CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL GRAND PRIX
THE British Empire Motor Club’s International F. I. M. races drew the strongest U.S.A. challenge yet, and an excellent day’s racing was seen. The programme included heat races and then finals, and a short sidecar race pleased the crowds. The lightweight heat went to Jess Thomas of Boston on a Motobi, followed by Tony Woodman of Far Hills, N.J., also on a Motobi, and Toronto rider, Hans van den Hurk was third on a Honda.
The 500cc heat was a Canadian win as Ivor Lloyd (Norton Manx), Dave Wildman (G50 Matchless) and Fred Gailey (G50 Matchless) were the first three home. Lloyd and Gailey are Toronto riders and Wildman is from Vancouver, B.C. The Unlimited class heat was a Philadelphia runaway as George Rockett (BSA), Barry Page (H-D) and Ed La Belle (Triton Spl.) filled the first-three spots. The sidecar race featured a thrilling spill, although nobody was hurt, and the B.M.W. outfit of Lou Herrman and Klaus Zans headed off another B.M.W. also from Hamilton, Henry Wolter driving and Albert Rolph being the passenger.
The lightweight 250cc International race was run over 20 laps of the 2.4 mile course, and was a lead all the way for Jess Thomas after Tony Woodman’s Motobi droped all its oil. The main competition was in the place riders as Ron Dahler from Rochester and Kurt Liebmann from Bergenfield, N.J., both on Ducatis, swapped around with Hans van den Hurk (Honda) and Jerry Jerinkitsch, back after quite a lay off, riding a Puch. These riders, in close formation all round the course, kept everyone watching to see who would get to the line first. On the twelfth lap Ron Dahler set a new lap record for the 250cc class at 1 min. 57 secs., an average of 75.66 m.p.h., and so settled the second place. Liebmann, van den Hurk and Jerinkitsch fought out the other places to finish in that order.
The 500cc International race was for 50 laps and Fred Gailey (G50) was first off the line and leading for almost a lap before Ivor Lloyd (Manx) overtook him on the corner before the pit straight. Dave Wildman (G50) was off to a very bad start and came round in ninetenth place. Jess Thomas (G50) was lying in seventh and Ed La Belle (Manx) was in fourth, close behind Ken King (Manx) from Hamilton. It was obviously going to be a fast race as Lloyd and Gailey lowered the lap record on the second lap and Lloyd continued to take almost a second a lap from the record till he set a new low of 1 min. 46.4 secs., on the sixth lap. Meanwhile Wildman was pouring it on through the field and by lap ten was in fifth place, behind Jess Thomas. Ken King had retired with a fractured muffler.
Wildman passed Thomas on the next lap, and set out for Roger Beaumont (Manx) from Montreal, who was now running in third. Wildman really showed the experience he had gained while racing overseas in Europe, as he passed the less experienced Beaumont. Thomas also passed Beaumont and on the fourteenth lap it was Lloyd, Gailey, Wildman, Thomas and Beaumont. Wildman was pulling up on Gailey, and suddenly he was seen to stop at the end of the long back straight uphill section and we heard that he had retired with a broken crankpin. The race was still running very fast with the times just two seconds below last year’s record, which had been set by Bob Burnett (G50) at 1 min. 50.1 secs. Down the field a very lively scrap among Lance Weil (Manx), George Rockett (BSA), John Nelson (Manx) and Tom Faulds (Manx) saw these riders changing around on every lap. Yet another race was going on among AÍ Johnson, Lou Holas and Kurt Liebmann, all on B.M.W.’s tuned by Oscar Liebmann.
At the half way mark the leaders were still Lloyd, Gailey, Thomas and Beaumont, although Beaumont started to drop back a bit as his machine seemed to lose some of its handling. La Belle (Manx) and John Fox (G50) were at very close quarters, and the whole race was never lacking in suspense and action.
As the race approached the end, Lloyd pulled away a little from Gailey, La Belle passed Fox, who took a short trip into the weeds, and Weil and Holas topped their little races. Ivor Lloyd received the checkered flag first, followed by Gailey; both are among Canada’s most popular and exciting riders. The Canadian Grand Prix and the Kaye Don Trophy went to Ivor Lloyd after his pace-setting ride.
The Unlimited class race over 20 laps, which concluded the day’s racing was lead by George Rockett (BSA), closely hounded by Barry Page (H-D). The contrast in their styles is most marked, Rockett riding feet up and European style while Page sits up and foots the corners. Rockett set a new unlimited class record at 1 min. 49 seconds but Page got by and Rockett’s machinery failed, leaving Page in sole charge. La Belle (Triton) and Buddy Koehler (BSA) filled the second and third spots respectively.
RESULTS FROM B.E.M.C.