Holbaek Dirt track

Track name: Holbaek Dirt track
Track owner: Holbaek & Vicinity’s Motor club
Track address: Taastruphoj, Roskilde road, Holbaek
Length: 366 m.
Track surface: Cinders.
Track record: 1,19,2
Record holder: Baltzer Hansen, Copenhagen, 5/11-1933.
Opened year/date: June 12. 1932
Closed year/date: April 15.1934

Henning Hansen, Kalundborg supplied a great amount of data for this article.

The first Dirt Track at Holbaek was located on hired ground half a mile outside the town close to the main road to Roskilde

Contemporary with a number of other Danish towns, mainly in Jutland around 1930 – 32, trigged by the governmental issued ban of motor racing on public roads, opened new dirt tracks, in 1932 a consortium in Holbaek with theater director Mr. Elith Petersen as spokesman got formed with the objective to procure a dirt track for the town. A capital of DKK 10.000 was said to be available.

At a meeting on Nicolaisens Hotel on May 3.1932 the chaiman of Holbaek & Vicinity’s Motor club, Goldsmith Mr. Georg Mathiesen  presented a proposal from the dirt track consortium to embark on a cooperation, which promtly got agreed.
The club had earlier received an offer from the Karrebaeksminde track, which at that time was the only track outside Copenhagen. But of course the club preferred to absolve their own meeting on home ground in Holbaek..

Satellite view of Holbaek 2012. The arrow A points on Taastruphoj.
In 1932 it was about 1 km. outside the town limit.

Negotiations got opened with the owner of Taastruphoj Farm Mr. Chr. H. Nielsen, and on May 21. a leasing contract on approx. 28000 m2 land got signed. Then the construction work could begin.
For those days’ standard it was modern track with good access from the main road and ample parking facilities. The track fence was wire mesh. The pits were placed on the center green. The public capacity was approx. 6000.
The chairman of the track was Mr. Georg Mathiesen, and his companion Mr. E. Frederiksen was daily manager of the track.
It was planned to absolve 12 to 14 meetings in 1932, but it went otherwise.

Søndag d. 12. juni 1932, Opening meeting;
The terraces were close to full at the opening meeting to which some renowned riders like Morian Hansen, Ejnar Knudsen and Aage Wagner – all from Copenhagen were contracted plus a selection of local riders.
Because the track was built in very short time, the top surface was still somewhat uneven and loose, which caused numerous falls, luckily without injuries.
Ejnar Knudsen rode for the first track record and finished in 1.55,6 min. with a minor midway departure from the bike. A time, which would not stand a chance to survive as track record. All in all Knudsen had a day to forget. In a handicap race he reached the front just to fall off again.
Morian Hansen was the great hero of the day by winning the initial handicap heats and the final plus a challenge match over Knudsen.
A team match between Copenhagen and Western Zealand gave a 5-5 draw. In the match Wagner rode the time 1,44,0 min. which then got noted as unofficial track record.
Gunnar Nielsen won the opening heat, and a 3-laps rookie match was won by H. Bache.

The riders line-up at the starting line .

June 19. 1932
The next meeting followed only a week later . Some voices argued against having meetings too close, because the public interest might then diminish.
Quite right, the number of spectators was lower than first time, but that got explained by a swim contest elsewhere in the town.
Bent Jensen from Odense would make an attack on Wagner’s 1,44,0 record, but did not finish. Instead he won a crack race over Ejnar Lorentzen and Ingemann Rasmussen.
A team match Zealand – Funen was won by Zealand 16 – 14.
Once again the track got criticized for the loose and rutted surface, which caused some nasty falls, luckily without injuries.
The fans declared loudly that they would have liked Morian to ride. What they did not know was that the tiny man who was walking around on the infield carrying a little girl on his arm was their most beloved hero.

June 26.  1932:
Criticism or not. The track continued with a Danish – Swedish meeting. The Swedes Rudolph and Aake Jönsson against Helge Jensen and Svend Aa. Sorensen from Copenhagen. Rudolph Jönsson showed excellent riding in the practice on Saturday, but on Sunday he fell off twice, so Helge Jensen had no trouble with winning. In between Jensen lowered the track record to 1,29,5 min.
Svend Aa. Sorensen had his first appearance on the track and enjoyed great success with winning both the handicap and an Australian pursuit race. Aage Wagner retired with a burnt clutch.

