IOM Clypse Course
In 1954 the TT organisers decided to re-introduce the the Ultra-Lightweight TT and Sidecar TT Race. Rather than use the Mountain Course, they elected to create a secondary shorter course on which full racing could be held, rather than the time trial format of the main TT.
The name Clypse is probably a contraction from the Scandinavian word Kleppsstar ( Kleppr's farm) which gives the modern name of Clypse Beg and Clypse Mooar.
Eventually also used by the Lightweight class, the course had a five year lifespan, before all events switched to the Mountain Course for good in 1960.
Parts of the course have been used in subsequent years for cycle racing and also during the Manx Rally.
Known as the Clypse Course, the start and finish remained in Glencrutchery Road, headed along Bray Hill but then turned sharp right through Parkfield Corner and on up to Willaston Corner. A tricky section of corners led through to Cronk-ny-Mona where they Mountain Course was rejoined, albeit now running in the opposite direction to normal to Creg-ny-Baa, after which it turned right and headed back down through Ballacarrooin.
After several twisting miles, riders joined the Onchan-Laxey road for a flat-out blast to the Manx Arms, where it turned right to climb up through the Nursery Curves to Singpost Corner, where it continued along the Mountain Circuit route to the finish. The total course length was 10.79 miles (17.36km).
The re-introduction of the Sidecar TT Race for the 1954 Isle of Man TT Race was controversial as it was opposed by the motor-cycle manufacturers, while it also marked the debut of the first female competitor, Inge Stoll.
The first race on the Clypse Course was a great success, although there were only nine finishers in the ten-lap Ultra-Lightweight race. NSU-mounted Rupert Hollaus and the MV Agusta of Italian Carlo Ubbiali fought a real short circuit battle round the new course. After a tremendous duel Austrian Hollaus won by just four seconds.
The sidecars made a great impression on their return, with World Champion Eric Oliver and passenger Les Nutt piloting their Norton-powered Watsonian outfit to victory over the BMW's of Fritz Hillebrand and Willi Noll.
In 1955, the Lightweight (250cc) race was also transferred to the Clypse Course for a nine-lap race. It turned into a superb all-Italian battle between Bill Lomas's MC and the Guzzi of Cecil Sandford, who led for the first seven laps. Lomas then took the initiative and took the chequered flag.
The Lightweight, Ultra-Lightweight and Sidecar classes continued to use the Clypse Course through to 1959, after which racing was switched back to the Mountain Course.
This is a historic circuit which is no longer in operation.
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The Clypse Course was, in effect, a shortened version of the Mountain Course, starting and finishing in the same spot as its larger cousin and with several common sections, but much shorter. The roads all remain, so you can still trace the route today.
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