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Updated on 31st December 2005


This is our final update of the year, so we'll take the traditional approach of reflecting on the year just gone. '2005: A Year in Summary' is our high-level overview of the past 12 months. Join us to recall who won what and how.




Throughout the season we featured a regular 'Soundbites' column that recorded the views of the riders and promoters that were in the news. This week we bring you the 'Best of Soundbites 2005'.



Don't forget that Motors TV (Sky Channel 413) are showing highlights of the Brighton Bonanza. Transmission times are as follows:

Sunday Jan 1st - 7.15pm
Wednesday Jan 4th - 11pm
Thursday Jan 5th - 1.30am
Friday Jan 6th - 10pm

  • Bryan Wilcock is hoping to purchase some Barrow, Crewe, Hull and Workington programmes. Can you help?



  • It simply wouldn't be possible to bring you Speedway Plus without the contributions and assistance of many other people. End of year thanks to the following, with apologies to anyone inadvertently missed out.

    Ian Adam
    Bill Amick
    John Bailey
    Chris Baldwin
    George Barclay
    Jim Blanchard
    Mike Bennett
    Doug Booth
    Robert Brocklehurst
    Amanda Buckley-Taylor
    Graham Burrows
    Ray Bysouth
    Graeme Campbell
    Raymond Chitty
    Norman Clark
    Bob Cole
    Robin Couzins
    Philip Dalling
    Andy Davidson
    Matt Davis
    Steve Dixon
    Reg Fearman
    Bob Ferry
    Phil Fitzgerald
    Dave Gifford
    Dave Green
    Steve Harland
    David Hensby
    Kathy Hitchen
    Alan Hodkinson
    Paul ten Hoeve
    Steve Hone
    John Hyam
    Richard Hollingsworth
    Mike Hunter
    Norman Jacobs
    Adam Jennison
    Steve Johnson
    Vladimir Kovar
    Neil Lowe
    Tony McDonald
    Tom Marriott
    Martin Mauger
    Chris Morton MBE
    Wayne Newton
    Peter Nielsen
    Jan Orkisz
    Graeme Paterson
    Dave Payne
    Colin Pearson
    Gary Penfold
    Trev Picken
    Colin Poole
    Robert J. Rogers
    Chris Seaward
    Ashley Sutton
    Andrejs Trabo
    Steve Trickett
    Harry Ward
    Colin Weatherhead
    Maciej Wegrzyn
    Guy Woodfin-Gresty
    Rod Young

     


     

    Updated on 24rd December 2005
    Merry Christmas!


    The GP series will be back to 10 rounds in 2006, but is it time to extend its horizons further? Chris Seaward identifies some possible venues and has some advice to offer the powers that be.




    Graeme Campbell felt our pictures of Armadale were a little depressing, so he's sent us some new ones. We've added these to our existing set that date back to 1999.



    Those of you counting the days until the 2006 season starts may be interested to know that there is a 30 minute feature programme from the recent Brighton Bonanza meeting.

    The programme concentrates on Bobby Schwartz, Eddie Kennett, Martin Dugard and young sensation Lewis Bridger. Due to the short duration there isn't time to show too many races but it captures the flavour of the event and shows some of the spectacular action.

    There are six scheduled slots on Motors TV which is available on Sky Channel 413, the first showing is on January 1st at 7.30pm and details of the others can be found at www.motorstv.com.

    This is a joint venture between Media Answers Limited and T2TV. The programme is produced and presented by Kings Lynn centre green presenter Mike Bennett and is acting as a pilot for Motors TV with a view to showing more regular speedway, sidecar and supermoto events during 2006.

    Commentary is by Ken Burnett who made the initial approach to the TV company and persuaded Media Answers to take on the production.

    Motors TV have a feedback forum on their website so the better the response to their first showing of speedway, the more chance of further events being transmitted.


  • Phil Fitzgerald on Costa Mesa:

    "Great shots of Costa Mesa. What a fantastic little set up. I believe it is featured in the movie 'On Any Sunday 2; - with the story on Bruce Penhall.

    You know this Costa Mesa track makes me wonder why something like this can't be set up somewhere in London. I've recently moved to London from Australia and am devastated the Wimbledon Dons have been kicked out of Plough Lane.

