NEWS 2013 - from South Africa and the wider speedway world.

                                                                                                                                      

20 December 2013                   
The WSRC in Walkerville, Gauteng, S.Africa sends a seasonal greeting to all its members and to its website viewers far and wide.    

The 2014 season starts on Sunday, January 26th when riders compete for the Summer Cup. All the fixtures for the forthcoming year can be seen on the Fixtures 2014 page.


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Walkerville Showground 2013.  
Long-shot video (of a
quad race) now posted on Gallery p5 gives an excellent panoramic overview of the Walkerville Showground's 315m speedway track and its surrounding settings. 
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14.12.2013, WSRC Annual Prize Awards Evening
Presentation of awards to WSRC riders that were won during the past 2013 season was made on Saturday evening at the Canterbury Arms, Walkerville. A full list of recipients can be seen here, with shots of them receiving their trophies from Danie Fourie on the Gallery page.

 
Below: Regional Champion Damien Devine with Danie Fourie, plus 2nd & 3rd place riders Lyle Kotze & Boddy Devine, ...

   
    .....  and good time was had by all at the 'Grease' themed evening !
   

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08.12.2013, Walkerville, Gauteng:
Gio Nunes is the 2013 S.African National Champion.

22-year old Gio Nunes rode to an unbeaten 12 point maximum in the third and final round of the 'Dot Engineering' S.African National Championship to clinch the title and add a new name to the Danie Fourie Trophy for 2013. Gio, grandson of former 3x S.A. Champion Arthur Bruins, is seen, photo rt., receiving the winner's trophy from Danie Fourie.
In the Sidecar division Edwin & Estelle Butler (below) similarly pulled off an unbeaten performance on their Kawasaki 1100cc combination for the husband and wife pairing to add their names to the list of National Sidecar Champions. 

       Full Heat Details  






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All awards and trophies won during the course of the 2013 season will be presented at the Annual Prize Giving Dinner next week, SATURDAY  Dec.14th at the Canterbury Arms in Walkerville. The event starts at 18h30 and the theme of the evening is  "Grease".
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24.11.2013,  "Legends of the Past" meeting,   Walkerville, Gauteng.

      -- video:  Introductory Parade of Riders, all Classes, -- (scroll down to Intro'y Parade)
The annual 'Legends of the Past' meeting started with a new event, a race for the Henry Long Trophy. This cup, inscribed with names of initial holders like Alan Hunt, Doug Davies and Henry himself from as early as 1955 at Pretoria Stadium, was competed for by way of a difference, with four riders each racing 4 laps alone, and the third lap of each man timed to determine the winner.  Byron Bekker, still recuperating from a knee operation, competed against Neil Pettit, Lyle Kotze and DJ Devine. BB's winning lap time was 15.87 seconds, with Neil Pettit not far behind on 16.26s. Lyle Kotze came in third on 17.3s, and unfortunately DJ fell in corner 1 going into his 3rd lap, so he was out of the running. Though Henry Long had planned to attend and make the presentation, on the day the 86 year old had to send his apologies and former triple SA Champion of the '70s, Arthur Bruins, duly obliged. Congratulations to Byron Bekker, good to be seen back in the saddle, if only for a few laps; here's hoping the knee gets better soon.
In the main event Lyle Kotze and Brad Devine headed the qualifiers with 8 pts, both beaten by Neil Pettit, but his fall in his second ride put him back to the Dudleigh Long 'A' Final, which he took with ease in the fastest heat of the day. Gio Nunes joined Kotze and Brad D. in the main Final for the Buddy Fuller Trophy, won this year by Lyle Kotze (photo rt.).
Derrick Hilliar returned to race in the Sidecar class but with an engine failure in his first ride was forced to withdraw from the meeting. Gordon Butler was victor on the day with 2 wins to 1 over brother Edwin.       - FULL RESULTS
Thanks to all riders, spectators, sponsors who came to the Legends of the Past race meeting.   
Action pics, incl'g from the MX and Quad events, can be seen on the  Gallery p1. 
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The next race meeting will be the Dot Engineering National Final to be held on Sunday 8th Dec. with racing starting at 12noon. As this is a fund raising day for a local charity, spectator entry fee will be R30 which includes a ticket into the lucky draw for 3 gift hampers.
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The Annual Prize Giving will be held at Canterbury Arms in Walkerville on Saturday 14th Dec. at 18h30. The theme is  " Grease "
Tickets including dinner are R100 per person and everybody is welcome. Riders who are paid up members are free, as well as under 12’s.
For catering purposes, kindly e-mail or phone/sms Pat Pettit ASAP if you would like to attend in order for her to reserve your tickets, available for sale at the race meeting on the 8th December.
 
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23.11.2013:   Sidecar Speedway 1000cc 'World' Championship,
- “The FIM Oceania Championship”,
Mildura, Australia.

With the FIM discontinuing the 1000cc Sidecar Speedway World Championship to concentrate on the 500cc class, FIM-Oceania staged its first ever sidecar speedway championship on Saturday, filling the void, - the world championship in all but name.
The field at Mildura, Victoria, competing over 20 heats and 2 finals, comprised UK, NZ and USA crews alongside the dominant Aussies, who took all four places in the Grand Final, the winners being Mark Plaisted & Brian Anthony.
Results of the Grand Final:
1st. M.Plaisted (South Australia), 2nd. D.Treloar (New South Wales), 3rd. M.Headland (South Australia), 4th. W.Monson (Victoria)
.
"Plaisted got a wonderful start, while Mick Headland dug in from the second gate, wheelstanding and lost immediate ground to Treloar and Monson, who had moved away quite well from the start. Headland got quite crossed up in turn one and from then was never a chance of winning. Plaisted had four laps to complete to take his biggest prize ever in Sidecar speedway, [ a $A3,000 pot,] and he, along with his new season’s passenger, Brian Anthony, did not make any mistakes while the three teams behind them all worked overtime but none could catch the SA star, who went on the take the chequered flag and the first Oceania Sidecar title. Monson lost some control after the third lap and went infield and Headland moved by him, although having to go infield to stay safe."
A full heat-by-heat meeting report can be read HERE (Scroll down to '2013 Oceania'.)

