1972
 
Page updated 25-Apr-2011
Dave Potter and Martyn Ashwood at Thruxton
Dave Potter leads Martyn Ashwood at Thruxton in March 1972
Photo by Chris Morgan from the Gus Kuhn archive

March 26th Sunday at Thruxton: In the 750cc event Dave Potter (Kuhn Norton was last away and retired at the end of the first lap. Potter finished 10 th in the 500cc event on the new Gus Kuhn 500 Norton.

March 31st - April 3rd Transatlantic Trophy Races: Gus Kuhn were in the American team as their rider was Don Emde. He had won Daytona earlier in the year on a Yamaha, which is a very different machine to the Gus Kuhn Norton. Pickrell and Rayborn alternated first and second place in every race, with John Cooper getting four of the six third places. Cal Rayborn and his Harley Davidson were a big hit with the British fans. Read Don Emde's account of the races.

March 31st Friday at Brands Hatch: Transatlantic Trophy Races: In the first race Emde is 6th and in the second he stopped with ignition trouble. Dave Potter won the BP/Bill Ivy unlimited class and the Production race.

Dave Potter at Crystal Palace
Dave Potter on a Gus Kuhn Production
racer at Crystal Palace April 1972
Photo by Chris Morgan from the Gus Kuhn archive

April 1st at Croft: By a split second, Phil Haslam (750 Metisse) scored his first British championship victory. But he was lucky, for Dave Potter (750 Kuhn Norton), after a sluggish start, came up brilliantly to pass him almost within sight of the flag. "I passed Phil going into the final left-hander," said Potter. "But I had to move out for a backmarker and Phil went by on the inside." Potter set the fastest lap. [Motor Cycle 5/4/1972]

April 2nd Sunday at Mallory Park: Transatlantic Trophy Races. As they lined up for the first race Emde's Kuhn Norton cut out with battery trouble. So, with no time to change batteries, he switched to a Kuhn Norton he had never ridden. He finished 11th. In the second leg he is 10th. [Motor Cycle]

April 3rd Monday at Oulton Park: Transatlantic Trophy Races. Emde had a poor day, obviously still suffering from the after-effects of a heavy spill in practice. He ended up in the lake and the fire brigade had to hose the mud off his machine. He finishes 12th and 10th. [Motor Cycle]

Motorcycle Sport's comments on the
1972 Easter weekend
:
It was Vince Davey's star man Dave Potter who caught our eye over the Easter weekend, not only for his good performances but for the fact that he raced on all four days of the weekend. He had two wins at Brands, a second at Croft, fourth at Mallory and to round off his energetic weekend two wins and a second place at the Crystal Palace.
At times last year he gave the impression of the proverbial ‘mobile accident looking for somewhere to happen' but it is a different story in 1972, when he is looking both safe and stylish under the Davey grooming.

April 3rd Monday at Crystal Palace: Just three fifths of a second made Dave Nixon (750 Boyer Trident) richer by £100. For that was the difference between him and second man Dave Potter (750 Kuhn Norton) in the £100 Daily Express Trophy race. It was anyone's race as Potter established himself just two seconds behind Nixon three miles from home. The last lap was a humdinger, with Potter just half a second adrift until the last corner when Nixon had a lurid slide. Dave Potter had compensation, however. A win in the first 10-lap 1,000cc event showed his ever-increasing skill, and he simply walked away with the production-machine race by more than 18s. [Motor Cycle 5/4/1972]

April 15th Saturday at Snetterton: A T Cooper won the Invitation race on his 750 Kuhn Seeley.

April 16 th Sunday at Snetterton: In the 175-1,000cc race John Cowie is first and Graham Sharp 2nd, both on 750 Gus Kuhn Seeleys. Sharp set the fastest lap. In the 501-1,000cc race Dave Potter wins, followed by Sharp, Cowie and Cooper, all on 750 Kuhn Seeleys.

