|Date of birth||4 October 1939|
|Place of birth||Christchurch, New Zealand|
|Nickname||Sprouts, Galloping Mauger|
|Current club information|
|Career status||Retired (1985)|
Rye House Rockets
Belle Vue Aces
Long Track World Champion
British League Riders Champion
Provincial League Riders' Champion
Northern Riders' Champion
New Zealand Champion
Victorian State Champion (Aust)
Qld State Champion (Aust)
WA State Champion (Aust)
Inter Continental Champion
|1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1977,
1971, 1972, 1976
1968, 1970, 1971, 1972
1964, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972,
|World Pairs Champion
World Team Cup winner
British League Champion
Provincial League Champion
1968, 1971, 1972, 1979
1970, 1971, 1972, 1974
Ivan Gerald Mauger, OBE, (born 4 October 1939 in Christchurch, New Zealand) is a retired motorcycle speedway rider. He won a record six World Championships, a feat equalled only by Tony Rickardsson of Sweden. Mauger rode for several British teams – Wimbledon Dons, Newcastle Diamonds, Belle Vue Aces, Exeter Falcons, and the Hull Vikings.
- 1 Career
- 2 International
- 3 After retirement
- 4 World Speedway Riders' Association
- 5 Honours
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Not all went as to expectation in the early parts of his career, initial success with the Wimbledon Dons did not come. Mauger returned to his homeland in 1958, and following extreme hardship and dedication he began to receive the due recognition of his abilities as a rider competing in his home country and Australia. He attracted the attention of famed Australian Speedway Promoter Kym Bonython who ran the successful Rowley Park Speedway in Adelaide. Bonython signed the young Mauger to race at Rowley Park for the 1960/61 season, even finding him a job as a truck driver to supplement his speedway winnings.
Mauger first arrived in England as a fresh-faced 17-year old aboard the SS Rangitoto, which docked at Tilbury in 1957, with his teenage bride Raye, renting a one-bedroom flat in Wimbledon around the corner from Plough Lane where Moore and Briggs reigned as the twin 'kings of the cinders'.
Inspired by the deeds of Moore, from the age of 12, Mauger dedicated himself to becoming speedway's champion of the world, working as a delivery boy for a local chemist in Christchurch after school and in the holidays to save money for his first racing machine.
"Everyone thought I had wealthy parents because I could afford to buy a bike before I was 16 but for three years I never bought an ice-cream, a Coca-Cola or anything like that. After I left school I had two jobs - as did Raye - and that's how we saved enough money to come to England when we were little more than children."
Mauger's great adventure began at Plough Lane where he rode in the second-half 'faces of the future' races and assisted Mac the groundsman.
"I never, ever felt I was going to work for the simple reason that I just loved the atmosphere of being in Wimbledon Stadium. I cleaned the dressing rooms, the toilets, the pits and the workshop. I helped Mac work on the track, I weeded the tulip beds and on Monday afternoons I had to cut the grass out in the centre before the speedway meeting. And not just any old cut would do for Ronnie. It had to be mowed in one direction then the other, just like Wembley Stadium.
A major breakthrough in his career occurred in 1963 when he returned to England with Raye and his young family to join Mike Parker's Newcastle Diamonds. In 1966 he qualified for his first World Final where he finished fourth, and won the first of his six record breaking World Championships in 1968. After a public falling out with Parker, Mauger put in a transfer request in December 1968, stating that the mental strain of riding with Newcastle was endangering his health.
Mauger joined the Belle Vue Aces in 1969, where he enjoyed his greatest league team achievements. As a Belle Vue Ace he won the title in 1970, 1971 and 1972, thereby becoming the only rider to complete the 'Triple Crown'.
In 1978 he joined the Hull Vikings, winning his last and record sixth world title in 1979. He left Hull in 1981, but returned in 1984 at the age of 44 for Exeter where he competed in home meetings.
In his home country of New Zealand, Ivan Mauger is considered a national sporting hero. He has won the New Zealand Championship on two occasions (1974 and 1981), and scored his first podium in the championship with second in 1959 behind then dual World Champion Barry Briggs. Surprisingly considering his successful career, Mauger didn't place (or ride) in the NZ Championship again until his 1974 championship. His only other podium in the championship was in 1979 when he placed third behind Larry Ross and Mitch Shirra.
Adelaide based Speedway promoter Kym Bonython signed Mauger to ride the 1960/61 Australian season based at the Rowley Park Speedway. Mauger had considerable success riding in Australia throughout his career. In 1962 he was the Australian Long Track Champion, as well as the Victorian and Queensland State Champion. He also finished runner up in the 1962 Australian Solo Championship. He would repeat his Victorian Championship win in 1963, and would finish third in the Australian Championship in the same year. Ten years later in 1973, Mauger would win the Western Australian State Championship, held at the 550 metre long Claremont Speedway in Perth.
Ivan Mauger was the Australasian Champion in both 1977 and 1981.
