Page updated 17-Apr-2011
The 1970 Gus Kuhn Shell Team
Raising their stake in motor-cycle sport this year, Shell are to sponsor Gus Kuhn's racers. The Equipe will compete throughout the 1970 season as the Kuhn-Shell Racing Team. "In the past, Shell supported racing behind the scenes. Now we really want to make people aware of what we are doing" said Shell UK Marketing manager Walter Wilson.

Shell's red and yellow racing colours will be incorporated in the special leathers worn by the riders and in the colour schemes of their machines.

"Our team for the TT will be Mick Andrew, Charlie Sanby and Tom Dickie," said Gus Kuhn managing director Vincent Davey. "We will be sticking to Norton and Seeley bikes, and, of course, we'll contest the production-machine race in the Island, as well as the Junior and Senior TTs." [Motor Cycle, 31/12/69]

Reigning British 350c champion Pat Mahoney will be on Gus Kuhn machines - at least until Easter. The 24 year old Crayford, Kent, rider has been chosen by Kuhn managing director Vincent Davey to join Mick Andrew in their team. But he will be on probation for the first month of the season.

"There is nothing strange about this. Dave Croxford joined us on the same understanding early last year and went on to win the British 500cc title," explained Davey. "I just want to make certain that Pat will fit into the team."

Mahoney, who borrowed a Seeley from the Kuhn stable to clinch the 350cc title at the final round of the contest least year, will race 350 and 500cc Seeleys and one of the new 750cc Norton-powered Kuhn Seeleys.

As the Kuhn team have no plans for production-machine events, Pat will be without a ride in this class unless, as Davey added, "Norton-Villiers lend us a bike for the 500-Miler." [Motor Cycle 21/1/70]

February 11th Wednesday at Brands Hatch: Testing session - Pat's first outing. Bruce Main-Smith went along too to test a Kuhn Seeley Norton racer for Motorcycle Mechanics magazine. Read the race test here.

March 1st Sun at Mallory Park: National, Mick Andrew & Pat Mahoney entered in the Junior and Senior races. Mick is 8th in the Junior final. In the Senior Mick Andrew was third after a race long dice with his Kuhn team-mate Pat Mahoney, and they finished seven seconds ahead of John Cooper (Seeley). [Norrie Whyte in Motor Cycle News 4/3/70]

March 8th Sunday at Mallory Park: The 750cc race was a comfortable win for 350c champion Pat Mahoney.

The advance of the Kuhn machines is outstanding. Vincent Davey, boss of the Kuhn stable, sent this firm reminder to the bosses of the new Norton-Villiers organisation immediately after the race: "British racing needs a lot more support from the big factories. It would be even more encouraging if men like myself were able to get some degree of racing interest from the officials at Norton. We could start preparing Britain for the day when production racing becomes a part of the world championship. Give us the engines and we could beat the world - including Italy 's Agostini." Hear, hear. If it were not for men like Davey and Colin Seeley, designer of the frames for the Kuhn-Seeley production machines, road racing in Britain would be dead.
[Leslie Nichol in the Daily Express, 25/3/70]
March 19th Thursday Testing at Snetterton: The Gus Kuhn team were in strength at Snetterton when Mick Andrew, Pat Mahoney, Charlie Sanby and Tom Dickie turned out in their new yellow and red Shell leathers and put a total of seven Gus Kuhn Seeleys through their paces. [Motor Cycle 25/3/70] Picture above.

March 27th Friday at Brands Hatch: King of Brands. The famous name of Norton swooped to superb victory when 24-year-old Pat Mahoney, from Crayford, Kent, was crowned the new King of Brands. Mahoney, riding a Norton-powered 750 Kuhn Seeley, won the title on aggregate in a tight, three-stage championship at the Kent circuit. He finished eighth and fifth in the early eliminators and third in the final stage behind Mick Andrew and Charlie Sanby - mounted throughout on the Kuhn-Seeleys. [Leslie Nichol in the Daily Express] Mahoney's third place in the 1000cc race proved not only his own crowning glory but also that of the Shell-backed Gus Kuhn team. For Mick Andrew and slim-line Charlie Sanby, reaping the benefit of losing weight during the winter months, consolidated first and second places for Kuhn. [John Brown in Motor Cycle News 1/4/70] (Click here to read Pat Mahoney's own account of the event)


