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Competitor Profile: W Donald Mitchell

MGP Career Summary

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Donald Mitchell hailed from Aberdeen where he worked as a Bank Clerk.

Donald was a great pal of Johnny Duncan who was a TT works rider for Cotton, New Imperial and Norton and his major placing was 4th in the 1935 Senior TT riding a Norton. So close was their friendship that in 1934 Johnny Duncan lent Donald Mitchell his 250cc works Cotton which was entered into the MGP lightweight class. He also lent Mitchell his leathers!.

The 1934 lightweight was run together with the Junior race, which was won by none other than John (Crasher) White. Meanwhile back in the lightweight class it looked like an easy win for Bob Foster, later to become the 350cc world Champion, who led for most of the race but in the 6th lap, after some problems in the pits for Mitchell (sorted out by Johnny Duncan) he put in the fastest lap of the day (66.02mph) to pip Foster at the post by 34 seconds having started 40 seconds behind Foster. Mitchell became the first Scot to win a MGP race and the only rider to win on a Cotton.

Other interesting facts regarding Donald Mitchell's success were that in 1934 Johnny Duncan was riding for New Imperial in the TT and when Duncan went to help Mitchell in the pits New Imperial were not too happy as places 2, 3 and 4 were taken by their riders also Mitchell only had sight in one eye having lost the sight in his left eye as a youngster.

This was Donald Mitchell's first and only race on the Island as when he returned a triumphant hero to Aberdeen he was told by his Bank to choose between racing or banking as they did not approve of his racing!!

Nowadays the Banks would be treating their staff as heroes and offering them huge sponsorship for such success!!

This profile has been submitted Graham Mitchell the son of W Donald Mitchell

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