Ivan Mauger is considered one of the best speedway riders ever and was voted as the "Greatest Rider of the 20th Century". He jointly holds the record for most Speedway World Championship wins with Sweden's Tony Rickardsson with six wins each, one in front of Swedish legend Ove Fundin.
Mauger was also the Speedway World Team Cup Champion in 1968, 1969 and 1971 while riding for Great Britain (the British team regularly consisted of riders from the Commonwealth nations). He would win the title again in 1979 as captain of New Zealand.
During his career, Ivan Mauger also raced in the World Long Track Championship, winning the title in 1971, 1972 and 1976, bringing his total of World Championships in speedway racing to 15. Mauger was also runner up at the Longtrack Championship in 1974 and 1975.
Mauger was awarded the MBE in 1976, the OBE in 1989, and was voted the prestigious Millennium Man of Speedway by the readers of Speedway Star and Vintage Speedway Magazine in December 1999. He was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. To complete these illustrious awards Mauger was selected by the Olympic Committee to carry the Olympic Torch at the Sydney Games, an honour which he performed on 12 June 2000.
World Speedway Riders' Association
Mauger was President of World Speedway Riders' Association 2007–2008.
Gold plated speedway bike
In 1970, two men in the USA named George Wenn and Ray Bokelman said that if Ivan Mauger won three world finals in a row at Wrocław (Poland), they would have the winning bike gold plated. Mauger duly won the World Final that year, and true to their promise, the bike was taken to America and Gold plated, and so was born the "Triple Crown Special." The machine currently resides at Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand.
- World Champion: 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1977, 1979 - R/Up 1971, 1973, 1974
- New Zealand Sportsperson of the Year (Halberg Award) 1977 and 1979.
- Long Track World Champion 1971, 1972, 1976 R/Up 1974, 1975
- World Pairs Champion 1969, 1970 R/Up 1971, 1972, 1978, 1981
- Speedway World Team Cup Champion 1968, 1971, 1972, 1979
- European Champion 1966, 1970, 1971, 1975
- British Champion 1968, 1970, 1971, 1972
- Intercontinental Champion 1975
- New Zealand Champion 1974, 1981
- Australasian Champion 1977, 1981
- British-Nordic Champion 1968, 1971
- British League Riders Champion 1971, 1973
- Embassy Internationale Winner 1970, 1971, 1972
- Northern Riders Champion 1964, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1980
- Provincial League Riders Champion 1963, 1964
- Lubos Tomicek Memorial Trophy Winner 1971, 1972, 1973, 1979
- Silver Sash Match Race Champion 1968, 1969
- Golden Helmet Match Race Champion 1970
- Scottish Open Champion 1970
- Scotianapolis Winner 1969, 1970
- Leningrad Cup (USSR) Winner 1969
- Lokeren Memorial Trophy Winner 1970
- Golden Key of Bremen 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975
- Australian Long Track Champion 1962
- Victorian State Champion (Australia) 1962, 1963
- Queensland State Champion (Australia) 1962
- Western Australian State Champion 1973
- Yorkshire Television Trophy 1979, 1980
- Lada Indoor International 1979
World Final appearances
- 1966 - Göteborg, Ullevi - 4th - 11pts
- 1967 - London, Wembley Stadium - 3rd - 13pts
- 1968 - Göteborg, Ullevi - Winner - 15pts
- 1969 - London, Wembley Stadium - Winner - 14pts
- 1970 - Wroclaw, Olympic Stadium - Winner - 15pts
- 1971 - Göteborg, Ullevi - 2nd - 12pts+3pts
- 1972 - London, Wembley Stadium - Winner - 13pts+3pts
- 1973 - Chorzów, Silesian Stadium - 2nd - 13pts + F
- 1974 - Göteborg, Ullevi - 2nd - 11pts + 3pts
- 1975 - London, Wembley Stadium - 4th - 12pts + 2pts
- 1976 - Chorzów, Silesian Stadium - 4th - 11pts
- 1977 - Göteborg, Ullevi - Winner - 14pts
- 1978 - London, Wembley Stadium - 8th - 8pts
- 1979 - Chorzów, Silesian Stadium - Winner - 14pts
Guinness Book of Records
- Most individual championship wins 9 (6 speedway / 3 longtrack),
- First person to win world speedway and longtrack in same year,
- Only person to win 3 individual world titles in succession,
- Most individual world speedway wins 6 (joint with Tony Rickardsson)
- Most world final championship finals 52,
- First person to win world speedway, world longtrack, world pairs, and world team cup, championships (achieved 1971 with world longtrack win)
Media related to Ivan Mauger at Wikimedia Commons
- Official site
- Authorised tribute site
- Circuits of Gold - full length documentary available to view on NZ On Screen. This documentary includes interviews with Mauger and his family and covers his long career, from his boy racer beginnings to his Western Springs farewell and a tribute from David Lange. (Requires Adobe Flash)
- Short bio
- New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame