A mistake wiped out his dreams of winning the world champion title. He qualified for the finals 22 times in Poland, but did not win the gold medal there either. On January 9, Bengt Jansson turned 78 years old.

Matthews Kozaniki

Bengt Jansson on the right

Private Archive / Bengt Jansson / Pictured: Bengt Jansson right

Bengt Jansson was born on January 9, 1943, and when he was 17 years old he made his debut in the Swedish League. As he himself said in an interview with WP SportoweFakty, he found his way onto the highway thanks to Ove Fundin, Olle Nygren and Rune Soermander, i.e. world motor racing legends.

Driving in England

At the age of only 21, he joined the British League, which for decades was considered the strongest. For years, the world’s greatest motorcycle racing giants raced there.

West Ham need a player. Olle Nygren gave me this information and spoke to local promoters. I got there in the middle of the 1964 season. They only wanted to keep me for three or four games, and I’d drive until the end of the year – he said in an interview with WP SportoweFakty (More here).

Finally, in his first season, he played 20 games, in which he averaged a very good 1.85 points/run. In Sweden, however, he won his second league championship.

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The lost championship

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1965 made him his first appearance in the World Singles Finals. Jansson made his way through the elimination sieve and was able to present himself at the legendary Wembley Stadium. In London he scored 10 points, even winning his first race, where one of his rivals was Anthony Woerina.

But the most important event of his career was the start in 1967. On a good day, he lost the race with fellow countryman Ove Fundin, which turned out to be very important in the next stage of the competition.

In addition to Jansson and Fundin, Barry Briggs and Anders Michanek also took part in the race, and therefore were great leaders at that time. Janson erred and stayed at the start.

– I managed to catch up, past Mishank and Briggs in the first corner. Fundin was too persistent for me to get past it. Then I won the next races – that called up in 2021.

Fundin met again – in the additional race for gold. The challenger put him in the first bow and although he tried to catch up with him at all costs, he ended his feud with Silver. In the IMŚ finals, he appeared five times, finishing from 2 to 6 times. He managed to win the gold medal in the team competition in 1967 and 1970.

22 times and nothing

Although he was the vice world champion in individual competitions, he never managed to win the national championship. He qualified for the finals of this event … 22 times.

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Apparently I wasn’t lucky enough. There were a lot of great players in my country and the competition was really tough – he explained.

In the Swedish singles championship, he climbed on the podium only three times – he took second place twice (1972, 1978) and the third time (1966). In the late 1970s, his performance in the UK began to wane, and he eventually disappeared from competition and raced at home. Years later, he admitted that in the best moment of his career he didn’t have the proper equipment, which he was definitely losing out on.

He also had the opportunity to race in Poland. He won, for example, in memory of Zbigniew Raniszewski. – Pogorzelski, Wyglenda, Jancarz, great boys and players – said of Biało-Czerwonych.

Despite approaching 80, he still follows the highway, albeit mostly on TV. He lives near the track in Halstavik. He loves jungle trips and car trips. He finished his career with 11 Premier League seasons, six World Finals, three World Pairs Championship matches and nine World Team Championship matches. He turned 78 years old on January 9.

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