A total of eight race organisers ran rounds for the Coupe d’Europe during 1961 - three in Belgium. two in Germany and one each for Holland, Spain and Yugoslavia. This final country hardly seemed a likely candidate, at least until the two leading contenders emerged as the West German Kreidler factory and the Yugoslav Tomos company and although Kreidler and their star rider Hans-Georg Anscheidt eventually emerged as champions, the little known Tomos team - pot up tremendous fight, which included winning at the ultra-fast Hockenheimring Circuit on the Germans home territory.
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1961 - The Coupe d' Europe - History and Development of the 50cc class.
The relative low cost and increasing availability of 50cc motorcycles in the post-war period spawned a number of club road racing events for this size of machine in the early 1950s. With the earliest events being held in Italy and in the UK, the potential of this class for providing entertaining but affordable racing was soon recognised with several national championships and in 1961 the FIM introduced The Coupe d'Europe, a series of international events for 50cc machines, each with a minimum duration and run to established Grand Prix rules and regulations.
As we have just stated the series attracted a variety of entries, but the dominating force was the work’s Kreidler team bikes. Based on a standard Kreidler Florett road bike, their single cylinder Kreidler Renn-Florett’s featured lightweight frames, a special cylinder head and barrel, twin 16mm Bing carburettors feeding the engine through rotary valves and improved suspension and brakes.
By the end of the season, with the addition of rudimentary streamlining and the increase of carburettor size to 17 mm, the 9hp (6.7 kW) four-speed two-stroke bikes could top over 85 mph
The World Championship 50cc Grand Prix
In 1962, the FIM followed up the success of the Coupe d’ Europe by giving the 50cc class World Championship status. As well as the works entries of existing European manufacturers like Kreidler and Tomos, this development also attracted entries from Japanese manufacturers with both Honda and Suzuki entering full work’s teams. The Spanish Derbi factory also entered a single work’s bike for the Spanish Grand Prix.
It is often difficult, when researching for a page to locate enough information to make it interesting. During my sifting for this page I came across the Racing Memory II page of Vincent Glon. He unfortunately, is no longer with us, but I hope that some of his information, grouped under the 50cc banner will interest the readers. I would also like to thank and ask the following for their agreement for me to use this information. Nikola Antelj, Pierre Deshormes, Laurence Hammond and Johan Kuipers.
The charts are screen prints, modified to fit in with the series of pages.
The Beginning - Coupe d' Europe 1961
The 50cc Motorcycle Grand Prix of the World