Fergus Anderson

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Fergus Kinloch Anderson (born February 9, 1909 in Croydon or Wallington , London , England ; † May 6, 1956 in Namur , Belgium ) was a British motorcycle racer .

Fergus Anderson was considered a very talented pilot and had great technical understanding. In 1953 and 1954 , he won the world championship title in the 350 cm³ class of the motorcycle world championship on Moto Guzzi .


Fergus Anderson, son of a Scottish shipbuilding engineer, began his career as a privateer in 1927 at the age of 18. Before the Second World War , he competed in races all over Europe , including the Velocette , NSU and DKW, and was considered one of the best private drivers at the time.

In the post-war years, Anderson was one of the first British motorcycle racers to go to mainland Europe to race there. During these years he competed in countless races, was able to win many and contributed to the revival of motorcycle racing in Europe. In 1947 , Anderson won the European championship title in the 350 cm³ class on a Velocette at the Swiss Grand Prix in Bremgarten . In the races of the quarter-liter and half-liter class, he took third place.

In 1949 he signed a contract with the Italian manufacturer Moto Guzzi and, at the age of 40, competed in a 250 cc class in the newly created motorcycle world championship , in which he came third. In the following years he became the number 1 driver for the Italians and lived for six years in Varenna on Lake Como , very close to the company headquarters, which was in Mandello del Lario .

In 1950 Fergus Anderson contested the Grand Prix of Nations in the 250cc class and finished second behind Dario Ambrosini . In the following year, 1951 , Anderson was finally able to celebrate his first Grand Prix victory at the Swiss Grand Prix in the 500 cc class. In the 1952 season, Anderson drove the entire 250 cc season and was runner-up in the world championship with two wins behind his teammate Enrico Lorenzetti .

Fergus Anderson convinced the Italians to also design a 350 cm³ machine and to start in this class from 1953 . Already in the first year he, now 44 years old, won the title on the 350cc Moto Guzzi, Enrico Lorenzetti again made the team success complete with his runner-up world championship. Anderson's world championship title was also the first in the history of the 350 cm³ class of the motorcycle world championship that was not won on a British motorcycle. At the Spanish Grand Prix in Montjuïc , where no 350 cc race was held this season, Anderson competed in the 500 cc class with the 350 cc Guzzi and won the race sensationally.

In the 1954 season Fergus Anderson was able to defend his 350 title with four wins and a second place. At the end of the season he had almost twice as many points on his account as his worst opponent, Ray Amm from Rhodesia . At 45 years and 215 days, Anderson is the oldest world champion in the history of the class that was held until 1982 . With his victory at the Grand Prix of Spain, the last of his career, Anderson became the oldest winner of a 350 cc race in the history of the motorcycle world championship at the age of 45 and 236 days. After the season he retired from racing and became team manager at Moto Guzzi, but left the factory in 1955 after his request for more freedom and skills was not met. Fergus Anderson decided to take part in races again in the following years. A request to DKW for one of the 350 cm³ three-cylinder, also known as a singing saw , was unsuccessful. A short time later, however, he received the offer to pilot a 500 cc BMW factory machine, which he accepted.

On May 6, 1956, Fergus Anderson was killed after a serious accident at the 23rd Circuit de Floreffe race near the Belgian town of Floreffe . On his first start for BMW, in pursuit of John Surtees , he skidded on a patch of gravel , hit a telegraph pole and was thrown from his machine. He suffered such serious injuries that he died a short time later in the Namur hospital .

Fergus Anderson was buried a short time later on the Cimetière de Namur. He left behind his wife and two children. His death caused great consternation among racing fans and led to the end of racing activities in Floreffe.

In his career, Fergus Anderson took part in a total of 31 Grand Prix races, celebrated twelve victories and stood on the podium 24 times.



Isle of Man TT victories

year class machine Average speed
1952 Lightweight (250 cm³) Moto Guzzi 83.82  mph (134.9  km / h )
1953 Lightweight (250 cm³) Moto Guzzi 84.83 mph (136.52 km / h)

In the motorcycle world championship

season class Result machine Victories
1949 250 cc 8th. Moto Guzzi 0
1950 250 cc - Moto Guzzi 0
1951 250 cc 8th. Moto Guzzi 0
500 cc 7th Moto Guzzi 1
1952 250 cc 2. Moto Guzzi 2
1953 250 cc 4th Moto Guzzi 1
350 cc World Champion Moto Guzzi 3
500 cc 9. Moto Guzzi 1
1954 250 cc 15th Moto Guzzi 0
350 cc World Champion Moto Guzzi 4th
500 cc 7th Moto Guzzi 0


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Vincent Glon: Les Championnats du Monde de Courses sur Route - L'année 1953. racingmemo.free.fr, accessed on May 18, 2010 (French).
  2. a b Vincent Glon: Les records d'âge en GP moto. Racingmemo.free.fr, accessed on February 8, 2010 (French).