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18/10/17 The Wanderer elected to make a visit to Stoke on 14th October, here's his interesting report....

Saturday the 14th October and I decided to make my way to Stoke Chesterton Stadium for my first visit since March. Topping the bill tonight were the BriSAC F2s and they were supported by the Rebels, Junior Bangers, Startrax Hot Rods, 1600 Bangers and Van Bangers.

The track had been well prepared and the weather was unbelievable for mid-October with temperatures approaching 20c in the late afternoon and only down to 16c later in the evening. Racing got under way promptly at 4.00pm and a fast turnaround was set with no parade laps and the track quickly cleared between races courtesy of four tractors provided by AR Richards. There were twenty one races scheduled but in the event this would be reduced to nineteen.

This evening the BriSCA F2s would compete in Round Five of the National Series and with all fifteen of the qualifiers present, action a plenty was guaranteed. Coming into this weekend it was 38 Dave Polley who led the points with 905 Rob Mitchell second and 7 Gordon Moodie third so everything to play for in their battle for the silver roof. Also trying his hand in an F2 this evening was Wisbech based National Saloon Stock Car driver Jacob ‘Cracker’ Downey.

Their first outing saw twenty four cars on track and in a good stoppage free race it was 298 Jake Walker who hit the front by half distance and went on to take the win ahead of 225 Tony Blackburn and 606 Andrew Palmer. Of the other National Series competitors Polley came home fourth, Moodie sixth and 488 Liam Bentham ninth. Heat Two followed straight on with a twenty three car grid and with it being race six on the programme they were just starting to kick up some dust. After another fast stoppage free race it was 431 Andy Gibb who secured victory with 995 Michael Lund taking second and 706 Brent Russell third. Of the other National Series drivers 615 Josh Coleman took fourth, 101 Kelvyn Marshall seventh and Rob Mitchell eighth.

With ten to qualify to the Final, the Consolation brought out a good field of twenty six cars with National Series drivers 142 Jonathon Hadfield, 184 Aaron Vaight, 560 Luke Wrench, 581 Dan Fallows and 700 Adam Rubery still looking to book their place in the Final. After another quick stoppage free race it was 788 Stephen Mallinson who won with Webster second and Rubery third.

The F2 Final saw a full grid of thirty cars including five white tops that had made it through. This one got as far as lap four before a brief stoppage after which they were led away by 669 John Hindey with five cars left behind on the infield. Moodie looked to be moving quickly through the field until he was spun on the bottom bend and then re-joined at the back of the field minus an exhaust. When the five lap boards came out it was 226 Billy Webster in the lead and he went on from there to win the race ahead of Palmer and 823 Sam Wagner, a 1-2-3 for the regular shale racers. Moodie worked his way back through the pack to secure seventh place and valuable points.

Compared with some meetings where a lot of drivers slip away before the Grand National this one saw thirty one cars line up with Webster taking the one lap handicap. The race got off to a flying start but when a number of cars all piled in together on the pits bend before the first lap was completed it went to red and a complete restart with the field now reduced to twenty five cars. Later yellows were brought out to provide assistance for 73 Dale Bennett who had taken a hard hit on the pit gate corner and been knocked unconscious; it was good to see him able to exit the car himself after receiving medical care before being taken off for further observation. With four laps to go the fifteen remaining cars were led away by 136 Kyle Taylor and from there he held on to take the win ahead of 377 Daz Shaw and Moodie with Marshall, Mitchell, Polley and 527 James Riggall all coming home in the top ten. This concluded an excellent evening of racing from the F2s.

As a result of various changes in the fixture lists the Rebels were included in this evening’s programme and their first race would be the prestigious National Championship. For this race the twenty three cars lined up two abreast in a closed grid for a clutch start. After one brief stoppage it was 137 Paul Tagg who led them away and from there he went on to win the 2017 Rebels National Championship with 120 Luke Loveland second and 202 Tom Dayman third.

Heat One was the next outing for the Rebels and after a quick stoppage free race it was 191 Joshua Smith who took the win ahead of 51 Steven Holgate and Dayman. Heat Two saw more of the same no hold barred action and this time it was Dayman who crossed the line first with 8 Dave Morley coming home second and 238 Gary Tagg third. For their Final the field of cars was down to eighteen but after a hard fought battle it was 134 Mark Davies who took the chequered flag and the Rebels Meeting Final.

The non-contact 1600 Startrax Hot Rods always provide good close racing with plenty of leaning and rubbing and this evening was no exception. With over twenty cars on track and in near perfect conditions they were very quick around the oval and there could be no doubt as to the driver of the evening with Andrew Earl untouchable as he won both Heats and their Final. On a quick dry track and with no stoppages it’s very difficult for the top graded drivers to work their way through from the back and this certainly worked to the advantage of Earl this evening.

The Junior Bangers were competing for their English Championship this evening which was sponsored by A.C. Race Fabrications. Amongst the twenty qualifiers were drivers from the Startrax, Spedeworth, Incarace, Trent and Trackstar promotions. From their closed grid they delivered some hard tight racing with plenty of contact and come the chequered flag it was Joey Holmes Jnr the reigning National Champion who crossed the line first to add the English Championship title to his collection. They then competed in two Allcomers races with the first being won by Finlay Damon and the second by Jacob Rushton.

Despite eight Banger Vans being listed only two vans and one pick-up were available for their first race and this was won by Martin French who even managed some contact on his way to victory. Following this race the decision was wisely taken to merge these with the 1600 Bangers for the remainder of the evening. The 1600 Bangers had a good turnout of twenty three cars and they delivered plenty of hard hitting action through their three races with the wins going to Connor Dando and Matt Russell.

The F2 National Series moved on to Belle Vue the following day for Round Six. A quick check of the points standing on the BriSCA F2 website after that round showed Rob Mitchell now leading the way with 94 points, Dave Polley second with 92 points and Moodie and Palmer equal third on 84 points so all very close at the top . The next rounds of the eleven round series are at Cowdenbeath on the 21st October and Barford the following day.

As the 2017 season moves towards a close the introduction of the F2 National Series has undoubtedly boosted driver commitment and interest but unfortunately this doesn’t appear to have extended to spectator interest. It’s my assessment that after discounting drivers and their teams, spectator numbers this evening could probably be counted in the dozens and the numbers at Smeatharpe and Mendips certainly didn’t break any records although weather was a factor there.

