1973 Individual Speedway World Championship

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1973 Individual Speedway World Championship
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The 1973 Individual Speedway World Championship.

The 1973 World Final was won by Polish rider Jerzy Szczakiel following a run-off in with defending champion Ivan Mauger after both riders had finished on 13 points. On the second lap of the run-off, Mauger fell in turn 3 after trying a risky passing move leaving Szczakiel to win easily. Another Polish rider, Zenon Plech finished third. Rank outsider Szczakiel, who had finished last with no points scored in his only other World Final appearance in Sweden in 1971, rode the meeting of his life and was only beaten in his final two rides before defeating Mauger in the run-off.

The final, held at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzów, Poland, was held in front of the largest crowd in world speedway history, estimated to be around 130,000, though some reports put the size of the crowd as anywhere from 90,000 to 120,000.[1]

Controversy[edit]

The Final was surrounded by controversy, with decisions made by Georg Traunspurger, the referee assigned to the meeting by the FIM, seeming to openly favour the Polish riders in an attempt to have a home town win and/or more than one Polish rider on the podium, although Jerzy Szczakiel's form on the day did not require the referee's help. One of his decisions was to have 2nd reserve Andrzej Wyglenda of Poland race in Heat 16 in front of 1st reserve Tommy Jansson of Sweden (after Bernt Persson of Sweden was unable to ride), making it 4 Polish riders in the race. The race itself also had people talking as second placed Edward Jancarz, who led for the first three laps, seemed to let Zenon Plech take the lead in the final turn, allowing Plech, who had more points at that stage of the meeting, to collect another 3 points for the win. Some observers believed Jancarz spent the first 3 laps almost inviting Plech to take the lead.

However, by far his most controversial decision was to exclude Soviet rider Gregory Khlynovski from Heat 19. Khlynovski had attempted to pass on the inside of Zenon Plech for the lead going into the back straight of the last lap. As he was passed by the Russian, Plech lost control of his bike and fell. Despite protests from riders and the Soviet officials, after speaking to him via the pit phone the referee simply took Plech's word that Khlynovski had knocked him off his bike. He did not take into account any eye witness reports and excluded Khlynovski, resulting in the Russian officials walking out in disgust. England's Peter Collins, who was in 3rd place at the time of the crash, was awarded the heat win, Plech, who didn't actually finish the race, was awarded 2nd, while another Russian, Valery Gordeev, was awarded third place even though he did not finish the race either after hitting Plech's fallen bike. In a show of good sportsmanship, Collins gave the fallen Plech a ride back to the pits on the back of his bike.

The result of the two points he gained for second place allowed Plech to finish a clear third in the championship. The ruling, with Khlynovski excluded, should have seen Collins as the only rider to score from the heat, with both Plech and Gordeev scoring no points after failing to finish. This would have resulted in Plech only finishing the championship on 10 points and in 5th place. Had Khlynovski been the winner of the heat as many believe he should have been, including many of the riders in the meeting, he would have ended on 13 points, which would have put him in the run-off for the title with Szczakiel and Mauger.[2]

British television commentator Dave Lanning called the ruling "The craziest piece of speedway regulations in the history of World Championship racing", before adding that "It seems to me that the authorities here in Katowice are making up the rules to suit themselves to get their boys a world title."

Due to the perceived bias shown to the Polish riders, it had been reported and long believed that referee Georg Traunspurger was himself Polish. However, the official program of the meeting names Traunspurger as being from West Germany.

British Qualification[edit]

