Sunday, December 2, 2012

A look through the lens of Alan Schafer's camera during the 1939 Australian GP motorcycle races on the Mt.Panorama circuit at Bathurst, NSW, some 150 km west of Sydney......

I've introduced you to Alan Schafer before in several posts on my blog..... and I recently scanned in quite a few small sized photos that Alan had uncatalogued in  a plastic bag....
So I sorted through a 1938,1939 and 1940 Bathurst motorcycle race programs to endeavour to identify most of the pics, which in a way allow you to get a better idea of motorcycle racing in Australia in this pre-war period...
I've included some cuttings from the relevant motorcycle magazine of the time here in Sydney..."The Australian Motorcyclist".....
Now there has been motorcycle racing in the Bathurst area since the 1920's, during the earlier 1930's period it was on the Old Vale circuit, but a new purpose built road over the Mt.Panorama on the southern outskirts of Bathurst was unveiled to the visiting Irish motorcycle racing great..Stanley Woods, who was on a racing and promotional holiday for Velocette with starts in the South Australian Centenary TT at Victor Harbour in late December 1936 and then at Phillip Island in February 1937 and after visiting P&R Williams, the NSW Velocette distributors in Sydney he travelled with P&R sponsored riders Cec Weatherby ( pictured to the left) and Don Bain (second from the right) and is shown below, beside the then mayor of Bathurst ( in the black suit to the centre) on an area, later called Reid Park which would form part of the circuit...
The circuit was completed in time for the Easter races in 1938, although the track was unsealed, that is a dirt/gravel surface for this year and sealed for the 1939 races.

Bathurst town centre in 1939 at Easter for the races...
Well as mentioned, Alan had a camera, although I have no idea of the brand or it's capability for action shots, but Alan did take some and considering what might have been available I think he did a good job and for those interested in motorcycle racing in Australia it forms a valuable record...
So lets wander through the snapshots, which I've labelled where possible...

The start of the 1939 Australian Senior GP and the finish line.....
Through McPhillamy Park corner during the Australian Sidecar GP and Abercrombie handicap....#37 W. Hodgekiss 498cc Norton OHV and #87 N.Hilliard 596cc OHC Norton.
Same corner and race...#17 A.Jones 596cc OHC Norton...
 Decending the mountain in the infamous "esses", George Hannaford (Vic), on a 1938 Mk.7 KTT Velocette.

#19, Doug James, 250 Excelsior Manxman, 2nd in 1939 Lwt TT, in the esses at Bathurst.
#8 Leo Tobin 348cc OHC Norton and #7 Don Bain 348cc OHC Velocette.
#13 Cec Weatherby, 348cc OHC Velocette mk.8 KTT
Start of the 1939 Senior Australian GP...somebody got a "blinder" of a start...the mk.7 KTT is Dave Jenkins and #3 is Art Senior on his potent Ariel 500 special..
#8 Leo Tobin , Norton and #9 Wal Hawtry at the end of what later became called "con-rod straight"....due to the number of engines that broke conrods.
The straight was approx a mile and a quarter downhill....

A rider falls at the end of the main straight...I couldn't identify him....

Following the finish of each race, the first three places were impounded for scruitineering...this occured as pictured at what became known as "the green shed"...the Velo thethe left is Don Bain's 495cc OHC ex works Velo racer known as "The Monster", #25 is S.Sharpe,Norton and the Velocette Mk.7 KTT is likely Dave Jenkins.





1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Thank you.