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7.11.2013:  Good-bye to the oldest Springbok, Fred Wills,  b. 24-04-1919  d. 21-10-2013.
   News has been received of the passing of Fred Wills, aged 94, following complications during hip surgery. Fred was the brother-in-law of Buddy Fuller and was S.African National Champion in 1949 and again in 1950, having spent the intervening winter with Liverpool in the UK. He started riding in 1938 and was runner-up to Buddy Fuller in the 1940 Championship at the Old Barn track, Alberton. He made his international début in the '48/'49 Test Series against England, was S.A captain the following season, and continued to represent the Union in subsequent seasons, often alternating the role of skipper with Henry Long.
   After taking the title from Buddy Fuller in April 1950, Fred Wills was undefeated S.African Match Race Champion for the whole of the '50/'51 season, with 7 successful Golden Helmet defences, making 2-0 clean sweeps in all but one of the challenges, that to Henry Long, but still a 2-1 win for FW. He had further Golden Helmet wins in late '52 over Roy Bester, Norwegian Basse Hveem and Henry Long before conceding his title to soon-to-be World Champion, Ronnie Moore in January 1953.
   On the domestic front he captained both West Rand Dakotas and Boksburg Bees to S.A. National League championships in '49/'50 and '51/52 respectively before transferring his captaincy to the Randfontain Aces. After breaking an ankle in a meeting at the Goodwood Showground, Cape Town, Fred carried out his earlier threat and retired from speedway racing in 1956.
 -  Photo tribute:
Gallery p.4  (scroll down.)

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* * FIXTURE CHANGE * *
PLEASE NOTE, THE DECEMBER PROGRAMME HAS BEEN AMENDED.
-  THE FINAL ROUND OF THE S.AFRICAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WILL
     NOW BE STAGED ON SUNDAY DEC. 8th;

-  THE ANNUAL AWARDS EVENING & PRIZE-GIVING WILL BE HELD ON
    THE EVENING OF SATURDAY DEC.14th AT THE CANTERBURY ARMS IN WALKERVILLE.
                              AT  18h30.    The theme is  " GREASE "

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27.10.2013, Walkerville:   Final Rd, Regional Championship.
In the second and final round of the Regional Championship at the Walkerville Raceway Lyle Kotze went through the card unbeaten, but it was Damien Devine (Lt.) who'd had a similar clean sheet in the first round back in February that took the trophy with an aggregate score of 18 points. Third on the day, uncle Bobby Devine came in third overall behind Damien and Lyle.
Gordon Butler and partner Johan Herbst were also unbeaten in the sidecar class and took their Regional trophy from last year's winner Derick Hilliar, chaired today by Gordan Raath. Lyle Kotze was also impressive in the Flat Track events, failing to take the chequered flag only when riding off a 100m handicap in Ht.22. 
FULL RESULTS
(Video  of one of the Quad Bike races, giving a panorama of the Walkerville Raceway, can be seen on Gallery p5 .)  
  
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24.10.2013:    U.K. League Championships
ELITE LGE: After a slow start to the season Poole Pirates scrapped into the EL Play-Offs by virtue of a contentious rain-soaked match against the 2012 Champs, Swindon Robins, and proceeded through the Semi's to easily take the title from table-toppers Birmingham Brummies in the 2-leg Final with an aggregate score of 104-79.
PREMIER LGE: Edinburgh and table-leaders Somerset each topped their Play-Off groups, - in this league the top 6 teams fight it out for a place in the Final via two 3-team groups. Both legs of the Final were close matches, with home team leads of only 2 and 5 points, so that it was Somerset Rebels that emerged triumphal only after the final 30th heat, with a 92-89 aggregate score, the closest of the 3 UK league Play-offs.   
NATIONAL LGE: Although Dudley Heathens have topped the NL table 3 times in their 4-year existence 2013 has become the first occasion that they have been able to claim the title of league champions. They led the field throughout the year once their own programme started, (without a track of their own the former Cradley Heath team are forced to share the Wolverhampton stadium with EL Wolves,) to gain a mighty 10pt lead over nearest rivals Kings Lynn II who they met in the Final. The Young Stars were defeated by an overall  score of  14 pts, Heathens winning both the Home & Away legs. Thus the Heathens claim all 4 National League team events so far settled for 2013: NL League Champs, NL Shield, NL Pairs & NL Fours, and wait to know their opponents for the NL KO Cup Final, to be raced next week.
Post-script 31 Oct: Heathens made a clean sweep of all 5 National Lge trophies last night by defeating Isle of Wight in the KO Cup Final 102-81 over the 2 legs.

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 7.10.2013:    National Champions for 2013.
As their seasons draws to a close the 2013 national championships of the major speedway countries have been settled. They are:-                         (S.African championship concludes Dec.7th;  )
                                                            (Scandinavian champions already given, see below,)
  
 
Gt.Britain
Australia

New Zealand

USA (off''l  'AMA-US Spdwy')

USA (SRA / Costa Mesa)

Poland

Czechia

Russia
Tai Woffinden
Troy Batchelor
Jason Bunyan
Billy Janiro
Billy Hamill
Janus Kolodziej
Ales Dryml

Gregory Laguta
 

                    More detail for all speedway countries, and all holders, past & present, can be found  HERE.

