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The Internationale 1976
By Tracy Holmes

Monday May 31 and hours of rain reflected the mood. Eleven days earlier, Wimbledon's own Tommy Jansson had been killed racing in Sweden. The club never recovered and Speedway lost one of it's very brightest stars.

Ole Olsen was not on parade. The World Champion was in a spot of bother with the Danish Motor Union who banned him from lining up. John Louis, Scott Autrey and Dag Lovaas all declined invites to appear. Lone Kiwi was Ivan Mauger. A 15 point maximum for Exeter in the morning, yet again saw his evening's performance being as 'middle tar' as one of Embassy's Virginia filters. And that led him to make this his last Internationale.

After a decade of appearances and with Ove Fundin, sharing the record of 3 in a row, Ivan, now in his mid 30s, conceded it was all too much. He had specific goals left to reach in Speedway and winning the Internationale again was not one of them. As a meeting, The Internationale never recovered from Mauger as a non starter.

The night eventually got under way with all competitors willing to ride and the rain eventually stopped. Malcolm Simmons proved to be in a class of his own and rained supreme. [ Good joke that, pun like ] His 15 point maximum reflecting his mastery.

Next best was Chris Morton putting all those years of grass tracking in the wet to the test. And Speedway's brightest new kid on the block, Mike Lee showed class beyond his years to get on the podium.

 

Heat 1. Jessup, Pusey, Sanders, Ashby.
Heat 2. Crump, C Morton, Betts, D Morton.
Heat 3. Simmons, Kennett, MAUGER. Davis fall.
Heat 4. Lee, Collins, Boulger, Plech.
Heat 5. MAUGER, Lee, Ashby, Betts.
Heat 6. C Morton, Davis, Plech. Pusey fall/ex
Heat 7. Simmons, Crump. Sanders fall/ex. Boulger fall/ex.
Heat 8. D Morton, Jessup, Kennett, Collins.
Heat 9. Simmons, C Morton, Collins, Ashby.
Heat 10. Boulger, Betts, Kennett, Hines. Pusey ex/2 mins.
Heat 11. D Morton, MAUGER, Plech. Sanders ef.
Heat 12. Lee, Jessup, Thomas, Davis. Crump ex/tapes.
Heat 13. Crump, Ashby, Plech. Kennett ef.
Heat 14. Simmons, Hines, Lee, Pusey. D Morton ex/tapes.
Heat 15. Collins, Davis, Sanders. Betts ef.
Heat 16. C Morton, Jessup, Thomas. MAUGER fall/ex. Boulger ex/2 mins.
Heat 17. D Morton, Boulger, Ashby, Davis.
Heat 18. Collins, Crump, MAUGER, Hines. Pusey ns.
Heat 19. C Morton, Lee, Sanders, Thomas. Kennett ns.
Heat 20. Simmons, Jessup, Betts, Plech.
3rd place run-off. Lee, Jessup.

 

Malcolm Simmons 15. Chris Morton 13. Mike Lee 11. Dave Jessup 11. Phil Crump 10. Dave Morton 9. Peter Collins 9. IVAN MAUGER 7. John Boulger 6. Martin Ashby 4. Terry Betts 4. John Davis 4. Gordon Kennett 4. Zenon Plech 3. Billy Sanders 3. Chris Pusey 2. Res Mick Hines 2. Res Barry Thomas 2. Tommy Jansson Q ns +. Ole Olsen Q banned. John Louis, Scott Autrey and Dag Lovaas all invited but declined.

 

This article was first published on 3rd May 2020

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