In the newspaper report the day after it was criticized that the track not, as it was customary of courtesy to foreign riders, waved the Swedish flag. The only one of these was a small one hanging by the track restaurant. All in all there were not many flags.
The journalist also criticized the track’s  address system for playing the same records over and over again, and that too while heats were on, so it was impossible to hear the engines.
Quite extraordinary the organizers one hour before the meeting opening invited the audience inside the fence, but it fell sadly while the water tanker irrigated the track, so many  got a wet shirt.

July 3. juli 1932:
Morian and Ejnar Knudsen rode against each other in a match of two initial heats and a final. Surprisingly Ejnar Knudsen won in a total time 3,55,8 minutes, while Morian used 4,07,8.
The Zealand race was won by Kaj Johansen, and a challenge match between H. Bache  and Peter Nielsen from Slagelse was won by the latter.
Morian was  favorite in an Australian Pursuit, where he started at the back, but after half a lap his chain broke, and the audience lost interest.
The last race was a handicap, where Ejnar Knudsen and Morian were set so far back that they had no chance to  catch up. The audience was strongly dissatisfied  and not less, when Morian’s bike would not start.

July 29. 1932:
The newspaper Holbaek Amtstidende wrote that dirt track temporarily was closed. Danish Motor Union would not approve the meetings, because  the track was not managed in a financially sound manner, and the motor club withdrew from the partnership.
Then the track lay idle for more than a year. On the motor club’s annual general assembly in January 1933 the future – if any – of the track was discussed. It was asked for clarity on the ownership of the track, and other sorts of meetings got discussed.

Then there was an idle period of 6 weeks for the track, while it was discussed whether more meetings should be planned, or the track should better be left to settle until spring 1933.

In May 1933, the big issue was whether the newly introduced amusement tax would make dirt track impossible.
It was planned to open the season on the  second day of Pentecost. However this meeting was canceled because the consortium’s spokesman announced that all riders were already assigned elsewhere until July.
Most likely the true reason was that the track needed some costly repairs, which could not be afforded.
A new partner entered the scene in guise of the “Danish Track Riders Motor Club”, who signed a leasing contract for  acquisition of the track operations, similar to what was successfully done at Karrebaeksminde and Roskilde Road dirt tracks.
It was decided to re-open the track in September 1933. This compelled HOM to place an ad in “Holbaek Amtstidende” with the  text: “Upon request Holbaek and Environments Motor Club do not fail to announce, that the club has no connection whatsoever with Mr. Elith Petersen‘s dirt track.”

24. september 1933. Re-opening meeting:
The meeting was attended by a disappointing number of spectators, merely between 800 and 1000.
In a Danish – Swedish Match in three heats the Swede  Ebbe Lundquist won first heat in the day’s best time 1,27,4 for 4 laps. The second and third heats both were won by Thorkild Clausen, Copenhagen.
A crack race (flying start) over three heats had Ejnar Hansen as the winner of the first race and Borge Mathiesen as  winner of the next two.
The Holbaek Race likewise over three heats got a strange course. In the first heat Hans Hansen from Naestved got disqualified for by unsportsmanlike inside overtaking  cause another rider’s crash.
Despite the disqualification Hansen got allowed to participate in the re-run of the heat, which he won. The second heat was won Lauritz Christiansen in front of the local Th. Olesen.
In the final heat Hans Hansen left all competitors behind and claimed  the final victory. The day ended with a handicap of 10 riders.
After the final heat  the license aspirant Jens P. Hansen was allowed a few test laps that ended with a crash, a concussion and a trip to the hospital for the young man.

Sunday 1. oktober 1933
1500 spectators visited the track in bright autumn sunshine , but got some of the joy spoiled by black clouds of dust from the track, which was poorly watered.
Baltzer Hansen opened the meeting by beating Morians Hansens old record with a new on 1,20,8 min.
After the crack race of the day the two Copenhagen riders Ingemann Rasmussen and Thorkild Clausen stood tied on 5 point. Thorkild Clausen won the race-off.
A Star match between Baltzer Hansen and Kaj ”Bugatti” Hansen was won by Baltzer Hansen with two heat wins.
Hans Hansen from Naestved won the australian pursuit ahead of Ejnar Hansen.
Th. Olesen, Holbaek won the Taastruphoj Race, and the great handicap final was won by Anders Petersen ahead of Thorkild Clausen. Baltzer Hansen retired with encine failure.

