Speedway from 1933 at Wembley to the Modern Era. My copy of The Speedway Annual inspired this introduction to Speedway for winding-roads.ca

My interest in Speedway has been inspired by the great Czechoslovakian Franta Juhan with whom I had the privilege of spending some with. He raced every motorcycle discipline and excelled in them all. Speedway was his thing and he loved it. Watch my blog on Franta Juhan for more.

My copy of the Speedway Annual No2 is the premise for this intro where I show a bit of yesterday and today starting out with some great footage from Wembley in 1933 in front of 55,000 fans and some Modern Speedway featuring recently retired World Champion Greg Hancock.

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In Europe they draw big crowds to these events. What I personally love about it is the feeder system to the national teams.

Speedway is a team sport Towns have that compete against each other. Each race is contested by four riders, and lasts for four laps. Competitions are conducted in a heats format. For each race, riders are awarded points based on their finish position, where 1st place finish carries 3 points, 2nd carries 2, and 3rd place finisher receives 1 point. The rider finishing in 4th place or who does not finish the race does not receive any points. The rider with the most points at the end of the competition is declared the winner.

Wiki says “Motorcycle speedway, usually referred to simply as speedway, is a motorcycle sport involving four and sometimes up to six riders competing over four anti-clockwise laps of an oval circuit. The motorcycles are specialist machines that use only one gear and have no brakes. Racing takes place on a flat oval track usually consisting of dirt, loosely packed shale, or crushed rock (mostly used in Australia and New Zealand). Competitors use this surface to slide their machines sideways, powersliding or broadsiding into the bends. On the straight sections of the track, the motorcycles reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour (110 km/h).

There are now both domestic and international competitions in a number of countries, including the Speedway World Cup, whilst the highest overall scoring individual in the Speedway Grand Prix events is pronounced the world champion. Speedway is popular in Central and Northern Europe and to a lesser extent in Australia and North America.

Now retired, one of the best is was Greg Hancock from the USA who was a California kid who dominated the sport for over 25 years and practically unknown in the United States but a hero in Europe,

A variant of track racing, speedway is administered internationally by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). Domestic speedway events are regulated by FIM-affiliated national motor sport federations”.

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