It is worrying for the future of the sport as it’s difficult to see what more Startrax could have done on the evening. The meeting featured a major race meeting on the F2 calendar, was tightly managed with a quick turnaround between races, you couldn’t have wished for better weather and everything was wrapped up by 8.45pm. Yet the meeting failed to attract more than a handful of the half million or so people in the immediate area or those who could travel from further afield. I don’t think you could blame the cost of entry as entry, programme and trackside parking cost me £19!

Much is written about this elsewhere but from my own experience when my work brings me into contact with people say from Stoke or Northampton and stock cars come into the conversation (as they usually do), the vast majority are blissfully unaware of the stadiums on their doorsteps or what is on offer. Perhaps more posters and flyers, cars displayed in town centre and supermarket car parks on race weekends along with initiatives to reach out to schools and the like would help to get the message out … most have been tried particularly by the ‘seaside tracks’ but I don’t see much of it going on now. If nothing is done then I fear that with the exception of the few big meetings, promoters will become ever more dependent on pay to race formulas that are great for those directly involve but they won’t bring spectators back on to the terraces and that has the feel of a vicious circle.

The Wanderer

12/10/17 You may think that the season is over but Unloaded has news of some brilliant October meetings, don't miss out....

 

7/10/17 The Wanderer combined visits to Taunton and Bristol, thanks to him for his excellent report......

With the first two rounds of the F2 National Series already run at Kings Lynn and Mildenhall it was now the turn of the West Country with a Saturday night meeting at Smeatharpe on the 30th September and the following afternoon at Mendips Raceway. The series is being run over eleven rounds with five on shale and six on tarmac and at the end of the series the driver with the most points will get to carry the silver roof for 2018. Coming into this weekend the current leader out of the fifteen contenders was Rob Mitchell followed by Dave Polley, Kelvyn Marshall, Gordon Moodie and Liam Bentham with just nineteen points separating the top three. A number of top drivers such as Craig Wallace and Michael Green who had been eligible for the National Series didn’t accept their invitations presumably because they were unable or unwilling to commit to the requisite number of meetings on both surfaces.

Taunton
For the Autospeed Saturday night meeting the F2s were joined by the National Saloon Stock Cars, the National Micro Bangers and Stox Rods. There were over twenty Saloons in the pits with the local drivers joined by a large contingent from the east of the country. The numbers were good particularly considering that nine top drivers from the UK had travelled over to Emmen in the Netherlands where the 2017 World of Shale Championship was being staged. It’s good to see the Dutch Saloon scene building and hopefully the exchange of drivers for the big events will continue to grow.

With fifty one F2s present including fourteen out of the fifteen National Series Qualifiers the drivers raced in two straight Heats followed by a Consolation, Final and Grand National. Heat One saw twenty five cars on track and after a stoppage free race in wet and slippery conditions it was 418 Ben Borthwick who took the first win of the evening with 935 Nathan Maidment and 740 Neil Langworthy following him home. Again in Heat Two they struggled for grip on the wet concrete but the race was stoppage free and this time the win went to 528 Shane Hector with 895 Ben Goddard second and 689 Joe Marquand third. Twenty nine drivers lined up for the Consolation with the first ten to go through to the Final; included on the grid was Moodie with the silver roofed car plus seven others from the red grades. After an action packed race that saw one caution period it was shale supremo 606 Andrew Palmer who came through to cross the line first with 101 Kelvyn Marshal second and 7 Gordon Moodie taking third.

The thirty car Final was raced over twenty laps but after early yellows on lap two the race went the distance all be it in miserable conditions. The National Series contenders were all trying to work their way through from the back and in the closing laps 38 Dave Polley caught and overhauled Moodie in a clean move but he couldn’t close down 935 Nathan Maidment who took the chequered flag and a well deserved win; Polley came home in second place with 689 Marquand third and Moodie fourth. In the Grand National it was Borthwick who came through again to take his second win of the evening ahead of 689 and 542.

With the F2s racing under floodlights it was amusing to note their variety of flashing lights, perhaps they’ve borrowed the idea from lighthouses that use characteristic flash sequences so they can be identified?

The Saloons fielded an excellent twenty two cars with the majority having travelled across from the eastern side of the country. Heat One saw a first lap caution to allow a stranded car to be recovered and from there they went the distance on the very slippery track and it was 149 Jamie Sampson who took the win with 428 Lee Sampson following him home in second place and third going to 84 Carl Boswell. Heat Two also saw yellows out on the first lap with the track all but blocked on the pits bend; with the race back under way it was Jamie Sampson who again proved himself master of the difficult conditions and came through to take his second win ahead of 199 Phil Powell and Lee Sampson. To round off the evening Lee Sampson fought off his brother to win the Final leaving Jamie to come home second and 78 Jack Thompson third.

The Micro Bangers were racing today for the National Series Final and this attracted an entry of over forty cars with the West Country drivers being joined by a strong contingent from Grimley territory. Their first outing was for the Last Chance qualifier and it was Steve Bailey, the Autospeed World Champion, who came through to take the win. Their second outing was for the National Series Final and of the thirty starters it was Bailey who came through all the carnage to secure his second win of the evening and the title; sixteen cars went the distance. Two Allcomers races were run and it was Bailey who again came through to win both and take his tally for the day to an amazing four out of four. The Destruction Derby was won by Simon Rees.

The Stock Rods had a reasonable turnout of seventeen cars with the mainly West Country drivers being joined by a surprise visitor from Scotland, Jim Pitcaithly the reigning ORCi Champion. Their first Heat was the opening race of the meeting and the feisty little cars really struggled for grip but the race was stoppage free and it was Dave Simpson who led them home while in Heat Two it was Lewis Trickey who took the win. In a stoppage free Final it was Trickey who crossed the line first but he was docked two places for jumping the start and the win was awarded to second place man Pitcaithly.

It was great to see that the investment and development continues at Smeatharpe with the addition of a new all seater stand to accommodate around four hundred spectators. Given the conditions, the open air stand wasn’t doing much business this evening but on a better day I’d imagine it will be a great success. By contrast the small covered stand offered the only shelter from the rain and was well popular! Autospeed had done all they could to put on a good meeting but unfortunately the weather gods conspired against them and the forecast would have deterred many from attending. The racing however was as good as it could be in the conditions and the excellent commentary and PA system did help to make things bearable. Even without the appalling weather though I would take the view that there was one too many formulas on the fixture and a five hour evening meeting in the autumn challenges all but the most committed fan.

