The BLRC 1983
Belle Vue, October 15 and two favourites, Shawn Moran and Dennis Sigalos were unable to attend having to return to the USA for the Nationals.
FRANK MACLEAN for Speedway Star, went scouring for action;
'Although the Belle Vue track has never been better in its long history, the recent rains and a three-hour deluge on the day turned what had been an ideal racing surface into a paradise for the fast starters. Erik Gundersen was just the man to exploit such a track and did so to full advantage in his second attempt to carry off the BLRC crown. Mike Lee was another slick starter in a fighting comeback but he and hot favourite Kenny Carter produced the first shock of the night in their first rides.
The pair gated together from the inside positions in a vital Heat 4 and their obvious over-awareness of each other's abilities permitted Bo Petersen and Jan Andersson to swing round them on the first bend. Carter and Lee received the full blast of heavy, wet shale from the Scandinavian's back wheels and they trailed home third and fourth. The flying Gundersen reeled off a hat-trick of wins and the Midland contingent in Belle Vue's press pen were already drafting the Danish success story. But the exciting Lee upset their calculations for a time with a brilliant chase and overtake of Gundersen in heat 16.'
As you can see, Lee won Heat 17 as well leaving Gundersen needing two points that he was never in danger of not getting. So Erik the Viking stood on top and Mike Lee after beating Nielsen in the 2nd place run-off was left to curse that mud caked first heat duck. This turned out to be Lee's last ever BLRC. Three times on the podium but surprisingly never the winner. And too for double Champion Kenny Carter, his last time on this stage. Both riders stories just too hard to handle.
Sir Ole Olsen said goodbye to the BLRC as 4 times Champion and two weeks later, goodbye to racing at his farewell meeting, The Brandonapolis. He could have settled into retirement in Spain and never be heard of again. Instead he would eventually become 'The Godfather' of Speedway motorcycle racing and love him or hate him, you could even do both at the same time, he thoroughly deserved that Title.
Heat 1. Crump, Woods, BARGH, Courtney.
Erik Gundersen Cradley Heath 14. Mike Lee Poole 12. Hans Nielsen Birmingham 12. Kenny Carter Halifax 10. John Louis Kings Lynn 9. Billy Sanders Ipswich 9. MITCH SHIRRA Reading 8. Bo Petersen Hackney 8. Phil Crump Swindon 8. Ole Olsen Coventry 7. Jan Andersson Reading 7. Chris Morton Belle Vue 5. Paul Woods Eastbourne 5. DAVID BARGH Sheffield 5. Mark Courtney Leicester 1. Kai Niemi Wimbledon 0. Res Martin Scarisbrick Belle Vue 0. Res Dave Wild Belle Vue 0. Dave Jessup Wimbledon q ns. Shawn Moran Sheffield q ns. Dennis Sigalos Ipswich q ns.
This article was first published on 22nd November 2020
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