April 23rd at Imola 200 Mile Race: Don Emde and Dave Potter are entered on Gus Kuhn Nortons. Read Don Emde's account of the race. Emde finished 20th. Potter's fate is unknown.

April 30th at Brands Hatch National (short circuit): Although he won his three races, Dave Potter was given a tough time by Martyn Ashwood (750 Weslake), but he showed the quality of his superbly prepared machine by holding off repeated challenges, even when baulked by backmarkers. [Motor Cycle 3/5/72]

May 14th Sunday at Cadwell Park: 2nd round MCN Superbike champ. Potter (750 Kuhn Norton) was 8th in the Superbike race, which was won by John Cooper (750 BSA).

May 28th Sunday at Mallory Park: Dave Potter (Kuhn Norton) is 2nd in the 750cc British Championship race, and is now leading the championship. Dave was 5th in the Production race.

May 29th Monday at Brands Hatch: In the MCN Superbike race, won by Ray Pickrell (Triumph), Potter is 6th. Evening News International Race, again won by Pickrell, J Cooper (BSA) 2nd and Potter 3rd. Potter won the Rothmans Trophy 1race.

June 11th at Mallory Park: Post TT International. BP/Ivy race Graham Sharp 3rd in Heat, 5th in final, won by John Cooper.

June 25th at Lydden: With a blistering race record of 71.36mph, Dave Potter (750 Kuhn Norton) kept the Lord of Lydden crown he won for the first time last year. [Motor Cycle 28/6/71]

July 8th & 9th at Barcelona 24 hour race: The Gus Kuhn Norton suffered early stops, first to change a flat battery and then to swop a broken exhaust system. A second battery and another exhaust were fitted before dawn broke, but, after that the Norton, ridden by Dave Potter and Graham Sharp, climbed steadily until, after 18 hours it held seventh place - first all-British team. Then Potter dropped it - easily done on the oil-strewn circuit - wiping off the ignition transistor and bending the camshaft on which this was mounted. Potter coasted in and the team lost only 8 laps while a replacement was fitted and a broken handlebar lever changed. With the camshaft slightly bent, the ignition rotor ran out of true. But the engine still fired, and the team rode out the final hours at reduced speed to finish eighth - and still first British machine. [Mick Woollett in Motor Cycle 12/7/72]

Dave Potter

July 30th Sunday at Lydden: LORD OF THE FLYERS. Dave Potter is certainly living up to his Lord of Lydden title. Just one month after retaining the crown the Gus Kuhn rider romped to victory on his 750 Norton twin in the main race of the day to add the Lydden trophy to his collection. Gus Kuhn boss Vincent Davey was not there to see the record breaking race victory. But mechanic Dave Sleat said; "I don't think he would have dared go back without the trophy. We ought to be in his good books now." Potter's progress in the 12-lap trophy race was staggering for the tight twisty ciruit. Heat winner Julian Soper led at the start but Potter skipped into the lead within half a mile. At half distance - a mere six miles - he was nine seconds ahead of Brian Adams who got the better of him with his Weslake Seeley in their heat clash. [John Brown in Motor Cycle News 2/8/72]

Dave's trophy: Dave Potter celebrated his first year with the Gus Kuhn team by winning the Mellano trophy on Sunday. He first raced on one of Vincent Davey's Nortons at Silverstone last August after he had been taken on as a replacement for the injured Charlie Sanby.

The machine raced by 22-year-old Dave in the production race on Sunday, was in fact in the Gus Kuhn showroom a week before. A 1971 Commando Fastback it was fettled by mechanic Dave Sleat after Vincent had put his plan to Nortons. During the race smoke trailed behind the machine, the cause being a hole in the chaincase which rubbed on the ground during high speed cornering.

It is the second time that a Kuhn machine has won the Hutch production race.

