Author : Jeff Scott
ISBN : 987-0-9568618-6-3
Price : £20.00 + £4.50 p+p
In Who Gates Wins :Further lingering stares inside the Speedway Grand Prix Technicolour Dreamcoat, speedway author Jeff Scott again travels the highways and byways of Europe to seek out and savour the body, heart and soul of the increasingly well-hidden speedway world championship universe.
Unafraid to gawp trackside, lurk on the terraces, dawdle in the toilets or search for salvation, Scott slowly slips his fingers inside the hallowed Speedway Grand Prix Technicolour Dreamcoat to lingeringly caress its rich promises, fondly recall past glories while relishing all that nowadays lies beneath.
Excruciating happy talk of elevating the world championships to new and dizzy heights of prominence in the international sporting calendar – akin to the status of Formula 1 – has long been forgotten and, instead, evolved into a cold steely realism that sees Speedway Grand Prix no longer perceived as major events no matter where they are raced.
Of course, those with deep pockets still attend but most speedway fans remain stuck in the sour embrace cul-de-sac of the SGP’s intended televisual and digital destiny. This continues to be a poor substitute for the traditional community based human scale live speedway experience that originally begat it. In this brave new but slightly shop-soiled solar system, world championship speedway nowadays only really truly exists for most fans if endlessly and interminably consumed via a screen. Whether the screen is hand-held, television or stadium matters not as what gets served up as thrilling entertainment often voluntarily condemns the SGP to the sporting equivalent of a witness protection programme. Hopes of greater rider fame, recognition and celebrity, media attention or wider public awareness all perished as false gods along with various other speedway sacred cows on the revolutionary bonfires on the SGP altar.
Seeking clear answers to what got lost – if it did or has – when, Scott ponders the original heady aroma of those luridly optimistic original promises made about what comes fitted as standard at future SGP’s. Stunning stadia; thrilling races; good tracks; panoramic views; scrumptious high quality catering and top notch toilets are all grist to his investigative mill.
On this shale flecked track to damnation served up by this particular speedway apocalypse, in Who Gates Wins Scott again rides many of his favourite SGP hobbyhorses to wry memorable effect.
Jeff Scott is the proud owner of a warm, pleasingly stylish SGP tour anorak (2019 vintage) as well as being the author of fifteen – sometimes acclaimed, sometimes not – speedway books including Showered in Shale, Strictly Shale, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Speedway Grand Prix and Concrete for Breakfast, which was short-listed for British Sports Book of the Year. Variously described as “Raymond Carver with a notebook” (The Times) or “just a saddo with no life”, Scott has also been writer-in-residence at Reading Racers and Eastbourne Eagles speedway clubs.