Bristol:
Sunday 1st October at Mendips Raceway and for their last meeting of the season the morning was dry but by the time I arrived at mid-day the fog was already rolling in and enveloping the track. Joining the F2s today were the 2L National Saloon Stock Cars on their first visit to Mendips in many years and the Old Skool Unlimited Bangers who would be competing for their West of England Championship. The concession entry was good value at £11.

First up for the F2s was their Whites & Yellows which saw nine cars on track and after a quick race with minimal contact the first three were very close together as they crossed the finishing line but it was 325 Ryan Sheahan who took the spoils ahead of 251 Craig Driscoll and 76 Chris Rowe. With around thirty cars in the pits the F2s ran two back to back Heats with ten from each to go through to the Final. The first was stoppage free and while 476 Ryan Wadling led beyond half distance he was over hauled by 560 Luke Wrench with three to go and Wrench went on to take the win with 522 Chris Mikulla second and 895 Ben Goddard third. The second Heat was also stoppage free and with the fog now starting to clear it was 7 Gordon Moodie who came through to take the win ahead of Driscoll and 38 Dave Polley. Ten cars took part in the Consolation and it was 979 Paul Moss who won this one with 542 Steve Gilbert cruising through from the back to take second and 76 Chris Rowe third.

The Final saw twenty six cars take their place on the grid and these included all of the National Points Qualifiers who were in attendance. The drivers took it easy on a very greasy track and after a stoppage free race it was 895 Ben Goddard who took the chequered flag with 979 Paul Moss coming home second and 522 Chris Mikulla third ….. a West Country one-two-three. Polley and Moodie had played cat and mouse throughout the race but never really made headway and came home ninth and tenth. Goddard took the one lap handicap for the Grand National and in the very early stages 101 Kelvyn Marshall and Moodie took issue with one another and this ended with Moodie on the infield and Marshall surviving to go the distance but with a wounded car. The race saw a number of different leaders but it was 468 Sam Weston who took the win ahead of Moss and Rowe.

It was good to see the Saloons back at Mendips after an absence of many years and they certainly looked to enjoy themselves around the tricky oval. After the Smeatharpe meeting had been dominated by the Sampson brothers today saw some of the others enjoy success. The field of cars was slightly reduced from the night before with twenty cars taking to the track in thick fog for Heat One. There was an early stoppage to sort out a tangle of the big cars on the pits bend from where they went the distance in their usual hard hitting, fence clattering style with 610 Trent Arthurton coming through for the win with 902 Brad “Junior Buster” Compton-Sage second and 641 Willie Skoyles Jnr taking third. Their second outing was the eighth race of the day and by now the fog had pretty well cleared and after one brief stoppage it was Buster who went one better this time to take the win ahead of Arthurton and 399 Cole Atkins. Eighteen cars contested the Final and again it was Arthurton who broke away and held the lead until past half distance before being passed by 149 Jamie Sampson. The race was briefly brought under caution to allow a stranded car to be recovered and on the restart the running order was Sampson followed by Arthurton and with British Champion 158 Shane Davies now up to third. With the pack closed up the remaining seven laps produced some great Saloon action and as the laps wound down it was Davies who worked his way through to the front to take the chequered flag with 27 Kieren Bradford taking second and Jamie Sampson third. Let’s hope that we see the Saloons back at Mendips Raceway in 2018.

The Unlimited Bangers turned out in good numbers and they kicked off with two back to back seventeen car Heats. With the cars lined up two abreast in closed grids for each Heat the front rows were drawn and the rest sent on around before being released for their rolling laps. The first Heat was won by Richard Coaker and the second by Buddy James in what were relatively low contact races. A big grid of twenty six cars lined up for the Final and this provided good hard racing that saw Danny Hunt emerge victorious. Eighteen cars had survived for their Allcomers and in a race that saw sixteen cars go the distance it was Jake Carless who took the win. To conclude proceedings Mike Symonds survived to win the DD.

Well that wrapped up my second and last visit of the year to Mendips Raceway with everything finished soon after 5.00pm. Spectator numbers were on the low side with many no doubt put off by the weather forecast and while it did stay dry throughout the meeting we were probably up to race six or seven before the fog cleared sufficiently to allow the whole circuit to be viewed. My only negative observation was that with the F2 Final and Grand National both being run immediately after big Banger races the track was very greasy and as a result the two big F2 races were pretty subdued. On a more positive note it was good to see two promoters working together to give both drivers and spectators the opportunity to make a weekend of it in the West Country and attend both meetings; hopefully this won’t just be a one off for the National Series.

The Wanderer

13/9/17 The Wanderer made his way to Kings Lynn for the weekend where the F2 World Final would be decided. Many thanks to him for the excellent report....

Kings Lynn

The weekend of the 9th and 10th September saw Autospeed playing away again and this time promoting the BriSCA Formula Two 2017 World Championship at the Norfolk Arena, Kings Lynn courtesy of Trackstar. Also racing over the two days would be the 2L National Saloon Stock Cars who would contest their ORCi Championship.

As explained in the meeting programme this was technically the ‘Arena Essex World Final’ but following their main fixtures being transferred to Autospeed a number of years ago the decision then was where to stage this final. The intention had been to hold the 2017 F2 World Final at Coventry Stadium for the first and only time before the stadium finally closed. Unfortunately with closure brought forward to the end of 2016 this option was denied and a new venue had to be found and Autospeed decided that they would keep faith and stay with a shale venue and that road led to Kings Lynn.

The Norfolk Arena is an excellent venue that is well supported by drivers and spectators alike and one that continues to see considerable investment and development. The meeting saw well over a hundred F2s and over fifty Saloons booked in to race with England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and The Isle of Man all represented but disappointingly with very few drivers from the South West of the country. A strong F2 contingent from the Netherlands was led by the reigning 2016 World Champion H124 Wim Peeters and the 2016 World of Shale Champion H47 Patrick Tersteeg.

Adequate parking and camping was available in the field across the road and with a new bridge installed to give direct access for vehicles. Entry with a concession was £22 on Saturday with programmes £3 and a grandstand seat £5. The meeting programme was up to Autospeed’s usual high standard and packed with facts and figures. I travelled through rain for most of the journey over and Kings Lynn certainly hadn’t escaped so weather wise it was almost a repeat of Mildenhall in 2016 but the comparisons ended there. A high priority was given to track preparation both before and during the meeting and the pits held up very well considering the conditions. A big screen had been erected above the town bend and pre-meeting this was showing past Championship races and throughout the meetings there was live coverage, replays, results and advertisements for the meeting sponsors.

