Erik Gundersen


Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen (born 8 October 1959 in Esbjerg, Denmark) [Oakes, P & Rising, P (1986). "1986 Speedway Yearbook". ISBN 0-9488-8200-X] was a speedway rider in the late 1970s and 1980s. Gundersen was the Speedway World Championship on three occasions, two time World Longtrack champion and a seven time World Team Cup winner with Denmark.

Career

Gundersen rode for the Cradley Heath Heathens from 1979 to 1989 when he almost lost his life in a racing accident. He began his career at Cradley with Bruce Penhall but after Penhall's premature retirement, Gundersen became the club's number one rider, a position he held until his crash. [Foster, P. (2003) "Heathens: Cradley Heath Speedway 1977-1996", The History Press Ltd. ISBN 0-7524-2738-5]

Gundersen won the Speedway World Championship three times in 1984, 1985 and 1988. His career was ended when he was involved in an accident whilst riding for Denmark at the Odsal Stadium on the 17 September 1989 in the World Team Cup Final. His motorcycle locked up on the first bend and he was knocked off by the rider behind and as he lay on the race track he was hit in the head by another rider's rear wheel. After the accident he was not expected to live and he remained in coma for a period of time but eventually regained consciousness.Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). "A History of the World Speedway Championship". Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2402-5] Gundersen had to learn to walk again and raised a large amount of money for the hospital which saved his life. He later went on to manage the Danish national speedway team.

World final appearances

* 1981 - Flag|GBR Wembley - 4th - 11pts
* 1983 - Flag|GER Norden - 4th - 10pts
* 1984 - Flag|SWE Gothenburg - Winner - 13pts + 4pts
* 1985 - Flag|GBR Bradford - Winner - 13pts + 3pts
* 1986 - Flag|POL Chorzów - 10th - 7pts
* 1987 - Flag|NED Amsterdam - 2nd - 24pts + 3pts
* 1988 - Flag|DEN Vojens - Winner - 14pts + 3pts
* 1989 - Flag|GER Munich - 4th - 11ptsBamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). "A History of the World Speedway Championship". Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2402-5]

References


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