WEST GERMAN GRAND PRIX
THERE WERE TWO "Grosser Preis von Deutschland" this summer, separated by a week, and a wall. First race was in Stuttgart, at Solitude Ring — and no East German competition. The other one, at Sachsenring, East Germany, had no West German entries.
More boys from the States turned up in GP racing. One is Tony Woodman, known for his Parilla successes. He has had considerable success, too, on the continent so far: A first in Mont Ventoux Hill Climb, fourth (and first private entry) in Opatija, Yugoslavia, and second and first private placings in two Czechoslovakian races. He rides a two-year-old AJS, which at last is competitive machinery in American hands.
In Gerald MacDonald, Tony has found a sponsor who himself rides a 125 Bultaco. Beautiful bikes as the Bultacos are, Honda production racers' superiority renders them almost to third class material, apart from the factory racers. A pity for Gerry, and a pity for Bill Sharp. Both Americans were robbed of their starts mostly by their non-competitive bikes.
Newcomer to Stuttgart was an extensively modified Kreidler. Redesigned frame and 18-inch wheels give better road holding. Deeper finning, and a new air duct in the improved fairing raise thermal efficiency.
At Sachsenring the Russians absolutely shocked Western opponents with a 350 four, and with far better riding. The new "Vostok" engine is housed in last year's CKB frame, all other components also are circa 1963. But the 49 by 46 short stroke engine is only four races old. At 12,500 it develops 56 bhp, which goes through a six-speed gearbox. Coil ignition, small size dry battery, car-type distributor are used. Small diameter of carburetors and exhaust pipes suggests a wide spread range of power. In the race the Russian bikes dropped out with piston trouble, but if progress goes as fast as it did last winter, Honda will have to look out.
West German racing started with the 250 on Saturday in burning sun. Morinis have come back to Grand Prix, and Giacomo Agostini is the new star to shine on the old single. He was first to enter the 75 mph lefthander of Glemseck, just after the start. Behind him Ginger Molloy, Bruce Beale and Phil Read made the most of their good starts. Redman, Read and Agostini led out of lap one, well clear of dicing Mike Duff and Provini. Later the twovalve Morini dropped back, the young rider now and then making a mess of his line. Mike Duff on the Yamaha then beat him. But, in spite of getting really furious, Tarquinio Provini could not come near to his last year's mount.
Phil Read used a new-to-him technique at Solitude. He let Redman lead, but tucked away in his slipstream,to learn the line. In the last of the 7.1-mile laps he used the superior power of his Yamaha to pull ahead and win by three seconds. Jess Thomas of Texas brought his sick works Bultaco home next to last.
The three-fifty race followed with no competition for Jim Redman. After Jim had skinned Mike Hailwood in Holland, Count Agusta is not likely to let his small MV go out against the Honda again. Blanchis had gone home after practice. So Redman opened a racing school, with Bruce Beale as the only pupil. For two laps he let him lead, then went ahead to teach him a better line. After this he examined Bruce for two more laps and then went off, gaining fifteen seconds a lap.
Paddy Driver and Gustav Havel, later joined by Mike Duff, were after third place, till the Jawa rider retired, Paddy slowed down and Canadian Mike won the four points. Vernon Cottle, German Karl Hoppe and Tony Woodman led a packed field of seventeen. After five laps the American retired with the big end completely worn (so far, that the piston touched the cylinder head!). Jack Ahearn started on a borrowed AJS; his newly reconditioned Norton had been pinched from the paddock and never again turned up. From the back of the field Gilberto Milani crept up, his Aermacchi pushrod works bike carrying him to fourth place ahead of Paddy Driver/South Africa and Vernon Cottle/England, both on AJS.
READ LEADS 125s
Sunday morning, and in beginning rain, Phil Read's Yamaha led the 125cc opposition from the start, with Redman, Taveri and Anderson astern. Redman came out of lap one first. Read, Taveri, Anderson and Schneider in pursuit. Wet road conditions caused Hugh and Phil to fall off. All two-strokes except an air-cooled private MZ of Denmark's Vagn Stevenhoved, and Schneider's Suzuki were put out by the wet air, so Walter Scheimann, the only German rider of this generation who deserves a works ride on bigger machinery, took his private Honda to third behind the two works bikes. Dick Wyler, TV actor in U.S.A. and motorcycle dealer in England, finished seventh on a Honda, lapped by the leaders.
The Honda twin under Ralph Bryans again crushed its 50cc opponents with a third win in three meetings. Wet air, which affected the two-strokes, did not harm either engine or rim brakes.
Clouds were gone, and sun shone again when Mike Hailwood sailed circles round his single-cylinder opposition. There was no Gilera, no Bianchi; Jawa was represented only by Havel after Franta Stastny fractured his still ailing leg again in a practice crash. So the privates had their go for the places. Jack Ahearn, Paddy Driver and Phil Read contested second place. When Paddy lost his exhaust pipe, Phil settled down in Jack's slip stream, and everybody expected him to repeat his Saturday show. But Jack has seen many tricks in his lifetime. Somehow he lost young Phil during the next to last lap. With no tow, Read just couldn't keep up with the Australian's speed and was beaten by a second.
Having pushed all through the field, Guyla Marsovszki finished fourth, beating good riders such as Morrie Low and Fred Stevens. Walter Scheimann, in his third race of the day, and Karl Recktenwald had a duel for seventh place as well as for German Championship points. Two laps from the end Karl touched Scheimann's Norton and fell off, receiving fatal injuries.
