NEWS Saturday 8th August 2020, 8:00am
Popular Monarch of the Powderhall era, Ivan Blacka joined John and Liam for Sunday Lunch last week as he looked back over his all-action career.
Born in Southampton, Ivan moved across the Atlantic at an early age. Growing up in America, Ivan recalled his first strides in speedway, "I was about 19, just out of high school. We got the bike and we went to different places. We'd see a bit of spare ground and we'd get the bike out and try to do some slides on it but it was so bumpy that it was hard.
"We found this track about a three hour drive away, it was a quarter mile track, and the guy said we could use it. I did one start and went into the corner so fast and I didn't know what I was doing. I couldn't turn, I hit the wall and bent the bike up. I did half a lap and that was it, away we went home!"
After travelling to California to progress, along with racing on some of the east coast US tracks, Ivan decided the time was right to try UK racing, "If I was going to get any better I had to go to England and that was it.
"When you're young you really take the opportunity to do things that you don't even think about, you just do it."
Joining the Club part way through the 1978 season, Ivan enjoyed a successful time as a Monarch including being apart of the 1981 Cup winning side. His first season was a challenge though, "I was pretty crazy in the beginning, I rode in over my head. I wasn't intentionally trying to do anything to anybody but I just went in the corners way too fast without thinking.
"All throttle and no brains - it was just enthusiasm. I was so excited but if you go in so fast then you can't turn the bike! I was good at turning the bike so I learned pretty quick that way."
"I was pretty wild but I guess it was some excitement for the fans. They liked it as they saw I was determined to score points and I just went for it. Later I honed my skills as I practiced more and got more opportunity."
If you missed last weekend's Sunday Lunch with Ivan, you can watch now over on EMTV.
Sunday Lunch will now move to a fortnightly schedule going forward. John and Liam return for the next question and answer session on Sunday 16th August at midday when they are joined by Monarchs Co-Promoter John Campbell.
Ask your questions now by emailing email@example.com or ask live during the session over on Monarchs Facebook page.