Date Venue Winner Runner-up 3rd place
Preliminary Round
29 April United KingdomEastbourne United Kingdom Gordon Kennett United Kingdom Paul Gachet United Kingdom Bobby McNeil
29 April United KingdomBoston New Zealand Graeme Stapleton Australia John Dews United Kingdom Russ Osborne
2 May United KingdomBradford Australia Neil Street Australia Billy Sanders United Kingdom Rick France
7 May United KingdomCrewe United Kingdom Mitch Graham United Kingdom Arthur Price United Kingdom Les Owen
7 May United KingdomBirmingham United Kingdom Jim Ryman United Kingdom Bob Paulson United Kingdom Ted Howgego
12 May United KingdomKings Lynn United Kingdom John Louis United Kingdom Terry Betts United Kingdom Malcolm Simmons
14 May United KingdomReading United Kingdom Martin Ashby United Kingdom Mick Bell Australia Geoff Curtis
16 May United KingdomPoole United Kingdom Pete Smith United Kingdom Ray Wilson United Kingdom Terry Betts
17 May United KingdomSheffield Scotland Jim McMillan United Kingdom Arnold Haley United Kingdom Doug Wyer
18 May United KingdomWolverhampton United Kingdom George Hunter United Kingdom Ray Wilson New Zealand Gary Peterson
18 May United KingdomHackney United Kingdom Terry Betts Australia Bob Valentine United Kingdom Barry Thomas
19 May United KingdomHalifax Australia John Boulger United Kingdom Eric Boocock New Zealand Bill Andrew
19 May United KingdomCradley Heath United Kingdom John Louis Australia Bruce Cribb United Kingdom Colin Gooddy
19 May United KingdomSwindon Scotland Jim McMillan United Kingdom Doug Wyer United Kingdom Tony Davey
19 May United KingdomBelle Vue New Zealand Ivan Mauger United Kingdom Chris Pusey United Kingdom Eric Broadbelt
21 May United KingdomExeter New Zealand Ivan Mauger United Kingdom Martin Ashby United Kingdom Bob Coles
22 May United KingdomLeicester Australia John Boulger United Kingdom Ray Wilson United Kingdom Bob Kilby
23 May WalesNewport United Kingdom Eric Boocock Australia Roy Trigg New Zealand Gary Peterson
24 May United KingdomWimbledon United Kingdom Peter Collins United Kingdom Norman Hunter United Kingdom Ian Turner
24 May United KingdomOxford United Kingdom Bob Kilby United Kingdom Malcolm Ballard United Kingdom Eric Boocock
25 May ScotlandCoatbridge United Kingdom Mick Bell Australia John Boulger United Kingdom Chris Julian
26 May United KingdomCoventry United Kingdom Nigel Boocock United Kingdom Ray Wilson United Kingdom Bob Kilby
29 May United KingdomIpswich New Zealand Ivan Mauger United Kingdom Tony Davey United Kingdom Mick Bell
Semi-Finals
5 June United KingdomLeicester New Zealand Ivan Mauger United Kingdom John Louis United Kingdom Chris Pusey
7 June United KingdomWimbledon United Kingdom John Louis United Kingdom Martin Ashby United Kingdom Eric Boocock
Final
21 June United KingdomSheffield United Kingdom Ray Wilson Australia Bob Valentine United Kingdom Peter Collins

British Final[edit]

  • June 21, 1973
  • United Kingdom Sheffield
  • First 8 to British-Nordic Final
Placing Rider Total 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pts Pos 21
1 United Kingdom (15) Ray Wilson 15 3 3 3 3 3 15 1
2 Australia (10) Bob Valentine 12 3 3 2 2 2 12 2 3
3 United Kingdom (13) Peter Collins 12 2 3 3 2 2 12 3 2
4 Australia (3) John Boulger 12 2 1 3 3 3 12 4 1
5 New Zealand (2) Ivan Mauger 10 3 1 3 3 T 10 5
6 United Kingdom (7) Eric Boocock 9 2 2 0 3 2 9 6
7 United Kingdom (8) Tony Davey 9 3 2 2 1 1 9 7
8 United Kingdom (16) Rick France 9 1 2 2 1 3 9 8
9 United Kingdom (6) John Louis 7 F 0 3 3 1 7 9
10 United Kingdom (4) Martin Ashby 6 1 3 1 1 0 6 10
11 Australia (5) Garry Middleton 5 1 0 1 0 3 5 11
12 United Kingdom (14) Peter Smith 5 0 2 1 1 1 5 12
13 United Kingdom (9) Terry Betts 4 1 2 F F 1 4 13
14 United Kingdom (11) Mick Bell 4 2 0 0 0 2 4 14
15 United Kingdom (1) Malcolm Simmons 2 0 1 1 0 0 2 15
16 Scotland (12) Jim McMillan 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 16
R1 United Kingdom (R1) Chris Pusey 0 0 R1
Placing Rider Total 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pts Pos 21

m - exclusion for exceeding two minute time allowance • t - exclusion for touching the tapes • x - other exclusion • e - retired or mechanical failure • f - fell • ns - non-starter • nc - non-classify

gate A - inside gate B gate C gate D - outside

Scandinavian Qualifications[edit]