    A track like Costa Mesa, but wider for more racing lines, would provide great racing entertainment - does the rider choose the shorter slower route on the inside or go hell for leather around the outside? Either way, a track such as this would provide many passing opportunities - something speedway desperately needs to keep it a viable source of entertainment for the general public.

    Which brings me to your interesting business proposition of speedway in the "Dragons Den" article. Surely with the right marketing and a track like the one I've explained above (getting rid of the all too common "over after the first bend" general public perception) speedway could attract decent (profitable) crowds. Here is an opportunity for someone. For heaven sake, London's population is massive! "

  • John Digweed on Hyde Road:

    "Every Saturday years ago we used to watch Manchester United/City in the afternoon and then go to Hyde Road to support Belle Vue in the evening. Those were days when speedway attracted really big crowds.

    They are not going to come back while we have this ridiculous play off system. Belle Vue this year won the league this but are not champions because of a one off match. Belle Vue lost 12 matches over the season, does this mean that every team that beat them can also have a valid claim to be champions? The league is not a knock-out competition, it is a measure and reward for consistency over a season. What would happen in football if Chelsea won the league by 10 points, and then lost in a one-off game to Manchester United? I feel sorry also for Coventry fans whose victory is obviously tainted by the fact they were not the best side in the league this year. Come on speedway, this is not the way to win back supporters. "

  • Alan Painter on Trelawny:

    "Thanks for the pictures of the Trelawny track. It had the best racing I have seen in 40 years of watching speedway. It must also have been the coldest place in Cornwall. I miss it greatly - bring back speedway to Cornwall and the West Country."

  • Bryan Tungate on Keith Bloxsome:

    "I remember Keith Bloxsome as a rider who I thought might have been better with backing and decent gear. He was always a real trier whilst at Kings Lynn. Who could ask for more?"

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    Updated on 16th December 2005


    The multi-talented John Berry has now turned his handed to novel writing. His first published fiction work is 'Sliding into Hell' and we're delighted to bring you an extract from it.

    This fast-moving story takes us into the world of high finance, bitter vengeance, greed, deception, betrayal and romantic twists, set against a speedway background.




    Our track photographs this week are of the famous Costa Mesa circuit in California. This tiny track is undoubtedly the most reknowned of all the American circuits and has played host to many of the sport's biggest names. Pictures are courtesy of Wayne Newton.



  • Mali Halls on Trelawny:

    "Thanks for the great pictures of the Trelawny Moto Parc. We visited that wonderful little place around easter 2003, and I have never seen anywhere more suitable for a speedway track. I took quite a few pictures of the speedway racing and the stadium, but unfortunately lost them when our computer crashed last year. Your pictures show the venue at its finest, and brought back some really lovely memories."


  • Our Polish contributor Maciej Wegrzyn is looking for score details from the British Riders Championship in 1946-1948. Can you help?



  • Long-standing visitors may recall the Keith Bloxsome controversy on the site a few years back. Keith was a good team man for Belle Vue, Boston, Glasgow and King's Lynn back in the seventies and eighties. Keith got back in touch this week and was kind enough to describe the site as "excellent, up to date and well informed".

    If you're looking for a car, motorcycle accessories or golf wear then why not check out Keith's Euro Moto Direct website.

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    Updated on 9th December 2005


    Last week we featured an overview of the new Simon Wigg tribute book, this week we're delighted to feature an extract from it. The extract covers Simon's move to Hackney for the 1987 season.

    This section of the book is auto-biographical and the words are all Simon's. Gareth Rogers interviewed Simon in 1994 and these recorded conversations, never before published, form the basis of the book. There are also contributions from Simon's brother Julian, his wife Charlie and from the sport's biggest names - Ivan Mauger, Hans Nielsen, Egon Muller, Barry Briggs, Mark Loram, Jason Crump, Chris Morton, Peter Collins and many more.

    The book retails at £15.99 and runs to 272 pages. No bookshelf is complete without a copy of 'Wiggy!".




    Another magnificent looking stadium this week, which predictably means that it's not one from the UK! It's the Leszno track in Poland and the photographs are courtesy of Paul ten Hoeve.


