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1953 Lightweight TT

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 150.92 miles (4 laps)

Description: Race report from the Ramsey Courier 12 Jun 1953 (p. 3) below which is a full list of competitors:

Italy v. Germany Duel in Lightweight T.T.

Fergus Anderson Repeats 1952 Win

Runner-Ups Fine Performance

Feature of the lightweight International T.T. on Wednesday was the four lap duel between the Italian and German machines which held the leading places right from the commencement of the spectacular massed start. The winner was 44 years’ old Fergus Anderson, who repeated his 1952 victory at a slightly faster speed than last year. Anderson, who now lives in Italy, is a famous Continental rider.
The runner-up, W. Haas, riding a German N.S.U. Renn-Max, was only 17 seconds later in finishing and this was a particularly fine performance having regard to the fact that this was his first appearance in T.T. Races.
A German D.K.W. machine was third, a Motor Guzzi fourth and the Australian rider, Willis, finished fifth on a Velocette.

Weather conditions today are in sharp contrast to Monday. There are dull skies, the roads are greasy after morning showers and though the sun is trying to shine through the outlook is not too promising. There seems to be a pall of mist overhanging the Mountain section and an announcement that there is a meeting of the stewards and jury is obviously one to consider the weather conditions and prospects.
The Lieut-Governor and Lady Dundas arrive 35 minutes before the start and take their places in the stand. Music for "The Queen” is played by the Ferodo Works band and this is a welcome change from the canned music which is usually given us over the loud speakers. T.T. veterans tell us that this is the first time a Brass Band has dispensed music at the Start.
Seventeen years have elapsed since a British bike won the Lightweight class, the last success being that of Bob Foster on a New Imperial in 1936 and though one looks hopefully to the British representatives it is obvious from practice performances that a foreign win is a pretty safe bet. Most of the entrants are on German and Italian machines.

The stewards’ meeting was the first pointer to a delayed start on account of the weather and a second indication is forthcoming when we notice that the machines are not warming up quarter of an hour before the scheduled time for starting. And so crowds and officials are kept on tenterhooks awaiting an announcement.
Then at 9.35 comes the news that the start has been postponed for one hour and it is stated that the weather reports and reports of course observers are being carefully studied and a further postponement might be advisable.
There are seven non-starters in today's event and this reduces the number of contestants to thirty one. T. Wood, 1951 winner takes over the Guzzi which was to have been ridden by Ruffo, the Italian champion, who was injured in practicing.
Clearing skies herald the announcement that the lightweight Race will definitely start at 10.45.

The Lightweights have to complete four laps of the course and there is a spectacular scene as the thirty competitors line up on the grid. The fastest men in practice have the privilege of occupying the first row in the starting lines.
Again the grandstand is packed with spectators and they get a great thrill as the "babies" set out on their 150 miles chase manoeuvring like jockeys for position as they glide past.
Haas, riding a German N.S.U. Renn-Max, led the procession away from the Start followed by another German, S.Wunsche, on a D.K.W., and A. Wheeler on an Italian Guzzi. Last man away was W.M.Webster on a Velocette. Quarter Bridge reported that J.G.Horne, Horne-Rudge and A.A. Fenn, Ridge, had stopped on their first lap. Later Fenn left the course and had the distinction of being the first retirement of the day.

First lap reports about the progress of the leaders showed that the only two German entrants- Haas and Wunsche - were in the lead up to Michael. There was a change at Ballaugh, however, and here Fergus Anderson's Guzzi was second, having overhauled Wunsche somewhere.
Ramsey reported that Anderson had taken over the lead and there was a seven seconds margin between the Guzzi and the German N.S.U.
Third man at Parliament Square was Lorenzetti followed by his team-mate from the Guzzi stable, Maurice Cann. Judging from the commentary at Ramsey the riders had been well separated on the run from the start. At the Guthrie Memorial the order was unchanged.
One of the two Nortons entered today only got as far as Crosby and the rider, Eric Houseley, retired on account of ignition trouble.
Fergus Anderson's Guzzi was stated to be ticking over beautifully at the Creg and much faster than the runner -up, Haas.
There was a change in positions at the end of the lap, the fourth man, Maurice Cann, having toured in from Creg-ny-Baa.

