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Virus Attack

On 26 April this year my computer at work ‘blew up!’ Subsequently it transpired that the ‘Chernobyl Virus’ had attacked the hard-drive. This particular date was the anniversary of that disaster. This led me to think of other virus attacks, which can afflict us that are speedway related. Some are well known and others are perhaps waiting to occur. See what you think.

1) Brandon Virus: This affects car drivers, mainly on Sundays, and motorists find themselves unable to overtake after the first bend of their journey!

2) Elite Stadium Virus (formerly the Asbestos Virus): This causes back straight stands to fall down and prevents spectators viewing all around the track. Wolverhampton, Ipswich and Belle Vue have been hit in recent years. A virulent strain actually hit Cradley, where the whole stadium fell down!

3) Bad Neck Virus: This was mainly confined to the London area. It is a phenomena where spectators had to look upwards from the terraces to see the track. Examples are Crayford, White City, & London (Hackney). The London strain was so bad that the venue was awarded a ‘Grand Prix’.

4) VAT virus: This is where Speedway programmes carry an inflated price (presumably to avoid paying VAT). Its early traces were at Wimbledon and a particularly bad strain recently hit Glasgow where the ‘programme value’ has reached 5.

5) Cat flap virus: First appeared a few years ago as an attachment to the back wheels of speedway bikes. This virus was imported from New Zealand and even when riders tried to kill it by falling off, it would bounce up and remain near the bike.

6) Solvent virus: This had a terrible effect leading to rider body odour. Strangely the riders were keeping rear tyres in the bath. This virus first occurred in the Poole area a few years ago, and was then allegedly spread by Australians to other tracks. It’s outbreak peaked at an Ipswich – Coventry speedway meeting. After this the virus was bought under control and has now been eliminated.

7) Shale Virus: This would cause spectators to be covered in dust and dirt while a speedway race was going on. Strangely some areas of the country (e.g. Reading) have escaped being hit by this virus.

8) White line virus: – Causes white lines to vanish. Seems confined to the Peterborough area.

9) STW virus: – ‘Smith, Thorp Wilson’ – prevents teams winning league titles. Bradford successfully beat this by getting rid of all three and winning the title in 1997. Then shut down!

10) Scoop virus: This attaches itself to track phones and converts them to premium line phone numbers, e.g. Belle Vue, Hull, Sheffield, and Wolves…

Lefty (April 1999)

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Many photographs on this site are copyright/courtesy of John Hipkiss - Wolverhampton Track Photographer.
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