     
     
     
    01708 734 502
    www.retro-speedway.com


  • Roger Osborne on Ashley Jones Tribute Video:

    "I've just watched the Ashley Jones video tribute and I have to say that it was absolutely wonderful and extremely professional. It is, of course, a huge tragedy that the video had to be compiled but I think that it will bring great comfort to a great number of people.

    Well done. Very emotional. I never knew the guy and only saw him race once but I have speedway in my blood and it is so very sad to lose him."

  • Mali Halls on Ashley Jones Tribute Video:

    "I would like to thank Speedway Plus and mbicmedia, for giving us access to the very professional and moving video tribute to Ashley Jones. Unfortunately I didn't get to see Ashley ride, but the video moved me to tears. All of the riders put their lives on the line every time they go to the tapes to entertain us. Perhaps that's something that most of us supporters don't think about enough at times.

    If there are any consolations, Ashley paid the highest price for doing something he loved, entertaining us. I would like to express my sorrow and pass on condolences to Ashley's family and everyone who was part of Ashley's life. R.I.P. Ashley Jones."

  • Dave Chilvers on Ashley Jones Tribute Video:

    "What a great tribute - well done to those involved. I never saw Ashley in action but being interested in all things speedway I feel the video bridged that gap."

  • John Hill on Ashley Jones Tribute Video:

    "Excellent video and tribute to Ashley, it brings home the real dangers of the sport we love and the riders we respect so highly."

  • Peter Reid on Sunderland Reunion:

    "Wish I could have been there, always have fond memories of Sunderland and how Bill Thomas used to let me sneak in - I earned it by collecting the helmet colours off the riders. Do my bit now by donating to John Robson's son (Stuart).

  • Andy Bennett on Hyde Road:

    "I have only ever been to Hyde Park once a long time ago when as a Kings Lynn fan we went to the league riders final which was won once again by Barry Briggs. I remember the day at the zoo entertaining us with the disgustingly funny monkeys and the best speedway racing that we could remember. Now as a born again speedway fan with my kids loving it as well it is sad to think of the loss of this fantastic race track with its superb corners for overtaking. Seeing this site has reminded me of a distant but brilliant day."

  • Ian Muir Martin:

    "This is a FANTASTIC Site. I have downloaded the two Magazines so far - absolutely FIRST CLASS. Everything a Speedway Fan could possibly require is on this site. Please keep up this most excellent production - and - THANK YOU so very much."

  • Bryan Tungate on USA Champions Convention:

    "A very interesting article but they appeared to miss the fact that Cordy Milne could well have won the 1939 Final, this was likely due to the bonus point system."

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    Updated on 2nd December 2005


    An unexpected BBC2 appearance from a legend leaves Dave Green wondering about the economics of speedway promotion. How would an aspiring promoter fare in the Dragons' Den?




    This week we can bring you some fascinating pictures taken at Owlerton in the sixties. It's clear that the stadium remains much the same although the crowds these days aren't quite as impressive. Robert Brocklehurst was the photographer.




    America's surving World Champions are to gather on the Queen Mary when she docks in Long Beach in January. This will be the first time they have gathered in such a manner and the event aims to raise funds to support the participation of the USA in next year's World Cup. There are numerous ways that you can get involved in this initiative, Bill Amick provides full details in this new article.



  • Robert Bamford is looking for heat details from the Shelbourne v Swindon meeting on 5th July 1970.

  • Steve Trickett wants to purchase an original Ellesmere Port Gunners body colour.


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  • Retro-Speedway, publishers of Backtrack and Vintage Speedway Magazine, have some new books available that are sure to interest all fans of our great sport.

  • The first is 'Wiggy' a fitting tribute to the memory of the great Simon Wigg. The book includes a never-before published interview with Simon and features contributions from his wife Charlie and his brother Julian. Click on the book cover for a full overview of the book and to find out how to order your copy.

  • Next up is 'Sliding into Hell', the debut novel from former promoter John Berry. The story follows the life of a young speedway star out for revenge on those he blames for ruining his life. This fast-moving story takes us into the world of high finance, bitter vengeance, greed, deception, betrayal and romantic twists, set against a speedway background. Click on the book cover for a full overview of the book and to find out how to order your copy.

     
     
    01708 734 502
    www.retro-speedway.com

  • The Trackmaster interactive management game still has a few places left. Full details at trackmasterleague.co.uk.
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