Track name: Holbaek Speedway (Holbaek Stadium)
Track owner: Holbæk & Vicinity’s Motor Klub
Length: 400 m.
Track surface: Cinders
Track record: 73,5 seconds = 48,74 mph
Record holder: Leif ”Basse” Hveem, Norway
Opened year/date: May 14. 1950
Closed year/date: September 19. 1954
Behind the foundation of the “Holbaek & Omegns Motor Klub” stood the motorcycle dealer Jens Peter Hansen, generally known as “Norton” Hansen”. An active rider himself since 1932, who had ridden on most of those days’ Danish tracks, a.o. Karrebaeksminde and Frederikssund, where he rode a JAP.
After long negotiations with the municipality of Holbaek the club got permission to arrange speedway meetings on the cinders covered track at the Holbaek Athletic Stadium.
All through the 5 seasons the track was open only 18 meetings got held there. The narrow tracks together with unsatisfactorily conditions for the spectators were the main reasons.
Another reason was a long list of demands for improvement of the safety which would be very difficult and too costly to fulfill. Furthermore the public interest for the meetings had diminished.
The riders too were not happy with the track, which they criticized for being very narrow, bumpy and hard.
Many foreign riders visited the track. In particular Wembley captain Bill Kitchen very often rode in Denmark in that period, besides Holbaek also on Aarby, Gladsaxe, Amager and Gentofte tracks.
A special kind of popularity among the youngsters on the terraces was achieved by Morian Hansen, who got hailed with hurrahs no matter if he won a heat or – what occasionally happened – came puffing as last man over the finish line.
May 14.1950. Opening meeting:
3 meetings were scheduled that year.
On the opening day Orla Knudsen from Copenhagen rode a track record over four laps with flying start in 1,18,4 minute. He said afterwards that he considered the track to be one of the fastest in Denmark.
In the “Holbaek race” which was to be decided by fastest winning time Orla Knudsen won the first heat in 1,20,8, and the final heat in 1,23,0 ahead of Irving Irvinger, Uno Jensen and Erhard Fisker.
Furthermore he also won Expertmatch A with 9 points ahead of Uno Jensen 5 points, Irvinger 3 points and Kiehn Berthelsen 1 point.
Erhard Fisker won Expertmatch B with 7 points, Leif Bech 6 points, Jorgen Petersen 5 points and Aage Andersen 2 points.
A race for standard bikes saw Leif Hirsborg as winner with 9 points ahead of John Helfelt 5 points and Agner Hansen 4 points.
Second time the engines roared over Holbæk Stadium:
In the first heat the Swedish rider Gösta Zanderholm improved the track record for 4 laps with standing start to 1,20,3 minute, while Leif Bech fell and injured his leg.
The two final heats were crack races (flying start). Morian Hansen won the first final and Orla Knudsen won the second.
Expert 500 cc::
Gösta Zanderholm 12 points.
Morian Hansen 10 points.
Henry Andersen 10 points.
Irving Irvinger 10 points.
Kiehn Berthelsen 7 points.
Orla Knudsen 4 points.
Erhard Fisker 0 points.
Leif Bech retired
A heat in the Standard class got a weird result. Knud Nielsen fell and got hit from behind by Ejvind Hansen, who also fell. Nordahl Andersen laid his bike beside the fallen riders. Leif Hirsborg managed to pass and finish alone.
In fine sportsmanship he offered a rerun of the heat, which he then lost to Knud Nielsen.
Standard 500 cc:
Knud Nielsen 14 points.
Leif Hirsborg 12 points.
Ejvind Hansen 10 points.
Ocktober 15. 1950:
4000 fans watche the last meeting of the year.
Expert 500 cc:
1. Bengt Gustafsson, S 8 points.
2. Rune Sørmander, S 5 points.
3. Jorgen Petersen, DK 3 points.
Standard 500 cc:
2. Kaj Larsen
3. Joerges Bagger.
1. Hans Jacobsen.
2, Helmuth Carlsen
3. Erik Greve.
May 27.1951. Best pairs England – Denmark – Sweden:
1. England, Bill Kitchen & Jeff Lloyd 9 points.
2. Sweden, Torsten Carlsson & Dick Weider 5 points.
3. Denmark, Kiehn Berthelsen & Morian Hansen. 5 points.
Bill Kitchen improved the track record with flying start to 1,17,3 minut.
June 10. 1951:
The English rider Oliver Hart lowered the track record to 1,16,9 minute.
1. Bill Kitchen GB
2. Oliver Hart, GB
3. Kiehn Berthelsen DK
4. Morian Hansen. DK
1. Oliver Hart, GB 5 points.
2.Kiehn Berthelsen, DK 5 points.
