The World Pairs Final 1985
Out with the old, in with the new. Or not so new. Some big changes this year saw defending Champions Peter Collins and Chris Morton given the 'Spanish Archer'! England had Kenny Carter back with a rising star, Kelvin Tatum. Hans Nielsen was dumped from Denmark after a spat with Danish boss Ole Olsen, Erik Gundersen joined by Tommy Knudsen. And for Australia, Phil Crump returned with Steve Regeling. If you want to know what happened to Billy Sanders and Gary Guglielmi, "I suggest you ask the neighbours pal!"
New Zealand kept Ivan Mauger, the 45 year old veteran making his last appearance and Mitch Shirra was coming back after missing his NZ season, being smashed up at Western Springs in December. And Sweden saw Jan Andersson with hugely impressive young Per Jonsson.
No upsets from the Semi-Finals and it was off to Poland for the World Final on June 15. Rybnik was the host and Jerzy Szczakiel himself was there to witness the action. World Pairs Finals had a very fortunate path of sunny afternoons, aahhh but not this one! It was ploutin doon and racing was postponed for an hour. Still, the huge and faithful crowd were treated to a 'fine' afternoon's action that became a three-way battle; Brits V Danes V Yanks.
Heat 1, Moran and Schwartz downed the home team of Andrzej Huszcza and Gregorz Dzikowski. In the programme, Piotr Pyszny was named but the standby Dzikowski it was and the home fans expected much more than they were able to deliver. Heat 3, the Poms took care of Sweden and the first big crunch was Heat 4. First time out for the Danes and they showed no mercy. "Tommy and me are the perfect combination" said Erik and he was right. Denmark 5, USA 1.
Soon it was time for the biggest Crunchie Bar, Heat 10. England V Denmark with ten points each. At the tapes, gate 1 was Tatum, gate 2 Knudsen, gate 3 Carter and gate 4 Gundersen. Up flew the tapes and out shot the Poms. Carter and Tatum lead to the first turn with Gundersen staying outside. Mid turn, Knudsen drives under Tatum as Erik blasts around Carter. Into the second turn, Gundersen leads from Carter, Knudsen and Tatum and thats the way it stayed. And Erik The Viking set a new track record in the process! Denmark 4. England 2.
Erik, "It wasnt a 'Kamakazi' move, there was just enough room and I went for it. Thats where the dirt was. It wasnt a risk as far as Im concerned. We really wanted to win."
Carter, "Gundersen did what we didnt expect him to, go round the outside on the first turn. It was so wet, I was so surprised he tried that move." Try he did and succeed he did.
Next big match was Poms V Yanks, Heat 15. Lap one, back straight, Schwartz had the lead from Carter, Tatum and Moran. Turn two, Tatum takes Schwartz and Moran comes inside Carter who focuses well and stays on the outside to sweep around and regain third. Lap two, Tatum leads Schwartz, Carter and Moran. Kenny then goes around Schwartz to team up with Tatum and it was all over. England 5. USA 1.
The Danes had no trouble wrapping up the Gold Medals from England and The States. It was a tremendous contest which echoed the words of Wally Loak, "No quarter asked, no quarter given!"
The Kiwis proved best of the rest with Ivan Mauger having the very last say, winning the days last heat, his last ever Pairs Final race. And he did it in "true Ivan Mauger style". Up against the Swedes, he played his usual pre-race theatrics, making sure everyone knew the Lord Mayor was in town. He made a vintage gate and roared down the back straight to shake off Jan Andersson. The Swede never gave up though and he made Ivan race for the entire four laps, finishing just two lengths back. Shirra just held out Jonsson for a point.
As one legend retired, another was born. A very fitting way for Mauger to say "Adios Amigos", he won his very last race in 1985 and he had won his very first race in 1969. A mile of water in between. Some for water-skiing, some for shipwrecks. Now it was time to enjoy retirement in the sun, away from it all, on some tropical beach somewhere ... "Ah, if I can drag you lot back to real world!"
The day belonged to Denmark and the 'Danish Domination' was now well underway. Last words from Kenny Carter, "Despite what some critics said, John Berry's decision to pick me and Kelvin was fully justified at Rybnik and I look forward to hopefully continuing the association next season." mmmmmm ...............
1 Moran Schwartz Dzikowski Huszcza
1st Denmark 29
2nd England 27
3rd USA 22
4th New Zealand 15
5th Sweden 14
6th Australia 11
7th Poland 8
This article was first published on 9th November 2014
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