Week Ending February 15

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND announced that they would go it alone in the 1975 World Championship. That meant there would be no Commonwealth riders competing in the qualifying rounds on Gulf Oil British League tracks in the summer.

Instead, two New Zealanders and three Australians would be seeded directly to June’s Inter-Continental Final at Gothenburg, Sweden, along with two Americans and the nine top scorers from the Nordic Final.

The shock news was contained in a memo from the FIM to the Australian Speedway Control Council and meant that all but a handful of Colonial riders would be banned from competing in the World Championship that year. ‘And it could mean’, warned correspondent Peter Oakes, ‘that British riders will be chasing only the top four spots in this year’s British Final at Coventry to guarantee them a place in the World Final.’

Previously, Australasian riders had competed in the British rounds of the competition but Australia’s decision to break away from the British ACU and seek direct affiliation to the FIM meant that their riders now had to qualify from the Continent.

‘EVEN THOUGH WE WON THE FIRST TEST against Poland,’ wrote Ivan Mauger in his own column, ‘the result is still in doubt.’

Poland had lodged an official protest and asked that the match be declared a no-contest after it was discovered that there was nitro in the track fuel.

The controversy surrounded the test series between Poland and New Zealand. According to Mauger, it was later discovered that the people in charge of the fuel at Auckland had been delivered a bad batch of methanol and, in order to improve the quality, they had poured nitro into it without telling anyone. This was the second time such an occurrence had taken place at Western Springs.

It was believed the Polish protest was unlikely to succeed, however, since both teams had used the same fuel.

On the Speedway Star cover this week:

FRONT: Pirates’ duo Richard May and Colin Gooddy

BACK: Berwick’s Colin Farquharson

Speedway Headlines 1975

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