The Internationale 1981
For the first time in it's 21 year history, The Internationale was rained off. On May 25, the waterlogged track could not be safely ridden and the referee made the call.
So it was on Sunday, August 9, in bright sunshine that the reassembled field lined up. But sadly, the top yanks, Bruce Penhall and Bobby Schwartz were unable to make the date. Then the bombshell, Speedway Champion of the World, Mike Lee would not be there either!
Embassy Number 1 were still the best in King Size smoking and it was 'Main Dane' in the making, Hans Nielsen who put on a King Size performance, unbeaten for the prizes. His only glitch was Round 2 where he blew the gate. But neither Les Collins nor Malcolm Simmons were a problem and Hans went after his Denmark captain, Sir Ole Olsen.
After dropping 2 points in Round 1, Ole must have known it was not to be his night. So, he threw the race, pulling over on the last turn giving Hans the 3 points. While that did not go down well with some, Hans made up for that by his next three blistering wins. 'The Professor' was on his way. Larry Ross was meeting reserve [ WOT???!!! ] but filled in for Lee. He did nothing to justify that in his first two heats but then scores 8 points!
This was the total Larry Ross enigma. Hot, cold, sometimes both in the same meeting. But no more in the Internationale. No more for anyone. This was the last ever Internationale and the House of Cards was to come tumbling down. Just as Wimbledon Stadium itself would one day be reduced to rubble. Why? I dunno why, I'm not the memory man is I?!
Heat 1. Nielsen, Andersson, ROSS, S Moran.
Hans Nielsen 15. Kenny Carter 12. Jan Andersson 12. Chris Morton 10. Dave Jessup 9. Res LARRY ROSS 9. Kelly Moran 9. Erik Gundersen 9. Ole Olsen 9. Gordon Kennett 8. Edward Jancarz 6. Phil Crump 5. Billy Sanders 3. Malcolm Simmons 2. Les Collins 2. Shawn Moran 0. Res Roger Johns 0. Mike Lee Q ns. Bruce Penhall Q ns. Bobby Schwartz Q ns. Bo Petersen Q ns.
This article was first published on 7th June 2020
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