"I agree with Robert J Rogers posting
about the "Winged Wheel". The only difference I would want is that it was given to Ove Fundin to mark his years he filled a top 3 position
in Finals but it was a Sunday Newspaper Trophy so they should have the final say. "
"Speaking of Speedway's most famous trophy,
is this truly the One? Surely another which would have a great claim on that name would be the Daily Mail (?) National Trophy competed
for over many years as the speedway equivalent of the F.A.Cup. Many of the struggles, which covered ALL divisions were legend and the
pride in the team which won was immense. Later knockout competitions with riveting and imaginative names like "K.O.Cup" have paled. Would it
not be a tremendous shot in the arm for our sport for the NT to be taken out of mothballs, if it still exists, and competed for again?"
"Can anyone EXPLAIN how Poland can track possibly 2 other nationalities in their WORLD CUP TEAM.
It seems Emil Sajfutdinov is the latest with a Polish passport, if they can do it why not GB? It's making a mockery of international raceing."
"I am very concerned about the way
the SGP is heading, always the top eight every year the same and I myself his very concerned about it. I am getting fed up with the same
riders. I am getting sick of the same riders such as Nicki Pedersen, Greg Hancock, Hans Andersen, Andreas Jonsson, Jason Crump, Leigh Adams
and Tomasz Gollob, same riders every year, change the system please and give the youngsters a chance and not just from the UK but every other
country as well, give the boys the chance to make a go of it. Wouldn't it be fair on other riders trying to make it to the SGP? Let's start
with only six rider who automatically go in to the SGP, so that leaves eight places to go for to qualify and then have two wild cards which
makes sixteen places complete. The wild cards, one for the host country and the other wild card for a rider who wouldn't have the opportunity to
make it. Riders from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, USSR, Norway, Finland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Hungary and USA and many
others. Bring back the qualifying rounds then have two semi finals plus the British Final, If you can remember the 60s when they did
this it always worked and was very good for the riders.
At the moment they have five qualifying rounds with only the top six going through
to the two semi finals and then the final with only three going to the SGP the following year. It would be more interesting if the top eight
went through joining the top six from previous year SGP then that would be fourteen riders and with two wild cards to help some riders out.
Think about it for next year please and make it more interesting to watch, but just watching the same old faces really let's move and make
it worth while to watch speedway. It works for the elite league because all the top riders have move to Poland or Sweden and I think it
really good not seeing these rider at all. I know there will be some fans out there would not agree with me but at the moment it working
very well for the Elite League and good on them. The racing is more interesting to watch and so some riders are doing really well now."
Colin Taylor has uncovered a photograph of Lythalls Lane stadium in Coventry that staged speedway in 1928-30.
The picture was taken at a dog meeting but offers an insight into what the stadium must have been like.
The annual Classic Speedway Bash will take place at Sammy Miller's Motorcycle Museum on Sunday 19th July.
Full details can be found on the all new classicspeedwaybash.co.uk
"Very interesting article. It's
a significant point that the inside lines have come in, making the official track sizes shorter. However, due to the speeds of the bikes and
the need to keep the wheels as in line as possible, modern riders often tend to race much closer to the fence, covering a far greater
distance than the track measurement, and hence travelling at a much faster actual average speed."
"Wow, the memories certainly came
flooding back as I read that! I'm sure I still have a few programmes from the Pirates races somewhere, probably in a box up in the loft
with my old Everton and Liverpool programmes. The second bend was our usual vantage point. I can remember standing there on the night
I left secondary school. I'm almost sure the Pirates meetings were on Friday nights. I must look the programmes out just to confirm that."
"Well it seems I managed to to get a
few grey cells working with my questions about the Winged Wheel World Championship Trophy. Thank you everybody who was good enough to write
into the Speedway Plus Website. It is very much appreciated by myself."