March 29th Sunday at Mallory Park: Mick is 5th in the 350 race and Pat is 3rd in the 500 (with the fastest lap) and 3rd in the 1,000cc race. Ivan Hackman was at the centre of a furious row. Five laps from the end of the final the extra-long exhaust pipe on his Seeley broke and dangled, held only by a stay. He was in the lead, closely followed by Bob Heath (BSA) and Pat Mahoney (Kuhn Seeley). Marshals showed Hackman the cautionary yellow flag but he was not black-flagged. Three laps from the end, he kicked the pipe off and it bounced in front of the following riders. Mahoney was furious. Heath and Mick Andrew (Kuhn Seeley) remonstrated with Hackman, but no one put in a protest. Hackman's point was that if the exhaust was all that hazardous it was the duty of the marshals to flag him off. "With my first big win and £60 within my grasp, I wasn't going to give in easily," he said. [David Dixon in Motor Cycle 1/4/70]

March 29th Sunday at Lydden: Charlie Sanby on his 750cc Kuhn Seeley seemed all set for a season which would see him regain the Lord of Lydden title when he swept to the front of the 280-1,000cc race. He stayed there for 10 laps, increasing his lead to six seconds over Martyn Ashwood (700 Metisse). But then he began to falter, and Ashwood closed in the penultimate lap and went ahead. At the finish Sanby was lucky to hang on to second place - he had run out of petrol. [Motor Cycle 1/4/70]

30th March in the Daily Express
Vincent backs the big bikes.
Vincent Davey, boss of Gus Kuhn Motors, one of the biggest supporters of motor cycle racing in Britain, is a firm believer in 750cc racing. Like many others he believes that big machines like the Triumph that qualified at more than 150 miles an hour at the recent Daytona meeting in America, can bring new excitement to British circuits. He said: "Although there is no British titles to be won in the class, we are really having a go at 750cc racing this year. We want to get as much experience as possible so when there is a 750 or 1,000cc championship we will be ready."
One of the Kuhn riders, Pat Mahoney, came third in the 1,000cc race at Mallory today and at Brands Hatch on Friday Kuhn riders Mick Andrew, Charlie Sanby and Mahoney took first, second and third places in the heavy-weight race.
April 1st in the Motor Cycle News: With factory support from Norton Villiers, Gus Kuhn team boss Vincent Davey is convinced that he could provide a British challenge to the might of the Italian factories.

Said a jubilant Davey after seeing the new 750 Kuhn Seeley twins take the first three places in the 1000cc race at Brands Hatch on Friday: "I feel we have the set-up now to challenge the works MVs. All that is required is a factory development programme on the Commando based 750 engine or a completely new 750 unit. "It could be three or four cylinder provided the power is increased to around the 75 bhp mark."

With such a machine Davey is convinced that he would have a home circuit winner. But he's also got his eye on a possible 750 world championship class and a high paying Daytona classic. "If we could get down to develop a competitive engine now on our circuits then we would be ready to meet these challenges." he says.

With the Norton factory turning down requests for help, Davey decided to go it alone, using Norton engines and Seeley frames. And he's proved his point. But to try to go further without the facilities of a factory is almost impossible for the enthusiastic south London dealer.

Mick Andrew, Charlie Sanby and Pat Mahoney were the riders who clinched the classic start at Brands and Davey is certain that the riding qualities of many British riders would be more than a match for Giacomo Agostini if their machines were as competitive.