The F2 time trials for the oversees drivers had been scheduled for 3.00pm but with the track conditions and intermittent rain the decision was taken to delay this until 5.00pm and to change the format to run two five minute sessions with all drivers on track. There would be a five minute break between sessions with mechanics allowed onto the midfield but with no cars allowed to leave the track. In the first session NI312 was the fastest but just after he after being tipped as a leading contender, the commentators curse came into play and he only got as far as lap two in the second session. With both sessions completed and times checked it was announced that H24 Willie Peeters and his son H124 Wim had recorded the fastest lap times and would take their place on row three in the World Final. This format for the time trials worked well.

First race outing for the F2s was their Consolation Semi-Final and after further track grading and preparation the thirty two car closed grid was formed in qualifying points order and it was 488 Liam Bentham and 905 Rob Mitchell who filled out the front row with 560 Luke Wrench and 578 Mark Gibbs on row two. Further down the grid it was 111 Lewis Geach whom was one of the very few drivers present from Autospeed territory. With the green shown it was Wrench, a driver not normally associated with shale racing, who was quickly though into the lead and was really flying until yellows came out for a big tangle of cars by the pits gate and for a driver requiring medical assistance. Wrench led them away on the restart ahead of shale specialists 225 Tony Blackburn and 995 Michael Lund. Despite the slippery conditions it was a good race and one where Wrench held the lead until past half distance when he was spun out by Blackburn who went on to take the win ahead of Lund and Mitchell.

Heat One then saw forty F2s on track and with the big field of cars heavily populated with drivers from the white and yellow grades. After two brief stoppages it was 26 Gary Ford who led them away and held the lead until with two to go 788 Stephen Mallinson fought his way through and went on to take the win ahead of H186 Ricardo Schmidt and Ford.

Next up and sixth in the race order was the 2017 F2 Championship of the World but first there was a short delay while the track surface was graded and brought up to a high standard. The same inflatable arch and smoke machine that featured at Cowdenbeath was positioned at the pit gate and the cars and drivers were brought out onto track in grid order for introductions and their parade laps. Scottish drives had secured the top three places with 7 Gordon Moodie on pole, 16 Craig Wallace alongside him and 854 Robbie Dawson inside second row while next to him was 38 Dave Polley, the best placed English driver. While the grid was being sorted, Steve Linfield conducted a short interview with Rob Speak the driver who has sat on more World Final grids than most and then finished off with a grid walk before handing back to race control. Tension mounted as the cars headed off on their rolling laps beneath the floodlights and with fireworks lighting up the night sky. Then they were away but yellows were out on the first lap after they piled in on the first corner and Wallace ended up sideways across the track on the back straight with this taking five or more cars out including Polley. Wim Peeters led them away followed by Moodie and 700 Adam Rubery and there was good action right down the field but from the off it was Peeters who was pulling away until yellows came out on lap eight for a stranded driver needing assistance. Peeters led them away again with Moodie still running second and 226 Billy Webster now up to third but it took two attempts to get them away with Peeters judged to have gone too soon on the first attempt. Once they were under way Peeters again opened up a gap that Moodie couldn’t close and went on to take the chequered flag and become the first foreign driver to win back to back F2 World Championships. Moodie had to settle for second place and Webster third. In post-race interviews a clearly disgruntled Moodie expressed strong opinions on various issues including team racing and the number seven car having become a target.

The F2s followed straight on with the first of their Consolation races and this brought forty eight cars onto track. After taking two attempts to get them away a good race was developing until yellows were brought out for what was almost a banger style track blockage. With the track cleared they were away and by half distance it was 55 Courtney Finnikin who was leading the way and looked to be heading for a win until with two to go she was blocked by a backmarker; this handed the lead to 464 Matt Linfield who went on win with 823 Sam Wagner second and H129 Michael Schutter third. For whatever reason there was an imbalance in the Consolations with only fifteen cars emerging for the second and the win this time went to 441Micky Branston with Polley second and 377 Daz Shaw third.

The F2 Alan Benson Trophy Final saw thirty three cars lined up and a good race developed from the off. Yellows came out three times and by the second restart Moodie was up to third from where he quickly moved into the lead and was unstoppable through the closing laps and he went on to cross the line first with 298 Jake Walker holding on for second and Polley third. Moodie had won yet another Final but I suspect that didn’t compensate for having missed out on the big one.

I’m not so sure that the National Saloon Stock Cars can ever be seen as a support formula but this evening they were here to support the BriSCA F2 World Championship and with fifty five cars booked in and with strong representation from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands it was game on. This evening the Saloon drivers would compete through five Heats to accumulate points and determine grid positions for their 2017 ORCi Championship. Amongst those racing this evening would be the 2017 defending ORCi Champion 730 Dean Mayes and the new World Champion Daniel Parker who is staying with his 306 number rather than adopting the number one.

In the first of the thirty car Heats, track conditions were still very wet and the cars were left to slither their way around and were unable to get the power down. 610 Trent Arthurton was an early leader but just after half distance 304 Martyn Parker mover into the lead and went on to take the win ahead of Daniel Parker and 386 Daniel Petters. Conditions hadn’t improved for the second Heat and after one stoppage it was 399 Cole Atkins who crossed the line first ahead of 538 Jake Swann and 428 Lee Sampson.

With the rain having eased off track conditions had improved for Heat Three and the pace and quality of racing improved accordingly and after a stoppage free race it was 161 Billy Smith who went from yellow to take a convincing win ahead of 26 Tommy Barnes and 499 David Aldous. Heat Four was an excellent race and this time it was 682 Paul Sparrow who took an early lead from where he went on to take the win ahead of 158 Shane Davies and 24 Richard Skeels. Heat Five saw early yellows to allow the stranded car of 270 Matt Fuller to be recovered from the racing line and from there the race was stoppage free with 349 Michael Allard leading from the restart and going on to take the win ahead of 220 Casey Englestone and 171 Adam O’Dell.

With the decision taken not to run the F2 O’er The Border Grand National this evening, the Saloons ORCi Championship would be the last race of the evening. With the points all tallied up the closed grid was formed with Shane Davies and Daniel Parker having secured the front row, Aldous and Allard on row two and with Smith and O’Dell next in line. From the off it was Allard who quickly moved through into the lead until yellows came out on lap two. Allard led Davies and Aldous away on the restart but by half distance Smith had moved up into second place ahead of Davies. In the closing laps Davies moved back up into second place and with 711 Anthony McIvor now up into third and this was the order they finished in with Allard taking the chequered flag and the 2017 ORCi Championship. While the weather had slowed things down earlier in the evening, the improving conditions allowed the Saloons to deliver top quality stock car racing with their usual hard hitting and never give up performance.

