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Competitor Profile: Gordon Lang

MGP Career Summary

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Gordon Lang claims to have the worst of all IoM records but to owe his later career to a crash on the TT course.

Born in 1934, Gordon started racing in 1959 on a 350cc girder-fork KTT Velocette from the early 1930’s. He entered this machine in the Junior Manx Grand Prix of 1960, but was left a quarter-lap short of qualifying after three engine seizures during practice week.

In 1966 he was one of three riders in the Reg Dearden Norton team for the Senior race but was put out at Laurel Bank on the first lap with oil pump failure – another engine seizure.

In 1967 he came to the Island with his own Senior Norton – the engine and gearbox being the ones used by Bob McIntyre when he was killed at Oulton Park five years earlier.

This time, an oil leak smothering the rear tyre caused a practice crash at Ballaspur. Gordon landed on his head and has suffered severe loss of memory ever since (he remembers childhood and schooldays but nothing between 1950 and 1967).

He continued racing until 1973, when he broke his spine in two places at Croft.

Gordon lives in Scotland and writes books on military subjects, which he says is the outcome of that Ballaspur crash.

Because he would forget anything said to him, he took to carrying a notebook everywhere and writing down data. This practice led to his turning facts into books.

Gordon has kindly supplied the above information. [April 2003]

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