August 6th Sunday at Brands Hatch: Hutchinson 100 International. In the Hutch 100km (50 lap) 1,000cc race, won by Tony Jefferies (750 Triumph), Dave Potter (Kuhn Commando) was 7th and Graham Sharp 8th (750 Kuhn Norton). Potter led for seven laps of his Mellano winning production race ride, but Pickrell took over on this Triumph-3. In fact Potter really had to thank Pickrell for his last lap tumble at Clearways for the event's major trophy. The next clash in the Evening News (1,000cc) event was destined to go in favour of Williams, but only just. The Norton rider led from the start and built up a good lead during the first three laps as Cooper, Smart and Dave Potter on the Kuhn Norton squabbled over second place. [John Brown in Motor Cycle News 9/8/72] Potter was to finish 7th with Graham Sharp 8th. Also, Roger Edwards came 6th in the Sidecar event on his Gus Kuhn sponsored 750 Norton.

August 12th & 13th at Silverstone: John Player International, Jody Nicholas was the only (works) Norton to come to the line for the Formula 750 race and for two-thirds of the 50 mile race he diced for fifth place with Dave Croxford (BSA Seeley) and Dave Potter (Kuhn Norton). [Motorcycle Weekly USA] Potter finished 4th. In the production race Potter was 3rd. Jarno Saarinen was the star of the day.

23rd August in MCN: "New British 750cc champion Dave Potter will ride the 810cc Kuhn Norton in Snetterton's Race of Aces on Sunday." said Kuhn chief Vincent Davey:

"Initially, we have had crankcase breathing problems, but we now think we have overcome this. We'll have a final test at Snetterton to sort things out. It should really be the ideal tool for Mallory Park."

The new engine used the Dunstall 810 barrels and pistons and a new camshaft. The exhaust system has also been altered to suit the bigger engine.

August 20th at Silloth: Final round of the Brit Champ 1st for Dave Potter (750 Kuhn Norton) who wrapped up the 750cc British crown, it was his first championship win, coming close on the heels of his Mellano Trophy success at Brands Hatch two weeks before. [Motor Cycle 23/8/72] Dave Potter, a 22 year old London-based Yorkshireman, gave Gus Kuhn and himself their first British championship [sic]. On his first visit to England 's most northerly track, Potter won the 750cc title round, leading from the first lap in his Kuhn Norton. And his average speed of 71.95 mph for the 11 mile race on the ex-airfield circuit equalled the fastest ever Silloth average, a record set last year by Mick Grant. On his first visit and first title, Potter said "I'm delighted. The Silloth track sure is bumpy, but it has plenty of grip."

August 27th at Snetterton, International Race of Aces: Graham Sharp and Dave Potter are in the race, (outcome unknown) which is won by Agostini (MV). Graham Sharpe (750 Kuhn Norton) finished 6th in the 1,000cc event, which is won by John Cooper (750 Triumph).

The name of Gus Kuhn has a connection with Crystal Palace from the beginning and at the end.

Gus competed at the first meeting in 1927, was a lap record holder and frequent winner at many of the path racing meetings in the late 20's.

Then in the 70's the Gus Kuhn race team regularly competed at the Palace, which was their local circuit, and took part in the final meeting in August 1972. Vincent Davey, Gus's son-in-law and MD of Gus Kuhn Motors, took part in the closing ceremony for the circuit, completing the circle.

Click here to read more of Crystal Palace history 1927 - 1972

August 28th Monday at Crystal Palace: It is a sad farewell to the Palace circuit, which is closing next month. But for Dave Nixon and Boyer team-mate Peter Butler there was cause for smiles. In a two-sided dog fight with Gus Kuhn runners Dave Potter and Graham Sharp, the Boyer boys came off best. In the first 1000cc race it was Nixon beating Potter and Sharp. In the second, Sharp led Potter home with Peter Butler and the bad handling Trident third. And in the Grand Solo Farewell race, Nixon scored again with a victory earned only from a tremendous effort. He equalled Paul Smart's absolute lap record of 84.53 mph - despite being unable to find fourth gear. [Dave Wilcock in Motor Cycle News 30/8/72] Sharp 2nd, Potter 3rd and Butler 4th.

