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Speedway solo bike racing


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#51 Muz Bee

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 23:29

Sadly the solo speedway scene has been badly affected by the move to clay surface tracks. While no expert on this form of racing I met Larry Ross at last year's Burt Munro event where they ran solos and outfits on the Saturday evening at the little oval between Teretonga and Oreti Beach. The surface was I think referred to as shale and the racing, while not perhaps of quite the standard I saw at The Springs in 1980 featuring Ivan Mauger, was fast and furious and showed some up and coming talent along with some old hands including Larry Ross. I hope the club that run this track preserve it and that the "old hands" continue to work with the young riders to return speedway solos to some form of it's glorious past. I thought the speedway event was a highlight of my visit to last year's festival and it made pretty good TV given the budget for only two cameras.

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#52 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 05:04

Originally posted by Peter Leversedge
Ruapuna Speedway in Christchurch New Zealand still run Solo Motor Cycles and Sprint Car on the same show but it is a hard call to get the track good for both. For several years they had a separate track but for some reason they did away with Solo track last season. I always felt the need for a separate track or runing separate meetings and prepearing the track to suit. Not much fun racing a Sprint Car on a hard dry slick track
[ ex Ruapuna Sprint Car driver ]

Very brave of the promoters. i have not seen Sprinters and bikes on the same program for at least 15 years. {apart from classics and even then neither are really happy]
Murray Bridge has ran mixed programs occasionally with F500s or speedcar style cars and some sedans too with reasonable success

#53 thunder427

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 07:01

the early 'Cinder' tracks were perhaps an early form of recycling,the cinder surface was a bi-product of the local 'Gas Works',as in the case with the Christchurch/ Aranui Speedway,

#54 Hoofhearted

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 07:23

Check out www.defunctspeedways.co.uk The site is a goldmine of speedway info. I have an old Weslake speedway engine in my Norton that I use for Land Speed Racing. Fantastic and almost indestructable motor.

#55 Herr Wankel

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 18:32

no problem.

john had a short 'hit and miss' speedway career over a couple of years.
basically it became too expensive for him to continue.

regarding leicester speedway?

yes it will be fantastic if they can get it up and running even if it is at a multi sport style stadium.

leicester had a beautiful stadium in the old days at blackbird rd/parker drive.

unfortunately it was sold to developers in the early 8ts to become a housing estate.

leicester speedway was actually owned by coventry 'bees' who also owned oxford and in earlier years west ham.


but you are right in the fact that speedway is no longer a 'city' sport.

i remember when they introduced 'silencers' to the bikes in the 7ts. it just killed it.
nothing like the sound of a 500cc single going full pelt with a straight through stainless steel exhaust pipe.
and the 'smell' of the cinders and methanol!!!

I'm a bit late latching onto this thread but as I remember it,didn't Leicester speedway rise from the ashes of the old Long Eaton team.Boss Ron Wilson,Ray Wilson,Norman Storer(also a 1st class road racer)Vic White,Johnny Boulger,Anders Michanek,Dewayne Keeter,sorry if I,ve missed anyone.I used to go there on my clapped out Honda S65 to watch.
The Long Eaton track was closed for redevelopement also,but when I was there about 2 1/2 years ago nothing had been done.A forty year long con trick I think!
HW

#56 Classicpics

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 21:10

Nigel Boocock, "Little Boy Blue", Coventry captain, great friend of John Cooper,

I followed speedway for many years mainly at Sheffield, sometimes Long Eaton, Leicester and Coventry.

I meet Nigel a few times at Mallory, he was an amusing storyteller.

He emigrated to Australia in the 70's (guessing again).

Anyone know of his whereabouts?

#57 Coupe Kawasaki

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 03:23

I didn't follow speedway at all but Les Owen used to drink in my local and I think he or his family had a small car repair and MOT place just off Radford road in Coventry. Les had a bad accident and was confined to a wheelchair as I remember.

David

#58 Rob Lees

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 20:00

When I was a lad growing up in West Cumbria I was taken to see Workington Comets a few times, and also a couple of internationals - I'm looking at a programme right now for an England v. Australasia New National League series meeting from 13th August 1976 - these would be riders one step below the top division in Britain, but there were still some 'names' - Tom Owen, Les Collins, Joe Owen, Brian Havelock, Stephen Lawson, John Jackson for GB, Lou Sansom, Robbie Blackadder, Phil Michelides, Dave Gifford, Roger Wright for the visitors.

I remember the shale and the atmosphere and of course the Castrol R - drifted away for a few years but have got back into it since Comets re-formed, initially being led with distinction by Carl Stonehewer, one of the toughest but nicest blokes out there. I try to get up there once or twice a season, 250 mile round trip on a Saturday night but it's still worth it! :)

The Grand Prix series on Sky TV has done wonders for bringing the sport back into the public eye in the UK, even if there is never quite the atmosphere of a one-off World Final like the 1970s when I used to sit glued to the box. The commentary team are excellent, the format has improved over time and the riders are given enough airtime for you to develop real favourites without even seeing them ride in the flesh.

#59 fil2.8

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 21:41

The Grand Prix series on Sky TV has done wonders for bringing the sport back into the public eye in the UK, even if there is never quite the atmosphere of a one-off World Final like the 1970s when I used to sit glued to the box. The commentary team are excellent, the format has improved over time and the riders are given enough airtime for you to develop real favourites without even seeing them ride in the flesh.


