Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Great Avon Tyre Controvery in the 1976 Castrol 6 Hour race....

On an earlier blog I featured my Velocette Thruxton which ran in the 1971 Castrol 6 Hour Production Machine Race at Amaroo Park Raceway, just north of Sydney, NSW, Australia in 1971.
As the race developed over the years, with fierce rivalry with motorcycle brands, the two major tyre importers in Australia at the time, John Galvin of Metzeler Tyres Australia and Lindsay Walker of Avon Tyres Australia were similarly locked in a battle for the hearts and minds of the road motorcyclist in Australia or rather the tyres he/she fitted to their motorcycles...
Mid 1970s Team Avon used Kawasaki Z900s as their race entry and "flagship" and succeded in winning the event several times, naturally with Avon "Road Runners" fitted and there were suitable tyre "bragging rights".
John Galvin was pretty incensed...he was sure the tyres on the Team Avon machine was not safe even at the final pit stop for fuel, around 1½ hours from the end, thus contravening race supplementary regulations and complained to the Chief Race Scrutineer, the then (late) Chris Peckham.
The photo clearly show Peckham sprinting to the last Team Avon pit stop, intent on examining the tyre and if necessary declaring they needed to change it, which would let the Metzeler tyre entries into the lead....
Team Avon had their fuel pit stop down to 11 seconds stationary so it was a close call.
The tyre photos of the Avons show the wear at

the finish ...it was "buggered", although another view was that it had "done the job"...well just!
"All's fair in love and war" as the old saying goes and JG lost out again.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and Lindsay and John are now the best of mates....
Left click on photos to enlarge.

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