The BLRC 1971
If anyone was going to end the 6 year monopoly of Barry Briggs, it was Ivan Mauger. And at Belle Vue on October 16, he did just that. Mauger was simply in a class of his own and he was more than happy to drop a point in his last heat, to his Kiwi friend, Briggo.
That result ensured Mauger the Title and a place on the podium for the outgoing Champion. Briggs was then joined on 12 points by Jim McMillan who all but stole the show from much higher rated stars.
Briggo's win over the new World Champion, Ole Olsen in heat 10 was described as one of the best ever races seen at Hyde Road. Briggs makes the gate but Olsen takes the lead within the first lap. The Emperor Strikes Back but Olsen was not finished and regained the lead on the last lap, only for Briggo to steal the win on the run to the flag. Whoever owned the programme I now have, wrote in the scorechart, "Bloody brilliant WOW".
That left Olsen with 8 points at half time but he literally threw away his aspirations in round 4, facing the unbeaten Mauger. The tapes went up and so did Ole, up and over! Then in Heat 20, Ole fell again. Ray Wilson was unable to avoid his bike and crashed heavily being taken to hospital.
It was also a bad night at the office for World number 3, Bengt Jansson. His one point not even a shadow of the Super Swede. And Ronnie Moore knew he could do better, and he would!
Heat 1. MAUGER, Michanek, McMillan, Betts.
IVAN MAUGER Belle Vue 14. BARRY BRIGGS Swindon 12. Jim McMillan Glasgow 12. Bob Kilby Exeter 10. Nigel Boocock Coventry 9. Eric Boocock Halifax 9. Ole Olsen Wolverhampton 8. Christer Lofqvist West Ham 8. Jim Airey Sheffield 7. Ray Wilson Leicester 6. Reider Eide Poole 6. RONNIE MOORE Wimbledon 5. Anders Michanek Reading 5. Sandor Levai Newport 4. Terry Betts Kings Lynn 2. Bengt Jansson Hackney 1. Res Bert Harkins Wembley 1. Oyvind Berg Oxford dnr. Roy Trigg Cradley Heath dnr.
This article was first published on 9th August 2020
"Possibly my favourite ever meeting. A large contingent of Glasgow Tigers fans gathered in the small stand on the 2nd bend and it was shaking with the volume of noise coming from the Tigers fans, who hadn't had too much to celebrate in recent times. Jimmy Mac did us proud that night and his rostrum place was well and truly deserved, and he was cheered every inch of the way there as we celebrated well into the night."
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