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Cyril Smith

Record type: Motorsport Biographies

Biography: Age 39, Birmingham born Cyril Smith is one of the little band of Midland sidecar drivers who received their early training on the grass-tracks of Astwood Bank and Rushmere; others of the 'gang' were Pip Harris and Bill Boddice and a programme which included these stalwarts of the game was sure to give the crowd their quota of thrills. An ex-Sgt Major with the 23rd Armoured Division, Cyril's first essay into road racing took place at Cadwell towards the end of 1949, and by the following season he had learnt enough of the road racing business to drive off with the Cadwell sidecar cup, repeating the performance in 1951 and 1952. He began to ride in Continental events in the Spring of 1952, riding his home-tuned Manx Norton outfit, but he suffered an early set back, crashing heavily during practice for Mettet and suffering a fractured skull and a broken collar bone. Recovering rapidly from these injuries, he was riding again three weeks later in the Swiss Grand Prix - and was second at 78.92 mph.

The record of that 1952 season read as follows: 3rd in Belgian, 1st in German Grand Prix, 2nd in Grand Prix des Nations and 3rd - despite a broken frame - in the Spanish Grand Prix. The points he collected from these various meetings were sufficient to gain him the World Champion Sidecar Driver title.

In the 1953 Championship events, he was second to Eric Oliver in the Belgian, French, Swiss and Italian Grands Prix and winner of the Ulster, finishing the season as runner up to Oliver in the World Championship table. In 1954 Cyril dropped out of the Sidecar TT whilst well-placed, but he was second in the Ulster, Swiss and Italian Grands Prix and third in the Belgian and German races.

Cyril crashed on the first lap of the 1955 Sidecar TT but later in the season he had wins at Brand's Hatch, Silverstone, Thruxton and Aintree. In 1956 he retired at the beginning of the third lap of the Sidecar race with a misfiring engine and last year he retired on the last lap of the same event whilst running third. In the last of the 1957 Championship races - the 'Italian' - Cyril was second in the Sidecar race, and since then he has been first or second at several short circuit meetings - Kirkby Mallory, Cadwell, Silverstone, Snetterton, Oulton Park etc.

(TT Special, Friday, June 06, 1958 p24)

Competed in

1959 Sidecar TTRNorton
1958 Sidecar TTRNorton
1957 Sidecar TTRNorton
1956 Sidecar TTRNorton
1955 Sidecar TTRNorton
1954 Sidecar TTRNorton


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