Racing was all done for just after 11.00pm and as everyone departed the stadium it was good that the promoter had the traffic well controlled as we departed from the car parks safely and without delay.

Sunday
Sunday was very much a case of the morning after the night before with the day starting cool, breezy and overcast but thankfully dry. Car numbers were reduced from the previous evening with around sixty F2s and fifty Saloons in the pits and spectators were also noticeably thinner around the terraces.

Following rumours that were circulating around the track and on social media it would be officially announced ahead of Race Three that the result of the 2017 BriSCA F2 World Championship was currently suspended as further information was being sought on a technical issue. It was subsequently confirmed on the BriSCA F2 website that the second and third place cars had passed all technical checks.

Given the reduced number of F2s available the decision was taken to run two heats and Consolation rather than three heats. Heat One was also run for the O’er The Border Trophy an event that dates back to 1985 and with the trophy to be presented by life long stock car supporters Willie and Sheona Fortune who for many years used to travel down O’er the border from Scotland to Smeatharpe to assist then promoter Roy Goodman at each meeting. Of the twenty eight starters 13 Andy Ford was an early leader with Lund and Shaw in pursuit until with five to go yellows were brought out when 527 James Wriggall and Dawson tangled and the Wriggall car ended up on its side. From there they went the distance and the winner was Lund who was followed home by Shaw and Gibbs.

Heat Two saw Moodie and Wim Peeters on the back of the thirty seven car grid with twelve to qualify for the Final. On lap three Moodie and Polley tangled and took the 7 car out of the race and set Polley down a lap. Yellows came out once on lap five and from there they went the distance with H229 Colin Schutter crossing the line first ahead of Walker and 12 Daniel Ford. The thirty car Consolation saw some top names with more to do including Moodie, Dawson, Tersteeg and Polley. In this one it was Branston who fought his way through into the lead and who took the win ahead of Moodie and Polley.

The meeting Final and the Farrington Trophy race saw the thirty two qualifiers out on track and after two stoppages it was Courtney Finnikin who had established herself in the lead with the rest left to fight over second place. There was a scary moment when she snagged a back marker with two go allowing second place man Shaw to close up on her but she held on to take a very popular and well deserved win ahead of Shaw and Blackburn. To conclude the F2 racing for the weekend twenty four cars contested the Grand National and this one was won by Jake Walker.

Today the Saloons would race in three Heats, Final and Allcomers. Heat One was run as a Whites & Yellows and this brought out sixteen cars. The race was quick and stoppage free with 448 Martin Kibble the early leader before 161 Billy Smith moved through to take the lead and then the win ahead of 128 Craig Banwell and 38 Barry Glen. Heat Two got as far as lap three before Allard performed a very graceful roll and brought out the yellows. Kibble led them away on the restart but was overhauled by 399 Cole Atkins by half distance before yellows came out again, this time for a fire under the bonnet of the 671 Ross Graham car. The restart didn’t get as far as the green flag with 220 Casey Englestone going hard into the wall and rolling by the pit gate as the charge started from the back. Atkins led them away again but second place man Skoyles soon moved into the lead and went on to cross the line first ahead of 570 Simon Venni and Daniel Parker.

Heat Three brought out twenty nine cars and after early yellows it was 777 Alan Ainslie who led them away with Smith and Martyn Parker tucked in behind. By half distance the running order was Smith, Venni and Ainslie before Allard moved up into third. Yellows were brought out when 182 Lewis Gallie needed medical assistance after a hard fencing. Smith led them away again but this time he had backmarkers between himself and second place man Venni. The closing laps saw incredible action but none could catch Smith who was away and gone at the front and who went on to take the win ahead of Venni and Allard who were almost together crossing the line. Noteworthy was Dutch driver H32 Frankie Van Riet who was now getting in to the UK style of Saloon racing and secured himself sixth place in this one.

Given the intensity of racing over the two days the twenty lap Saloons Final saw a very commendable twenty eight cars make it back out onto track and by now a shower of rain had made the track slippery again. Kibble was an early leader but by half distance Smith had overhauled him and after yellows on lap thirteen he led the field away again with Skoyles on his back bumper. On the first lap there was a big challenge for second place with Skoyles amongst the casualties and this allowed Smith to open up a convincing lead which he held to the end. Daniel Parker had been making progress in second place but was delayed with two to go allowing Smith a clear victory; coming home in second place was Venni with Mayes third. The Allcomers race saw a reduced field of fourteen cars and again it was Smith going from yellow who quickly moved into the lead and who was never challenged in the stoppage free race as he secured his third win of the day ahead of 78 Jack Thompson and Allard.

While the under graded Billy Smith had a big advantage going from yellow he drove well all weekend in a quick car, something of a chip off the old block. Let’s see what he can achieve from further back after he gets a change of roof colour.

So concluded a good weekend of racing from two top formulas. Some of the chatter around the track on Sunday was that Saturday had been a bit flat but I think the promoter put on a good show in what were not the best of conditions. Maybe the Norfolk Arena doesn’t quite generate the same amphitheatre atmosphere that the Racewall does or that Coventry used to but it is a top stadium and one that continues to see ongoing development and is a credit to the sport. It is always disappointing when a Championship result is suspended but with the BriSCA F2 cars now so highly developed, rigorous scrutineering is inevitable. Also it must be hoped that as a consequence of their decisions with regards the Saloons and F2 World Finals, Autospeed don’t lose any of the considerable goodwill they’ve enjoyed amongst their loyal drivers and spectators in the West Country.

The Wanderer

19/8/17 As many of you will know our holidays often take us down to Cornwall and recently we visited the West of England Steam Rally. We were watching one of the arenas when a Stanley Steam car drove in. It went round at a quite remarkable speed, the announcer said that it was driven by Mike James. Could this be one of my Stockcar heros THE Mike James, it certainly looked like him and when I went to have a chat it certainly was him. What a nice guy he took the trouble to talk to me for some time and to allow me to take some pictures, he has many a tale to tell and is enjoying taking the steam car on all sorts of adventures for eample a charity trip from John O'Groats to Lands End. He also mentioned that he is racing and hill climbing a Riley, so still well involved motorsport albeit quite a bit removed from F1 and F2 stockcars. Here are a few of the pictures we captured...

