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The BLRC 1978
By Tracy Holmes

The cold and wet at Belle Vue on October 21 could not stop World Champion Ole Olsen from making it Title number four and this one being a Triple Crown. Despite a first ride greasy goof, he reeled off four wins and kept Peter Collins from victory three years in a row. But with 4 rounds complete, it was Steve Bastable in the drivers seat with 11 points!

He met Olsen and Collins in Heat 20. Collins had ten points, same as Olsen. It was a classic decider as Collins made the gate but lost it to Olsen on the second lap. The Belle Vue fans then roared with delight as Collins took it back on the next turn. But Olsen wasn't finished and went around PC on the last lap to take the chequered flag. Heartbreak for the Collins faithful but joy unlimited for Ole's brigade. Steve Bastable was 3rd and although disappointed, had a brilliant night and thoroughly deserved a podium spot.

Making his debut in the competition, a young Dane named Hans Nielsen. Possibly one to look out for in the future.

Local teenager Andy Heyes had the meeting of his life. As standby reserve not even in the programme, he got seven rides! World Number 2, Gordon Kennett was absent with the flu. So reserve Phil Herne took his place. Second reserve Bob Kilby was also a flu victim and standby reserve Finn Thomsen was nowhere to be found. So Heyes got the rides of his life.

Here's a juicy bone to chew on, imagine if Chris Morton had have been in place instead of Heyes?! The carnage he could have wrecked on the scorechart could have been embarrassing. What if he had have scored 15 or more points? Look at the rides Heyes took and dream.


Heat 1. Bastable, Autrey, Lee, Cartwright.
Heat 2. Simmons, Sanders, Olsen, Crump.
Heat 3. Titman, MAUGER. Jessup ef. Nielsen fall/ex
Heat 4. Wyer, Collins, ROSS, Herne.
Heat 5. Olsen, Cartwright, MAUGER, Wyer.
Heat 6. Simmons, Collins, Nielsen. Lee ret.
Heat 7. Autrey, Crump, Titman, Herne.
Heat 8. ROSS, Bastable, Sanders, Heyes. Jessup ns
Heat 9. ROSS, Titman, Cartwright, Simmons.
Heat 10. Olsen, Herne, Heyes. Lee ns
Heat 11. Collins, Autrey, Sanders, MAUGER.
Heat 12. Bastable, Crump, Wyer, Nielsen.
Heat 13. Collins, Cartwright, Crump, Heyes. Jessup ns
Heat 14. Titman, Sanders, Wyer, Heyes. Lee ns
Heat 15. Olsen, Autrey, ROSS, Nielsen.
Heat 16. Bastable, MAUGER, Simmons, Herne.
Heat 17. Sanders, Cartwright, Herne, Heyes. Nielsen ns
Heat 18. ROSS, Crump, Heyes. MAUGER ex/tapes
Heat 19. Simmons, Wyer, Autrey, Heyes. Jessup ns
Heat 20. Olsen, Collins, Bastable, Titman.
Run-off for 2nd. Collins, Bastable.


Ole Olsen Coventry 13. Peter Collins Belle Vue 12. Steve Bastable Cradley Heath 12. LARRY ROSS Wimbledon 11. Malcolm Simmons Poole 10. Scott Autrey Exeter 10. John Titman Leicester 9. Billy Sanders Ipswich 9. Doug Wyer Sheffield 7. Ian Cartwright Halifax 7. Phil Crump Bristol 7. IVAN MAUGER Hull 5. Res Phil Herne Birmingham 3. Res Andy Heyes Belle Vue 2. Hans Nielsen Wolverhampton 1. Mike Lee Kings Lynn 1. Dave Jessup Reading 0. Res Finn Thomsen Hackney dnr. Gordon Kennett White City q ill ns. Res Bob Bilby Swindon q ill ns.


This article was first published on 11th October 2020

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