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5.10.2013, Torun, Poland:    Tai Woffinden is Britain's newest World Champion
     In the last Speedway Grand Prix of the season Tai Woffinden finally claimed the world crown of speedway after the heart-ache of two weeks ago when he re-fractured his shoulder in an early fall when he could otherwise have been anointed in Sweden. Needing just 6 points from tonight’s racing, or less if nearest rival Jaroslav Hampel dropped any, it looked like being a long night as the Pole won his first race and Woffy trailed last for most of his first ride, just clinching a third place down the back straight of lap 4. The two met up in their next ride, Ht.5, along with 2 other Poles, Hampel on the inside, Woffy on the outside gate. But this time the scoring was reversed, as the 23-year old swept around Hampel on bend 2 and rode clear away, the silver medallist dropping back to 3rd as his compatriot Miedzinski did him no favours.
      And so the event was concluded, as the new World Champ was given the regulatory
bumps by all around him before the formalities of the other podium position, - for third place - , were fought out between two Danes, Niels-Kristian Iversen and Nicki Pedersen.  Whilst Nicki took an easy win when they met in Ht.8, - NKI had to work thru the field - , and they both made the Semi's, only the National champ took a Final slot, to end the evening on 13pts and the former World Champ just 8. Niels-Kristian thus claimed the Championship Bronze medal after 4 years in the SGP wilderness.  The surprise winner of the Final of the Torun Grand Prix was Polish Wild Card #16, Adrian Miedzinski, with Yank Greg 'Herby' Hancock, top point scorer on 18, coming in second. The World Silver Medallist, Jaroslav Hampel, was third.
    Tonight's win by a English rider continues the frequency of one world champ-per-decade for the nation, its last being Mark Loram in 2000, and before that, Gary Havelock in 1992. Woffinden is England's eighth World speedway champion, Peter Craven having had double success, in '55 and '62. Tai Woffinden has worked hard this season to put himself at the top of his sport, forsaking junk food, following an intensive work-out regime to reach peak fitness, (which has enabled him to ride on through the breaks,) as well as switching from JRM to GM motors. He was unfortunate to have suffered fractures to his collarbone on two occasions, at the Cardiff and at the Stockholm GPs, but battled through the series with the bone bolted together. He dedicated his win to his late father, who had given his all for his son's career but would be watching from afar, and will now have the bent plate removed, the bone re-broken and re-set, ready for 2014.

TORUN SGP SCORES: 1 Adrian Miedzinski 15, 2 Greg Hancock 18, 3 Jaroslaw Hampel 17, 4 Niels-Kristian Iversen 13, Darcy Ward 13, Tai Woffinden 10, Krzysztof Kasprzak 9, Nicki Pedersen 8, Leon Madsen 7, Antonio Lindback 6 ,Martin Vaculik 6, Troy Batchelor 6, Andreas Jonsson 5, Matej Zagar 3, Fredrik Lindgren 2, Ales Dryml 0.
FINAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

1st Tai Woffinden GB 151, 2nd Jaroslaw Hampel PL 142, 3rd Niels-Kristian Iversen DK 132, 4th Greg Hancock USA 129, 5 Nicki Pedersen DK 121, 6 Emil Sayfutdinov RUS 114, 7 Matej Zagar SLV 110, 8 Darcy Ward AUS 106, 9 Tomasz Gollob PL 89, 10 Krzysztof Kasprzak PL 89, 11 Fredrik Lindgren SW 83, 12 Chris Holder AUS 82, 13 Andreas Jonsson SW 64, 14 Martin Vaculik SLK 62, 15 Antonio Lindback SW 51, 16 Leon Madsen DK 30, 17 Ales Dryml CZ 16, 18 Adrian Miedzinski PL 15, 19 Andzejs Lebedevs LAT 9, 20 Chris Harris GB 7. (15 other riders also rode in at least one SGP.)

Torun SGP videos:

Woffinden's winning ht.5
, the bumps, congrats, and race re-play;
Ht.23 Final
,  Hancock & Miedzinski;
Bruce Penhal
l interview, American 1981 & 1982 World champ and Cradley Heathens' skipper at his first Grand Prix, discussing one-off Finals v. GPs.  Woffy's and Penhall's 2 wins each guided by one manager, Pete Adams !
Reflections on 2013: Along the way through the season the GP Series  lost the reigning world champ, Chris Holder, as well as Emil Sayfutdinov and the 2010 champ Tomasz Gollob. At the half-way stage Sayfutdinov looked to be on course to become Russia's first World Champ, with a 13pt lead over 2nd place man Woffinden, but he was overhauled by the Brit before arm and knee injuries from a Polish crash in August side-lined him for the year. Holder's injuries at Coventry took him out of the competition in July. Conversely, former world champion Greg Hancock improved through the season, ending just 3 points away from the Bronze Medal, and one has to wonder whether, but for the concussion he suffered in Poland in April which affected his early scoring in the following months, - Hancock has an astonishing 100% appearance record since the inception of the SGP series in 1995 - , the 43-year old might well have replicated his 3rd place podium position of 2012.
Biography: Tai Woffinden, age 23.
1990    Born Scunthorpe, UK. (father Rob Woffinden, local rider.)
1994    Family emigrate to Perth, Australia.
2003    Starts speedway age 12 on a 125cc bike.
2006    Western Australia U16 Champion,
          Age 15, family returns, joins Div.3 Scunthorpe (alongside B.Bekker); Ave. 9.99, (BB 6.66),
          Age 16, joins Div.2 Sheffield, riding in both leagues;  Ave. 6.67,
2007    Scunthorpe Div.3; ave. 11.25 (BB 8.14); Rye House (Div.2) ave. 9.01,
          British Youth (U18) Champion.
2008    Rye House Div.2;  ave. 10.15,
          British Youth (U18) Champion again,
          British Junior (U21) Champion,
          Premier Lge (Div.2) Riders Champion.
          UK SGP, nominated reserve, (No rides)
2009    Joins Elite Lge Wolverhampton, (ave.  7.91,)
                     Vargarna (SW) and Czestochowa (PL).
2010    Rob Woffinden departs, age 47,
           Nominated SGP Series Wild Card; 14th.
2011    Declines SGP for 2 years.
           British Junior (U21) Champion again.
2013    British Champion,
          WORLD CHAMPION.
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5.10.2013,  Sidecar Speedway.  
RE  "Two sidecar-related items have been added to the website: - i) on the History page, under 'International Matches', an article of reports on the 1993 Sidecar  Test Match series, S.Africa v. Gt,Britain,"    THIS HAS NOW BEEN SUPPLEMENTED WITH 1982 RESULTS,  S.AFRICA v. AUSTRALIA.
A TABLE OF NATIONAL SIDECAR CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS, 1968 TO DATE, HAS ALSO BEEN ADDED.
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29.9.2013, Walkerville:  Golden Helmet & Silver Sash
Back on their own track after visits to the Cape and the North West, the WSRC racers fought it out for the annual Golden Helmet trophy and the Silver Sash, decided over qualifying heats to ‘A’ and ‘B’ Finals. Neil Pettit and Lyle Kotze headed the heat qualifiers, the current champ exacting revenge for his defeats the previous day at Rustenburg with 9pts, while brothers Brad and Damien Devine, along with Gio Nunes, each make 6 points. Damien, accompanied by 'Fish' who was making a welcome return to the track, joined the 2 top scorers in the race for the prized Helmet and it was former holder Pettit that took the trophy, Fish taking a fall trying just a little too hard. In the minor Final for the Silver Sash Gio Nunes lead Bobby Devine from veteran Hansi Kleynhans.
On the combinations Edwin Butler and Deon Kruger each took 2 wins from one another for 10pts, Edwin & Estelle claiming the Final, while in the Flat-Track class Lyle Kotze returned to the track for 4 straight wins.   
Full Results   Action shots, all Classes, on Gallery page.