 

20/6/17 Very sad today to hear that Superstox Legend Dave Pierce 320 has passed away. I spent so many hours enjoying his unruffled style of racing. He was someone who inspired so many others. He will indeed be missed.

17/6/17 I think that they have been very busy down at Wheelspin HQ as I have just got the May edition. However it's a great read with my personal favourite being 'Ovalstalgia from Cross-in-Hand' where I tried not to miss too many meetings...

4/1/17 As I come across the 2017 fixture lists I hope to add them to the page. Here is the Arena Essex one (you can see a larger version on my Fixture list page by clicking here). Please remember that the fixtures can change and it's always best to check before travelling.

17/11/16 Not to be missed!!

2017 F1 Stock Car Calendar

Mike Greenwood is pleased to announce that the 2017 F1 Stock Car Calendar is now available.

The ever popular Calendar, in its eighteenth year of production, features the very best photos from the top UK and Dutch stock car photographers.

There is also a photo tribute to Rob Speak and features a total of 52 different UK drivers!

The Calendar comes in a large A3 size, 28-page, format and can be purchased from – Photostox, Dept. ROP, 11 Elliott Drive, Leicester Forest East, Leicester. LE3 3FA. The cost is £20, including postage and packing. Please make cheques payable to M. Greenwood.

11/10/16 Read what the Ipswich Star has to say about what Banger Racing, Caravan Racing and Circus have in common. The clue is Foxhall Stadium, to read the complete story click here.

12/8/16 The future of Mildenhall Stadium has been secured after it was purchased by Spedeworth. Dave Coventry will be taking care of the day to day running of the stadium and apart from improvements to things like protective clothing for marshalls does not intend to change things. Read the full story as reported in the East Anglian Daily Times by clicking here.

9/8/16 If you want to invest in a thriving business here is a great opportunity...

28/3/16 In my opinion it was an excellent meeting at Northampton on Good Friday. Autospeed had just the right formulas and also the right number of formulas. Every race was entertaining. 


Not everyone's day ended happily but the crowd got the action they wanted.


The youngsters played their part and no doubt many of us wished this formula had been around when we were young. 

Certainly a great day out and even the weather was kind.    

7/3/16 Les from Lochgelly Raceway sends us this excellent report and photos, thanks Les.....

A dry but very chilly day greeted drivers, teams and fans who gathered at HRP Lochgelly Raceway this past Saturday for the second meeting of the Scottish Stock Car season. Despite the chill, a large number of spectators arrived to take in a four formula meeting with something for everyone. HRP Lochgelly Raceway is blessed to have a large amount of trackside parking and fans gratefully utilized this facility to stay warm whilst enjoying another night of stock car entertainment.

The thoughts of many in the pits and on the terraces were with 2.0 Hot Rod European Champion Kenny Purdie and his family following the news that his wife Joan had sadly passed away last week following a prolonged battle with cancer and we would like to add our sympathies to the huge outpouring of emotion that has been displayed by the stock car family this week.



With it being so early in the season, a number of drivers have been caught out and were unable to make the event as they rush to prepare their race cars for the long season ahead and this was certainly the case for the ProStocks this past Saturday night. Two new cars that did make it on track were a pair of brand new Vauxhall Astras in the hands of young stars Jordan Cassie from Stirling and Lochgelly’s own Grady Ross – both cars are a credit to their teams and looked stunning under the HRP floodlights as the cars took the green flag for heat one. Mechanical maladies put paid to the challenge of several cars and it looked like normal service had well and truly resumed as Scotland’s top ProStock racer of 2015 Tam Melrose went on to claim a trouble-free win ahead of Cassie and Michael Ritchie. The second heat of the night saw one of Melrose’s main challengers for domestic honours, Ricky White, claim victory ahead of Melrose and Lanarkshire’s Tony Wright who joined the formula late in 2015. The feature final saw White repeat his exploits from heat two to take a fine heat and final winning double with Melrose and Wright again claiming the other podium places. Definitely a quiet meeting for the ProStocks with hopefully much more to come from the formula as the season gathers momentum.



Making their first appearance of the season, the 6-11 year olds were back on track in the Ninja Karts; the UK’s largest formula by some considerable margin for this age group. Over twenty karts arrived to do battle including long distance visitor Daniel Stewart from Northern Ireland and all cars would feature in all three heat races during the evening. The first heat got underway but was stopped almost as soon as it began as the usual chaos ensued. Once the race got underway properly, Charlie Hardie scythed his way from the rear of the grid to take the lead with the likes of Lennon Grant, Ethan Doull and Anstruther’s Callum Beaton giving chase. Hardie looked assured of the win until his foot slipped off the accelerator in the final corner which allowed his fellow Polmont resident Grant through to take the first win of the night with Doull also sneaking just ahead of the Hardie machine while Beaton posted an impressive fourth. Having been so close to winning in the first race, Hardie made no such errors in the second heat as he swept to the front using the outside line to full effect to take the win ahead of West Lothian duo Robbie Armit and Ethan Doull with Beaton again coming home in fourth. The third and final heat of the evening saw Hardie fulfill the promise he had displayed at times in 2015 as he claimed the final victory of the evening ahead of Doull and Armit with Alloa’s Declan Honeyman coming home in fourth just ahead of Beaton who posted top five places throughout the night. A great start to a big season of Ninja Kart racing at HRP Lochgelly Raceway with the LJN deSIGNS European Championship being held at the Fife venue on Saturday April 2nd – hopes will be high for a home win when the top young pilots from all corners of the Ninja Kart world descend on HRP Lochgelly Raceway!



The 2.0 Hot Rods and National Hot Rods are two of the fastest formulas on any short oval and both classes were on display at HRP Lochgelly Raceway this past Saturday night. The National Hot Rods were beginning the second half of their World Championship Qualifying campaign and the three drivers challenging for the two available berths (Tam Rutherford, Ian Donaldson and Roy Anderson) were all in attendance. With just 22 points separating these drivers, it really is all to play for as to who will be on the track at Ipswich in the summer. The first heat saw Lochore’s Billy Bonnar remind everyone of his prowess around the tight confines of HRP Lochgelly Raceway as he took the win ahead of Donaldson and Rutherford. Heat Two saw Donaldson manage to get ahead of Bonnar to take a fine win with Bonnar taking second and Paul Yule, fresh from racing at the Autosports International Show in January, claiming third in his Vauxhall Corsa. The feature final saw Bonnar turn the tables on Donaldson from heat two as he returned to victory lane ahead of the Lanarkshire driver with Yule taking another fine third place back north with him. Rutherford and Donaldson have extended their lead on Anderson following Saturday night’s racing but, with all drivers still to play their jokers, it is all to play for in the National Hot Rods.