Jack Ahearn's private "win" is a thing to be remembered. This season AMC machinery — AJS and Matchless — is superior to the traditional private's bike, the Manx, which in fact is also AMC-built. Canadian Ken King, racing "apprentice" in his first season, came in eleventh.
Fritz Scheidegger, that king of retirements for years, had not only worked out a chance to become champion after all if he won and Deubel finished worse than second, he also had cut a very fast engine out of compatriot Camathias' ribs. (Little Flori owns nine of them, and you can't buy them for gold.)
Champion Max must have been annoyed to see the red outfit fly away through the bends, but second place was enough for him to win the title. Camathias and Seeley dropped out; they also had been supposed to beat Max, or chase him til the engine went. (Camathias incidentally rode his FCS and gave an older model to Seeley. The Gilera project however, is not abandoned.) German rising star Georg Auerbacher, associated with Fritz, was not fast enough to join the battle. Neither was Deubel's support, Otto Kolle, who had to retire. Chris Vincent's engine, without overhaul for two seasons now, is worn out so much that it hardly lasted the push-start. With no works spares pumped into the game, reliability drops. So it happened that two simple, hotted-up pushrod BMWs finished sixth and seventh, one of them even in a plunge-suspension frame.
The spacious garages of the agricultural machinery pool at Sachsenring were crammed full of private racing ware. Organizers had taken care to show a good entry, so the biggest fields of this continental season were seen on the 5.43-mile road circuit. Alan Shepherd had come off in practice and could not start. Yamahas have flown home, leaving two 250 bikes for Phil Read. As a semi-private entry the young Englishman maintains his title claims. After some disappointingly slow laps in practice Provini's Benelli equipe had left, with the bikes said to be broken. Otherwise, top entries were much like the weekend before. Omitting sidecars and fifties made it a classic open for classic classes.
REDMAN LEADS THE REDS
Three-fifties raced on Saturday and Jim Redman pulled away for an afternoon tour. One more win, and he will have collected maximum points for the title. Gustav Havel (Jawa) led Russians Kiisa and Sevostianov on their new fours. Paddy Driver appeared once, then the control cable to the AJS rear brake parted. After a bad start Bruce Beale pushed through to fifth, third and even second. Then for eight laps he fought his gearbox; the clutch had begun to slip, and Bruce had to change manually. When he finally slowed down, Havel and Mike Duff, on the Arter AJS, went past him during the last four laps. Vernon Cottle, consistent performer at the end of this season, snatched fifth when Gilberto Milani on his very quick 350 works Aermacchi retired in the ultimate tour. So Fred Stevens also came into the money. Tony Woodman had not found a new big end for his AJS; Ken King, Canada, retired with faulty magneto on his Norton.
The 250s opened Sunday's events, and Hugh Anderson at last had his Suzuki running fast as well as reliably. He stormed ahead. Taveri and Redman used the superior power of the Honda fours to stay in front of three MZs ridden by East Germans. The fastest of them, Klaus Enderlein, finally retired. So Bruce Beale earned a point, coming in sixth. Ralph Bryans could not repeat his 50cc successes on a bigger bike. He landed eighth, behind another East German private.
Gerry MacDonald's Bultaco was the only one to finish. After a race-long duel he was narrowly beaten to 21st place by Richard Morley on a Parilla.
HAILWOOD CINCHES THE CHAMPIONSHIP
There was no opposition for MV and Mike Hailwood, who made sure of the title with maximum points. Russian and Czech works riders Havel and Sevostianov on Jawa and Jawa-type CKB had to fight with Jack Ahearn, slowed by a split fuel tank, and England's Derek Woodman. Between this group and the champion, Phil Read and Paddy Driver tried to snatch second from Mike Duff on the concurrent Arter Matchless. (The Porcupine is still in England having a new frame tailored.)
Bill Sharp still has not sorted out his BSA. For no apparent reason the engine won't go at high revs. Ken King's brake drum disagreed with the linings, so he overshot a curve and then carried on slowly to take 14th in a field of 35 starters. After Read's retirement, Mike Duff beat Paddy to third. Russian Sevostianov made a surprising fourth, after a clever race which showed improved tactics. Derek Woodman (Matchless) and Jack Ahearn followed, then the sick Jawa of Havel clocked in.
Once in a year Mike Hailwood has to try really hard. That is on Sachsenring, with the MZ 250. This year he did not look forward to the start, exhausted from the MV ride in burning sun, and lightweight racing being harder than any time before.
Read shot past him after Mike had made best start. But soon the young Yamaha rider repeated his Stuttgart tactics and let Mike lead again. Just entering the third lap of 18, Hailwood fell off, which is no everyday happening, and was slightly injured. So Read led again, only to let Jim Redman take over and give him a line. The rest of the field was well behind, led by Bertie Schneider, whose only Suzuki in the race soon retired with too-rich carb settings. Two MZ twins also retired. That let Beale and Milani, lapped once, take third and second. Lapped twice, Pagani, on the Paton twin, was fifth, ahead of an East German private, W. Gast, with a souped-up production MZ single, converted to rotary valve inlet.
Three laps from the end Phil started the attack on the leader, but Jim did not let him go that easy. Halfway through the last tour he led again. Then, on the faster part of the circuit, Phil pulled out all the Yamaha had and flew past to win by a second.