Week Ending February 22

AN ARMY OF SPEEDWAY FANS breathed a sigh of relief this week at the news that World Champion Anders Michanek would be returning to British League racing after all. The talented and popular Swede had agreed terms with his old track Reading, ending days of speculation that, if he returned to England, he would be joining a team other than the Racers.

NO MORE SPEEDWAY AT LONG EATON. That was the sad news to emerge form the week’s National League General Council meeting in Leeds. Although no official statement had been made, it was understood the committee refused to renew the licence. One reason was the poor track conditions at Station Road for the previous four seasons but it was also acknowledged that the track’s financial viability was in question due to lack of support.

There was better news at Scunthorpe, however, with the announcement that speedway was to continue there at least for another season. Promoter Brian Osborn declared his intention to carry on at the same promoters’ meeting in Yorkshire.

On the Speedway Star cover this week:

FRONT: A Scottish team including Bobby Beaton, Brian Collins, George Hunter, Ian Hoskins (manager), Bert Harkins and Jimmy McMillan

BACK: Chris Morton, Phil Herne and Kevin Holden

Speedway Headlines 1975

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THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP was destined to have a new look from 1976 with the news that Australian and New Zealand riders would have qualifying rounds in their own countries in future. They would then join qualifiers from the USA rounds and the British Final in the Inter-Continental Final. Qualifiers from the Nordic Final would in future go the Continental Final and the top riders from this, together with the Inter-Continental Final and the Polish Final would go forward to the World Final in Chorzow.

Why Polish riders would not take part in the Continental Final, as logic would demand, was unclear - and there were many other ‘unknowns’. One thing was clear, the decision by the Australian and New Zealand authorities to affiliate themselves directly with the FIM was having far-reaching and unwelcome consequences which even they had not fully considered.