The New American Revolution
It was a good job that the Division 1
promoters voted to keep the guest rider system at their conference since
the Division 2 promoters decided not to use guests at all. It would
have been difficult for the Heathens to complete their fixtures!
|He became landlord to the two young Americans! It was the ideal solution really after Greg's previous accommodation with Lance King had been lost due||
R. Erik Gundersen, Billy Hamill, Jan O.Pedersen, Mark Robinson,
|to Lance being unable to secure a
BL place. It was also good rehabilitation for Erik to help his
recovery and his workshop facilities were invaluable to the two young lads.
To this day they are so appreciative of the mentor they had to carry them
both to the top of the speedway world.
Everyone was looking to Billy the Bullet Hamill to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors Bruce Penhall, Bobby Schwartz, Lance King and indeed Greg Hancock, he did not disappoint, typical American lad ready to learn, very confident and very likeable.
Despite this it took time for Hancock and Hamill to settle down in the UK.
It was not long before the troubles began, Gert Handberg was injured in practice and missed two matches with a hand injury. Colin elected to use Rider Replacement for Gert against Bradford on 24th March and were beaten by the Dukes 49-41. Next it was Robbo who got hurt crashing into Shawn Moran and damaging his shoulder, missing two matches.
Simon Cross and Jan O during this time were phenomenal both riding in Test matches for their respective countries. Pedersen was at his best winning the Gold Bar meeting in Denmark in one the most spectacular speedway meetings ever seen on camera coming from last place to first in an eight man eight lap Final. Then winning the Danish Final and breaking the Holsted track record twice.
Then the troubles came,Simon was partner to Kelvin Tatum in the World Pairs when he crashed in the six man races breaking two vertibrae and putting him out of action for 18 months. This was soon followed by Jan O getting injured in a freak accident go-kart racing and breaking his arm.
These injuries wrecked the Heathens chances of winning anything for the remainder of the season.
It was particularly devastating to go out of the KO Cup which we had won for so many years.
Riders Performance Chart
statistics taken from the Cradley Speedway database for BL matches only.
Final League Table
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