter3:18:21.4079.9Norton
11Setchell, Brian3:20:15.4079.14Norton
12Miles, Ron3:24:32.2077.48Norton
13Smith, Bill3:26:13.0076.85Matchless
14Haldane, Ewen3:28:13.0076.11Norton
15Rowbottom, Bob3:28:18.4076.08Norton
16Phillis, Tom3:36:44.0073.12Norton
17Wright, Joe3:39:00.6072.36Norton
18Grant, Harry3:42:28.6071.24Norton
19Stevens, Fred3:42:44.4071.15AJS
20La Belle, Ed4:43:31.8070.9BMW
21Northwood, George3:48:45.4069.28Norton
22Cottle, Vernon3:48:55.2069.23Norton
RFox, RalphAJS
RPlews, HarryAJS
RWheeler, ArthurAJS
RDale, DickieBMW
RCameron, StanMatchless
RCortvriend, BarryMatchless
RHartle, JohnMV
RAnderson, BobNorton
RBullock, JackNorton
RCarr, LouisNorton
RChapman, DonNorton
RCheers, EricNorton
RDaniels, BruceNorton
RFay, RayNorton
RFindlay, JackNorton
RGlazebrook, JoeNorton
RGraham, R.Norton
RHesketh, TomNorton
RHinton, EricNorton
RIngram, RoyNorton
RJarman, DenNorton
RKassner, HorstNorton
RMizen, SydNorton
RRanson, LlewellynNorton
RRoberton, BillNorton
RShepherd, TerryNorton
RTrow, AlanNorton
RYoung, LewisNorton
RGreenwood, OwenTriumph
RRedman, JimNorton
RMartin, AngusNorton
RMinter, DerekNorton
RMoule, Albert E.Norton
RBuchan, JimmyNorton
RHailwood, MikeNorton
RCostain, GeorgeNorton


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