Trophee des Nations 1984

Trophee des Nations 1984

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Australia's first shot in the World motocross teams event

1984 world trophee des nations, varberg, sweden (15-16 september)
1984 Varberg, Sweden - 250cc Trophee des Nations - Denmarks Soren Mortensen leads the B Final ahead of Stephen Gall and Trevor Williams, with Len Williamson cheering on - High Res
Photo: Denmark's Soren Mortensen (10) leads the B Final at the 1984 250cc Trophee des Nations in Varberg, Sweden ahead of Australians Stephen Gall (6) and Trevor Williams (7), with Australia's inaugural Team Manager Len Williamson cheering on. (Photo and report kindly provided by Len Williamson)

1984 Trophee des Nations in Sweden

Australia first competed in the World International Motocross teams event on the weekend of 15-16 September 1984 in Varberg, Sweden.

That year, Stephen Gall and one of his early mentors, Len Williamson took on the challenge to organise Australia’s participation in the Trophee Des Nations in Varberg, Sweden.

Between 1947 to 1984, the MXDN format consisted of three separate events over three weekends in different countries – the Coupe Des Nations (for the 125cc class), the Trophee des Nations (250s) and the Motocross des Nations (500s), having run this way from the very beginning in 1947.

As the cost to enter an Australian team in each event was simply prohibitive, it was decided to only enter a team for the Trophee des Nations in Sweden. Equally, it was felt that Australia would have a better chance of success in the 250cc class.

Also, four-times Australian Champion Pelle Granquist from Sweden and other Swedish expatriates were eager to assist the inexperienced Aussies with logistics and costs – Peter Kalen and Leif Nicklasson.

Australia's first official Motocross Team

With the Australian Auto Cycle Council’s (ACCA’s) endorsement, Australia’s first official team was announced for the 1984 Trophee des Nations to compete in Varberg Sweden on 15-16 September.

The inaugural team members consisted of Stephen Gall (NSW, Yamaha), David Armstrong (QLD, Honda), Vaughan Style (NSW, Honda) and Trevor Williams (VIC, Kawasaki) with Len Williamson the Team Manager.

With the 1984 Australian Championships to be held at Broadford that year in October, the team was selected based on the 1983 Australian Championships, past achievements and current form.

In 1983, Gall clinched his fifth Australian Motocross Championship at Acusa Aprk (SA) – fourth 250cc title in a row – and was an obvious choice, having also already won four prestigious Mr Motocross titles.

Trevor Williams was the country’s reigning 500cc Champion, winning this title back in 1980 at Dargle (NSW).

Style was one of the country’s top 250cc and 500cc riders in 1984, winning many major National meetings, including the King of the Cross international at Southern Cross in WA, and Queenslander Armstrong was also emerging on the National scene.

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Video – 1984 Trophee des Nations, Sweden

Trophee des Nations - Race format and qualifying

The Trophee des Nations event format was different to the existing Motocross des Nations format, which is held over three motos with one rider in each each class competing in two motos.

In 1984 at Varberg, the format consisted of four riders per team, split into two groups.  Each group contested 1 X 40 minute moto. The nine best teams progressed to the A Finals which was 2 X 40m motos. The remaining teams then contested the B Final which was a 1 X 40m moto.

Despite being fairly competitive, a series of mechanical failures – including a rare stator coil failure on Trevor Williams Kawasaki in the qualifying heats – the Australian team was relegated to the B final.

Team USA wins four in a row

Team USA won the 1984 Trophee des Nations ahead of Sweden and Italy. 

All four US riders finished in the top six, with Jeff Ward (Kawasaki) winning both motos ahead of Brock Glover (Yamaha) in second, with Johnny O’Mara (Honda) and Ricky Johnson (Yamaha) finishing in fifth and sixth places overall, respectively.

It was the American’s fourth win in a row, having won their first Trophee des Nation in 1981 at Lommel in Belgium.

The Swedish team finished behind the Americans on home soil at Varburg, with Hakan Carlqvist in seventh and Conny Carlsson and Anders Ericson in eighth and ninth place.

Photo: 1984 Trophee des Nations overall winner – Jeff Ward USA

Aussies put up a good show in the B Final

Denmark won the B Final, with Yamaha rider Soren Mortensen winning the moto, ahead of Switzerland and Norway.

Despite excellent performances from Stephen Gall and Trevor Williams who finished in third and fourth places, respectively, Australia finished in third last position as Armstrong and Style dropped out due to mechanical issues.

The Australian Team members were all devastated with such a disappointing result. But despite this, it was a marvelous experience and the learnings and contacts established set up Australia for our ongoing involvement in the event.

More importantly, for every Australian motocross competitor it created the future opportunity to represent their country. It established a goal for all competitors to aspire to that continues to this day some 37 years down the track!

Team Placings and Race results

Team Placings
1. USA 16
2. Sweden 61
3. Italy 72
4. Belgium 97
5. Finland 109
6. Germany 113
7. Netherlands 128
8. Great Britain (DNF)
9. Luxenberg (DNF)

Race 1 (250cc)
1. WARD Jeff US Kaw
2. GLOVER Broc US Yam
3. O’MARA Johnny US Hon
4. RINALDI Michele IT Suz
5. MALHERBE André BE Hon
6. THORPE Dave GB Hon
7. JOHNSON Ricky US Yam
8. VROMANS André BE Hon
10. MARTENS Jacky LU Ktm
11. VAN DOORN Gert NL Suz
13. CARLSSON Conny SE Yam
14. NICOLL Kurt GB Ktm
15. ERIKSSON Anders SE Yam
17. WHATLEY Jeremy GB Suz
18. CARLQVIST Hakan SE Yam
19. DRECHSEL Arno DE Ktm
20. TARKKONEN Matti FI Yam

Race 2 (250cc)
1. WARD Jeff US Kaw
2. GLOVER Broc US Yam
3. JOBÉ Georges BE Kaw
5. THORPE Dave GB Hon
6. RINALDI Michele IT Suz
7. NILSSON Jorgen SE Hon
8. O’MARA Johnny US Hon
9. JOHNSON Ricky US Yam
10. CARLSSON Conny SE Yam
11. BAROZZI Alberto IT Yam
12. ERIKSSON Anders SE Yam
13. DRECHSEL Arno DE Ktm
14. TAIMI Simo FI Hva
15. LAQUAYE Jean-Claude BE Hon
16. SCHAUBLE Manfred DE Ktm
17. VIIRI Ari FI Ktm
19. TARKKONEN Matti FI Yam
20. VAN DER VEN Kees NL Ktm

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