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28.9.2013 - WSRC at RUSTENBERG SHOWGROUND
A squad of WSRC solo and sidecar riders made their second visit this year to the Rustenburg Showground on Saturday. After 7 heats of solo handicap races culminating in a 6-man grand slam final heat Lyle Kotze topped the score chart, dropping his only point of the day after a fall on the second lap of his third ride. Neil Pettit also took a fall on the big 450m Showground track and had to concede defeat to Kotze in their two straight, fall-free confrontations.
The sidecar teams again excited the spectators, Gordon Butler, with the experienced Johan Herbst in the chair, took top slot with 10pts and brother Edwin next on 7 after suffering engine failure in his first ride, when Kallie & Konrad Britz took the chequered flag.
  Full results
    Action shots, all Classes, on Gallery page.

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28.9.2013,  Sidecar Speedway.  
Two sidecar-related items have been added to the website: -
- i) on the
History page, under 'International Matches', an article of reports on the 1993 Sidecar Test Match series, S.Africa v. Gt,Britain;
- ii) in the
Gallery section, a feature showing 500cc Class sidecars as used in Europe today, making the contrast with the multi-cylinder Class. At Walkerville everyone is familiar with the big boys' 1000cc combinations but probably less so with the alternative class of 500cc lightweight chariots.


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27.9.2013,  "Speedway League Racing in S.Africa,   Pt.2,  1977 - 2003."
RE "A second summary article has been added to the website's History page giving further data on other small scale league projects that were initiated in the decades that followed the first league speedway era in South Africa,"  THIS ITEM NOW REVISED TO INCLUDE REFERENCE TO A 1982 LEAGUE PLUS AN ASSOCIATED ARTICLE OF THE DAY.  A FURTHER ITEM HAS BEEN POSTED WITH FULL REPORTS AND HEAT DETAILS OF EACH OF THE 2003 LEAGUE MATCHES, courtesy of Christian Weber.

    Rt: Walkerville Wizards 2003, at Rustenburg.

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22.9.2013, WSRC at George Oval, Western Cape.
Score chart and heat details of yesterday's race meeting of the WSRC at the George Oval, Western Cape.    Full report follows, (below.)
SOLO SPEEDWAY - SCORES
Neil Pettit       12
Lyle Kotze       10
Gio Nunes         8
H.Kleynhans      5
Riaan Otto        5
Bobby Hack      3
Tyrone Hodges  1
Dillon Bown      0
SIDECAR SPEEDWAY   -   SCORES
                                    (5 rides)
Edwin & Estelle Butler               12
Gordon Butler & Johan Herbst   10
Donovan Butler & Kosie Harmse  5

 

George Speedway Report: Meeting of 21st September
                                  from Speedway-SA's Cape Reporter, D.Austin.

    "Speedway and Sidecar racing made a welcome return to the George Oval track with the visit of four WSRC riders from Johannesburg together with the Butler brothers sidecar team from Klerksdorp in the North West Province. Despite a bitterly cold Spring evening the local fans came out in encouraging numbers for an action packed night with the speedway and sidecars supplemented by flat-track, quad bike and hot rod racing.                         Cont'd  ......
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22.9.2013, League Champions declared in Denmark and Sweden,
   -      and an Unprecedented end in Poland !

The Polish Ekstraliga came to a dramatic and unprecedented conclusion this evening after Torun  refused to ride in the second leg of the Play-Off Final, withdrew from the meeting and drove home. Zielona Gora were awarded the Final and announced League Champions.
Torun, with Tomasz Gollob (15pts) and Darcy Ward (14Pts), had held Zielona Gora to a narrow 3pt. lead in Leg 1 on the 15th but on arrival at Zielona Gora today they insisted the match be postponed for 2 weeks because of Gollob's injury in yesterday's SGP, (see below.) This was refused, - TG seems unlikely to ride again this season; the league operates a squad system, i.e. no guest riders, which would have allowed them to draft in another squad rider such as Sullivan or Kennett - , and so the visitors were given a 18:45hrs deadline to be on the track or a walk-over awarded. 17,000 paying fans were inside the stadium, TV  coverage was running, but the deadline passed. Torun drove home and Zielona Gora were declared champs. The consequences, such as fines, demotion/relegation, or possibly suspension for 2 years, will be argued over, but fans on media sites suggest the millionaire owner has too much influence to feel threatened. But the damage to the image of Polish speedway on its one big night, in front of international subscription-TV viewers, has already been done! 
- Denmark, 11.9.13: Table-toppers Esjberg won this 4TT Final, and Fjelsted's Peter Kildeman top-scored on the night with 16pts.
Esjberg     41:  Niels K.Iversen 14, Mikkel Bech 12
Fjelsted    37:  Peter Kildemand 16, Hans Andersen 9,
Holsted     37: Patrick Hougaard 14, Nicki Pedersen 12,
Slangerup  23: Kenneth Hansen 10, Miroslaw Jablonski 6
- Sweden, 18.9.13: After a close 46-44 result to Vetlanda from Leg 1 the previous evening, Piraterna's reversal for a 51-39 win gave them a comfortable aggregate score of 95-85 to take the Elitserien championship, this despite loosing World Champ Chris Holder half way through the Series in July. The Pirates fielded SGP stars Hancock and Zagar but it was World U21 Runner-up Piotr Pawlicki that top-scored with 10 paid 12, while for Vetlanda Jaroslav Hampel scored 14+1.
- The 3 UK League Play-Offs commence with Semi-Finals this week, and conclude w/c Oct. 14th.
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21.9.2013, Scandinavian SGP
World Title goes to the wire as Woffy crashes in first ride.

