giovedì 6 aprile 2017

1936 World Championship (part 3)

Championship Round scorers 
Harringay - July 11. Jack Parker 15, Charles 13, Newton 11, Van Praag 11, Cordy Milne 10, Ormston 9, Lees 8, Pitcher 8, Wilkinson 7, Chitty 6, Baltazar Hansen 5, Norman Parker 5, Clibbett 5, Dixon 2, Stobbart 1, Johnson 0.

West Ham - July 14. Langton 15, Huxley 14, Wilkinson 12, Case 11, Jack Parker 10, Pitcher 9, Dixon 8, Atkinson 6, Murphy 5, Clibbett 4, Ormston 4, Chitty 3, Baltazar Hansen 3, Khun 2, Stobbart 1.

Wembley - July 23. Van Praag 15, Huxley 13, Ormston 12, Morian Hansen 11, Wilkinson 10, Charles 9, Lees 9, Abbott 7, Johnson 7, Norman Parker 6, Cordy Milne 5, Clibbett 4, Murphy 4, Atkinson 3, Dixon 1.

New Cross - July 29. Newton 14, Langton 13, Harrison 13, Jack Milne 10, Case 9, Jack Parker 9, Norman Parker 8, Morian Hansen 8, Kilmister 7, Johnson 6, Van Praag 6, Baltazar Hansen 5, Phillips 4, Stobbart 3, Lloyd 3, Pitcher 2.

Belle Vue - August 8. Langton 15, Newton 14, Harrison 13, Charles 10, Johnson 9, Huxley 8, Phillips 8, Jack Milne 8, Lees 7, Wilkinson 7, Kitchen 6, Abbott 5, Dixon 4, Chitty 3, Murphy 2, Gordon Byers 2, Stobbart 1, Khun 0.

Wimbledon - August 10. Van Praag 15, Langton 14, Ormston 11, Case 9, Phillips 9, Cordy Milne 8, Jack Milne 8, Morian Hansen 8, Kitchen 7, Harrison 6, Atkinson 5, Lees 4, Pitcher 4, Huxley 4, Kilmister 4, Khun 4.

Hackney Wick - August 14. Charles 15, Jack Parker 13, Newton 12, Morian Hansen 12, Kitchen 9, Cordy Milne 9, Case 8, Jack Milne 8, Harrison 7, Chitty 6, Atkinson 6, Phillips 5, Baltazar Hansen 4, Clibbett 3, Kilmister 2, Murphy 2.

The full list of qualifying scorers were: Langton 13, Charles 12, Newton 12, Jack Parker 12, Van Praag 12, Morian Hansen 10, Harrison 10, Huxley 10, Wilkinson 10, Case 9, Ormston 9, Cordy Milne 9, Jack Milne 9, Lees 7, Phillips 7, Abbott 7. Reserves: Johnson 7, Pitcher 7. Non-qualifiers: Atkinson 6, Norman Parker 6, Baltazar Hansen 5, Clibbett 5, Chitty 5, Kilmister 5, Dixon 4, Murphy 4, Stobbart 3, Khun 3, Tate 2.

Of the qualifiers, only Newton could be classed as a youngster, as all the others had started their careers in the 1920's. The Milnes and Morian Hansen were the only non-British Empire qualifiers. Abbott's injury prevented him from taking his place in the Final and his place went to Ron Johnson. A bigger shock was that Jack Parker had hurt his wrist before the Final and he was replaced by Arthur Atkinson. Norman Parker and Baltazar Hansen stepped up to the reserve spots.

The big day arrived and 74,000 people packed into Wembley Stadium, the largest speedway crowd ever at that point. Admission costs ranged from 1/3 (6p) for unreserved standing spaces at 10/6 (52p) for the best seats in the house. There were discounted rates for party bookings from supporters' clubs.
Eric Langton celebrated his 29th birthday on the day of the Final. 
An unusual and potentially catastrophic event happened on the day of the Final. The BBC announced on the radio that the Final had been cancelled. Where they got their information from heaven knows but they had to announce the truth at fifteen minute intervals throughout the day to prevent fans from not travelling to the event.

The Final itself is well covered in books by Robert Bamford and Glynn Shailes and by John Chaplin which give the details race by race so there is no need to repeat them here.

Frank Charles declared his intent in heat one, winning in a track record time of 73.6 seconds. The Wembley rider followed this win a win in heat five and looked like the man to beat. However Charles ran a shock last in heat nine and his chances were over.

Cordy Milne greatly impressed the crowd with some terrific riding, scoring eleven points for fourth overall on the night and in the competition as a whole. George Newton's chances were blown by a fall in heat one, while Bill Pitcher earned the dubious honour of being the first man to be excluded from a World Championship race in a World Final for touching the tapes at the start of heat twelve.

Man of the evening was Bluey Wilkinson, who raced to a brilliant maximum. However, the popular Aussie was denied victory due to the iniquitous bonus points system which meant that he only came third in the final reckoning.

That left the title to be fought between two riders - Lionel Van Praag and Eric Langton. The two riders met in the last programmed race of the night with Van Praag needing a win to secure a run off. He achieved this and the stage was set for a showdown of enormous proportions.

Legend has it that Langton and Van Praag met before the race and came up with a rather spurious gentlemans' agreement. Concerned about the cut-throat nature of the race they were about to have, allegedly the pair agreed that the person who got the first bend in front would be allowed to win untroubled by the other. Unfortunately Langton went through the tapes to spoil things rather. The ACU steward, Mr. J. O'Neill, allowed Langton back in - a controversial decision if ever there was one! In the rerun, the story goes, Langton led from the start but was passed by Van Praag. At the end of the race, a furious Langton confronted Van Praag , who said the deal was invalidated by Langton's tape-breaking offence!

So Lionel Van Praag entered the record books as the first ever winner of the World Speedway Championship. The most important thing , however, is that the championship had been a roaring success and, apart from a brief interruption by Herr Hitler, has been with us ever since.

previously issued on The Speedway Researcher, Vol. 5 No. 4 March 2003 and Vol. 6 No. 1 June 2003

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento