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1979 Race of the Year


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#1 Michael Ferner

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 10:59

By chance I recently found out that the 1979 Race of the Year was held at Oulton Park, not Mallory Park. On digging deeper, neither Motocourse nor Motorsport aktuell offered any explanations as to why there was a change of venue, and in fact reported the event very much matter-of-factly, like there was nothing out of the ordinary. Which left me wondering, was this the only time the event took not place at Mallory, or were there other years as well, and does anybody know the reasons for the change?



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#2 Geoff E

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 13:24

An article in the Football Post (Nottingham) 24 February 1979

 

said  it was "being transferred ... to give a better balance of International events".

 

It was certainly at Mallory again in 1980.



#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 18:28

According to a brief report in the Daily Mail, Kenny Roberts wasn't keen on the switch as he didn't like Oulton, due to the poor surface, which had caused him to crash previously. Given that he won the race, maybe he changed his opinion!



#4 Michael Ferner

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 18:43

Unlikely! His only rival, Barry Sheene had broken a collarbone the week before, so anything else but a win would have been embarrassing for "King Kenny"! Third was Jeff Sayle on a 350 Yamaha...



#5 Steve99

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 12:33

I'm pretty sure I was there. The meetings blend into one but I would likely have been perched in the press box keeping a lap chart for my father, a journo of the time. Probably have the programme somewhere too!



#6 fazz2

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 17:20

Hi All I was at this meeting watching, I remember Jeff Sayle but I am sure he rode a 750 the bike was all red in colour, I am certain some issue was at Mallory so the event was changed to Oulton but no idea why.



#7 Paul Collins

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 22:02

I have a vague recollection that Mallory closed briefly around this time, there was some panic over its future as a racing circuit, Change of owners maybe?

#8 Glenn747

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Posted 24 July 2020 - 20:23

I have a vague recollection that Mallory closed briefly around this time, there was some panic over its future as a racing circuit, Change of owners maybe?

As I recall, Mallory Park was going through financial problems at the end of 1982 & also the 'No Noise Brigade' even then were complaining about Sunday meetings so a property developer was looking at taking it over to develop a housing estate.  So I don't think that is the reason for the switch to Oulton Park for the 1979 Race of the Year, Paul.  I might still have the program, if I have I'll dig it out & see if it makes mention of it?