Search records

Bob Foster

Record type: Motorsport Biographies

Biography: Mounts: Junior – Velocette
Senior – Guzzi.

Age 39, Bob Foster first came into prominence when he won the 1935 Lightweight T.T. on a New Imperial after “serving his apprenticeship” in the “Manx”. He is also famous as being a winner of the first post-war T.T. to be held – the 1947 Junior – when he averaged 80.31 m.p.h. and came home four minutes ahead of the second man. He had also shown good form in practice with his Senior machine that year, but in the race itself he retired in the first lap.
In 1948, again on a Velocette he finished second in the Junior but retired n the third lap of the Senior. In the Junior race last year he was running sixth at the end of the second lap and retained this position until the end, averaging 82.29 m.p.h. In the Senior race, on a Guzzi, he was fourth on the first lap, but bracketed first with Les Graham and Ted Frend (A.J.S.s) on the second lap. On this circuit he established a post-war lap record of 25 mins. 14 secs. (89.75 m.p.h.) which was the fastest of the day – and year.

In the third lap he had a clear lead of eight seconds which he increased in the fourth lap to 35 seconds, and in the fifth lap to 57 seconds and then, with only a lap and a half to go, he retired with mechanical trouble at Sulby. After the T.T. he went over to the Continent and on his Velocette was second to Fred Frith in both the Dutch and Belgian Grands Prix.

In his last big race of the season – the “Ulster” – back on the Guzzi, he was running second to Les Graham at half-distance, when he ran out of petrol.

This year he won the 350 c.c. race at the Blandford April meeting riding a Velocette.

He is entered for both of this year’s races by Dick Wilkins.
(TT Special, 5 June 1950, p.19.)

Mounts: Junior – Velocette
Senior – Velocette

Trials, grass tracks and the M.G.P. were the preliminaries to Foster’s first T.T. appearance, in 1935. The following year, riding a New Imperial in the Lightweight, he fought a memorable battle with Woods on a D.K.W., their names alternating on the leader board right up to the last lap, when Woods’ retirement gave Bob the victory at the then record average of 76.28 m.p.h.

In 1937 he rode an A.J.S. in the Junior, but did not finish, and this story was repeated in 1938 in both Junior and Senior. He had rather better luck in the 1939 Senior, however, finishing 13th, in first-class replica time.

He is entered in both races by Archers of Aldershot.
(TT Special, 9 June 1947, p.14.)

Competed in

1951 Lightweight TTRVelocette
1951 Junior TT63:04:51.6085.73Velocette
1950 Senior TTRGuzzi
1950 Junior TTRVelocette
1949 Senior TTRGuzzi
1949 Junior TT63:12:35.2082.29Velocette
1948 Senior TTRTriumph
1948 Junior TT23:19:12.6079.55Velocette
1947 Senior TTRVelocette
1947 Junior TT13:17:20.0080.31Velocette
1939 Senior TT133:19:11.0079.57AJS
1939 Junior TTRAJS
1938 Junior TTRAJS
1937 Junior TTRAJS
1936 Lightweight TT13:33:22.0074.28New Imperial
1935 Lightweight TTRNew Imperial
1934 Senior MGP63:07:44.0072.37Sunbeam
1934 Lightweight MGP23:34:32.0063.33New Imperial
1933 Senior MGPRNew Imperial
1933 Junior MGPRNew Imperial


Optional, not displayed

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