September 17th Sun at Mallory Park, Race of the Year International: Saarinen belted triumphantly home to an ecstatic welcome from his wife. But, in his own quiet way, Dave Potter had done brilliantly in such company to bring his Kuhn Norton into sixth. [Bob Currie in Motor Cycle 20/9/72] Another praiseworthy effort came from Dave Potter, who got the better of the Triumph 3s of Percy Tait and Ray Pickrell on his Gus Kuhn Norton until his machine became the victim of clutch slip. Potter and Pickrell were at it almost from the start and were quickly joined by Tait in a battle that became a fourth place contest when Du Hamel slipped off. Surprisingly it looked odds on Potter, riding the best placed non works machine in the race, to head the trio over the line. But on the 26th lap (of 30) while he was in fourth place the clutch trouble developed. He nursed the machine to the end of the race and although he lost touch with Pickrell and Tait he managed to keep a second ahead of the fast closing Jefferies. In the Superbike race: As in so many other races, Dave Potter was the best privateer, in fourth place on the Gus Kuhn Norton [Motor Cycle News 20/9/72] John Cowie was 8th on his 750 Kuhn Norton.

September 24th at Cadwell Park: International, The 750cc British champion, Dave Potter (Kuhn Norton) stayed on top of his form to win a hard-fought 750cc race from Derek Chatterton.[Peter Kelly in Motor Cycle 27/9/72]

The start of the F750 race at Paul Ricard (Le Castelet).

Dave Potter (8) and Victor Palomo (9)
on Gus Kuhn Nortons at Paul Ricard.
Photo from http://www.motos-anglaises.com/indexBAK.htm

October 1st at Paul Ricard: Dave Potter (750 Kuhn Norton) was fastest in practice. But in the two 15 lap races he could not maintain the pace and ended the day seventh in the overall results, finishing 5th in the first leg. His partner, Spaniard Victor Palomo, also mounted on a Gus Kuhn machine, fared much worse. Second-fastest in practice, Palomo crashed on the second lap of the first race and, although he was uninjured, the bike was too badly damaged for him to race in the second leg. Lansivuori (350 Yamaha) won both legs and Barry Sheene (350 Yamaha) was second overall. [Chris Carter, Motor Cycle 4/10/1972] See picture right>>

October 8th Sunday at Brands Hatch: Race of the South won by Phil Read on the John Player Norton, Dave Potter 6th and Graham Sharp 7th. Final round of the MCN superbike championship won by John Cooper (Triumph). Best of the dealer-entered riders was Dave Potter, who rode the Gus Kuhn Norton into fourth place ahead of Grant on the third John Player Norton. [Motor Cycle]

October 22nd Paris: There was a special one-off race at Rungis, near Paris, and the Gus Kuhn team went, along with the John Player Nortons and the cream of the Grand Prix circus. More >>>
Swedish star, Kent Andersson scooped the pool in Sunday's Grand Prix of Paris, heading home just five finishers out of the star-studded entry of sixty to win the £1,000 first prize in the Formula Libre final. It was a miserable end to a venture that promised so much and delivered so little. Rain was much heavier for the Formula Libre event, and the weather, as much as the difficulty of the 2½ mile circuit in the new vegetable market near Orly airport, was the cause of the wholesale retirements. The 20-lap qualifying heats were not even reliable guides as qualifiers for the final. Much to everyone's surprise, Renzo Pasolini (350 Aermacchi), who took second spot to Andersson, and Spaniard Victor Palomo (750 Kuhn Norton) qualified, yet both dropped out of their heats with engine trouble! Ex-125cc world champion, Dave Simmonds, was killed by an explosion in fellow-racer Jack Findlay's caravan in the Rungis GP paddock. [Motor Cycle 25/10/1972]