TO­DAY, WE DO THE TON!

It was June 12, 1957, and Scots­man Bob Mcin­tyre set out in the Se­nior race look­ing for the top step of the podium. En route to that win he knew he’d have to push his Ital­ian metal past a magic marker. On that day and on that lap, the first 100mph lap of T

Classic Racer - - PEOPLE -

It’s six decades ago this year since that mem­o­rable day. Ar­chive ar­ti­cles tell the story of what hap­pened with rev­er­ence and an air of near-dis­be­lief. They make for some en­ter­tain­ing read­ing on their own. The facts of the race that spawned the ton lap are as fas­ci­nat­ing as any other ac­count though, and they serve to show just how hard Bob was push­ing and how close the dif­fer­ence be­tween suc­cess and the record books – and fail­ure – were. The 1957 Se­niortt race was led from the start by Bob Mcin­tyre, rid­ing for Gil­era, and he beat the over­all lap record from a stand­ing start in 22min 38.4sec at an av­er­age speed of 99.99mph. That open­ing salvo time re­ally set his stall out as far as his in­ten­tions (that sin­gle lap was a full 0.6sec faster than the record set by Ge­off Duke in the 1955 Se­niortt Race). Else­where on that lap John Sur­tees, rid­ing for MV Agusta, crossed the line with a time of 23min 17.4sec for an av­er­age speed of 97.20mph – an im­pres­sive out­ing for the man who won seven world mo­tor­cy­cling crowns. The iconic lap came in the first fly­ing lap on The Moun­tain. Lap two saw Mcin­tyre lap in 22 min 24.4sec, mean­ing an av­er­age speed of 101.03mph. that sin­gle lap alone was enough to bag all the head­lines, but Bob Mac was far from fin­ished. Find­ing the groove, he pushed on and broke through the 100mph lap again on lap three, with an av­er­age speed of 100.54mph. That was re­peated on the fourth and sixth lap at an av­er­age speed of 101.12 and 100.35mph re­spec­tively. All those fast laps gave Mcin­tyre a huge lead in the 1957 Se­nior ahead of John Sur­tees who was trail­ing by 2min 10.2sec. By the end of lap four Bob passed John, only for Sur­tees to bat­tle his way past once again on The Moun­tain – the Gil­era team, wary of push­ing the ma­chine too hard, told Bob to slow the pace, such was his com­mand over the race. The 1957 Se­nior TT Race was even­tu­ally won by Mcin­tyre in 3hr, 2min and 57.2sec at an av­er­age speed of 98.99mph.

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