Date Venue Winner Runner-up 3rd place
Qualifications
1 May SwedenVisby Sweden Lars Jansson Sweden Bernt Persson Sweden Christer Löfqvist
1 May SwedenMalilla Sweden Soren Sjosten Sweden Bengt Jansson Sweden Anders Michanek
5 May SwedenLindesberg Sweden Hasse Holmqvist Sweden Tommy Jansson Sweden Tomas Pettersson
17 May SwedenStockholm Sweden Bengt Jansson Sweden Anders Michanek Sweden Gote Nordin
27 May NorwaySkien Sweden Bernt Persson Sweden Tommy Jansson Norway Odd Fossengen
27 May DenmarkHillerod Denmark Ole Olsen Sweden Christer Löfqvist Sweden Jan Simensen
Final
6 June SwedenNorrköping Denmark Ole Olsen Sweden Bengt Jansson Sweden Anders Michanek

Scandinavian Final[edit]

  • June 6, 1973
  • Sweden Norrköping
  • First 8 to British-Nordic Final
Placing Rider Total 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pts Pos 21
1 Denmark (6) Ole Olsen 15 3 3 3 3 3 15 1
2 Sweden (5) Bengt Jansson 14 2 3 3 3 3 14 2
3 Sweden (7) Anders Michanek 13 1 3 3 3 3 13 3
4 Sweden (8) Bernt Persson 12 0 3 3 3 3 12 4
5 Sweden (3) Tommy Jansson 10 3 1 2 2 2 10 5
6 Sweden (4) Jan Simensen 9 1 2 2 2 2 9 6
7 Norway (13) Reidar Eide 9 3 2 1 2 1 9 7
8 Sweden (11) Gote Nordin 8 3 2 1 1 1 8 8 3
9 Sweden (1) Christer Löfqvist 8 2 1 2 1 2 8 9 F
10 Sweden (9) Lars Jansson 5 2 0 1 0 2 5 10
11 Sweden (12) Christer Sjosten 4 F E 2 2 0 4 11
12 Norway (10) Oyvind Berg 4 1 1 0 1 1 4 12
13 Norway (2) Dag Lovaas 3 F 2 1 0 0 3 13
14 Sweden (15) Hasse Holmqvist 3 2 0 0 1 0 3 14
15 Sweden (16) Tommy Johansson 1 1 E E - - 1 15
16 Norway (14) Odd Fossengen 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 16
R1 Sweden (R1) Leif Enecrona 1 0 1 1 R1
Placing Rider Total 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pts Pos 21

m - exclusion for exceeding two minute time allowance • t - exclusion for touching the tapes • x - other exclusion • e - retired or mechanical failure • f - fell • ns - non-starter • nc - non-classify

gate A - inside gate B gate C gate D - outside

Interconinental Round[edit]

Nordic-British Final[edit]

  • August 1, 1973
  • United Kingdom Coventry
  • First 8 to European Final
Placing Rider Total 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pts Pos 21
1 Sweden (13) Anders Michanek 14 3 3 2 3 3 14 1
2 Denmark (8) Ole Olsen 11 T 3 3 2 3 11 2
3 New Zealand (4) Ivan Mauger 11 1 2 3 3 2 11 3
4 Sweden (2) Tommy Jansson 10 2 3 2 1 2 10 4
5 Australia (7) John Boulger 10 2 3 1 3 1 10 5
6 United Kingdom (11) Peter Collins 9 3 2 3 0 1 9 6
7 United Kingdom (16) Ray Wilson 9 E 1 2 3 3 9 7
8 Sweden (15) Bernt Persson 9 2 E 3 2 2 9 8
9 Australia (1) Bob Valentine 8 3 2 0 2 1 8 9
10 Norway (6) Reidar Eide 5 1 2 1 1 0 5 10
11 Sweden (14) Gote Nordin 5 1 1 2 1 0 5 11
12 Sweden (10) Bengt Jansson 3 2 F F 1 E 3 12
13 Sweden (9) Jan Simensen 2 1 0 1 0 0 2 13
14 United Kingdom (12) Tony Davey 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 14
15 United Kingdom (3) Eric Boocock 0 0 T - - - 0 15
DQ United Kingdom (5) John Louis 10 3 1 1 2 3 10 DQ
R1 Australia (R1) Garry Middleton 2 T 0 2 2 R1
Placing Rider Total 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pts Pos 21