We must wait for the 12th and final Grand Prix of the season to determine the 2013 World Speedway Champion after seeing Tai Woffinden crash with Tomasz Gollob in Ht.2 of this Scandinavian SGP after hitting the Pole's rear wheel. Gollob was taken to hospital for MRI scans, (Post script: broken 7th vertebrae, - at 43 this could now end his career,) but Woffy rode through the pain of a broken shoulder, - a re-break of the same one that's been  plated together since his crash in July - , for the rest of the meeting to make 7pts.
   Starting the evening needing just 2 more points lead over Hampel, his 20pt. lead has slipped to 16 but he needs a score of only 6 at Torun, Poland in 2 weeks time: he will have surgery on the shoulder in the UK on Sunday evening and conserve his body for his final assault on the title. (Post script, 24th: the existing plate is bent, but still holding the bone. No surgery will be performed.)
    Star of the night at the new Swedish stadium in Stockholm, it's first ever speedway event, was Niels Kristian Iversen, who ratched up the top haul of 18pts, - unbeaten after demolishing the tapes in his first ride. The Danish champion is having his best ever season and has now moved into the Bronze medal slot behind Hampel after taking his second SGP win. Aussie Darcy Ward was the next highest points scorer on the night, losing only to Slovenian Matej Zagar in his second ride, but failed to make it thru the Semi's.  Veteran Yank Greg Hancock did make the Final: he continues to pull himself up the table and is safe for another year in the SGPs in 2014 after a slow start to the season. (The top 8 scorers gain automatic places in next year's competition, to be joined by 3 from the GP Challenge and 4 nominated 'Wild Cards'.)
SCANDINAVIAN SGP SCORES: 1 Niels-Kristian Iversen 18, 2 Matej Zagar 15, 3 Jaroslaw Hampel 13, 4 Greg Hancock 13, Darcy Ward 15, Krzysztof Kasprzak 10, Andreas Jonsson 10, Leon Madsen 9, Fredrik Lindgren 8, Tai Woffinden 7, Nicki Pedersen 5.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Tai Woffinden 141, 2 Jaroslaw Hampel 125, 3 Niels-Kristian Iversen 119, 4 Emil Sayfutdinov 114, 5 Nicki Pedersen 113, 6 Greg Hancock 111, 7 Matej Zagar 107, 8 Darcy Ward 93, 9 Tomasz Gollob 89, 10 Chris Holder 82, 11 Fredrik Lindgren 81, 12 Krzysztof Kasprzak 80, 13 Andreas Jonsson 59, 14 Martin Vaculik 56, 15 Antonio Lindback 45, 16 Leon Madsen 23, 17 Ales Dryml 16, 18 Andzejs Lebedevs 9, 19 Chris Harris 7.
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19.9.2013.  Sidecar Speedway videos added.
A number of video clips of Sidecar speedway racing from UK and Holland now added to Gallery p5 .
  

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15.9.2013  -   New U21 World Champion, - Patryk Dudek.
After the 3rd and final U21 World Championship round at Terenzano, Italy yesterday, Pole Patryk Dudek claimed the Junior title with 35 pts. Second was Piotr Pawlicki one point behind and Kacper Gomolski took the bronze. (It should be noted that other young riders already participating in the senior sphere, such as the champs of the last 2 years, Janowski and M.J.Jensen, though eligible, did not enter the event.) Earlier rounds were held at Pila PL and Berwick UK.  
1st Patryk Dudek PL        14 10 11 =35
2nd Piotr Pawlicki PL       10 12 12 =34       3rd Kacper Gomolski PL    11 11  7 =29
Andzejs Lebdevs LV, 11 7  10 =28; Mikkel Michelsen DK, 8  8 10 =26; Vaclav Milik CZ, 6 11 7 =24; Mikkel Bech DK, 5  7 11 =23; Bartosz Zmarzlik PL, 8  8  6 =22; Adam Strzelec PL, 8  6  8 =22; Artur Czaja PL,  3  8  8 =19; Nicklas Porsing DK, 8  4  5 =17; Nikolaj B. Jakobsen DK, 6  -  9 =15; Tobiasz Musielak PL, 8  -  7 =15.