March 30th Monday at Oulton Park: Race of the North. From a thin field for the 750cc race, Brian Kemp (Curley Norton) was speediest off the grid, to lead through the two opening laps. Soon, however, Pat Mahoney (Kuhn Seeley) settled to a great job of shadowing, easing out of Kemp's slipstream to snatch the lead at the halfway stage and then draw away. [Bob Currie in Motor Cycle 1/4/70] Pat Mahoney gave the 750 Kuhn Seeley its first taste of international victory in a poorly supported 750 event. Only challenge came from Brian Kemp who was hampered by a poor handing 750 Curley Norton. [John Brown in Motor Cycle News 1/4/70]

March 30th Monday at Crystal Palace: Rain made conditions treacherous for most of the meeting. The most astounding ride of the day was Charlie Sanby's in the main 1000cc event on a 750 Kuhn Seeley Norton. The Hatfield rider simply flew away from the rest of the field to win by 18.6 seconds from Martin Carney on a Kawasaki-3 racer at 76.86mph. It was incredible just how Sanby achieved this for the race behind him could not have been more furious. [Charlie Rous in Motor Cycle 1/4/70] Sanby holds off pack in Palace scrap. Some great racing warmed the chilly Crystal Palace crowd when Charlie Sanby (750 Kuhn Seeley) cantered away with the 10-lap 1,000cc race, beating Martin Carney (405 Shepherd Kawasaki) by 18s after an incident packed scrap. Six other riders battled with Carney, and positions continually changed before they crossed the line with only 1.8s between them. They were Paul Smart (750 Norton), Graham Sharp (750 Kuhn Seeley), Rex Butcher (350 Yamaha), Martin Ashwood (700 Rickman Metisse), Alan Barnett (500 Seeley) and Charlie Brown (500 Norton). [Bob Snelling in Motor Cycle News 1/4/70]

March 30th Monday at Cadwell Park: Ken Redfern scored his first win on Paul Dunstall's 750 Norton during a controversial appearance at Cadwell Park. Earlier, Redfern had crashed his 350 Aermacchi twice in the junior final. And each time, Gus Kuhn teamster Mick Andrew dropped his Seeley in attempts to miss the fallen Redfern. ... Andrew and Redfern flung their 750s into the lead of the big race, with Chatterton's Yamaha hanging on. First Redfern broke free from Chatterton. Then he squeezed past Andrew only two laps from the finish. Andrew, slowed by brake fade over Cadwell's sinuous 2¼ mile circuit, eventually finished six seconds behind. .. In the 350 race Andrew showed grit by forcing to fourth place despite his two tangles with Redfern. But Andrew slipped up in the production race. He rode his Commando to a big lead by half distance, but then eased off too much. Before he realised what was happening, Brian Steenson and Tony Jefferies had pounced. Steenson swept by to win. Jefferies rode to a close third. Said Steenson "The track was so slippery that I thought I was coming off a dozen times". [Mike Nicks in Motor Cycle News 1/4/70]

April 12th at Thruxton: At the wet and windy 2.35 mile ex-airfield circuit, in the 500 Final, making up from a poor start and a first lap ninth position, Alan Barnett (Seeley) took four laps to dispose of the opposition, up to Mick Andrew (Kuhn Seeley) in third place. On lap nine, Barnett swooped into the lead, chased home by Peter Williams and Andrew. Pat Mahoney was 5th. In the 350 event Mick Andrew pulled his Kuhn Seeley through from a bad start to finish fourth. Running late mainly because of the weather, the 1,000 race was reduced from 15 to six laps. Pat Mahoney couldn't start the big Kuhn Seeley in a heat. His Kuhn team-mate Mick Andrew and Peter Williams fell on spilled petrol in a heat, (while holding 1st and 2nd places) Andrew remounted to finish fifth and eventually took third place in the final. [Norrie Whyte in Motor Cycle News 15/4/70]

April 16th: Gus Kuhn teamster Mick Andrew, third in last year's British 500cc road-racing championship, was killed in a road accident on Thursday. He was riding a Norton Commando near the Gus Kuhn premises in Clapham Road, Stockwell, London, when he was involved in an accident with a car. He died instantly. Aged 24, Andrew was born in Chelmsford. Before joining Gus Kuhn as a rider and full-time mechanic, he lived in Ware, Herts. He leaves a widow, June, and a six-month-old daughter, Kym. The funeral will be on Friday. The cortege will leave the Gus Kuhn premises at noon. [Motor Cycle 22/4/70]
Mick Andrew

April 26th Sunday at Castle Coombe. In the ten lap final, Pat Mahoney (Kuhn-Seeley) led until Alan Barnet (Seeley) took over with only two laps to go.

