ISSUE 87 (JULY - AUGUST, 2018) of Backtrack is out now and here's a flavour of what to expect . . .
TONY LOMAS – Exclusive interview
Third in the British Final, a maximum for England and just a point away from reaching the World Final, Tony Lomas held down a full-time job and started a new business while scaling the heights in a brilliant 1971 campaign that put him on the speedway map. Tony McDonald tracked him down in the Yorkshire Dales to find out why his career with home-town club Coventry ended acrimoniously and how a protracted move led to title-winning glory with Exeter.
Tony Lomas quotes: "I was naive and overawed. I led in every race for a couple of races but then let people pass me because I didn't think I was good enough to be in front. It sounds silly but that was how I felt in the big meetings at that time. I wanted to do well but didn't think I was capable."
"Being a local lad, I hadn't cost Coventry a penny in transfer fees, I never received any signing-on money or guarantees and my travelling expenses to Brandon were 25p per meeting."
"It was an honour to ride in the same team as him but, at the same time, I was in awe of him because he was so good. Ivan was in his own bubble but, all credit to him, he was fantastic."
"The Exeter promoters treated me well. They paid me £750 for signing-on at the start of the championship year but Wally came on the following winter and said they didn't want to pay as much as that in '75. I was disappointed – they'd just won the league and were getting tremendous crowds – but I told him that if he had to lose a rider (through Rider Control), I was prepared to consider going."
Here come the . . . AMERICANS
Martin Rogers, editor of Bruce Penhall's Stars and Bikes book in 1980, recalls the all-American heroes whose unique brand of showmanship brought colour and razzmatazz to the British League scene . . . plus how British fans remember the Californians.
SCOTT AUTREY – Trailblazer
Steve Luxton reports from California, where former team-mates and friends gathered to see Scott Autrey honoured by his peers.
COLIN GOODDY – Exclusive interview
An unlikely move to Poole revitalised the near veteran Colin Gooddy's career. Phil Chard catches up with one of the sport's great characters whose much-travelled career also included spells in the Backtrack era with Oxford, Cradley Heath and Crayford.
Martin Neal talks to the former Berwick, Edinburgh and Aussie favourite Brett Saunders who admits he's lucky to be alive after suffering a serious stoke last December.
IAN MACDONALD – man who delivered the Mail
In the first of a new series of interviews, we turn the tables on those who have written countless words on speedway. Tony McDonald has a long chat with the founding editor of Speedway Mail.
THAT WAS THE YEAR: 1971
Andrew Skeels reflects on a season which heralded a world title for the speedway's first Great Dane, a British history-maker in Poland, domestic bliss for Belle Vue, Hackney, Eastbourne and Ipswich, the return of league racing to Birmingham and the end for Romford and Wembley.
COLIN GEAR interview (part 3)
In this third and final part, we bring you more behind-the-scenes revelations from former riders' union boss, including a riders' revolt against referee Frank Ebdon, the SRA's battle to keep foreign riders out of the second division, Colin's disgust when the Lee Richardson Memorial meeting was scrapped and more.
ON TWO MINUTES WITH . . . LAWRIE BLOOMFIELD
Martin Neal catches up with the former Ipswich, Newcastle, Peterborough, Canterbury and Arena-Essex rider now enjoying family life in Brisbane, Australia.
MILTON KEYNES: 50 Memorable Moments
It's 40 years since speedway came to the Buckinghamshire new town famous for its concrete cows and network of roundabouts. Rob Peasley looks back at the most happy and gloomy times for Knights whose star riders included Bob Humphreys, Andy Grahame, Bert Harkins, Nigel Sparshott, Keith White, Steve Payne, Trevor Banks, Troy Butler and Gordon Kennett. Brett Alderton and Craig Featherby, both killed in the early 80s, are also remembered.
To order this single issue or to subscribe for the year for as little as £22 (UK), please visit www.retro-speedway.com