News 28 Nov 2011

TT hero Charlie Williams in for 2012 Honda Broadford Bike Bonanza

Eight-time Isle of Man TT winner Charlie Williams is coming Down Under for the Honda Broadford Bike Bonanza at the State Motorcycle Complex in Broadford at Easter 2012.

A native of the Cheshire district in northern England, Williams began his racing career with a short-lived stint as a sidecar passenger in 1969.

“I gave that away after four races – that was enough,” Williams said.

“After buying a Yamaha TD1C from Aussie legend Jack Findlay I rode in my first Manx Grand Prix in 1970, winning the Newcomers Award for fifth place in the Lightweight (250 cc) class.”

The following year he won the Lightweight Manx GP and moved up to the TT for 1972, where he scored five top-six finishes from six starts.

It was the beginning of an illustrious TT career that brought eight wins from 1973 to 1980, with his last TT start in 1984 when he finished second to Aussie Graeme McGregor.

Williams was recruited by Honda to partner his friend and near-neighbour John Williams (no relation) in the 1973 Spa 24 Hours Endurance race, scoring a first-up victory.

The Williams/Williams Honda pairing became a regular at major endurance events over the next three years, often riding experimental factory-supplied bikes.

In 1976 he was joined in the Honda Britain Team by another Cheshire lad, Stan Woods, and together they won the 1976 Barcelona 24 Hour Race, the 1977 Nurburgring 8 Hour and the Thruxton 1000 km.

1978 began with a win in the Zandvoort 6 Hour and ended with victory in the Brands Hatch 1000 km, going on to finish the year second in the Endurance World Championship.

1979 marked his first and so-far only trip to Australia to compete in the Advertiser Three Hour Race at Virginia Raceway on a Honda CB900, where he was teamed with local John Inkster.

At Broadford, Charlie will be riding the David Murray locally-built Honda RS1000 Endurance racer replica in an interesting throwback to his days in Honda colours in the gruelling and popular endurance events of the 1970s.

The 2012 Honda Broadford Bike Bonanza takes place at the State Motorcycle Complex in Broadford at Easter, 7-8 April.