3. Morian Hansen DK 3 points.
4. Bill Kitchen, GB 2 points.
1. Aage Andersen DK 6 points.
2. Rune Claesson, S 4 points.
3. Leif Hirsborg DK 3 points,
4. Lennart Arnham, S 3 points.
July 29.1951. Danish – German team match:
Bill Kitchen was guest captain on the Danish team.
Denmark 55 points. Germany 17 points.
Bill Kitchen 7 points. Sedan Graf 4 points.
Aage Andersen 11 points, Hans Wallasch 4 points.
Irving Irvinger 9 points. Rudolf Brandenburg 0 points.
Bent Jensen 10 points. John Harris 3 points.
Leif Hirsborg 11 points. Walther Gernert 3 points.
Morian Hansen 7 points. Fritz Zielkowski 3 points.
The winner of the Standard class Robert Rasmussen passing
Alfred Larsen outside at Holbaek Stadium.
August 26. 1951
At the meeting on August 26 the 17 years young Swede Dan Forsberg sensationally won the first heat of the Holbaek Race in the fantastic time 1,16,6 minute for 4 laps with standing start. 0, 3 seconds better than Oliver Hart’s record for flying start and 1,8 seconds better than same Hart’s record for standing start.
Holbaek Race final:
1. Kiehn Berthelsen DK
2. Dan Forsberg, S
3. Bill Kitchen, GB
4. Oliver Hart, GB
1. Oliver Hart, GB 7 points.
2. Kiehn Berthelsen DK 5 points.
3. Dan Forsberg S 3 points.
4. Bill Kitchen GB 3 points.
A number of crashes happened that day.
The entire 1951 season was not at all a lucky one for Norton Hansen who tasted the cinders no less than 5 times.
In an attempt to overtake Aage Iversen and Robert Rasmussen in the narrow bend he hit the fence so hard, that his bike bent one of the heavy iron poles supporting the safety fence. The bike got wrecked, Hansen himself escaped from a flight over the fence with minor bruises, but the crash made him consider to stop his career and devote his time to his family and his motorcycle shop.
Oliver Hart went down too. He slided 4 – 5 meters on his back with his bike on top, but managed to get up and finished 12, 1 second after the heat winner.
A couple of engine failures occurred. Dan Forsberg and Lennart Aaström both got a blown engine. Bits from Forsberg’s blown engine penetrated his gas tank. Really a dramatic day to be remembered.
September 30. 1951
At the last meeting in 1951 the British rider Split Waterman lowered the track record with flying start to 1,15,0.
He too got a feeling of the narrow track when he had a painful contact with the safety fence.
4. Maj 1952
Norton Hansen, who the year before considered stopping his career, was in the starting list, but rode anonymously and ended without points. Split Watermark made a new attack on the track record but failed by 2 seconds.
Holbaek Race final
1.Leif ”Basse” Hveem, N
2. Split Waterman, GB
3. Bill Kitchen , GB
4. Kiehn Berthelsen. DK
1. Henry Andersen, Norge
2. Orla Knudsen
3. Leif Bech.
The British rider Wally Green, who rode first time on the track, characterized it as deadly dangerous with its narrow bends that left no space for four riders abreast.
But that did not keep the good Mr. Green away from beating both the Norwegian Basse Hveem and the Dane Kiehn Berthelsen, in his own words, only because he was a very fast gater.
Wally Green came in on short notice as substitute for Tommy Price, who was in the programme, but got hindered.
And what a good substitute he was.
Basse Hveem made a successful attack on the track record in the fine time 1,13,5.
Leif Bech won a crack race ahead of Reidar Kristoffersen, Norway and Kiehn Berthelsen.
July 19. 1952, Junior meeting:
This was one of the very few occasions for Junior riders to make themselves known to the public. The showed excellent riding, but not for a greater crowd of fans. Oluf Elsberg won ahead of Robert Kastebo and Ole K. Hansen.
All three got a chance to ride in the international meeting on August 10..
August 10. 1952. International Expert meeting:
British and Swedish star riders came to meet to meet the Danish stars, spearheaded by Kiehn Berthelsen.
Irving Irvinger should have come, but after some disagreements between him and the Danish Motor Union, the latter had banned him for a period of time. In his place Orla Knudsen got called in.
8000 fans attended the meeting.
Holbaek race final:
1. Göte Ohlsson, Sweden 1,17,9 min.
2. Bill Kitchen, England
3. Bob Oakley, England
4. Kiehn Berthelsen, Denmark
Special 500 cc.
