Meetings 1971 - 1990

TT 1973

So, could the TT Survive without the World Championship stars?

Certainly the 1973 races proved they could as a fresh wave of TT riders hit the headlines. However, it was not a new star, but rather an old campaigner, Australian Jack Findlay, who was the popular winner of the Senior, riding a Suzuki twin.

Mick Grant made all the early running on the 352cc Yamaha, leading Findlay and Peter Williams's Arter Matchless. On lap three Grant crashed on some oil going into Parliament Square, Ramsey, and his Yamaha was too badly damaged for him to continue. Findlay pulled away from Williams in the letter stages as the Matchless single struck problems, and had over a minutes  to spare at the finish, with Charlie Sanby third, riding another Suzuki twin.

Grant's week of bad luck started in the Junior, while he also led on his Yamaha. His chances of a first TT victory were wrecked when he had a 12-minutes pit stop to replace a broken fairing bracket, and Tony Rutter took over to secure his maiden TT win, with Ken Huggett second and John Williams third.

Another first-time TT winner that week was Charlie Williams, who became the latest of the new TT breed by winning the four-lap 250cc race after a tremendous battle with namesake John. At the finish Charlie held a 25-second advantage over John, with Bill Rae third.

Completing the list of new winners was another old campaigner, Tommy Robb. After fifteen year of trying he won a TT in his last race on the Island, triumphing in the 125cc event. He was a late replacement for the injured Chas Mortimer on the Yamaha, but led from start to finish from Dutchman Jan Kostwinder and Lincolnshire-based Neil Tuxworth.

Norton secured their first TT victory for 12 long years in a magnificent five-lap Formula  750 race. Peter Williams, riding the John Player-sponsored monocoque machine, was a brilliant winner, setting the second-fastest TT lap ever at 107.27mph. Jack Findley, riding the fast but unwieldy 750cc Suzuki triple, chased hard, but retired with gearbox trouble on the last lap at Quarterbridge, leaving Mick Grant to complete a Norton one-two in front of Tony Jefferies's Triumph.

The Williams/Norton combination looked the likely winner of the 750cc class of the Production race. Peter had Jefferies by 8.2 seconds going into the third and last lap, but then broke down. Despite torrential rain Jefferies made it to the chequered flag ahead of John Williams and David Nixon.

The heavy rain produced a dramatic last lap in the 500cc class when leader Stan Woods stopped at the Bungalow on his T500 Suzuki. Bill Smith took over, although his Honda was only firing on two cylinders in the deluge. Smith staggered on to win, with Woods drying out to finish second from Kawasaki-mounted Keith Martin. The 250cc class was even closer, with Charlie Williams winning his first TT race after a tremendous scrap with Eddie Roberts, Tommy Robb and Peter Courtney.

The World Championship stars did not turn their backs on the two sidecar races. Klaus Enders and his BMW led both the 500cc and 750cc races from start to finish. BMW teammate Siggi Schauzu was second in both. More significant was the third place of Rolf Steinhausen in the 500cc race aboard a Konig-engined outfit. The two-strokes had arrived in the sidecar class and the end of BMW domination was in sight.

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