May 10th at Thruxton: International 500-Mile Grand Prix d'Endurance. Never missing a beat, the works 750cc Norton Commando of Peter Williams and Charlie Sanby weathered the rain storms to give the local Norton Villiers factory overall victory. [Motor Cycle News 13/5/70]

May 24th Sunday at Mallory Park: “There was nothing easy about Pat Mahoney's 500cc success. On his Kuhn-Seeley, he was shadowed closely in the early laps by Mick Collins (Seeley), whilst not far astern thundered the warring field. With a third of the race over, Collins eased to the front. As the leaders caught the tailenders, Mahoney reclaimed the lead. (Sanby was 5th on the other Kuhn Seeley). The production machine 20-lapper provided three changes of leader. First was Ivan Hackman (750 Norton), but Charlie Sanby (750 Kuhn Commando) came up rapidly and ousted him at quarter distance. From even farther down the field, Bary Ditchburn, on yet another Commando, surged forward to pass them both. But the challenge was brkief. As Sanby re-established himself Ditchburn dropped back.” [Bob Currie, Motor Cycle 27/5/70]

May 25th Monday at Brands Hatch: International Race. Charlie is 5th in the Junior. Pat is 2nd in the 500 and 3rd in the 1,000cc race.

May 30th Sat at Oulton Park: The fifth round of the British Championships. Pat Mahoney (Kuhn Seeley) was 9th in the 500cc final.

June 10th Wednesday Junior TT: For fancied leaderboard man Tom Dickie, with his Kuhn Seeley 1,000rpm short right from the start, he never had a look-in. So he just rode to finish, which he did in 19th position. [Motor Cycle 17/6/70] Pat Mahoney finished 25th.

June 12th Friday Senior TT: Dickie, equal eighth, was in trouble. The main streamlining bracket of his Kuhn Seeley had broken as he took the bumps of the Kirk Michael section, and he toured in to retire. Pat Mahoney on the second Kuhn Seeley stopped with a fractured oil pipe. [Mick Woollett in Motor Cycle 17/6/70]

June 14th Sun Mallory Park: Post TT International, Pat Mahoney and John Cooper, both on Seeleys, duelled closely in the Silver Helmet Match Race, Pat winning. On the 750 Kuhn Seeley he is 6th in the 1,000cc final and 7th on the 500 in the Senior final. Both races won by Agostini (MV Agusta). Barry Sheene took out a Kuhn-Seeley Norton too.

June 21st Sunday Thruxton: “The first of the two special 750cc Norton Commandos that Gus Kuhn are building for the Barcelona 24 Hour Race was put through it's paces in the 1,00cc event. A number of modifications have been made including the fitting of 32mm-choke carburettors in place of the standard 30mm. And to cope with the heat and long distance, a bigger oil tank with a working capacity of six pints replaces the Norman four-ping tank. Wary of Spanish petrol, the compression ratio has been dropped from over 10-1 to 9-1. Special attention has been paid to the capacitor ignition system, and to guard against failure the major components are duplicated. Unfortunately, Charlie Sanby's broken collarbone is not healing as quickly as hoped and his place is being taken by Barry Sheene.” [Mick Woollett's Race Gossip, Motor Cycle 24/6/70]

