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British Industrial History

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Bob Foster

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Bob Foster (born March 16, 1911) was a British former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer.

Bob Foster was a well known road racer in the thirties and forties, riding for many different factory teams, including Velocette, AJS, Levis and New Imperial. He won many races, including the TT, and in 1950 was world champion on a 350cc MkVIII Velocette.

Originally coming from Gloucestershire, he was known as the 'Cheltenham Flyer', but settled in Dorset where he owned garages in Blandford and Parkstone; though he took to spending the winter months in South Africa, where he raced with considerable success

Bob Foster’s T.T. statistics do not at first appear to be awe-inspiring; 17 starts, 11 retirements and only 6 finishes. However, those six chequered flags included 6th twice, 2nd once and 1st twice. His first victory came in the 1936 Lightweight TT riding a New Imperial setting a new race record at 74.28 mph. Bob’s second win came in the Junior Race of the first meeting after the end of the war, bringing a Velocette home at an average of 80.31 mph in what was deemed a Velocette ‘white wash’ as the marque took the first four places. Away from the TT, A R Foster competed in the World Championships in 1949 and 1950 on Velo’s, taking runner up position in the first year and going one better in the latter. He retired from the world stage after taking the title, to concentrate on his motor business in Dorset, although he rode one last time in the Island in ’51 gaining a sixth place in the Junior TT on his faithful Velo.

1936 A 250cc New Imperial ridden by Bob Foster won the Lightweight TT, the last British four-stroke to win the event

Just before World War II Bob Foster gained many wins on a Levis ohv 598cc bike in trials and motocross

1947 He won the Junior TT at the Isle of Man TT races, the first TT held after the end of the Second World War.

1950 He won 1950 FIM 350cc World Championship on a Velocette.


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