1936 Individual Speedway World Championship

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1936 Individual Speedway World Championship
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The 1936 Speedway World Final programme.

The 1936 Individual Speedway World Championship was the first ever Speedway World Championship and was won by Lionel Van Praag of Australia. It was the first of a record 26 times that London's Wembley Stadium would host the World Final with the last being in 1981.

Despite being unbeaten in the Final, Australian Bluey Wilkinson only finished third as the Championship was decided by bonus points accumulated in previous rounds plus the score from the final. Van Praag defeated England's Eric Langton in a runoff to be declared the inaugural Speedway World Champion.

As they lined up at the tapes for the runoff, Langton broke them which would ordinarily lead to disqualification. However, Van Praag stated he did not want to win the title by default and insisted that a race should take place. At the restart Langton made it to the first bend in front and lead until the final bend on the last lap when Van Praag darted through the smallest of gaps to win by less than wheel length. After the race, controversial allegations were abound that the two riders had 'fixed' the match race, deciding between them that the first person to the first bend would win the race and the Championship and split the prize money. Van Praag's overtake seemed to quash those rumours.

  • 1936 Podium
  1. Gold Australia Lionel Van Praag (Australia)
  2. Silver United Kingdom Eric Langton (Great Britain)
  3. Bronze Australia Bluey Wilkinson (Australia)

World final[edit]

Pos. Rider Semi-Final Points Final Points Final Heats Total Points
1 Australia Lionel Van Praag 12 14 (3,3,3,2,3) 26+3
2 United Kingdom Eric Langton 13 13 (3,3,3,2,2) 26+2
3 Australia Bluey Wilkinson 10 15 (3,3,3,3,3) 25
4 United States Cordy Milne 9 11 (2,2,1,3,3) 20
5 United Kingdom Frank Charles 12 8 (3,3,0,2,0) 20
6 Australia Dicky Case 9 8 (2,0,3,1,2) 17
7 United Kingdom Jack Ormston 9 8 (1,1,2,3,1) 17
8 Australia Vic Huxley 10 7 (1,2,0,2,2) 17
9 United Kingdom George Newton 12 4 (0,0,3,1,0) 16
10 United States Jack Milne 9 6 (1,2,1,0,2) 15
11 Denmark Morian Hansen 10 5 (2,1,2,0,0) 15
12 United Kingdom Bob Harrison 10 5 (0,0,2,0,3) 15
13 United Kingdom Wal Phillips 7 5 (1,1,0,2,1) 12
14 United Kingdom Jack Parker 12 - - 12
15 United Kingdom Ginger Lees 7 4 (2,0,1,0,1) 11
16 United Kingdom Arthur Atkinson 6 3 (0,2,1,0,0) 9
17 United Kingdom Bill Pitcher 6 2 (0,1,X/-,0,1) 8
18 United Kingdom Norman Parker 6 1 (1) 7

See also[edit]