"I wonder if the four people who wrote
comments about the winged wheel should have contacted Split Waterman first and got his side of the story? Ronnie Moore phoned Split, but it's not for me to divulge
what was said! I have great respect for the pair of them, both icons of speedway's past history and may they live for many more years to come
and in good health."
Often one article on the site leads to us receiving another on a related topic. That's the case here as Mark Dell
expands on John Hyam's recent article on the Origins of Rye House. Mark has been researching
the 1934 season at Hoddesdon and as John suspected in his article, there had indeed been some earlier racing action at Rye House.
A brand new Inland Motorcycle Speedway is to open in California in the near future. Jason Bonsignore and Shawn McConnell are the prospective
promoters of the new venue and Jason has provided a new picture of the original IMS track.
"Loved it Tracy mate, I truly loved it. I
did exactly the same thing only I missed the gate every time and made five amazing charges from the back!! I guess that makes it more of a
fantasy than just a dream."
"What a fascinating
article. Basically I don't understand a word of it but at the same time it all seems to make perfect sense! I believe that there have been
debates/controversies like this throughout dirt track history, was there not a famous attempted forced change of tyre formation in the late
40's or early 50's? I believe the great leg trailer Oliver Hart, for one, threatened to retire unless the old tyre returned, which I think
it did. Someone out there must remember?"
"The other factor to be
thrown into the equation is that frame design has improved over recent years so that more of the power produced gets transmitted to the track.
This makes it even harder to understand why speeds have apparently not increased as much in practice as one would expect in theory. I think in
part this is due to slicker tracks, as has already been mentioned and also in part due to the fact that the faster you go the more effort
it takes to gain a smaller improvement. Some of the big tracks in Europe have track records that have stood for 8 or 10 years, and this is
clearly due to less dirt on the track but the discrepancy between the theory and practice is curious. When the new noise limits come in, which
I think is next year, the new silencers will cause a drop in engine power and it will be interesting to see what, if any, effect that has
on race times."
"Crewe was originally
470 yeards round and went around a cricket pitch belonging to British Rail. The main stand was actually the cricket pavillion/clubhouse.
What made it more awesome was a "safety" fence made from old railway sleepers. Now it's a housing estate!"
"Thanks for the
wonderful item on one of West Ham's top riders, Norman Hunter, who, when the sport finally closed down at West Ham in 1972 was voted 14th
in the Top Twenty Hammers by the fans. Needless to say our Australian World Champions, Bluey Wilkinson and Jack Young were joint 1st. One
minor point, the item said that the `Powers that Be` decided that Norman's point average was too high, so he was transferred to Wolverhampton
in 1969. It was a bit more of a `saga` than that, and I feel Norman leaving West Ham was the start of the downfall of a once great team.
From the programme notes on the 7th April, which was Easter Monday and the first home match on the 1969 season, (40 years ago this year),
Dave Lanning in his `Behind the Hammers` page stated the following, "The Norman Hunter affair has predictably made the Headlines and no doubt
will be the Buzz around the Stadium this Afternoon, so please let us put our side of the Story". It would seem Norman failed to agree terms
with West Ham, and went to the Riders Control Committee to request a Transfer, but did not inform the West Ham Management of this.
The first they knew was when it appeared in the Speedway Press. The RCC could not agree anything and it went to the Speedway Control Board,
who said Norman must ride for West Ham. It would seem there were irresolvable differences between Norman and the West Ham Board, so Norman
said he would rather quit the sport than be forced to ride at West Ham.
As the sport could not afford to lose such a top rider who had been
capped for his Country, he was transferred to Wolverhampton. Dave Lanning went on the say "Although we announced that Norman would ride for
West Ham , it was the decided we would not hold on to a unhappy rider, and therefore there would be no team place for him, and have placed him
at the disposal of the Rider Control Committee for Reallocation". Norman was replaced at West Ham by Olle Nygren (another rider famous for
his white racing boots) who for many years had ridden for our South London Rivals, Wimbledon. I was a great fan of Norman who as well as
being known as the `Storm`, was also known as `Sailor`. The reason for this we were told was because he was a great fan of the singer
Petula Clark who had a No.1 hit 'Sailor, Stop your Roaming' (the things we get told as Fans, who knows if they were ever true, the more
frightening thing is the fact you can still remember them after forty years)!
