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Competitor Profile: George O'Dell

TT Career Summary

No of times1111118

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George O’Dell’s TT career spanned the years 1970 –1977; in total some 14 races. His first excursion in 1970 was one of mixed fortunes, starting with a retirement in the 750cc race and finishing 36th in the 500cc race. Missing in 1971, the Hemel Hempstead driver rode in both sidecar races from ’72 onwards with varying degrees of success. Runner-up in the 500cc class in 1974 he was totally out of luck throughout 1975 & 1976. In 1977 the two separate class races were combined into ‘two-legs’ with an overall winner based on the aggregate time of the finishers. George and passenger, Kenny Arthur unofficially set the first 100mph sidecar lap in practice, although Dick Greasley set the official one in the first race at 100.59 mph. Even so, it was to be O’Dell and Arthur’s race as they took the chequered flag by 50 seconds as they raised the lap record to 102.80 mph. Retirement in the second race prevented them from taking overall victory. O’Dell was to go on to become the first Briton to win the Sidecar championship since Eric Oliver, some 24 years earlier. A crash in practice for the 1978 TT, resulting in a broken leg meant he was a non-starter and did not return to the Island. At the beginning of 1981 he was advised to retire from racing – in March of that year he died in a house fire, aged 35.

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