Listen to the voices of some of the British League’s finest riders

PETER COLLINS

Speaking after becoming the first Englishman to win the European Champion at Wembley in 1974

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IN 1974, a long-playing record was produced of the World Final, held on September 6 at the Ullevi stadium in Göteborg, Sweden. The road to the final had been hard: the Swedes had their own route but British riders had to go via the British Final, through the first ever British/American/Nordic Final to the European Final, (won by Peter Collins). In the Continental rounds, defending World Champion Jerzy Szczakiel had been knocked out and Russian riders generally swamped the Poles.


Those who reached the Final from the British League included Scott Autrey, the American representative, Ole Olsen, Ivan Mauger, Peter Collins, Terry Betts, Dave Jessup, John Louis and Dag Lovaas. Via the Continental route came Vladimir Gordeev, Valeri Starostin, Zenon Plech, Mikhail Krasnov, Anton Kusmin, Jan Mucha, Edward Jancarz and Grigori Khlynovski.


Listen to the voices of some of these great riders in extracts from the interviews produced for the record.

Collins became European Champion after beating Ivan Mauger and Ole Olsen in a run-off

I was confident that, if I made a good start, I could do it.

IVAN MAUGER

Talking about the run-off with Peter Collins and Ole Olsen at the 1974 European

Championship

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Barry Briggs thought that Olsen and Mauger were so busy trying to fix each other that they let Peter Collins through

Peter drew (gate) two, I think, Ole three and me, four … By the time that rain came, (gate 4) was like a mirror half way from the start to the first corner.

SCOTT AUTREY

Talking about his chances of qualifying for the World Final and riding in the British League

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Scott Autrey was chosen as the sole American representative in the European Final

I came over (to Britain) in ‘72 to watch the World Final and I just decided from then on that I wanted to race over here. Money-wise, I think I’ve lost a bit but I’ve had a good time.

OVE FUNDIN

Who better to give an opinion on the likely outcome at Ullevi?

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Five times World Champion Ove Fundin gives his view on the likely winners of the World Final

Being a Swede, of course, I would like to see Bengt Jansson win. He deserves to win. He’s a technical and good rider.

SÖREN SJÖSTEN

How did he perform and was he happy with the track?

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Diminutive Swede Sören Sjösten, one of the most popular riders, gives his view on his World final performance

Yes, I was happy and at the same time I was unhappy … I won the first two races and made a really bad race in the third one.

DAG LOVAAS

Dag qualified for the World Final for the first time in 1974

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Oxford’s high-flying Scandinavian, Dag Lovaas had been Norwegian Champion in 1973 and 1974

I just hit a deep spot and the bike picked up … Actually, I did the same thing in the practice so I don’t honestly know what happened.

Still to come: John Louis and Dave Jessup, among others

Voices from the Past

“ “ “ “ “ “ Peter Collins on becoming European Champion.wav Ivan Mauger on his third place in the 1974 European Final.wav Scott Autrey.wav Ove Fundin.wav Soren Sjosten.wav Dag Lovaas.wav SpeedwayFiction Speedway like it used to be! Home