Ron Wittich at Barcelona 24 hour race.
Ron Wittich on Gus Kuhn Commando at Montjuich Parc
Photo by Jose M. Alguersuari
July 4th & 5th at Barcelona 24 Hour Race: The two Gus Kuhn commandos figured prominently before they dropped out. Ron Wittich, who knows the circuit well, quickly took the lead in the first hour. Though ordered to slow down after lapping in 1m 57s (72.42mph), the 750 Norton Wittich shared with Tom Dickie led for five hours. Exhaust pipe trouble lost them several laps but they were only three laps down - and three ahead of Degens and Goddard (winners) - when the end came soon after dawn on Sunday. The exhaust pipe dug in and Dickie crashed, cutting his hands and damaging the machine too much to continue. The other Kuhn Commando, ridden by Pat Mahoney and Barry Sheene, was then second, only one lap behind the 500 Tomkinson-BSA shared by Bob Heath and Nigel Rollason. The second Commando was leading at half distance. It lost the advantage after stopping to change the rear tyre and chain. The Kuhn effort ended when the casting of the five speed gearbox broke after 15 hours. [Peter Howdle in Motor Cycle News 8/7/70]

July 26th at Thruxton: “ Ron Wittich dominated a damp meeting, winning all three races he entered. Riding a Gus Kuhn Commando in the first production race, he overtook early leader Ray Knight (650 Triumph) and cheekily sat up for the remaining five laps. But he was nearly caught napping by the rapidly improving Ray Judge (650 Triumph) who edged ahead on the last lap. Wittich was then forced to pull out all the stops to regain front position at the flat. Still on his production model and knowing it had the edge on acceleration, Wittich played racers with Howie Robinson (650 Triumph) in the 350-1,000cc race. But Robinson never gave up the uneven struggle and was rewarded with second spot. Finally, Wittich found the going tougher in the second production race. Working through from fifth position, he was made to know that Ray Knight was determined to hang on; but the extra urge of the Commando eventually did the trick.” [Motor Cycle 29/7/1971]

July 26th at Anderstorp, Sweden: Only British success came in the production machine event. This was won by Charlie Sanby, on a Gus Kuhn Norton Commando, who kept going in a wet and incident-packed race. David Nixon on a Boyer of Bromley Triumph Tridet took the lead, but crashed on lap four. Swede Kenneth Stideselt (Honda) took over but, on lap 13, he too slid off and Sanby moved up to win from Bo Granath (Honda). [Motor Cycle, 29/7/1970] The race was a wet one and the track is built on sand and some was finding its way on to the edge of the circuit. It was some of the sand that found its way into the Boyer Trident that Dave Nixon was riding. Dave had been in the lead by a mile and Sanby reckons that he would never have caught the flying Three. [Ray Knight's PR Notes]

August 2nd Sunday at Lydden: Charlie Sanby caused such excitement that his winning speed on a 750 Gus Kuhn Commando went unrecorded! He was given the chequered flag as he started his last lap and timekeeper-cum-commentator Bill Pepper was caught napping. Thanks to the harmless clanger, race record holder Sanby beat Barry Ditchburn after eleven instead of twelve laps of the red hot Kentish circuit. The fastest speed of the meeting was by Sanby in a qualifying heat, when he beat Martyn Ashwood at 68.70 mph. Ashwood took advantage of a bunch of backmarkers to slip ahead of Sanby in the heat. But Sanby refused to be beaten. He regained the lead round the hairpin on the last lap and beat Ashwood by a whisker. Dramatically, Ashwood was nearly last away in the final. Up to eighth on the third lap, when Sanby snatched Ditchburn's early lead, Ashwood gained third spot from Bob Haldane before the race ended prematurely. [Peter Howdle in Motor cycle News 5/8/70]

As far as machine interest was considered, then the Production Race at the 1970 Hutch could not have held greater variety. Every possible engine type, except maybe a flat twin, was evident. The riders too were top class men, of international standard.

As they passed the grandstand for the first time Paul Smart (Joe Francis Trident) headed Charlie Sanby (Kuhn Commando), Bob Heath (Factory BSA Three), Ron Wittich (Kuhn Commando), Malcolm Uphill (Factory Trident) and Percy Tait (Factory Bonneville).

Within the next three laps, Bob Heath gradually fell back to eighth place and Ken Redfern (750 Dunstall) began his climb up through the madding crowd.

By the sixth lap, Ron Wittich appeared to be slowing, and Ken Redfern was lying fourth. Smart had made his lead a good one, perhaps two seconds. Redfern finally broke ahead of the main pack and zero'd in on Smart. Within two laps he caught him and by the 10th lap was leading. Steadily he pulled away from the Trident rider. Tait, in fourth place closed up to Sanby, and tried to pass.