m - exclusion for exceeding two minute time allowance • t - exclusion for touching the tapes • x - other exclusion • e - retired or mechanical failure • f - fell • ns - non-starter • nc - non-classify

gate A - inside gate B gate C gate D - outside

Continental Round[edit]

Date Venue Winner Runner-up 3rd place
Qualifying Round
29 April Socialist Federal Republic of YugoslaviaPrelog Czechoslovakia Zdenek Majstr Czechoslovakia Evzen Erban Austria Jozef Haider
6 May East GermanyNorden Czechoslovakia Jan Hadek Czechoslovakia Jiri Dominik Netherlands Henny Kroeze
Quarter-Finals
10 May CzechoslovakiaPardubice Soviet Union Vladimir Zapleshny Czechoslovakia Jiri Stancl Czechoslovakia Miroslav Verner
20 May HungaryMiskolc Soviet Union Grigory Khlinovsky Soviet Union Viktor Trofimov Soviet Union Aleksandr Pavlov
20 May East GermanyKrumbach Czechoslovakia Milan Špinka Soviet Union Vladimir Paznikov Czechoslovakia Jan Holub I
20 May Socialist Federal Republic of YugoslaviaKrsko Soviet Union Anatoly Kuzmin Soviet Union Vladimir Gordeev Czechoslovakia Petr Ondrašík
Semi-Finals
2 June West GermanyRodenbach Soviet Union Grigory Khlinovsky Soviet Union Vladimir Gordeev Czechoslovakia Vaclav Verner
2 June CzechoslovakiaSlany Soviet Union Valery Gordeev Czechoslovakia Jiri Stancl Soviet Union Anatoly Kuzmin
Continental Final
23 June Soviet UnionLeningrad Soviet Union Valery Gordeev Soviet Union Grigory Khlinovsky Soviet Union Vladimir Zapleshny
European Final
19 August West GermanyAbensberg Sweden Anders Michanek New Zealand Ivan Mauger Soviet Union Vladimir Paznikov

Continental Final[edit]

  • June 23, 1973
  • Soviet Union Leningrad
  • First 8 to European Final plus 1 reserve
Placing Rider Total 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pts Pos 21
1 Soviet Union (15) Valery Gordeev 13 3 3 2 2 3 13 1
2 Soviet Union (4) Grigory Khlinovsky 12 2 3 3 1 3 12 2
3 Soviet Union (16) Vladimir Zapleshny 12 2 2 2 3 3 12 3
4 Soviet Union (6) Vladimir Gordeev 11.5 3 3 1/2 3 2 11.5 4
5 Soviet Union (1) Viktor Trofimov 11.5 3 3 1/2 3 2 11.5 5
6 Soviet Union (12) Aleksandr Pavlov 11 3 0 3 2 3 11 6
7 Soviet Union (8) Anatoly Kuzmin 10 2 1 3 3 1 10 7
8 Soviet Union (11) Vladimir Paznikov 10 1 2 3 2 2 10 8
9 Czechoslovakia (9) Jiri Stancl 8 2 2 2 0 2 8 9
10 Czechoslovakia (3) Petr Ondrašík 5 1 1 0 2 1 5 10
11 Czechoslovakia (14) Milan Špinka 5 1 2 1 X 1 5 11
12 Czechoslovakia (13) Vaclav Verner 4 0 1 2 1 0 4 12
13 Czechoslovakia (5) Miroslav Verner 3 1 0 1 1 0 3 13
14 East Germany (7) Gunter Angermuller 3 0 0 1 1 1 3 14
15 Czechoslovakia (10) Karol Vobornik 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 15
16 Czechoslovakia (2) Petr Kucera 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 16
R1 Soviet Union (R1) Oleg Dzyadyk 0 0 R1
Placing Rider Total 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pts Pos 21

m - exclusion for exceeding two minute time allowance • t - exclusion for touching the tapes • x - other exclusion • e - retired or mechanical failure • f - fell • ns - non-starter • nc - non-classify

gate A - inside gate B gate C gate D - outside

European Final[edit]

