SELECTED ARTICLES FROM THE 2006 WINTER ISSUE OF THE
TT SUPPORTERS CLUB MAGAZINE
A Place in History - Former German TT Riders
Actually, the Tourist Trophy on the
Isle of Man is always a home match for
English, Scottish and Irish racers. This is
still the same today, but a closer look and an
evaluation of the results show, that,
astonishingly many German riders have also
participated with great success. On the one
side there are commonly well known German
professionals. – about them a lot of
appreciation can be found in other literature.
In contrast, this article is dedicated
especially to the German private racers, who
managed to achieve a top result as newcomers
by shear endeavour.
Among many German sidecar heroes Klenk /Scheerer are to be remembered. As newcomers, they reached a tremendous 4th place in 1972 on a private BMW. Staying with the sidecar racers, I would like to mention Rolf Steinhausen. It was a great pleasure recently for me to establish personal contact with him. He told me about his impressions and experience at the TT.
Here is an extract from our conversation:
“The TT at that time belonged to the
world championship. As a consequence everybody
who wanted to become famous had to compete in
the races around the famous Mountain Course.
Max Deubel, my neighbour,
had already won the TT; in a letter, he recommended
me to race in the TT of 1972. However
my entry was not accepted until the following
year. My sidecar passenger was Karl Scheurer
and, on a König outfit, we became the best
newcomer team with two third places. I took
the TT very seriously, at first, being
frightened of it, but finally I enjoyed each lap.
From me, my passenger and my sidecar I
always demanded the uttermost. Many times
In 1975 and 1976 Steinhausen / Huber gained first places on their König sidecar outfit; in 1977, they finished third in both races. On a Yamaha engined machine, Steinhausen, with Wolgang Kalauch in the chair, again won in 1978. A special concern of mine is to remind fans of the popular road racing star, Klaus Klein. He entered the Senior TT for the first time in 1981 on a Suzuki and, at the TT Races of the following year he achieved a 4th place in the Classic TT.
Until his fatal accident in 1987 at Dundrod he took part in the TT each year. Unforgotten are the mental pictures of Klaus Klein, dressed in his white Hein Gericke leathers, with the number 1 plate on his Bimota machine. Klaus Klein inspired his best friend, the twice a Superbike Champion, Peter Rubatto – called ‘Mr. Superbike’ – to enter the TT of 1985. I got into contact with him, too - he told me he was so thrilled at seeing a photograph of Helmut Dähne’s amazing jump at Ballaugh Bridge that he decided he wanted to do the same thing himself. As a newcomer, also in the same Hein Gericke team as Klaus Klein, he came home a brilliant fourth in the TT F1 on his Egli Honda with an unmodified CB 750 engine. Despite his rudimentary knowledge of the course and sporting the yellow newcomer’s waistcoat he managed a fastest lap speed of 106.54 mph. Peter Rubatto closed his TT career in 1987 on a Yamaha-Bimota in the F1 Race at an average speed of 111.59 mph gaining 7th place. Looking back on all his experience, Peter Rubatto mentioned that he has the Isle of Man in the best afterglow, especially the atmosphere, the fans and the fact that you have to always act sensibly.
Finally, I’d like to point out that
there are many other successful TT riders,
which have not been mentioned here. They are
not forgotten and will feature in future
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