Dudley Wood Track Records

From the 21st June 1947, when Les Beaumont set the very first track record at Dudley Wood Stadium, to 18th July 1990 when Hans Nielsen broke the record for the last time, more than twenty seconds were gradually shaved off the fastest race time. Nielsen's record stood for the last five years of action with no-one bettering it before the track closure at the end of 1995.
A total of 37 different riders have etched their name into this part of Heathens history; the record was lowered on 34 separate occasions and equalled on another 20 (*). Below is the full list of track record times and holders for the complete Dudley Wood era.

21 June 1947Les Beaumont (CH)81.6 secs.
28 June 1947Geoff Bennett (CH)81.4 secs.
5 July 1947Cyril Roger (Exeter)80.6 secs.
12 July 1947Geoff Bennett (CH)79.4 secs.
17 April 1948Alan Hunt (CH)78.0 secs.
14 May 1948Alan Hunt (CH)75.8 secs.
23 July 1948Alan Hunt (CH)75.6 secs.
30 July 1948Joe Bowkis (Poole)75.6 secs. =
8 Oct 1948Alf Bottoms (Southampton)74.6 secs.
20 May 1949Alan Hunt (CH)73.2 secs.
26 Aug 1949Alan Hunt (CH)72.8 secs.
29 April 1950Alan Hunt (CH)72.2 secs.
29 April 1950Billy Bales (Yarmouth)72.2 secs. =
19 June 1950Jack Parker (Belle Vue)72.2 secs. =
24 June 1950Alan Hunt (CH)72.0 secs.
14 April 1952Harry Bastable (CH)72.0 secs. =
18 April 1952Harry Bastable (CH)71.4 secs.
25 April 1952Bob Baker (Yarmouth)70.6 secs.
25 July 1952Phil Malpass (CH)69.4 secs.

Track Closed from 1952 to 1960

16 April 1960Reg Reeves (Rayleigh)72.9 secs.
23 July 1960Ross Gilbertson (Poole)72.5 secs.
23 July 1960Harry Bastable (CH)72.3 secs.
20 Aug 1960Harry Bastable (CH)71.6 secs.
29 April 1961Reg Reeves (Rayleigh)71.6 secs. =
27 May 1961Peter Vandenberg (Southampton)71.4 secs.
29 July 1961Ivor Brown (CH)71.4 secs. =
13 July 1963Norman Hunter (Hackney)70.4 secs
13 July 1963Ivor Brown (CH)70.4 secs =
20 July 1963Ivor Brown (CH)68.4 secs.
3 May 1969Roy Trigg (CH)68.4 secs. =
10 May 1969Bernt Persson (CH)68.2 secs.
12 May 1969Eric Boocock (Halifax)67.0 secs.
13 June 1970Jim Airey (Sheffield)66.6 secs.
20 June 1970Ole Olsen (Wolves)66.4 secs.
27 July 1974John Boulger (CH)66.4 secs. =
24 Aug 1974Dave Jessup (Leicester)66.2 secs.
16 Aug 1975Ivan Mauger (Exeter)66.2 secs. =
28 June 1976Mitch Shirra (Coventry)66.2 secs. =
4 Oct 1976John Boulger (CH)66.0 secs.
11 April 1977Bernt Persson (CH)65.9 secs.
6 July 1977Ole Olsen (Coventry)65.4 secs.
26 July 1978Michael Lee (Kings Lynn)65.4 secs. =
23 Sept 1978Steve Bastable (CH)65.4 secs. =
11 Oct 1978Bruce Penhall (CH)64.6 secs.
14 Oct 1978Steve Bastable (CH)63.9 secs.
10 July 1979Bruce Penhall (CH)63.9 secs. =
23 July 1980Alan Grahame (CH)63.4 secs.
4 July 1981Bruce Penhall (CH)62.9 secs.
27 July 1983Ole Olsen (Coventry)62.9 secs. =
27 July 1983Dennis Sigalos (Ipswich)62.3 secs.
4 May 1985, Ht.1Erik Gundersen (CH)62.1 secs.
4 May 1985, Ht.4Erik Gundersen (CH)62.1 secs. =
1 June 1985Phil Collins (CH)62.0 secs.
24 July 1985Erik Gundersen (CH)61.8secs.
18 Oct 1986Hans Nielsen (Oxford)61.5 secs.
30 April 1988Hans Nielsen (Oxford)61.5 secs. =
9 July 1988Erik Gundersen (CH)61.5 secs. =
20 July 1988Simon Cross (CH)61.5 secs. =
6 Sep 1989Erik Gundersen (CH)61.2 secs.
23 Sep 1989Kelvin Tatum (Coventry)61.2 secs. =
25 April 1990Jan O. Pedersen (CH)61.2 secs. =
18 July 1990Hans Nielsen (Oxford)60.7 secs.

(*) The figures are excluding the period immediately after the re-opening of the Dudley Wood track in 1960, when the record was 'reset'. The best recorded times during 1960 and July 1963 were slower than the final record before the closure in 1952, of 69.4 seconds. This record by Phil Malpass would have remained until bettered by Ivor Brown's time of 68.4 in 1963, which also broke the official technical record at the time of 71.3 set by Norman Hunter.

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Copyright: Steve Johnson & Cradley Heath Speedway Ltd, 2002.