Many within the 2.0 Hot Rod fraternity arrived with their thoughts firmly with the Purdie family and the meeting had also arrived too early for many of the lower graded drivers. One note of interest was Stock Rod star Darren McAlpine from Kelty who was making a return to 2.0 Hot Rods in the Kinzie Law car but it was the return of another driver that stole the headlines in heat one as Lochore’s Billy Bonnar, racing in both hot rod classes, took the first win of the night in the 2.0 Hot Rods ahead of a fast moving Robbie Burgoyne and the recently-crowned London Champion Gordon Alexander. Heat Two saw Bonnar make it a heat winning double which promoted the star back to red grade for the final while Jock Campbell and the aforementioned McAlpine filled the minor podium places. The feature final saw Bonnar beached on the new infield kerb after it appeared that he had come in on the nose of Burgoyne’s car causing the 844 machine to spin and end up on the kerb. This did not deter Darren McAlpine who surged into a lead that he was not to relinquish as he claimed victory ahead of Alexander and Burgoyne.



The Superstox had been the outstanding formula from the opening meeting of the season last week with Bryan Forrest taking the win in heat one before Scottish Champion Stuart Gilchrist’s heat and final double; 25 cars had appeared and it was a bruising event which saw numbers slightly down but, nevertheless, another healthy grid of Superstox arrived to headline this past Saturday night’s event at HRP Lochgelly Raceway. The first heat saw Gilchrist continue his good run of form to claim the win ahead of a fast-moving David Frame in his new car and Bryan Forrest with National Points Champion Barry Stephen coming home in fourth in his new car. Gilchrist looked in imperious form and took the second heat of the night ahead of Forrest and Frame as a great battle ensued for the minor places. The feature final was another excellent race with Gilchrist looking like he had been shot out of a cannon on the standing start. The Scottish Champion scythed through the field to eventually overhaul long-time leader Lewis Willacy to claim the win with Forrest also managing to get ahead of Willacy in the latter stages but the youngster held on for an excellent third place as he underlines his early promise in a senior formula having graduated from Ministox less than a year ago
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The next slice of stock car action at HRP Lochgelly Raceway takes place this Saturday March 12th and features Big Van National Bangers – with 20 Vans currently booked in, it promises to be a cracking night of metal-mashing mayhem!!! The HRP 1300 Stock Cars will also be on track plus the CC Rods, 2.0 Hot Rods and Ministox in a five formula, fifteen race spectacular that will conclude with a Van Banger Demolition Derby. The action gets underway at 6pm this Saturday at HRP Lochgelly Raceway!

23/2/16 Our friend. David Kipling, out in the states, has been in touch. He's been busy bringing a list together of the lady drivers involved in our racing in USA and the UK. You can see a great deal of stocks info at Davids website http://www.oldstox.com/

8/2/16 Les Waller lets us know about a meeting that was supporting a very worthy cause...

Following snow last weekend and heavy rain and high winds only the day before; it was with a sense of relief that a calm but chilly afternoon greeted drivers, teams and fans as they gathered at HRP Lochgelly Raceway this past Saturday for a unique event.

A huge crowd gathered at HRP Lochgelly Raceway to an enjoy an afternoon of stock car action but the main reason for their attendance was to show their support to a member of the stock car family who has not enjoyed the best of health in recent months. Joan Purdie (wife of 2.0 Hot Rod European Champion Kenny) has been valiantly fighting an aggressive form of Cancer for some time now and it had been hoped that a new treatment would be approved by the NHS for Joan but these hopes were dashed late last year. Joan’s treatment is not cheap and the stock car family have once again displayed their strength and unity as various events have taken place to raise funds to assist the family in paying for Joan’s treatment via private health care.

With such a worthy cause being the main reason for the event, the results and the racing certainly play a secondary role, nevertheless, racing is what has brought those that were there together to stand with Joan and Kenny and a huge entry of cars across five formulas had gathered to do battle and to Help Joan Fight Cancer.

The future of stock car racing was once again on display at HRP Lochgelly Raceway as the 6-11 year olds made their first Scottish appearance of 2016 in the Ninja Karts. Around ten Scottish drivers had made the long trip south to Essex for the World Cup event two weeks earlier but, despite several good performances, the big title stayed in England in the hands of regular HRP visitor Riley Marsh. There were welcome visitors from Northern Ireland in the shape of Megan Murray, Curtis McConkey and Daniel Stewart as well as Kasey Jones from the south of England and Jones certainly looked the quickest of the visitors in heat one as he came home second behind local driver Lennon Grant with Charlie Hardie also making good progress from the rear of the grid with Jones to claim third. The second race of the day was run in wet conditions as the rain came in but that did not deter young Lucy Millar who showed off that trademark smile as she was given the win in heat two ahead of Robbie Armit and Heat One winner Grant. The final heat of the day saw Declan Honeyman take a hard-earned win ahead of Lennon Grant who claimed three top three finishes on the day with Kasey Jones rounding off a good visit with another podium finish. It looks like the Scottish drivers have the bit between their teeth already and April 2nd will see the youngsters battle the best drivers from all corners of the short oval world as the LJN Designs Ninja Kart European Championship is held here at HRP Lochgelly Raceway.



The Ministox were also on track this past weekend and a fantastic turnout nearing twenty cars saw visitors in the shape of British Champion Charlie Morphey, National Champion Tony Elbourn, Incarace Points Champion Dan Santry and Danny Elbourn and Josh Rayner who all made the trip north from England to join some of the regular racers. National Champion Tony Elbourn struck first as he took the win in heat one ahead of a fast moving Terri Linden and Charlie Morphey. A fantastic battle between the top stars broke out in heat two and it was top Scottish racer Euan Millar who beat English stars Dan Santry and Tony Elbourn and arch-Scottish rival Steven Burgoyne to the line in a fantastic race. It would be these four fantastic young drivers who came to the fore in the final as they sliced their way through the field but this time it was Santry who came out on top ahead of Elbourn, Millar and Burgoyne. Terri Linden proved she will be one to watch this year as she claimed three places inside the top seven.