Fergus Anderson’s time for the first lap, from standing start, was 26 mins., 44 secs, (84.71 m.p.h.), only two seconds outside the lap record.
C.M. Luck didn’t seem to be having much good luck for a message from Windy Corner informed us that he was "cruising" along to finish his first lap on his C.L.S. Another tourer was J. McCredie (Excelsior) while Chris Tattersall (C.T.S.) added to the first lap list of competitors in difficulty on the Mountain, and he gave up at the Creg.

Anderson built up a lead of 16 seconds over his German rival Haas, and the position as the riders hurled round on the second lap was that the Guzzis occupied 1st, 3rd, 5th and 6th places with the German N.S.U. second and his compatriot on D.K.W. 4th.
One of the British riders, L. Turner (Excelsior) skidded at Quarter Bridge and came off and this caused his retirement though he escaped injury. His was the fifth retirement to date.
It is rather fascinating from a position just above the press stand to watch Graham Walker putting over his broadcast for the B.B.C. and at the same time to hear the result on a radio which a grandstand spectator has bought along. Simultaneously there are the up-to-date minute announcements made by the Grandstand commentator so that those in this section of the stand are certainly well informed!

It was expected that Fergus Anderson would put a hole in the existing lap record this time and at the end of the second lap expectations were fulfilled and the Guzzi had motored round in 26 mins. 29 secs., an average of 85.52 m.p.h. compared with Ruffo's speed of 84.82 m.p.h. last year.

Anderson now had a half minute lead over Haas. The German, sandwiched between a couple of Italian Guzzis, was giving his machine "the works" but half a minute is a lot of ground to make up in T.T. speeds. He only had a margin of 17 seconds in hand in respect of Lorenzetti and the German camp followed his scoreboard clock very anxiously. There was no change in the leaders on the first two laps and we waited to see what the third lap fortunes would be. Visibility at Creg Willy's Hill was reported to be down to 100 yards at this stage of the race. Sixth retirement was that of F. Purslow, Velocette, with ignition trouble.
At Governor's Bridge on his third lap, Lorenzetti, who was lying third had a spill and retired and this gave a change in the leader board and put Wunsche's D.K.W. into third place.

The retirement of Lorenzetti meant that three different makes of machine held the first three places. Anderson's Guzzi hummed over beautifully with a 26 seconds lead over Haas's N.S.U. and Wunsche's D.K.W was over two minutes in arrears following Haas.
J.J.I. Sparrow (14) Excelsior, came off at Parliament Square and after receiving first aid returned to Douglas by the coast road.
The fact that all the riders started together made timekeeping along the course an easier job and Sulby told us that only 18 seconds separated Anderson and Haas on the last circuit. Ramsey's estimate of the margin was 19 seconds, the Guthrie Memorial scouts said the gap was only 14 seconds, Mountain Box 14 seconds, Bungalow 14 seconds, Creg 16 seconds.
Anderson is first to be flagged over the finishing line and is the winner, followed not many seconds later by Haas.


1Anderson, Fergus1:46:53.0084.73Guzzi
2Haas, Werner1:47:10.0084.52NSU
3Wunsche, Siegfried1:51:20.0081.34DKW
4Wheeler, Arthur1:52:40.0080.38Guzzi
5Willis, Syd2:00:08.0075.38Velocette
6Wood, Tommy2:01:02.0074.82Guzzi
7Petty, Ray2:01:17.0074.67Norton
8Jones, Albert2:05:20.0072.26Excelsior
9Webster, Bill2:05:51.0071.96Velocette
10Geeson, Bob2:06:14.0071.74REG
11Maddrick, Bill2:07:00.0071.31Guzzi
12Barrett, Ernie2:07:23.0071.09JAP
13Cope, Frank2:08:57.0070.23AJS
14Hardy, Eric2:10:19.0069.49Rudge
15Horne, John2:12:57.0068.12Rudge
16Sorensen, Sven2:14:29.0067.34Excelsior
17Weston, Rob2:15:49.0066.68Rudge
18McCutcheon, Ronnie2:18:08.0065.56Excelsior
RLuck, CharlieCLS
RTattersall, ChrisCTS
RMcCredie, JockExcelsior
RSparrow, JackExcelsior
RTurner, LenExcelsior
RLorenzetti, EnricoGuzzi
RHouseley, EricNorton
RBruce, CharlieVelocette
RPurslow, FronVelocette
RRood, BennyVelocette
RCann, MauriceGuzzi
RFenn, ArchieRudge


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