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Meetings 1971 - 1990

TT 1974

Bad weather wreaked havoc with the 1974 programme,  in which the Formula 750 race was regarded as the top attraction, replacing the Senior as the final race of the week.

The real purpose of Formula 750cc racing was spoilt, with the 352cc Yamaha twins proving more than a match for their 750cc counterparts. In an exciting last lap Chas Mortimer saw off the challenge of Charlie Williams by just 8.6 seconds with Tony Rutter, also on a Yamaha, third.

The two Nortons, ridden by Peter Williams and Dave Croxford, went out on the first lap with piston problems. Mick Grant handicapped by an arm injury, found the 750 Kawasaki too much of a handful, while Percy Tait could only finish fourth, behind the Yamahas, on his ex-works Triumph triple.

It was exactly the same story in the Senior, which was reduced to five laps because of the weather. Findlay and Paul Smart rode works four-cylinder Suzukis, but they were no match for the 352cc Yamaha twins in the slippery conditions. The race started in the dry and Williams took on the Yamahas, but as the rain fell he dropped back and let them get on with it. Eventually Phil Carpenter emerged as the surprise winner from Charlie Williams and Rutter.

Charlie maintained his record of success in the Lightweight category with a convincing victory, while the sparks flew behind him - once again in bad conditions.

Mick Grant finally got the better of Chas Mortimer after he ran out of petrol and had to push home.

Mortimer also hit problems in the 125cc event, going out on the first lap. Austin Hockley took over, with Clive Horton breathing down his neck, and when Hockley retired Horton was an easy winner fro Ivan Hodgkinson and Tom Herron.

Tony Rutter won his second Junior race in succession, riding a 350cc Yamaha. Early leader Charlie Williams retired on the third lap, and when Mortimer also pulled out Rutter had a comfortable passage to the chequered flag, with Grant second and Paul Cott third.

Mick Grant grabbed his first TT win in the new 1000cc class of the Production race. Riding 'Slippery Sam', the Triumph Trident that had won the race for the previous three years, Grant swept aside the opposition, with the BMWs of Hans-Otto Butenuth and Helmut Dahne second and third respectively. Peter Williams was in third place in the early stages on the Gus Kuhn Norton, but retired on lap two at the Highlander.

It was a similar tale in the 500cc division, which Keith Martin and his Kawasaki led from start to finish. Martin Sharpe and Eddie Roberts fought out a short-circuit-type duel in the 250cc class. Both rode Yamahas and Sharpe finally won by 2.3 seconds after out braking Roberts for last time at Signpost Corner.

The two-stroke challenge continued in the sidecar races, but didn't quite have the reliability to taste victory.

In the 500cc World Championship race the all-conquering BMWs were  given a big scare by Jeff Gawley on his Konig-powered outfit, who led only to break down on the second lap. Siggi Schauzu inherited the lead but retired a lap later, giving teammate Heinz Luthringhauser the chance to secure his only TT victory.

In the 750cc race it was the Konig of Rolf Steinhausen that led the way, smashing the lap record from a standing start. A major shock looked on the cards until Steinhausen dropped out on the last lap at Guthrie's allowing BMW to breathe again, with Schauzu winning from Luthringhauser.