Pengelly wins the Grand National
Jack Pengelly wins the last Grand National at Christmas Hills in Victoria
Victorian rider Jack Pengelly was a crowd favourite during the 1970s in Australian motocross.
He was always a determined rider on his 400cc Maico and, on his day, he could beat the Nation’s best.
Jack’s biggest victory came in the 1977 Ron Hunter Grand National in Victoria – the last at the famous Christmas Hills circuit. Pengelly almost retained his Grand National crown the following year at Seymour, but fell while leading with only two laps to go.
Pengelly mostly raced motocross in Victoria, but he also competed internationally and in the Australian Championships during the seventies.
Riding a Bultaco, Pengelly was the Runner-up Australian 250cc Champion at Tivoli, Ipswich (QLD) in 1970, behind Gary Adams. Then in 1973 on his Maico he was the Runner-up 500cc Champion at Foster Park, Mulbring (NSW) behind Trevor Flood.
That year he was Australian Champion for a week. Flood’s win was surrounded by controversy as the gearbox on his Yamaha YZ360 blew when he was leading the Unlimited All Powers heat race. Because he changed the motor, the officials initially excluded him for “changing bikes” and gave the 500cc title to Pengelly. But a week later it was ruled that Flood had not changed bikes and he was given the title again.
In 1974, Pengelly finished third in the prestigious inaugural Mr Motocross series riding a Maico, behind Trevor Flood and Englishman Malcolm Dearn.
At Acusa Park, he finished behind Graeme Smythe (WA, Yamaha) and Dave Fullston (SA, Husqvarna) – See photo below.
Victorian Jack Pengelly placed four times in the Australian Championships between 1970-77.
Jack Pengelly wins the 1977 Grand National at Christmas Hills on his 400cc Maico.
Pengelly (right) was third in the 1977 500cc Australian Motocross titles at Acusa Park (SA).
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