Thursday, March 26, 2020

Brno August 1984

This is a photo of Tony Rutter (in the middle) which I apparently 'photo bombed' (on the right) in the paddock at Brno for the Czech GP in 26 August, 1984.  We're both on Ducati TT2s.  I've lost track of who took the photo, but it was one of the thousands of East Germans who came to the event.
This is from the same event and I did keep track of who took this photo: H-P Gerschner

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Tony Rutter

I just hear that Tony Rutter died at the age of 78 after a brief illness.  While I didn't really know him, I think we were seven races together.  The first race I ever did at the Isle of Man was the F-3 TT which was run concurrently with the F-2 and Tony won that on a TT2 Ducati, while I was 12 in the F-3 on a 350 Aermacchi after the chain fell off on the last lap in Ramsey and I spent a while getting in back on and restarting.  In '83, I ran the F-2 and F-1 TTs and Tony won the F-2 on a Ducati, while I was 12 in the F-2 on a Morwaki Kawasaki and DNFed on a 950 bevel drive Ducati in the F-1 race when the gearbox broke.
Again in '84, I ran the F-2 and F-1 races and Tony again won the F-2 race and was 3rd in the F-1 on Ducatis, while I was 22nd in the F-2 after a lengthly pit stop to repair the shift lever which I has grounded and bent back at Sarah's Cottage on the 2nd lap and was able to shift up to 5th gear on the Cronk-y-voddy straight, but then found that I couldn't down shift and completed the rest of the lap, including Ramsey Hairpin and Governors Bridge, in 5th gear.  I only got to the Gooseneck on the 1st lap of the F-1 TT, where a fitting on the oil cooler let go, spraying me in oil.  Later that day, I won the Senior Historic TT.
Later that year I raced at Villa Real, Portugal in the TT F-1 race and while I don't know for sure, I assume Tony was in the race.  I only made a couple of corners in that race before I got shunted into a haybale and broke off the shift lever riding a TT1 Ducati.  In August of that year, the Ulster GP at Dundrod and the Czech GP at Brno were back to back and I race the TT F-2 class at each of them.  Again, I don't have complete results, but I assume Tony was at Dundrod.  I had a good race and finished 6th.  The next weekend, I race in Brno, Czechoslovakia after traveling through the I.O.M, Paris, and Vienna.  I know Tony was there because I have a photo of the two of us on our Ducatis in the pits.  Again, I don't know where Tony finished, but I had another good race and ended up 7th in a race that was part wet through the 10.925 Km. street circuit with a reputed 400,000 spectators.

Tony won 4 TT F-2 World Championships, 7 IOM TTs and numerous North West 200s.  He was one of the truly great road racer and did well to make it to 78 years of age after almost dying in a huge crash at Monjuich Park in 1985.