RONNIE MOORE 50TH ANNIVERSARY MEETING OCTOBER 2004
The tapes fly up and Ivan Mauger hit’s the turn first. Ronnie Moore followed with current World Champion
Anders Michanek of Sweden and England’s John Louis hot on his heels. Moore clings on the back of Mauger’s wheel
for two breath taking laps urged on by the fourteen thousand Templeton crowd. Mauger gradually pulls away , Moore takes second
with Michanek third.
The reception Moore received was that of a winner. Why? The year is 1975.
Moore at 41 years of age had just finished second to Mauger, ahead of the current World Champion, and had
surpassed the World Long Track Champion Egon Muller from Germany, Scott Autrey from the United States, fellow kiwi hero Barry
Briggs and Ole Olsen from Denmark in making the final. This was to be Moore’s last race in front of his home crowd as
an accident in the same World Champion’s Troup in Australia nearly cost Moore his life and finished his racing career.
29 years later and 50 years after Ronnie Moore became the youngest rider at 21and first New Zealander to be
crowned World Speedway Champion, Moore Park in West Melton, Christchurch, held the biggest Speedway bike meeting seen for
some time. With over fifty races scheduled, it was a fitting end to weekend of celebrations honouring the twice World Champion
and winner of many other prestigious titles. Ronnie Moore is still a household name amongst the speedway fraternity all around
the world, and his loyalty to New Zealand, Christchurch and Speedway is second to none. A Mayoral reception followed by a
function at Woolston, Vintage Speedway Display and the Christchurch Motorcycle Speedway Club meeting all honouring the man
Over 70 racing combinations fronted for this meeting from all over New Zealand with some very spirited racing
to mark the occasion. Nine Auckland riders came down along with four side chair units. Eighteen machines including four chairs
from Oreti, Invercargil and eight riders from Westport joined the thirty odd Christchurch riders. The respect that many hold
for Ronnie Moore was evident in the effort that all the participants, organising personnel and sponsors put in for this meeting.
Many turned up and said "they were there for Ronnie".
The man himself led the grand parade, stopped and picked up Sue who had come over from Tenerife in the Canary
islands for the weekend, and continued around the track for another lap. He then stopped in front of the line up of three
teams of South Island solo riders in team uniforms as Alan Crosby announced his intention to re introduce Kiwi League racing
between the "Oreti-Stormers", Invercargil, "Tasman Tigers", Westport and of course "Ronnies Rebels", Christchurch. More words
of inspiration from Ronnie to the teams and then we stepped aside for a days racing.
Ronnie stood back as youngsters took to the track. A particular thrill for the man who has lived "Speedway"
all his life. While racing for him was over, a weekend helping out at a Speedway training school has turned into 25 years
of teaching youngsters to ride speedway. It was not long however, before Ronnie ventured onto the track to assist with the
troublesome tapes, direct a little watering and bringing some of the riders in to line.
It was fitting that a senior "Ronnie Moore" pupil won the A grade final after returning from two years in
Australia. Daniel McKinlay to take the win from a hard riding Westport’s Michael Long and Oreti’s John Tuffley.
Westport riders Mike Robinson and Sean Cox also made the final line up. Cox had picked up three heat wins earlier in
the day to be top qualifier.
Jonathon Able took out the B final from Steve Gunn and Scott Reed (Oreti).
Under 21 competition was robbed of some interest when Andrew Bargh (Hastings) fell in an earlier heat and
then suffered intermittent motor problems for the rest of the day. A formidable battle between Andrew Aldridge was looking
promising but the Moohan brothers Jamie and Dylan kept the North Island hopes alive. Aldridge won the final from fellow Cantabrian
Grant Tregoning with Dylan Moohan third.
Junior 200 A final was an event of mishaps and hold-ups when a keen young Ryan Moss who was in fine form all
day clipped a wheel and fell hard sustaining severe leg injuries. Doug Stenning (Oreti) secured the top spot from Hayden Bagshaw
(Auckland) . Philip Bray was gutted when he fell while out in front with the race almost won. B final went to Karl Bagshaw
(Auckland) from demo rider Vaughan Strugthers who was promoted to fill a gap in the field from Chris Harris (Timaru). Auckland
junior Ryan Bagshaw won the 125cc final from Cory Lang (Westport) and Jake Askew.
Side Chair racing was exceptional with some hard competition throughout the heats and finals. Several incidents
saw a few nasty tumbles and no doubt some sore bodies. Triumphs, Norton, Weslake and Denco power units were very even and
close. The Auckland pairings of Donald Hanley / Shane Mason, Perry Lane / Peter Barton and Karl Ostomy / Kyle Anderson were
the order of the finishers in the classic section while Invercagil’s Doug Fox / Ryan Barclay and Nelson’s Nathan
Ching / Nathan Davis tied 1st equal in the open class. Mere mms separated them on the line in the first final. Lionel Green
/ Nick Knowles (ChCh) were third after they won the 3rd heat .The 2nd heat was red flagged after the Invercargil pairing of
Fraser Gillespie / Iain McCormick were tossed from their machine. Two laps in and a blanket covered all four units. Gillespie
was squeezed out wide against the fence coming out of turn two. He then came back down low and backed it into the corner a
little two hard . As he crossed up and slowed, he was clipped by Green as they came round.
Classic and Vets classes were entertaining and with some races you could have believed you were watching racing
at Templeton twenty years ago. Classic winner was Chris Martin (Auckland) who would still be a competitive senior, from Roger
Able and James Moore both ChCh. Alan Crosbie and Paul Fewings made the final while Mark Pavit, Dave McKenzie and Jim Prendegast
had some useful runs. Vets winner was Warwick Aldridge, Graham Burgess (Oreti) 2nd and Ken Williams (West port) 3rd with Rick
Lang on the JAP 4th. Some interesting laps were also put in by Joe Hughes (Oreti) Marty Cheyne, Simon Eastwick and Ian Graham
An excellent crowd, old familiar faces, fans and former competitors many going back as far as the Aranui days
fronted. The CHCH media had given Ronnie excellent coverage all week including CTV3 interviewing both Ronnie and Tracy Holmes
on "Pete Smith Hosts" and both TV1 and TV3 came to the meeting. A big days racing to mark the 50th anniversary of our first
World Speedway Champion , Ronnie "Mirac" Moore.
WRITTEN FOR BOTH
NZ DIRT TRACK RACING AND NZ RACER by Warrick Korstanje 29/09/04