  • August 19, 1973
  • West Germany Abensberg
  • First 8 to World Final plus 1 reserve
Placing Rider Total 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pts Pos 21
1 Sweden (7) Anders Michanek 15 3 3 3 3 3 15 1
2 New Zealand (5) Ivan Mauger 14 2 3 3 3 3 14 2
3 Soviet Union (13) Vladimir Paznikov 12 3 2 1 3 3 12 3
4 Sweden (4) Bernt Persson 10 0 3 2 3 2 10 4
5 Soviet Union (9) Vladimir Zapleshny 9 3 0 2 2 2 9 5
6 United Kingdom (16) Peter Collins 9 2 2 3 2 E 9 6
7 Soviet Union (14) Valery Gordeev 8 F 3 3 1 1 8 7
8 Denmark (11) Ole Olsen 8 2 2 2 2 - 8 8
9 Soviet Union (1) Grigory Khlinovsky 7 1 1 0 2 3 7 9
10 Australia (3) John Boulger 7 3 1 1 1 1 7 10
11 United Kingdom (2) Ray Wilson 6 2 2 F 1 1 6 11
12 Sweden (6) Bengt Jansson 6 1 1 1 1 2 6 12
13 Soviet Union (15) Aleksandr Pavlov 4 1 0 2 0 1 4 13
14 Czechoslovakia (8) Jiri Stancl 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 14
15 Soviet Union (12) Viktor Trofimov 2 0 1 1 0 0 2 15
16 Soviet Union (10) Anatoly Kuzmin 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 16
R1 East Germany (R1) Otto Barth 0 0 0 R1
Placing Rider Total 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pts Pos 21

m - exclusion for exceeding two minute time allowance • t - exclusion for touching the tapes • x - other exclusion • e - retired or mechanical failure • f - fell • ns - non-starter • nc - non-classify

gate A - inside gate B gate C gate D - outside

World Final[edit]

Placing Rider Total 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pts Pos 21
1 Poland (16) Jerzy Szczakiel 13 3 3 3 2 2 13 1 3
2 New Zealand (8) Ivan Mauger 13 3 1 3 3 3 13 2 F
3 Poland (6) Zenon Plech 12 2 3 2 3 2 12 3
4 Denmark (7) Ole Olsen 11 1 2 3 2 3 11 4
5 Soviet Union (3) Grigory Khlinovsky 10 2 3 2 3 X 10 5
6 Soviet Union (2) Vladimir Paznikov 8 3 1 2 1 1 8 6
7 Poland (4) Paweł Waloszek 8 1 2 1 1 3 8 7
8 Soviet Union (12) Valery Gordeev 7 2 0 1 3 1 7 8
9 Poland (11) Jan Mucha 7 1 1 1 2 2 7 9
10 Sweden (1) Anders Michanek 6 0 3 X 1 2 6 10
11 Poland (9) Edward Jancarz 6 3 1 0 2 0 6 11
12 United Kingdom (13) Peter Collins 6 1 0 2 0 3 6 12
13 Australia (14) John Boulger 6 2 2 1 0 1 6 13
14 United Kingdom (5) Ray Wilson 5 F 2 3 0 F 5 14
15 Soviet Union (10) Vladimir Zapleshny 2 0 0 0 1 1 2 15
16 Sweden (15) Bernt Persson 0 F 0 R - - 0 16
R1 Poland (R1) Andrzej Wyglenda 0 0 0 R1
R2 Sweden (R2) Tommy Jansson 0 0 0 R2
Placing Rider Total 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pts Pos 21

m - exclusion for exceeding two minute time allowance • t - exclusion for touching the tapes • x - other exclusion • e - retired or mechanical failure • f - fell • ns - non-starter • nc - non-classify

gate A - inside gate B gate C gate D - outside

References[edit]

  1. ^ Katowice 1973
  2. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1eOmHuX2Lk&NR=1
  3. ^ Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). A History of the World Speedway Championship. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2402-5