Peter Collins, the European Champion and Speedway Star’s Personality of the Year was named as the first challenger of the new season for the Golden Helmet. The British Match Race Championship was again sponsored by Speedway Star and the holder the start of the year was the Australian Phil Crump.
Ipswich Witches achieved the ambition of promoters John Berry and Joe Thurley when they tracked a 1975 side made up of six riders all of whom came from within 10 miles of their Foxhall Heath track. The exception was Australian Billy Sanders but even he linked up with the Suffolk team at the age of 16.
Fans were quite used to seeing speedway on TV, usually on ITV in World of Sport but regional ITV companies also took an interest in their local tracks. At Swindon, they were excited by the prospect of a visit from an HTV West crew shooting some film to air at the opening of the Robins’ season against Poole. They were experimenting with fitting a radio microphone to Martin Ashby so that he could give viewers a first-hand account of four laps around the Blunsdon circuit.
Fixtures for the first season of the New National League included five internationals between England and Australasia, three between England and Scotland, five club matches against Swedish team Kaparna and eight against a West German Select. They also featured an inter-divisional Knockout Cup and the Best Pairs tournament. It makes today’s Premier League fixture lists look a little threadbare!