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Competitor Profile: Fritz Hillebrand

TT Career Summary
Position12
No of times21

Biography

German sidecar pairing of Fritz Hillebrand and Manfred Grunwald had a brief but impressive TT career on their BMW outfit. Competing in only three TT’s between 1954 and 1957, on the Clypse Course, their debut ride resulted in a 2nd place behind Eric Oliver/Les Nutt on the Norton. A Non Starter in 1955, the pair were in startling form in 1956 Sidecar race, as a three-way battle raged between them and fellow German’s Willi Schneider and Willi Noll. Schneider took an early lead, but dropped out on the third of the nine laps; Noll took over, but his engine started smoking, allowing former luftwaffe pilot Hillebrand to take the lead three laps from the flag, heading home an all British leader board of Norton outfits. Golden Jubilee year of the TT, 1957, again saw Fritz and Manfred demoralise the opposition smashing both race and lap records on their way to victory. By the end of the 1957, Hillebrand and Grunwald were world champions in the Sidecar class, only to become victims of a bad spill at an International meeting at Bilbao. Fritz losing his life – Manfred decided to retire.

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