The BLRC 1979
Belle Vue, October 20 and Ipswich Witch, 38 year old John Louis had his opponents spellbound! After a Round 1 defeat by Malcolm Simmons, Louis reeled off 4 wins to secure the last BLRC of the decade. But he had to do it the hard way. Heat 18 was the decider with Louis on 11 points equal with Bruce Penhall [ beaten by Mike Lee ] and the home favourite, Peter Collins [ beaten by Larry Ross & Scott Autrey ] on 10. And right with them, Phil Crump, who after a first Round duck, had scored three straight wins!
The tapes went up and Penhall shot to the lead but Louis took him down the back straight. Penhall did all he could but to no avail and with Collins never giving up, Tiger deservedly took the Title after 4 laps of dazzling dynamite! Penhall was Star Spangled, Collins' hopes mangled and Crumpy disentangled. [ That makes no sense! True but it does rhyme. ]
Mike Lee made up for last years debacle and standing in for the injured Edward Jancarz, Wimbledon's Larry Ross again showed what a danger he could be to the Top Guns. Ole Olsen had one of those nights while the Champion of the World, Ivan Mauger made this his 15th consecutive and final BLRC. Under injury cloud and his career catching up with him, the 40 year old was a shadow of his usual self but his last heat victory over Hans Nielsen and Ole Olsen would have brought on a wry smile for sure.
Heat 1. Lee, Nielsen, Kennett, Crump.
John Louis Ipswich 14. Bruce Penhall Cradley Heath 13. Mike Lee Kings Lynn 12. Peter Collins Belle Vue 11. LARRY ROSS Wimbledon 10. Phil Crump Swindon 9. Hans Nielsen Wolverhampton 9. Scott Autrey Exeter 8. Ole Olsen Coventry 7. IVAN MAUGER Hull 6. Malcolm Simmons Poole 5. Ian Cartwright Halifax 5. John Titman Leicester 5. John Davis Reading 4. Andy Grahame Birmingham 1. Gordon Kennett Eastbourne 1. Res Reg Wilson Sheffield dnr. Res Finn Thomsen Hackney dnr. Edward Jancarz Wimbledon q inj ns.
This article was first published on 25th October 2020
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