1939 - When german BMW rider Georg Meier took the checkered flag in the Senior Tourist Trophy race at the 1939 Isle of Man, it marked the first time a non-Briton had won since the beginning of the TT in 1907.
In 1939 BMW arrived at the island early and well prepared. Meier, quoted in a story on the BMW Group Press Club USA site, said, “With BMW’s small racing department we arrived in Douglas in good time, since the official practice sessions started 14 days before the race. Early in the morning, at the break of dawn, we were already out there on the roughly 60 kilometre-long island track where people claimed that ‘only an English rider was able to win the race.’ And believe me, the circuit with all its substantial challenges really demanded the utmost of the rider.”
Proof of that demand was, for the second year in a row, another accident involving BMW rider Karl Gall, who came off at Ballaugh Bridge during a practice lap. His injuries were serious, and he died 11 days later.
Although it considered withdrawing, BMW decided to stay in the race, and on June 16, Meier started the Senior TT with 42 other competitors. “I was really under great mental stress at the start, with each rider setting out in 30-second intervals,” Meier said. However, Meier dominated the event, setting a new lap record his first time around and becoming faster on each subsequent lap.
“And then, after 2 hours and 57 minutes, I at last saw the man with the black-and-white-checkered flag waving me in as the winner. What I really wanted to do most at that point was literally kiss and hug my wonderful machine with its white and blue colors on the tank which, apart from all those flies on the wind deflector, still looked brand new, without the slightest trace of oil or any signs of the incredible race we had just been through.”
Schuco BMW R50 TT 1/10 scale Art no 06610