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NEWPORT SPEEDWAY IN 1966

Off the track there were changes of promotion in 1966 when Mike Parker was joined by Bill Bridgett and Ken Sharples but on the track Newport Wasps failed to progress. They finished just off the foot of a nineteen team British League. Their first match at Hackney confirmed the arrival of four times World Finalist Gote Nordin. The Swede scored a flawless fifteen point maximum at Waterden Road, winning the Silver Sash ride off against Colin Pratt but his team mates could not join him and the Wasps went down 43-35. Their first home meeting saw another maximum for Nordin and bizarrely the first of two for Bob Hughes (who finished with an overall average below 5) as they beat Sheffield 54-24. They failed to beat a poor Cradley Heath and any optimism began to fade.  They lost heavily at Belle Vue, Sheffield and Coventry and suffered a home defeats in Nordin's absence to Exeter. Nordin lowered the colours of Barry Briggs at Somerton Park as the Wasps beat Swindon in July. He and Briggs combined together when Poland came to Newport to face a Wales and West later that month, emerging 54-53 victors despite an 18 point maximum from Nordin. In a dramatic win for the Wasps Jon Erskine and Gote Nordin combined to beat off Ivan Mauger of Newcastle to secure a 5-1 and a 40-38 victory in August. Appropriately enough they finished the season with a home defeat to League champions Halifax (42-36) and  a heavy defeat at Kings Lynn (49-29) despite the best efforts of Nordin who ended the season with a 10.44 average.

Rider Matches Rides Pts Bonus Total Average Full Max Paid Max
Gote Nordin 32 146 367 14 381 10.44 10 3
Jack Biggs 23 94 159 11 170 7.23 1 1
Jon Erskine 35 146 203 17 220 6.03 0 0
Tim Bungay 5 13 16 2 18 5.54 0 0
Geoff Penniket 37 154 186 23 209 5.83 1 0
Alby Golden 33 137 153 30 183 5.34 0 2
Bob Hughes 37 139 152 13 165 4.75 2 0
Ken Vale 28 76 52 18 70 3.68 0 0

BRITISH LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP 1966

    M W D L F A Pts
1 Halifax Dukes 36 27 0 9 1574 1229 54
2 Coventry Bees 36 25 1 10 1548 1255 51
3 Swindon Robins 36 23 0 13 1553 1248 46
4 Wimbledon Dons 36 22 0 14 1485 1314 44
5 Newcastle Diamonds 36 20 0 16 1491.5 1304.5 40
6 Poole Pirates 36 19 2 15 1443 1356 40
7 West Ham Hammers 36 19 1 10 1499.5 1304.5 39
8 Glasgow Tigers 36 18 0 18 1395 1394 36
9 Wolverhampton Wolves 36 17 2 17 1340.5 1461.5 36
10 Exeter Falcons 36 17 1 18 1392.5 1403.5 35
11 Sheffield Tigers 36 17 0 19 1410 1394 34
12 Edinburgh Monarchs 35 17 0 18 1310.5 1413.5 34
13 Belle Vue Aces 36 16 0 20 1362 1443 32
14 Hackney Hawks 36 15 1 20 1347.5 1456.5 31
15 Oxford Cheetahs 36 14 2 20 1291 1510 30
16 King's Lynn Stars 36 15 0 21 1275 1524 30
17 Newport Wasps 36 12 1 23 1319 1486 25
18 Long Eaton Archers 36 12 1 23 1286 1516 25
19 Cradley Heath Heathens 35 10 0 25 1196 1506 20