For a couple of laps Redfern led, but then on the 17th time around Smart circulated alone - the clutch of the big Dunstall had packed up. Behind, Peter Williams (Factory Norton), had been doing his best to pass Sanby, but his efforts came to nothing when he fell, unhurt, on oil at Druids.
[Dave Minton in Motor Cyclist Illustrated]

August 9th at Brands Hatch: 38th Hutchinson 100, International. Pat Mahoney and Charlie Sanby entered. Phil Read won the first leg of the Senior all the way from Charlie Sanby, riding a Kuhn Seeley, and John Cooper riding a Yamsel. The second leg was won comfortably by Cooper, and Sanby fourth. [Daily Express 10/8/70] The Evening News Trophy race was won by Phil Read (350 Yamaha) with Sanby (750 Kuhn Seeley) second. Also, Pat Mahoney (750 Kuhn Seeley) was 4th in the first leg and Sanby 4th in the second leg. The Summer Scratch race was won by Graham Sharp (750 Kuhn Seeley). The production race was won by Paul Smart (750 Trident) with Sanby (750 Kuhn Commando) second.

August 30th at Snetterton: Race of Aces. Pat Mahoney is entered on 350, 500 and 750 Kuhn Seeleys. 2nd in the Senior heat and 4th in the final.

August 31st Monday at Crystal Palace: Pat Mahoney, Charlie Sanby and Ron Wittich are entered. Riders sponsored by Clapham firm Gus Kuhn seemed to have a jinx on them as several fell off or pulled out when well placed. An added attraction was a two-man, eight lap Team Challenge Race. Click here to read more.

September 12th at Scarborough: International Gold Cup. Barry Sheene took the Gus Kuhn Norton for his debut at Scarborough. He rode also his Yamahas, winning the 125cc race and finished second to Steve Machin in the 250 race. Sheene was out again in the International Senior Gold Trophy 750cc race, this time on a Seeley framed Gus Kuhn Commando. John Cooper was at a capacity disadvantage, turning out on his 500cc Seeley, but he took the hole shot to lead the heavyweights for five of the eight laps. However, it was heat winner Tony Jefferies, aboard a swift Commando Metisse, who was setting the pace and soon dislodged Sheene from second spot. Jefferies hauled in Cooper and in a dramatic, round the outside manoeuvre at Mere Hairpin, took over up front. Jefferies maintained a steady 35-second lead to the flag as Cooper and Sheene battled for the other rostrum places. At the flag it was Cooper second with Sheene third. [Classic Racer] [Many thanks to Chris Machin for this information. www.oliversmount.com]

September 20th Sunday at Mallory Park: Race of the Year, International. Pat Mahoney is 2nd in his Senior heat, but outside the top six in the final. In the 1,000cc race Pat is 6th and Charlie Sanby is 5th. Charlie is 8th in the Race of the Year final.

Bol d'Or
Picture courtesy of Edisport France of Marseille

September 12th & 13th at Montlhery Bol d'Or 24 Hour race: The Gus Kuhn Commandos, ridden by Pat Mahoney & Tony Smith and by Ron Wittich & Peter Butler, were plagued by exhaust pipe fractures before being stopped by gearbox failures. Rumblings gave Wittich a gypsy's warning soon after dark; Mahoney and Smith had lighting troubles before their four-speed box failed after holding eighth position. They went out after 18 hours when the sleeve gear teeth broke. [Peter Howdle in Motor Cycle News 16/9/70] However, Fougeray & Tchernine finished 17th on a 750 Gus Kuhn Norton entered by Kings Motorcycles of Paris. The race was won by Tom Dickie and Paul Smart on a works 750 Triumph.

October 4th Sunday at Brands Hatch: Race of the South, International. Pat Mahoney is 5th in the 500cc race. Pat & Charlie Sanby are entered in the Race of the South on 750 Kuhn Seeleys, but neither finish in the top 12.