Wednesday, 18 May 2011

1961 Italian GP trophy

Going on the theme of trophies, the trophy pictured here is a real beauty. It was awarded to Alastair King for finishing 2nd on a Joe Potts Manx in the 500cc class at the 1961 Italian GP held at Monza.  It is quite incredible that Alastair on a bike from a funeral parlour in Glasgow could go to one of the greatest races in the world and get a result like that!

The Lambretta Cup
There was a good contingent from Bellshill at Monza for the Italian GP. Joe had gone along to see how both Bob Mac and Alastair got on. Pim Fleming and his wife Jessie had treated it as a ‘busman’s holiday’ and had driven all the way from Bellshill!
For the meeting both Bob and Alastair has Works Bianchi’s for the 350cc class. For the 250cc race Bob also had a Honda 4. In the 500cc class the pair would be riding the Potts Manxes.
Alastair King and Bob McIntyre

The 350cc race was a disappointment for ‘Scotland’s terrible twosome’, as once again both Bianchi’s broke down. Things got worse in the 250cc class, as Bob crashed his Honda due to a split oil pipe putting oil onto his rear tyre. In the crash Bob suffered a broken collarbone, which put him out of the 500cc race.
It was therefore up to Alastair King to do the business in the Senior class. Mike Hailwood and Gary Hocking on MV’s were expected to challenge for the victory. Behind them Alastair would have to battle with the ‘Continental Circus’ riders on Manx Norton’s, such as Paddy Driver, John Hartle and Bob Anderson. As expected, Hailwood and Hocking went into the lead on the MV’s. Behind them there was a real battle involving Alastair King, Paddy Driver and Bob Schneider. Alastair was able to pull clear of Paddy Driver to be running in third position. On the 30th lap Gary Hocking crashed his MV at the South Hairpin. This left victory to Mike Hailwood on the other MV, with Alastair King second on the Potts Manx and Paddy Driver third.

500cc GP at Monza. Alastair King (Potts Manx) leading Hocking and Hailwood on the MV's
After Alastair’s great success in the Senior race he was given £350 in prize money as well the Lambretta Cup (pictured here) for finishing second and the Dunlop Cup. Later in the evening Alastair discovered that the prize money had disappeared from his hotel room. He called in some support to help find it. Mike Hailwood, Paddy Driver, Joe Potts and Pim and Jessie Fleming were all on their hands and knees looking for the money inside the room and outside in the bushes below. Hailwood even ruined his pair of white trousers searching all over the ground for Alastair’s winnings. Unfortunately they were unable to find the money (it had been stolen). Sadly for Alastair, even after his great success, he had to borrow some money in order to get back to Glasgow.

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