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Humphrey Appleby

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Humphrey Appleby last won the day on March 19

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  1. Yes, but all the cars in an F1 GP are on-track at the same time, so it's the same for everyone at any given moment. That's not the case with a Speedway GP.
  2. Humphrey Appleby

    Another Speedway Closes

    They hoped to get some of the big oval racing events, like Indycar and NASCAR, and I remember going to the first race there some years ago. Don't think those lasted long though. I've been back a few times since for test days, but whilst its a great facility, it always seemed woefully underused. There only seemed to be 2 or 3 cars driving round the track at any given time during the week.
  3. Humphrey Appleby

    Rob Godfrey interview in Speedway Star

    I suspect Steve Purchase wishes he'd never heard of speedway given the subsequent developments...
  4. I can't understand why people are thinking this is so complicated. How do they think it works in F1 (answer = one transponder located in standard position at front of car, and backup transponder located in standard position at back of car*)? Just put the transponder in a standard position on the front of the bike, most likely under the fork cover. The difference in positioning from bike-to-bike will be millimetres, but will have no consequences for timed qualifying because it'll all be relative. For racing, if there's an extremely close finish, most good timing systems have an option for a photo finish which I think is determined by a beam across the track of some sort. So if there's any discrepancy because of minute differences in the positioning of transponders, that should be able to sort it out, and is also what happens in F1. Obviously in a race, the clock needs to start when the tapes go up (or when the green light goes out if that's used). The race begins at that moment, not when a rider crosses the start line (which potentially they may never do) - it would be utterly daft to base the results of a race on how quickly someone rode around the circuit if they finished behind someone else. * It's not unknown for one of the transponders in an F1 car to fail, so sometimes times will only be recorded from the rear transponder.
  5. Humphrey Appleby

    Speedway Related Co Finances

    There obviously are teams (normally ex-Football League) that can command decent attendances at that level, but it's really only a small handful. Look at the average attendances of other clubs in that league and they're far more akin to speedway ones.
  6. Humphrey Appleby

    Speedway Related Co Finances

    It's not entirely their fault as some things have been beyond their control, and the sport lacks influential patronage as leverage. And speedway has suffered from changing lifestyles and interests along with many other businesses. But promoters can be blamed for collectively failing to control rider wages which are probably the biggest cost and are something they absolutely can influence.
  7. Humphrey Appleby

    Speedway Related Co Finances

    It happens a fair bit at non-league level, where some glory-hunter throws money at a club to climb the pyramid, despite the fact it's never going to be sustainable once they stop subsidising the club. Almost unheard of at Football League level though because generally there's more history and sustainable interest behind the clubs there, plus there's arguably more due diligence checks. But even the top level of British speedway is probably equivalent to only the 6th tier (Vanarama League North or South) of English football these days.
  8. Humphrey Appleby

    BSPA Ltd.

    I'd guess a speedway club could legally be run as a sole proprietorship. The designated promoter does not necessarily have to be the owner of the club, so this is just defining that promoter is a compulsory role. The text could be better constructed, but it does make sense in a roundabout way. Of course, the lack of consistency over the board members is just sloppy.
  9. Humphrey Appleby

    Speedway Related Co Finances

    In football, there's almost always another sucker/gloryhunter who'll come along and pay off the debts of the previous sucker/gloryhunter.
  10. Transponders are long overdue. Race times are not all that important in speedway, but if you're going to record them then it's ridiculous that speedway is still using old fashioned methods. Transponders are also advantageous for determining close finishes though, and would allow unreliable starting tapes to be done away with. As for 'qualifying' in speedway - pretty pointless. Speedway isn't about lap times, but position in a race, and the audience knowing that a rider has gone one-tenth quicker than another during the last lap doesn't really tell you anything when you can see all the riders out on track for yourself. If the riders really do want it, then it just proves you should never ask sportspeople on how to run their sport. If you want to make qualifying exciting (or force riders to turn up), then have a few races to determines who gets the favourable starting positions.
  11. They already did a long time ago - just with much smaller crowds, less money, and much less public interest.
  12. Humphrey Appleby

    Speedway Star in the winter

    Could be wrong, but seem to remember that Tatum came quite late onto the longtrack scene, where he was arguably more successful as a rider. I vaguely recall something of a row about him being wildcarded into a British Masters grasstrack to get the necessary international licence for longtrack despite having never really ridden grasstrack previously. His reasons for focusing on longtrack I don't know, but I feel he'd somewhat peaked at a certain level in speedway and was never going to win a world title with the likes of Nielsen, Gundersen, Jonsson and Rickardsson around. With the greatest of respect, he wasn't in their league even though he was a very good rider on his day. I'm also not convinced Wiggy could have been much better without the grass and longtrack distractions. Obviously a one-time World Speedway No.2 isn't bad, but he was far too inconsistent as a speedway rider and I think he actually overachieved in speedway. Weirdly speedway riders seemed to make the transition to longtrack better than the other way around, as evidenced by the number of speedway riders who were able to win the World Longtrack in the old days. Can't think of many primarily longtrackers (maybe Egon Muller) who won the Speedway World Championship.
  13. Humphrey Appleby

    Shipping Out To Aussie

    Try Skyscanner - I'm sure they have to use the same airlines as everyone else... But fares from UK to Australia depend on when you travel, the route you take, and how long you're prepared to sit in a transit lounge. Leaving in early November and returning late February, maybe as cheap as 600 quid return, going up to 1,300. The closer to Christmas you travel the more expensive it generally becomes. You can ship 60 kgs by sea freight for about 200 quid or less, but then it takes several weeks. However, I wouldn't stick a race engine in a shipping container.
  14. Except February, March and April are the wettest months of the year in SE Queensland, and when it rains it's Biblical...
  15. There isn't anything like the money or global appeal in speedway as there is for even Rugby League, and I'm not convinced Canadian teams in RL makes much sense. Certainly people have lost interest in Super Rugby since it added the teams beyond its core base, and the huge time differences make the whole thing a bit of nightmare for television. League speedway is really only run in Europe so time zones wouldn't be the same issue, but a European competition would only make sense if some decent television or sponsorship deal was secured on the back of it. You couldn't really run such a thing on the expectations of crowd revenue, and I'm not convinced the likes of Poole v Falubaz Zielona Gora on a cold Wednesday night would really have as much appeal as Poole v Swindon for the average fan, although you could maybe stage away 'tours' as a couple of matches at a time which might appeal to some fans. I don't honestly think Poland would have much to gain from this nowadays, and it would appeal more to those national leagues where a team or two would like to run at a higher level of competition, but there aren't enough teams in their own country to form a league at the desired level. I actually think it more likely that British teams would run in the Swedish Leagues than the Polish ones. The time to have done a European League was 20 years ago when there was more equality between the three or four main leagues and cable and satellite televisions were looking for cheap content. It would also have been a good opportunity for those leagues to have taken control of the SGP and SWC and run those competitions for their own benefit. But no-one wanted to look at the big picture, speedway is now way off the radar as a marketable sport and everyone within the sport is just fighting over scraps these days.

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