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15.9.2013, UK Test Series: Team GB v Australia.
In the 5th and final Test Match of the Premier Lge. series in the UK last night Team GB beat Australia 48-42 at Workington to take the series 4-1, the Aussies' one success being at Sheffield in the third meeting. The other Tests were at Ipswich, Rye House and Newcastle. Team GB used 16 riders over the 4 months of the series: Australia used 20 riders, the top points scorers being as follows, (No. of mtgs in brackets):
VENUE
Ipswich        30.5.13    50-40
Rye House      6.7.13    46-44
Sheffield      25.7.13    44-46
Newcastle    18.8.13    67-23
Workington  14.9.13    48-42
TEAM  GB
Richard Lawson  38+1 (4)
Josh Auty           36+2 (4)
Ritchie Worrall   30+3 (3)
Craig Cook         26+4 (2)
Lewis Bridger     23+2 (3)
Kyle Howarth      18+1 (2)
Ben Barker         16+2 (2)
Leigh Lanham    13+2 (2)
TEAM AUSTRALIA
Josh Grajczonek     19+5 (3)
Ty Nelson               18+1 (3)
Jason Doyle            17     (2)
Rusty Harrison        17+4 (3)
Cameron Woodward 16+1 (2)
Dakota North           10+1 (2)
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10.9.2013, League Championship Play-Offs in Europe.
U.K: All three UK speedway leagues have now completed their basic tables' programmes and the top teams for the play-offs to
determine each League Champion are now known.
- In the Elite Lge the table has been topped by Birmingham Brummies ahead of last year's champs Swindon, with Poole joining Wolverhampton Wolves following the Pirate's defeat of Belle Vue last night.  The EL Semi's are raced on Sept. 23th & 30th; the Finals on Oct. 7th & 14th, (all Mondays, for Sky TV broadcasting.)
- The top 6 teams in the Premier Lge race in 2 mini-group Play-offs for their title. Ipswich and Somerset headed the table, followed by Edinburgh, Newcastle, Workington and Redcar.
- Dudley Heathen once again topped the National Lge table, their 3rd time in 4 years, though they have yet to take the championship. They sit 10pts clear of the next team, Kings Lynn II, and have opted to meet 4th place Isle of Wight in their P-O Semi, raced Home & Away on Sept. 24th and Oct. 1st. The other Semi will be contested by Mildenhall and K.L.II's 'Young Stars'. 
SWEDEN,
Elitserien: The top 4 Swedish teams have already settled their Play-off Semi-Finals. Piraterna beat Smederna 99-81 on agregate over the 2 legs, and Vetlanda triumphed over Dackarna 96-84. The Final will be raced next week on the 17th and 18th Sept, - Vetlanda v Piraterna.
DENMARK, Danske Liga: The top 4 teams of the 8-strong league meet in a 4TT Superfinale tomorrow, Sept.11th at Esbjerg, the table-leader's home track. They are joined by Fjelsted, Holsted and Slangerup.
POLAND, Ekstraliga: Top 4 teams Zielona Gora, Częstochowa, Torun & Tarnow started their Semi's with first legs last weekend when Torun beat Czestochowa 49-41 and Tarnow beat Zielona Gora 47-43. The Polish Play-off Final is raced on Sun. 15th and the 2nd leg on Sept.22nd.
See this Play-Off
TV trailer, - high quality Polish action !

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07.09.2013, Slovenian SGP, Krsko:
Woffy One Step Away as Hampel wins.

As top points scorer with 17pts and nearest challenger Emil Sayfutdinov absent following his crash at Turon, Poland last week, Tai Woffinden is 20pts clear of his nearest rival and needs to pull just 2 more points away to become World Champ at the penultimate SGP in Stockholm in 2 weeks time, still a month away from the final SGP on Oct 5th at Turon. Krsko winner  Jaroslav Hampel (Rt.) is a likely Silver medalist as Sayfutdinov is given only a 5% chance of racing again this season and the Pole sits 2 pts behind the Russian's present second place. Hampel is closely chased by Danes Pedersen and Iversen on 108 and 101pts respectively. Though only having one SGP win this season against Hampel and Sayfutdinov's 3, the Brit has made 5 podium appearances compared to 4 by the Russian and 3 by Hampel, the steady stream of points likely to make him the first British World Speedway Champion since Mark Loram in 2000, a feat achieved then without a single GP win !
SLOVENIAN SGP SCORES: 1 Jaroslaw Hampel 16, 2 Tai Woffinden 17, 3 Tomasz Gollob 16, 4 Niels-Kristian Iversen 11, 5 Nicki Pedersen 14, Darcy Ward 10, Greg Hancock 9, Matej Zagar 8, Krzysztof Kasprzak 8, Fredrik Lindgren 8, Antonio Lindback 7, Martin Vaculik 5, Aleksandr Conda 3, Andreas Jonsson 3, Ales Dryml 2, Leon Madsen 1, Matic Voldrih DNR, Denis Stojs DNR.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1st Tai Woffinden 134, 2nd Emil Sayfutdinov 114, 3rd Jaroslaw Hampel 112, 4 Nicki Pedersen 108, 5 Niels-Kristian Iversen 101, 6 Greg Hancock 98, 7 Matej Zagar 92, 8 Tomasz Gollob 89, 9 Chris Holder 82, 10 Darcy Ward 78, 11 Fredrik Lindgren 73, 12 Krzysztof Kasprzak 70, 13 Martin Vaculik 56, 14 Andreas Jonsson 49, 15 Antonio Lindback 42, 16 Leon Madsen 14, 17 Ales Dryml 13, 18 Andzejs Lebedevs 9, 19 Chris Harris 7, 20 Krzysztof Buczkowski 6, 21 Linus Sundstrom 6, 22 Bartosz Zmarzlik 6, 23 Michael Jepsen Jensen 6, 24 Aleksandr Conda 3, 25 Josef Franc 2, 26 Peter Kildemand 2, 27 Kenni Larsen 2, 28 Nicolas Covatti 2, 29 Jason Bunyan 1, 30th. Craig Cook 1, 31st. Josh
Auty 1.

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31.8.2013: Scandinavia gets its 2013 Champions.
Both Sweden and Denmark decided its national champions yesterday, completing Scandinavia's quartet after Finland's event last week. Norway's championship took place in June.
                    Mikke Bjerk NY             Juha
Hautamäki FN           Andreas Jonsson SW      Niels Kristian Iversen DK
               
- NORWAY, Geitervggen: 11 years after his first title Mikke Bjerk went unbeaten through the card to push 5x-champ Runa Sola into 2nd place.
( Format: 1 meeting, 2 SFs, Final. )
- FINLAND, Hyvinkää: Juha Hautamäki took his 4th national title, from Marko Suojanen in 2nd place.
( Format: 1 meeting, 20 heats, 1 SF, Final. )
- SWEDEN, Vetlanda: 32-year-old Andreas Jonsson claimed his 6th Swedish Championship, winning the Final after Jonas Davidsson had topped the points table, unbeaten, and Jonsson making just 11pts. Davidsson was fastest away, Jonsson going far out, but from turn 2 AJ built up speed to pass Davidsson and go on unchallenged. ( Format: 1 meeting, 20 heats, 1SF, Final. )
- DENMARK, Slangerup (May 24th ); Holsted (Aug.30th):  Niels Kristian Iversen was undisputed champ, winning both meetings, but behind him the order was less obvious. The Danes ran 2 championship rounds, the champion being the top pts scorer from the 2 meetings PLUS the pts of a Final for the top 4 point scorers over the two 20-heat meetings. The format created confusion from the start in May when 4 riders leveled on 10, but no run-off was deemed necessary. Points were:-
Niels-Kristian Iversen 12, Peter Kildemand 11, Nicolai Klindt 10, Michael Jepsen Jensen 10, Kenni Larsen 10, Hans Andersen 10. (Nicki Pedersen dnr.)
After 20 hts at Holsted the standing was:-
Niels Kristian Iversen    12+14 = 26         Peter Kildemand      11+10 = 21
Michael Jepsen Jensen 10+10 = 20        Hans Andersen         10+9 = 19
Kenneth Bjerre              10+ 9 = 19         Bjarne Pedersen        9+8 = 17      (N.Pedersen 0+11)

Bjerre got the 4th place in Ht.21 Final, the result being 1st NKI, 2nd KB, 3rd MJJ, 4th PK.