As I said at the start, Norman leaving the Hammers, added
to the lost of Sverre Harrfeldt following a serious accident in 1968 (Sveree did partly recover, and returned, only to leave us again to go
to Wembley in 1970, again under strange circumstances), led to the Hammer down full. The two H's had been the Hammers `Double Barrel`
attack in many a match, and added to the great leadership by Ken McKinlay made the Hammers a team to fear, and between 1965
(Our Championship winning year) and 1968 were never out of the top six in the League, we also won the London Cup three times in a row.
A succession of other problems, not always under the Control of West Ham, was finally capped by the Lokern Disaster in 1970, which finally
led to the downfall of my Glorious Hammers in 1971. Hopefully if Norman reads this site, he may have a different version of the events! "
Film producer Louis Paltnoi is hoping to put speedway back onto the silver screen with his 'Eating Dust' film.
We caught up with Louis to find out about the film and how we can help it become a reality.
The recent question about the origins of the 'Winged Wheel' trophy and the subsequent claim that it was made by Split Waterman prompted
a number of people to respond. Here are the thoughts, tales and recollections of Dave Gifford, Tracy Holmes,
Robert J. Rogers and John Hyam.
A new website has been launched to celebrate
John Louis' 40 years in speedway.
Sue Stevens is looking for footage of the 1979 BLRC and the 1976 World Pairs final - Can You Help?
Sue Davey wants a bet settled - did Ove Fundin ride for Coventry in 1960/61 - Can You Help?
It is good to read Colin's points on the technical aspects of speedway. Tyres seem to be a mystery to those of us who do our racing from the
terraces. I recall there was a huge controversy in 1996 when solid block tyres were introduced by the FIM and the following year when there
were teams accused of softening them with solvents. But other than that, not much seems to have been written about them in the press.
The same is probably true for most other technical aspects of speedway, which makes Colin's points all the more interesting and important.
The idea of needing to attack the track more nowadays is very interesting also. I wonder if this has led to more complaints from riders about
a track being inconsistent (which every rider seems to say when interviewed!) or rain-offs becoming more commonplace."
"I agree with
Colin's reply especially about the track. I rode as a junior in the mid 80's to 1990 when at first the engine oil was put on the track during
the racing. The track surface was better to ride and break up, when they changed it to having a tank/bottle to catch the oil the tracks
started to rut up and the shale flew about more. That in turn brought the dirt deflectors which to me cause a lot of the first bend crashes
now. I was talking about this last night at Redcar if they somehow used the old oil (or something else) to bind the shale together more the
dirt deflectors could be a thing of the past."
"As Ken says, we don't
really know the distances covered by a rider, but the following should give some idea of the effect of "riding the boards". Let's say you have a
track which measures 400yds around the inside with a 4-lap race time of 60 seconds. This works out at an average speed of roughly 55mph, but
this assumes the rider rides round the white line. If our rider rides 10yds out from the white line on the bends, the lap distance he actually
covers is 476yds and for the same 60 second race time his average speed becomes nearly 65mph. That's quite a difference!"
"While I was only fortunate
enough to see Stormin Norman race a few times it was nevertheless a pleasure to watch him in action. He came across to me as the archetypical
Brit who would reach the heights in British speedway as a high scoring heat leader who could be relied upon, without being the kind of guy
who would go on and win a World Championship. Back in the days where you could be a first among equals Norman was certainly that and these
days, when there is so much TV coverage on Sky Sports, he would be a permanent fixture on the box. Thanks Norman, for providing me with so
much pleasure in the late 60's and early 70's! "