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iris123

Jürgen Hehlert 80

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Today marks the 80th birthday of Jürgen Hehlert. A piece from Speedweek in his honour

Jürgen Hehlert will celebrate his 80th birthday on April 15, 2021.

Long before the first speedway champion was chosen in the Federal Republic of Germany, he triumphed in the GDR. The first German speedway champion was raced in the former GDR in 1962, Jürgen Hehlert from Rostock won when he was just 21 years old. The younger brother of Peter Hehlert, who drove in Neubrandenburg and was jointly responsible for the renewal of the track, was able to win the title again four years later, as well as five other medals until he fled the republic in 1972 to Hanau in Hesse, where he still lives today.

In 1970 Jürgen was part of the victorious quartet of the GDR selection at the Team World Cup in Ruhpolding, where the West German drivers were literally demolished. At that time it was quickly realized that progress in this sport can only be achieved if you get more starting opportunities on the cinder tracks, as they were called earlier.

Three years later, the Speedway Bundesliga became a reality. The individual championship was first held in Germany in 1979 in Olching and won by Egon Müller. In the meantime, Hehlert had fallen out of favour in his federation, which was shown when he was spontaneously dropped from the team line-up for the quarter-finals at Motodrom Rodenbach “for injury reasons”, but Jürgen started another meeting in Eastern Europe that day.

Together with his wife Christa and daughter Rommi, he decided to flee the republic, which resulted in the fact that he would have been banned for two years under the sports laws of the world association FIM if his previous association of the GDR had insisted on it. Since this was not the case, Jürgen Hehlert was able to continue his successful career in the West, including in the Bundesliga team of MSC Rodenbach. There he started in 1974 together with his former Rostock colleague Gerhard Uhlenbrock at the Best Pairs World Cup for the Federal Republic. Since the speedway offers in Western Europe were not that big, and an offer made by the British first division team Hull could not be brought into line with his new job, Hehlert ended his career mainly with sand and grass track races.

A giant mural by a patron on his family home in honour of the speedway rider and 1st German champion. Happy birthday, Jürgen Hehlert!

German Champion(GDR) 1962, 1966; Runner-up 1970, 1971; Third 1965, 1967, 1968

Jürgen Hehlert vzpomíná a pozdravuje české závodníky | SpeedwayA-Z.cz

https://www.speedweek.com/speedwaydm/news/174046/Juergen-Hehlert-Der-erste-Deutsche-Speedway-Meister.html

Edited by iris123
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On 4/15/2021 at 5:17 PM, iris123 said:

Today marks the 80th birthday of Jürgen Hehlert. A piece from Speedweek in his honour

Jürgen Hehlert will celebrate his 80th birthday on April 15, 2021.

Long before the first speedway champion was chosen in the Federal Republic of Germany, he triumphed in the GDR. The first German speedway champion was raced in the former GDR in 1962, Jürgen Hehlert from Rostock won when he was just 21 years old. The younger brother of Peter Hehlert, who drove in Neubrandenburg and was jointly responsible for the renewal of the track, was able to win the title again four years later, as well as five other medals until he fled the republic in 1972 to Hanau in Hesse, where he still lives today.

In 1970 Jürgen was part of the victorious quartet of the GDR selection at the Team World Cup in Ruhpolding, where the West German drivers were literally demolished. At that time it was quickly realized that progress in this sport can only be achieved if you get more starting opportunities on the cinder tracks, as they were called earlier.

Three years later, the Speedway Bundesliga became a reality. The individual championship was first held in Germany in 1979 in Olching and won by Egon Müller. In the meantime, Hehlert had fallen out of favour in his federation, which was shown when he was spontaneously dropped from the team line-up for the quarter-finals at Motodrom Rodenbach “for injury reasons”, but Jürgen started another meeting in Eastern Europe that day.

Together with his wife Christa and daughter Rommi, he decided to flee the republic, which resulted in the fact that he would have been banned for two years under the sports laws of the world association FIM if his previous association of the GDR had insisted on it. Since this was not the case, Jürgen Hehlert was able to continue his successful career in the West, including in the Bundesliga team of MSC Rodenbach. There he started in 1974 together with his former Rostock colleague Gerhard Uhlenbrock at the Best Pairs World Cup for the Federal Republic. Since the speedway offers in Western Europe were not that big, and an offer made by the British first division team Hull could not be brought into line with his new job, Hehlert ended his career mainly with sand and grass track races.

A giant mural by a patron on his family home in honour of the speedway rider and 1st German champion. Happy birthday, Jürgen Hehlert!

German Champion(GDR) 1962, 1966; Runner-up 1970, 1971; Third 1965, 1967, 1968

Jürgen Hehlert vzpomíná a pozdravuje české závodníky | SpeedwayA-Z.cz

https://www.speedweek.com/speedwaydm/news/174046/Juergen-Hehlert-Der-erste-Deutsche-Speedway-Meister.html

Interesting that the suggestion there is he didn't continue at Hull due to work commitments.

The Speedway Star report of his one challenge meeting for the Vikings suggests it was due to his performance.

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Strange either way. I would think there is more to it

He must have known his work commitments i would have thought. And he must have been absolutely terrible for them to stop the interest after just one meeting. Very unusual at the time or any time to use a rider for one meeting and then tell him he wasn’t wanted

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