The Golden Hammer - 1996
July 9. 1996.
This was the last Golden Hammer of this era. As the 96 Heathens were racing at Stoke, it was one last hurrah! And back to the 20 heat formula.
So let's enjoy this last report from Nigel Pearson as he hit the keys for Speedway Star.
"Home hero Billy Hamill secured his first-ever Golden Hammer with a superb performance at Stoke in a world class field. Hamill was unstoppable and gathered a collection of race prizes from the individual sponsors to add to the prize money. He was easily the fastest rider on show and virtually ensured victory even before his last ride as he was three points clear of his rivals. As if to complete a magical night for Hamill, he also broke the track record for this season at Loomer Road, clocking a brilliant 61.2 in Heat 11.
The standard of racing was poor which is unusual for Loomer Road as there has been some memorable action at the Potteries venue. As is often the case in a meeting with such a quality field, once a rider took the lead there was no turning back and nobody could get near Hamill in his opening four rides. Ironically Hamill's only defeat came at the hands of Hancock - but by then it didn't matter as Hamill was home and dry.
Ronnie Correy recovered from an inconsistent start to win his last two rides and claim the runners-up spot. Coventry's Brian Andersen was a worthy third place, admitting that he had done better than expected. But the night belonged to Hamill who joins an illustrious list of Hammer winners and not surprisingly he was a proud man on the rostrum."
Three months later, Billy Hamill was crowned Speedway Champion of the World. As Wally Loak would say, "What a rooidar, what a Champion!"
And it was all over. Twenty Hammers and nineteen results. Fifteen winners. A truly magnificent event that even today is fondly remembered by winners, other riders and fans around the Speedway world. We hope you have enjoyed this nostalgic trip down memory lane. Right now, it's time to get Hammered.
With that, it's goodnight from me, Tracy, and it's goodnight from him, Steve. GOODNIGHT.
Heat 1. Andersson, Brian Andersen, Johnston, Hancock.
Billy Hamill 14. Ronnie Correy 12. Brian Andersen 11. Peter Karlsson 10. Daniel Andersson 9. Zoltan Adorjan 9. Jan Staechmann 9. Greg Hancock 8. Chris Manchester 7. Mike Faria 7. Andy Smith 5. John Jorgensen 5. Steve Johnston 5. Troy Pratt 3. Les Collins 3. George Stancl 3. Res Stuart Swales 0. Res Grant MacDonald dnr. Gary Havelock ns.
This article was first published on 18th September 2022
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