With 3 riders then totaling 21 pts the Silver & Bronze medals were given from that heat's order of finishing. Final points scores were:-
1st   Niels Kristian Iversen  12+14+3 = 29
2nd  Kenneth Bjerre                 10+ 9 +2 = 21
3rd  Michael Jepsen Jensen    10+10+1 = 21
4th  Peter Kildemand               11+10+0 = 21
5. Hans Andersen                    10+9 = 19
6. Bjarne Pedersen                  9+8 = 17.

After being in the shadow of first Hans Andersen and then Kenneth Bjerre at Peterborough for 5 years NKI's move to Kings Lynn 2 years ago has brought out the best in him, with 2 national titles and his first SGP win, and the 31-yr old has been undisputed top Dane this season.

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25.8.2013, Walkerville Best Pairs

    There was action and drama across the classes during this month's WSRC race meeting as falls and injuries took their toll, but the 'Old Ouens' pairing of veteran Bobby Devine (left,) and teenager Lyle Kotze steered clear of trouble to take the annual Best Pairs trophy with scores of 4+2 and 8 respectively to total 14pts from their 3 rides, with the 'Quickloader' team in second place.
    After taking a second place in Ht.2 in his first Solo Speedway ride Derrick Hilliar fell from the sidecar chariot that he was crewing for Donovan Butler two heats later and sustained a hand injury which prevented him taking his further solo rides. But “2 Dogs” Hilliar bravely continued jockeying for Donovan, giving them 2nd place in the 3-wheel class behind Edwin & Estelle Butler.
    In the next heat, a Flat Track class, as one rider fell he was hit by a following Tracker. Both Rob Whiting and Andre Mostert were taken to hospital by ambulance where it was confirmed RW has a broken collar bone and AM a broken femur/hip  requiring surgery.
   In the next round it was the Solo Speedway class that came unstuck. Neil Pettit came down in Ht.11 while leading but was up again to make 2nd place. Gio Nunes took a fall at the 4th corner in Ht.12 and couldn't be avoided by Damien Devine. Gio sustained minor bruising in his left shoulder, DD’s bike got bent, but 48hrs later both riders are said to be fine.    FULL RESULTS

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WSRC and all at Walkerville wish both Rob and Andre a speedy recovery;
- A big 'Thank you' to all the spectators and riders who came to the race meeting.
- A special thank you to our sponsors of the Best Pairs speedway teams of the day: Ou Ouens Pub, Hay’s Printing, Dot Engineering and Quickloader Trailers.
- And as always thanks to the on-going sponsors Mibern Medi-call, Dot Engineering, Ansley Racing, Buffs Biltong, and “speedway friend, Roger”.
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The WSRC take to the road next month and race at
- the George Oval, Western Cape on Saturday 21st Sept, and a week later at
- the Rustenburg Showground, N.W.Province on Sat. 28th Sept, commencing 2pm.
The next home meeting at Walkerville will be for the GOLDEN HELMET trophy and the SILVER SASH on SUNDAY Sept 29th.

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August World Championship SGPs: - Terenzano, Italy 3.8.13: Daugavpils, Latvia 17.8.13;
Woffinden pulls clear of Sayfutdinov as Hancock returns to form.


After July's SWC events came the return to the World Championship race, and Dane Niels Kristian Iversen of Kings Lynn took his first ever Grand Prix win at Terenzano at the start of the month, (photo'd rt. with Tai W. & Emil S.) whilst last night in Latvia former Cradley skipper Greg Hancock made a rerun to his best international form following his crash at Bydgoszcz in April by holding off young bucks Darcy Ward and Tai Woffinden to make his first podium appearance this season. Hancock clearly likes the Daugavpils track, having won 3 of the 5 SGPs held there. (The 43-yr old double World Champ is an SGP ever-present since their inception in 1995, having competed in 164 rounds to date and never having missed an event.)
But the big news at the end of the night was the emergence at the head of the leader table of Woffinden for the first time. Brit-cum-Ozzie Tai, (born in Scunthorpe UK, raised in Oz, and with accent and tattoo affirming the latter, but riding as a British national,) has taken 33 SGP points in these 2 Grand Prix, against the former table leader Emil Sayfutdinov's 17, making respective totals for the two 23-yr olds of 117 and 114, with 3rd placed Pole, Jaroslav Hampel on 96. 2013 seems assured of delivering a new young World Champion this season: former champs Pedersen, Hancock, Holder and Gollob sit in 4th, 6th , 8th and 9th position, Holder already out for the season with serious injuries.