Well Rob , :wave: I agree , the ' Grand Prix ' series is , to me , damned good TV :up:


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#60 robbie285

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 14:30

Nivola, a genuine Chum Taylor bike was restored and was the centrepeice in a Perth QCs office - Geoff Millar was his name I think ??

Couple of other big names in WA like Aub Lawson, Ron Johnson, season long visitors like Ken McKinlay.

Fowlhouse Corner : Friday night is speedway night .... you bewdy!!!

Hi ex Rhodie racer,
I new Peter Prinsloo,I lived with his parents in Rhodisia.
His father's name is Chris,and lived in Gwelo.
He came over from England to visited his parents,and thats how I got to know him.
I whent to see the local speedway,when he was riding.

#61 Arthur

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 20:02

Some of the names mentioned on here bring back memories as I lived within a few hundred yards of the old Norwich Firs Stadium and new many of the riders of the 50s and 60s including Aub Lawson and Ove Fundin Amongst many more were Billy Bales, Bob Leverence,Bert Spencer Phile Clarke ect.
When I was around 14/15 yo used to hang around the track after school and during one practice session Aub and Jack let me have a little go round on my BSA Empire star scrambler bike which I used to wheel to the Firs so I could have a go on the huge cinder car park practice track but on this day they let me join some novices on the real track. They then offered to lend me proper JAP gear if I could persuade my parents to let me do it properly But parents were not amused and when I was old enough to not need their consent I tried again but hated the muck being thrown over me so went road racing instead.
However I still take a big interest in speedway and think the grand prix series is excellent entertainment although the league programmes could improve if they stopped the dithering about between races. The GP series runs at a much quicker pace


#62 GD66

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 21:26

Nigel Boocock, "Little Boy Blue", Coventry captain, great friend of John Cooper,

I followed speedway for many years mainly at Sheffield, sometimes Long Eaton, Leicester and Coventry.

I meet Nigel a few times at Mallory, he was an amusing storyteller.

He emigrated to Australia in the 70's (guessing again).

Anyone know of his whereabouts?


Nigel lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland nowadays.


#63 robbie285

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 12:31

Anyone remember the great Rhodesian and South African champion Peter Prinsloo? Signed for Exeter in 1976 (I think) where he joined forces with the great Ivan Mauger. All the top boys in the world came out during the European winter to race in our part of the world in those days, so we got to see the very best.
Saturday night at Wembly stadium in Johannesburg, with Buddy Fuller, the promotor, hyping up the crowd, the smell and the sounds.
God, those were magic times. :up: :up: :up:


Yes I remember Chris Prinsloo.
I lived with his parents in what was called then Gwelo.
When I was there,he came to see his parents,from England and thats how we met.
Rob.
USA.
roover285@hotmail.com

Edited by robbie285, 08 March 2010 - 12:34.


#64 Classicpics

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 19:24

Nigel lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland nowadays.



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#65 rotrax

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 23:49

Solo Bike Racing; Who in thier right mind throws thier leg over a two wheel machine that will exceed 100mph (in the 'blink' of the eye ) has to be encouraged to turn left while proceeding around a 1/4 mile track with a lose suface,surrounded by a fence,only to discover..'what no brakes', .....these MEN are the bravest;...My home track was 'Aranui Speedway' located on the outskirts of Christchurch/New Zealand, opened 1949 ran every Saturday night (Summer Time!) till the 'urban sprawl' closed it in 1959 (google; Aranui speedway/great history site )I grew up watching the great Ronnie Moore/Barry Briggs/Ivan Mauger all world champions multiple times,Saturday night under lights 'cinder' surface, noise/ chrome/ Castrol-R in the air,,oh to be 10yrs old again, I remember fantastic nights in the pits after racing ,with my Dad, semi dark,battered and scattered bikes and people,were I first learnt the exspression 'walking wounded', I obvserved the odd tonic or two, all happy to come back next week and do it all again !!...Lets share our Solo Speedway stories

Hi, I was once asked what it was like to dump the clutch on 60hp, 200lbs weight and no brakes.I replied that was like being hit up the arse with a shovel! If any of you ex tarmac guys fancy a go you can get stuck in at Sittingbourne Speedway-Graham Arnold will put a training day together for about £100.00 all in. Bike ,clothing,boots,steel shoe,helmet-the lot. Give it a go-there is nothing like a controlled powerslide on a well prepared track. Also check out the Southern Track Riders website.It is an amateur club that puts on 15 or so meetings every year.Stay Loose, In Sport, Rotrax.

#66 john winfield

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:48

For anyone interested, Barry Briggs appeared on BBC Radio 4's 'Midweek' this morning - I think it will be available for some listeners on BBC iPlayer soon.
I have lost touch with speedway in recent years but grew up watching television coverage of Briggs, Mauger etc.. Being a four-wheel enthusiast, I was always impressed by the impact that Brabham, McLaren, Hulme and Amon had on world motor sport, not forgetting Frank Gardner, Alan Jones etc. Aussies and Kiwis everywhere.
But looking back at the speedway stats, I had forgotten the hugely impressive World Championship records of Ronnie Moore, Barry Briggs and Ivan Mauger: key figures from 1954-1979.