1. Jorgen Petersen 1, 24,6 min.
2. Erhard Fisker
3. Oluf Elsberg
4. Kaj Larsen
1. Göte Ohlsson, Sweden 6 points.
2. Bill Kitchen, England 5 points.
3. Kiehn Berthelsen, Denmark 4 points.
4. Bob Oakley, England 2 points.
1. Leif Bech, Denmark 9 points.
2. Leif Hirsborg, Denmark 4 points.
3. Orla Knudsen, Denmark, 4 points.
4. Evert “Kumla” Fransson, Sweden 1 points.
1. Erik Wincenz
2.Ole K. Hansen
3. Robert Kastebo
4. Anker W. Petersen
1. Erik Wincentz
2. Oluf Elsberg
3. Erhard Fisker
1. Kiehn Berthelsen
2. Bill Kitchen
1. Bob Oakley
2. Evert Fransson
September 7. 1952 Danish – Swedish team match:
Sweden 69 points. Denmark 39 points.
Einar Lindqvist 18 points. Kiehn Berthelsen 12 points.
Stig Pramberg 18 points. Leif Bech 11 points.
Per Tage Svensson 17 points. Orla Knudsen 9 points.
Stig Svensson 8 points. Erhard Fisker 3 points.
Björn Davidsson 5 points. Leif Hirsborg 3 points.
Rune Andersson 3 points. Oluf Elsberg 1 points.
Lennart Åström 0 points. Jørgen Petersen 0 points.
Erik Wincentz 0 points.
The final meeting in 1952 included a very interesting Expert match to which the club signed the two old English stars Jack Parker and Bill Kitchen to meet the young rising stars from Sweden Dan Forsberg and Olle Nygren.
Unfortunately our programme is not filled in with the result. Any help here shall be much appreciated. Dan Forsberg made an attempt on the track record, but with no success. Basse Hveem’s record kept standing..
April 26. 1953
Three Norwegian riders, Henry Andersen, Erik Storm Larsen and Reidar Kristoffersen participated in the Holbaek race against Leif Bech, Kiehn Berthelsen, Oluf Elsberg and Bue Jensen, all on JAP bikes.
Besides the Holbaek race, which as usual was for the fastest time, the riders also had to fight for points in the Expert race.
1.Henry Andersen, Norway 1,19,0 min.
2. Leif Bech, Denmark 1,20,0
3. Kiehn Berthelsen, Denmark 1,20,2
1. Henry Andersen, Norway 9 points.
2. Leif Bech, Denmark 4 points.
3. Reidar Kristoffersen, Norway 2 points.
4. Kiehn Berthelsen, Denmark 1 points.
1. Oluf Elsberg 9 points.
2. Erik Wincentz 3 point.
3. Alfre Larsen 3 points.
4. Bue Jensen 2 points.
Sport 500 cc.
1. Norton Hansen 8 points.
2. Christian Schmidt 7 points.
3. Erik Wincentz 3 points.
1. Kiehn Berthelsen 1,17,0 min.
2. Henry Andersen.
July 19. 1953
3000 spectators saw the car driver Henning Clemmensen make a test drive in a Midget car. In the first attempt the car spun around and penetrated the safety fence with the rear end.
The track was too soft, and its lack of width made it unsuitable for car racing as well as for sidecars. No further attempt was made
The day’s programme contained a team match between the cities Holbaek and Naestved. Holbaek won comfortably 48 – 25, which mainly was owed to Holbaek’s use of Irving Irvinger, Leif Hirsborg, Erhard Fisker and Aage Andersen as guest riders.
Norton Hansen had regained the “joy of racing” and won all 3 heats in the Standard class..
April 25. 1954
Only 2 meetings were scheduled in 1954. The first was on April 25 and was mostly characterized by being Bill Kitchen’s “Farewell race” after a 25 years long glorious career in which he 7 times as captain led the Wembley team to victory in the British league.
His fellow citizen Tommy Price made an attack on the track record, but failed with 1,16,1. Hence the Norwegian Basse Hveem’s track record kept standing forever.
September 19. 1954, Danish Speedway Championship final:
The main and last event in 1954 was the Danish Speedway Championship Final Sunday.
The tiny rider Leif Bech from Copenhagen took the full advantage 15 point from a series of brilliant gating.
After the race he said: ” – This could only be done at Holbaek, – here they couldn’t pass me from behind. – Had it been on the Amager track I only could have hoped for being runner up after Kiehn Berthelsen.”
Kiehn Berthelsen took the silver medal with 14 points and Erhard Fisker Bronze with 12 points.
After the closing in 1954 the club among other activities tried moto cross.
But before that the popular Norton Hansen aged 39 in the fall of 1953 sadly lost his life in a traffic accident.
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