ITALIAN SGP SCORES: Niels-Kristian Iversen 13, Tai Woffinden 18, Emil Sayfutdinov 10, Matej Zagar 14, Jaroslaw Hampel 13, Nicki Pedersen 12, Darcy Ward 11, Leon Madsen 8,
LATVIAN
SGP SCORES:
Greg Hancock 18, Darcy Ward 13, Tai Woffinden 15, Nicki Pedersen 11, Niels-Kristian Iversen 13, Jaroslaw Hampel 11, Matej Zagar 9, Andzejs Lebedevs 9, ... Emil Sayfutdinov 7,(10th) ... 12 Tomasz Gollob 5,(12th),

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Tai Woffinden 117, 2 Emil Sayfutdinov 114, 3 Jaroslaw Hampel 96, 4 Nicki Pedersen 94, 5 Niels-Kristian Iversen 90, 6 Greg Hancock 89, 7 Matej Zagar 84, 8 Chris Holder 82, 9 Tomasz Gollob 73, 10 Darcy Ward 68, 11 Fredrik Lindgren 65, 12 Krzysztof Kasprzak 62, 13 Martin Vaculik 51, 14 Andreas Jonsson 46, 15 Antonio Lindback 35, 16 Leon Madsen 13, 17 Ales Dryml 11, 18 Andzejs Lebedevs 9, 19 Chris Harris 7, 20 Krzysztof Buczkowski 6, 21 Linus Sundstrom 6, 22 Bartosz Zmarzlik 6, 23 Michael Jepsen Jensen 6, 24 Josef Franc 2, 25 Peter Kildemand 2, 26 Kenni Larsen 2, 27 Nicolas Covatti 2, 28 Jason Bunyan 1, 29 Craig Cook 1, 30 Josh Auty 1.

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28.7.2013, Dot Engineering South African National Championship, Rd.2.
The second round of the the SA National saw honours pretty much even in the solo speedway class with just 2 points between the top 5 riders. Contenders Neil Pettit and Gio Nunes both took falls in their third rides at a grippy patch on bend 4, Pettit on his 3rd lap whilst leading, then in the very next heat Nunes hit the same patch and came to earth. The final heat of the day featured former champs Mac Magill and Pettit alongside Lyle Kotze, equal on points with the former, alongside the unbeaten (but for his fall,) Pettit. It was Kotze that led from the tapes for 3¾ laps with Pettit pushing hard. On the 4th and final bend the current champ eventually got his wheel in front just 10m from the line to take the day's prize money. Notwithstanding, it's Gio Nunes that still leads the aggregate points totals, as none of today's three finalists were available to enter Round 1 of the Dot Engineering National.
In the Sidecar class matters were also close with 5 drivers separated again by just 2 points with all of them taking at least one win today. With 3 wins from 4 rides Edwin Butler (left) on his Kawasaki 1100cc machine and partnered by wife Estelle took top money from brother Gordon, but Gordon leads the championship scores by 24pts to Edwin's 22. The Final round of the Dot Engineering SA National is on Dec.7th. 
   FULL RESULTS.   incl'g Flat Track, Quads and Peewees.



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ii) w/c 14.7.2013, Speedway World Cup
     Poland are World Team Champions

After Thursday's Race-Off in Prague Australia, without injured World Champ Chris Holder, joined the other 3 finalists in the Monster Energy Speedway World Cup Final on Saturday evening, 20th. It was a close event, - all four nations could have won the Race-Off meeting going into the penultimate heat, but the Aussies got the verdict. However, come the Final they were eclipsed by joint favourites Poland and Denmark, who went to a last heat decider following engine problems by former World champ Nicki Pedersen in Ht.16, his first mechanical failure in over 200 races, he reckoned. That meant that Jaroslav Hampel could deliver the Ove Fundin trophy to Poland once more if he could take the chequered flag in the last race against the Dane Michel Jepsen Jensen, - which he did from the gate, giving Poland its 6th SWC win in 9 years.

RACE OFF SCORES:
AUSTRALIA 36:
Darcy Ward 13, Jason Doyle 8, Cameron Woodward 8, Troy Batchelor 7
.
USA 31: Greg Hancock 20, Ryan Fisher 8,
Ricky Wells 3, Gino Manzares 0.
LATVIA 29: Kasts Puodzuks 10, Maksims Bogdanovs 9, Vjaceslavs Giruckis 5, Andzejs Lebedevs 5.

GREAT BRITAIN 28: Tai Woffinden 14,  Chris Harris 7, Lewis Bridger 4, Ben Barker 3.
MONSTER ENERGY SWC FINAL:

POLAND 41: Jaroslaw Hampel 15, Maciej Janowski 12, Krzysztof Kasprzak 7, Patryk Dudek 7.
DENMARK 40: Niels-Kristian Iversen 12, Kenneth Bjerre 11, Nicki Pedersen 10,  Michael Jepsen Jensen 7.
AUSTRALIA 33: Troy Batchelor 11, Darcy Ward 9, Cameron Woodward 8, Jason Doyle 5.
CZECH REPUBLIC 12:  Ales Dryml 7, Vaclav Milik 3, Lukas Dryml 1, Josef Franc 1.

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i) w/c 14.7.2013, Speedway World Cup
With SWC Events 1 & 2 in Czestochowa, PL and Kings Lynn, UK now completed, - there were preliminaries in Latvia and Hungary which saw the Baltic home country and the USA thru to this week's competition proper - , we are now closer to knowing the Final line-up of nations in Prague on Saturday 20th. One place remains to be decided in the Race-Off on Thursday, also at Prague's Marketa Stadium, when 2nd and 3rd place countries from Ev.1 & Ev.2, Australia & Latvia, GB & USA, meet up hoping to join winners Poland & Denmark alongside seeded home nation, the Czech Republic to battle for the Ove Fundin Trophy, (seen left.).
Czestochowa: Poland 48, Australia 34, Latvia 27, Russia 14.
Kings Lynn: Denmark 49, GB 35, USA 24, Sweden 18.

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12.7.2013:  Memories of the 1956/'57  S.A. Season by a Wembley Lion.
Peter Williams was a member of the UK's Belle Vue Aces team when he was invited to join the Johannesburg Wembley Lions for a season in the Union alongside his Aces team-mate Henry Long, the Lions' skipper for the 1956/57 season. After 56 years the two have recently (June 2013) been in touch again by 'phone, recounting old times, thanks to 'Speedway South Africa' reuniting the pair. This prompted PW to dig out some old photographs of the day, now to be seen on the 'Gallery p.4: 1946-60' page. They include formal line-ups of the Springboks and England test match teams of that season, when the pair were on opposing sides, plus informal snaps taken at Wembley and elsewhere as well as PW's recollections of each as riders of the day moved around between Jo'burg, the Cape and S.Rhodesia.

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