.October 15. 1933
The Track Riders’ Motor Club ended its leasing contract with a meeting on in front of 3000 spectators who got a chill by a dangerous crash that hit the young Copenhagen comet Emil Hansen in front of the famous rider Boegh Mathiesen who used his vast experience by quickly laying his bike down to avoid the fallen rider.
Thus, an impending accident got reduced to a few minor scratches. This immediately brought Mathiesen a prize for good sportsmanship.
Before that, same Mathiesen sensationally won the big crack race in front of Thorkild Clausen and Swedish Ebbe Lundquist.
Christian Petersen won the Taastruphoj Race ahead of Hans Hansen, who in turn won the day’s final race, the big handicap.

November 5. 1933:
Although theTrack Riders Motor Club’s lease had expired, yet it was the one that stood for a charity meeting.
Before the opening  Holbæk Orchestra Association’s 10 – man brass band entertained with music for an hour.
Then the engines took over the sonic performance. First by the Holbaek rider Th. Olsen,who sat a track lap record for standard bikes with 1,38,0 min. and thus struck Aage Wagner’s old record of 1,44,0.
Then Baltzer Hansen killed his 14 days old record with a time 1,19,2, which was the last and final record of Holbæk dirt track.
Ingemann Rasmussen won both heats of crack race.
Hans Hansen from Naestved won the first heat of the Taastruphoj Race,  while Anders Petersen, won both second heat and the final .
In the interval the runners from the Foot Sport Club entered the track and ran 5 laps.
In the initial handicap  Hans Hansen, Thorkild Clausen and Anders Petersen each won one heat.
The final with 6 riders was won by Ingemann Rasmussen with Thorkild Clausen in second place.
The day’s nice profits went to Christmas charity for poor people in Holbaek.

In 1934  the track had a very ambitious schedule with 14  meeting days. Again theTrack Riders Motor Club  stood  as organizer. Unfortunately  the plan could not implemented, because the track management lost a case in the National Tax Tribunal on arrears of 40% tax on the entrance fee. This led to bankruptcy for the track.
Of the 14 meetings only two got absolved.

March 26. 1934
On 2nd Easter day approx. 1200 spectators had taken seats, and their main interest seemed to be hot coffee and hot sausages from the sales booths.
The main attraction should have been a Danish – Swedish match between Ebbe Lundquist and Bøgh Mathiesen, but it faded out because the Copenhagener’s bike had engine problems.
There was not much excitement in the crack race, where Hans Hansen easily won both heats.
The Taastruphoj Race had Anders Petersen as first heat winnner. Second heat went to Knud Hornung, Copenhagen and third to Lauritz Christensen.
An eagerly awaited pair race after the Copenhagen bicycle 6-days pattern proved too difficult for the audience to keep track of the position in. The riders in a couple should ride alternately with optional replacement, which was done by the rider to be replaced to ride up on the side of his partner, who then went away, and the replaced got a small pause. An advance publicity had written that the race would go over 24 laps, another wrote 15 laps. The actual race went over 20 laps. The Winning pair was Hans Hansen and Anders Petersen in front of Ingemann Rasmussen and Ejnar Hansen.

Holbæk annonce
Advertizing the last meeting on Holbaek Dirt track

April 15.1934
The last meeting on the track was attended by approx. 1000 spectators.
There was a fairly serious accident which cost the Copenhagen rider Knud Hornung a broken arm. He crashed in second heat of theTaastruphoj Race and the  Holbæk rider Th. Olsen just behind him could not escape, but ran over him. Hornung was brought to the hospital by ambulance.
Later Boegh Mathiesen skidded out and fell. Thorkild Clausen just behind him laid his bike and avoided hit him. Both riders got minor bruises, but both bikes were wrecked.
Ebbe Lundquist tried in vain to beat Baltzer Hansen’s track record,
The Taastruphoj Race heats were ridden with meter handicaps and was won by Anders Petersen in front of Niels Nielsen and Viktor Rode. The final handicap went to Viktor Rode in front of Anders Petersen and Ingemann Rasmussen.

In 1934 the owners lost a lawsuite in the Danish Tax court and subsequently got declared bankrupt


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