Wednesday night,Golden Helmet night,and 15,000 attended to see another step in Franz Hecks steady rise on the Lokstedt Dirt-Track.The 4 best riders,Heck,Niss,Heinrichs and Wunder had all qualified for the final,but the man at the top of the points table couldn't take his place due to feeling unwell,so it ended up a surprisingly easy win for Heck followed by Heinrichs and Wunder.The points table now looked....Niss 21,Heinrichs 20,Wunder 11,Plambeck 9,Strachwitz and Heck 5......The gradual development of the German riders was shown in that there were now 5 riders who had ridden under 79 seconds.Heck,Heinrichs,Niss,Wunder and Stölting,who had missed the last few meetings due to injury
The handicap final again saw a battle between Heck and Lees,which this time Ginger couldn't quite manage to win.Oliver Langton was third and behind him Wunder managed to hold off the challenge from Niels Sörensen
The Friday meeting saw the 'king' of Lokstedt take back his crown.The meeting opened with the advertised attempt on the world and track record by Ginger Lees which with his wonderful track technique he not only managed to break,but knocked a full second off the old record!!To loud applause Ginger made a lap of honour as it was announced the new world record stood at 72.4!!!
After this great start the meeting fell victim to rain,and although it finished,many of the riders had trouble with the conditions and a number fell.Strangely when the track was built they made it egg shaped and so it had two very different bends.One large the other very sharp and over the season it was usually the sharp bend that gave the riders problems and in nasty conditions like this night even Ginger Lees had to take the sharp bend 'gingerly' as the rain continuedThe meeting also saw a 'revenge' challenge between Wunder and Morian Hansen,which this time Hansen won in two straight heats,the second of which saw Wunder fall and injure himself and put him out of the meeting.Shortly before the meeting ended Johannes did appear out on the track to show he was ok and received a round of applause from the crowd
Ginger Lees won an English-Danish challenge ahead of fellow countryman Langton and Franz Heck won a german only final,which saw the first appearance(as far as I know) of Bill Kellner,who would later turn out for Preston,so it was looking likely that Heck and Lees would again clash in the main handicap final.Unfortunately in an earlier heat Heck had trouble with the track fell,remounted and then rode into the back of Heinrichs and caused both to crash and Heck was disqualified from the rest of the night.And so this time with all riders being very cautious it was difficult for Ginger to make up the time advantages the other riders held over him.Niels Sorensen won,followed by Bullas and Graf Strachwitz.Lees finished a lowly 4th ahead of Langton and Heinrichs
The sunday meeting saw a Germany v Denmark test match and also a match race challenge between Oliver Langton and the returning Stewie St.George.12,000 saw Langton win the first heat in a super time of 74 seconds.St.George's track return was too early though and he couldn't come out for any more rides,so a handicap match race between Langton and Ginger Lees was arranged with Oliver receiving a 3 sec advantage which Ginger couldn't make up
The Germany v Denmark test match was affected by the poor state of the German bikes.There were a large number of e.f's and in heat 6 neither of the german riders managed to cross the finish line,much to the frustration of the crowd.Funnily it all started quite well because Niels Sörensens bike didn't really get going at first and so Franz Heck could win and Fritz Niss managed to finish behind Sorensen,but ahead of his partner Otto Hansen,so Germany took a first heat advantage 7-4.But the nest race gave the pattern for the night.Heinrichs bike packed up and Niemecks bike wasn't firing on all cylinders,but he did manage to finish and now the Danes were leading 9-12 and so it carried on.Heat 3 saw Thorkild Clausen of Denmark drop out due to a broken chain and although he fell Count Strachwitz managed to continue and finish.Heck managed to win heat 5 for Germany,but his partner Fritz Niss couldn't come out to take his ride,presumably not fully recovered from his illness that affected him the previous meeting and his replacement Plambeck didn't manage to complete the heat!!As mentioned,the next heat was a disaster for Gerany as neither Strachwitz nor Arnold Stölting managed to finish and so it was now 25-37.Niss had recovered by the last heat and manged to win followed by his team mate Heck and with Morian Hansen not finishing it made the final score 54-33.
Full details,though without any mention of the 'drop outs' can be found here
In the handicap final it was back to the normal routine of a battle between Heck and Lees,which Heck won,gaining revenge for the defeat by Lees in the quali heat
An obscure entry but Ivan won a meeting at York Stadium, Green Hammerton, near York in 1982. It was essentially a shale-surfaced trotting track and I recently visited to view Harness Racing which was quite interesting for a first visit!