Fox on the run

Old Bike Australasia - - BLOW YOUR OWN -

I was most in­ter­ested in the Tracks in Time ar­ti­cle about Bathurst 1951 (OBA 61) as this was the only meet­ing at Bathurst that I ever rode solo at; a vir­tual road race begin­ner on my 1937 250cc 2H Tri­umph in the Light­weight class. At the time the late Frank McNa­mara was very keen to give his new 596cc DOHC Manx Nor­ton out­fit an out­ing in the Ju­bilee Side­car TT, with his brother-in-law Jim Suther­land as rider and with Frank as pas­sen­ger, and he of­fered to take me and my Tri­umph along for the week. We had ac­com­mo­da­tion at the Fit­ness camp and there were three days of prac­tice prior to the event, and we took part in two. Hap­pily I had no trou­ble what­so­ever with my Tri­umph in the race, with it ac­tu­ally do­ing 100 mph on the long down­hill Con­rod Straight on 50/50 Petrol/Ben­zol. I soon set­tled into sixth spot chas­ing Richard Hardy­man on his Rudge. As I rounded the last cor­ner be­fore the fin­ish, I saw Hardy­man jump off his bike and start push­ing fu­ri­ously to­wards the flag (ob­vi­ously hav­ing me­chan­i­cal prob­lems) and I passed him which brought me fifth. Never a bril­liant (or brave) solo rider I thought this was pretty good out of around 30 en­tries for a begin­ner. I still have the tro­phy for the plac­ing. Suther­land (who is still alive and liv­ing at Port­land in Victoria) brought the Manx home for third, as was men­tioned in his photo, after a very slow push start. I will be 90 on Jan­uary 10 and I am still li­censed to ride an over-50cc mo­tor­cy­cle on the road. Lau­rie Fox, OAM Mount Gam­bier, SA

ABOVE LEFT Reg Hardy­man’s mis­for­tune gave Lau­rie Fox a Bathurst tro­phy. ABOVE RIGHT Lau­rie Fox. Still rid­ing at 90.

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