1971 Racing News Press Releases
Page updated 06-Jan-2011

During 1971 Gus Kuhn issued a series of press releases that charted the progress of the race team.

8th March: Gus Kuhn has got off to a spectacular start by winning the first British meeting of the 1971 season.

Charlie Sanby won the first round of the Shell Super Oil Championship (and won his heat of course!), Tony Smith was first in the Shell Production Championship with Jon Vincent on another Gus Kuhn Commando in second place. At Cadwell Park, another Gus Kuhn Commando rider, Phil Haslam, won the 1,000cc event.

The brand new 1971 Gus Kuhn Commando racer makes it's debut this coming weekend at Oulton Park and Cadwell Park, to be ridden by Charlie Sanby. This new lightweight 750 incorporates a new frame, Norvil hydraulic disc brake and specially developed exhaust system. Extensive testing during the winter months has shown a marked increase in performance over the last year's model, and several other experimental components are also under development on this same machine.

16th March: The second weekend of the British racing season, and Gus Kuhn Nortons win again! First, Cadwell Park on Sunday, 14th March, 500cc Castrol/ACU Championship - Charlie Sanby won after leading the race from start to finish and put in the fastest lap. In the 750cc Castrol/ACU Championship race Mick Grant (another Gus Kuhn Norton customer) won, with Charlie Sanby a very close second after a very exciting 10 lap duel.

Also on Sunday 14th March at Snetterton, Ray Knight won the Production event on a 750cc Gus Kuhn Commando - after leading from the start.

After the first two rounds, Gus Kuhn Nortons ridden by Charlie Sanby share the lead in the 750cc Castrol/ACU Championship. The next round is at Thruxton on Sunday 28th March - Watch out for the GUS KUHN NORTONS!

29th March: Once again the Gus Kuhn Norton makes the real news of the week - this time at Thruxton. We only finished third in the big race of the day - but what a third place! Right close behind the exotic, factory owned Triumphs. What's so remarkable about this third place? Simply that our Gus Kuhn Norton Commando was prepared entirely by us in our own workshops and we can build similar models for sale. The superb 3-cylinder Triumph Daytona machines were built almost regardless of cost and are, of course, not available to private owners. After a really close race between our Charlie Sanby and Triumph's Percy Tait and Ray Pickrell (and a new lap record) they all crossed the finishing line only feet apart with the rest of the field way, way behind.

We're now second in the 750cc British Championship - but we're the first private entrant.

13th April: A fabulous Easter weekend of success for Gus Kuhn Nortons. First at Brands Hatch on Good Friday where Charlie Sanby won the 750cc British Championship event beating, amongst others, the two works Triumph Tridents ridden by Percy Tait and Tony Jefferies. Next to Mallory Park on Sunday where Charlie Sanby on the Gus Kuhn Norton won the Production event, and the next four placemen were also Commando mounted.

Finally to Crystal Palace on Monday where the new works Norton made it's debut, ridden by Peter Williams. Charlie Sanby won both of the 1,000cc races after really close race-long dices with Peter Williams, who took second place in each event.

This consistent run of successes proves the reliability and performance of Gus Kuhn Nortons, and remember; these machines have been built in our own workshops and are tuned and maintained by our own mechanics.

28th June: After a fantastic run of successes with Gus Kuhn Nortons earlier in the season a few problems occurred in the Isle of Man during the TT races.

In the Formula 750 event, Charlie Sanby retired with ignition trouble on the last lap. He was in 2nd place and closing on the ultimate winner. A minor carburetion fault caused his retirement in the Production race.

But the big news - which so far seems to have gone unnoticed - is that the Gus Kuhn Commando has lapped the TT circuit faster than any other Norton ever! Charlie Sanby's second lap was in 22 minutes 02.0 seconds, a speed of 102.73 mph. The bike was built and prepared by Gus Kuhn Motors so it also becomes the fastest privately owned and entered 750cc machine to lap the Isle of Man. This time Gus Kuhn's didn't win - but they still made news.

17th September: After a few problems, the winning groove has been re-established with Graham Sharp scoring two firsts on his Kuhn Norton at the Crystal Palace on September 4th . This was followed by Dave Potter's two wins at Brands Hatch, September 11th, riding the 750 Gus Kuhn Norton. At the same meeting the Production Race was: 1st Tony Smith (Gus Kuhn Norton), 2nd Dave Potter (Gus Kuhn Norton) and 8th Vincent Davey Jnr. (Gus Kuhn Norton).

Dave Potter at Crystal Palace  

Dave Potter joined the team late in
1971 and went on to win the
Shell Production Championship
Photo from the Gus Kuhn Archive

5th October: FRONT PAGE NEWS AGAIN. At Brands Hatch, Sunday October 3rd, Gus Kuhn Motors won the Motor Cycle News Best Dealer Entrant Trophy, in their 1971 Superbike Racing series.

On the same day Charlie Sanby (Gus Kuhn Norton) was awarded the BP/Bill Ivy Silver Helmet Trophy by winning the final race of the series.

The day before at Brands Hatch, Gus Kuhn Nortons took the first three places in the Shell Production Race, and the first two places in both of the 750cc Events.

More successes at Snetterton on the 26th September when Gus Kuhn Nortons were 1st and 3rd in the Shell Production Race and 1st in the 750cc Race.

As always, these winning machines were built and tuned by Gus Kuhn Motors Ltd. (Europe 's largest Norton agent) at their Clapham workshops.