The HRP 1300 Stock Cars are usually called up at any big HRP event and this past Saturday was no different. The entry was headlined by World Champion Will Morphey while Callum Davies also made the long trip north for his Scottish debut while National Saloon Stock Car Racing brothers Graeme and Stuart Shevill had borrowed cars to take part in this special event. It was also great to see some new local drivers making their debuts which underlines the HRP 1300 Stock Cars reputation as Scotland’s top stock car formula. East Wemyss’ Dean McGill took the first win of the year ahead of World Champion Morphey and Anstruther’s Paul Beaton. Morphey underlined his excellent current form in heat two as he stormed from the back of the grid to take victory ahead of former Saloon World Champion Stuart Shevill Jr and Lochgelly’s own Andrew Mathieson. Morphey made it a delightful double in the feature final as he made his way from the back of the grid to eventually overhaul long-time leader and heat one winner McGill before extending his lead to secure a comfortable victory with McGill holding on for second ahead of 2015 sensation Eddie Corr. The 1300 Stock Cars are back in action on Saturday May 7th.



History was made at HRP Lochgelly Raceway as, for the first time ever, the 2.0 Hot Rods and National Hot Rods would be joined in competitive action by the Classic Hot Rods. There were welcome visitors in all three classes with Mark Turricki and Dave Leech bringing their 2.0 Hot Rods north of the border while European Champion Adam Hylands brought his National Hot Rod across the Irish Sea to support the event. The Classic Hot Rods would be making their Scottish racing debut and local drivers Graham McCabe, Keith Chesher and Trevor Harris were joined by long distance travelers Andy Steward and his nephew Harry who had previously raced Ministox at HRP Lochgelly Raceway. Conditions were certainly far from ideal for the fastest cars on the ovals as a greasy track proves very tricky for all concerned. Leech took the win in the first race for the 2.0 Hot Rods ahead of fellow tin-top racer Billy Bonnar. With conditions deteriorating the Avon Tyres used by the Classic Hot Rods saw them come to the fore and it was National Points Champion Andy Steward who stamped his authority over the rest of the meeting as he took the win in heat two ahead of Adam Hylands before claiming the final in fine style ahead of Harry his nephew. The Classic Hot Rods have earned some rave reviews following this event and will be back in their own right at HRP Lochgelly Raceway on April 9th and 10th supporting the National Hot Rod European Championship.



The National Micro Bangers always draw attention when racing at HRP Lochgelly Raceway which has been a firm supporter of Bangers since the beginning of the promotion and a fantastic turnout well in excess of sixty cars promised an entertaining afternoon. A star-studded field included three former F2 World Champions in Chris Burgoyne, Gordon Moodie and Ian Thomson Jr along with several Saloon stars and drivers from various other formulas joining the usual Banger suspects on track for a unique occasion that may never be seen again. It did not take long for the cars to get stuck in in heat one and it was Saloon star Graeme Shevill, who was racing in Micro Bangers and 1300 Stock Cars, who came through the melee to take the first win of the day. The second heat saw Banger star Pete McVay battle through the carnage to claim a fantastic win. The first all-comers race saw a huge entry on track and it was English Lightning Rod star Ben Newman who made the long trip north worthwhile with victory in this one. The second all-comers race saw another win for McVay before Paul McNulty Jr was the last man standing in a highly entertaining demolition derby to round off a great day of racing.

An incredible day and an incredible showing of support by the stock car family. This event has definitely set the tone for the upcoming season which begins at HRP Lochgelly Raceway on Saturday February 27th at 6pm.
       

25/1/16 Click here to read what Jim Turner has to say in the 'The Southern Reporter' to set the scene for the coming season at Cowdenbeath.

22/1/16 Read what the Black Country Bugle has to say about racing in the Black Country way back in the '50's.

29/12/15 You might be a little surprised at some of the people who currently race with the Outlaw Oval Racing group and indeed at the number of tracks where they will be racing in 2016. Click here to visit their web site.

29/12/15 As many of you will know there are plans afoot to demolish Wimbledon Stadium and replace it with a Football stadium that will have no facilities for Oval Racing, dog racing or Speedway. Wimbledon is the last stadium in London to cater for Oval Motorsport and its loss would to say the least be a great pity. You can read about and sign the petition to save the stadium by clicking here.

3/11/15 Les has kindly said that he will send us weekly reports (and pictures) from Lochgelly throughout the season. Starting next year I will produce a page of this website devoted entirely to News from Lochgelly.

With the clocks turning back the week before and the warmer days of summer being consigned to memory, it was a surprisingly pleasant evening that greeted drivers, teams and fans as they gathered at HRP Lochgelly Raceway this past Saturday for the penultimate meeting of the 2015 Stock Car Racing season. A four formula, thirteen race programme of events were scheduled with the Junior Micra Stock Cars also taking part in the evening as they held some pre-meeting demonstration races.



The first of the four main formulas on show this past Saturday at HRP Lochgelly Raceway was the Ninja Karts who were making their final appearance in Scotland of 2015. As always, the action got underway with a Whites and Yellows race and it was recent debutant Callum McKinlay from Anstruther who underlined his potential with an excellent win to beat the on-form Lucy Millar and Callan Walker. The first of three regular heats saw Ryan Borthwick maintain his excellent run with another victory ahead of McKinlay and 2015 National Points Champion Alex Robertson from Ratho Station. Robertson made no mistakes in heat two as he held off Polmont’s Charlie Hardie and West Lothian’s Robbie Armit for the win and he rounded off an excellent final full year in the formula with victory in heat three ahead of Bailey Millar and Ryan Borthwick. The Ninja Karts have been incredible at HRP Lochgelly Raceway this season – congratulations to all drivers and teams for their amazing efforts during the year.



The Stock Rods were also in action for the final time in 2015 and, as is so often the case, numbers did drop off as drivers look ahead to winter rebuilds or new cars for the coming 2016 season. However, there was still the business of the track championship to decide with Chris Lattka and Siobhan Martin both still capable of taking the title and it was Lattka who drew first blood as he took the win in heat one ahead of Siobhan Martin and Derek Conner in a race that saw an incident put paid to Jonathan Lattka’s challenge for the evening. Conner has found some extra speed around Lochgelly since his return and the Lanarkshire man took the win in heat two ahead of Martin and James Halkett. The feature final was down on cars as some had fallen by the wayside but National Points and Scottish Champion Siobhan Martin didn’t mind as she stormed to victory ahead of Conner and Kelty’s Darren McAlpine with Halkett being the only other finisher. Following some calculations, congratulations are due to Chris Lattka on his victory in the 2015 HRP Lochgelly Raceway Track Championship for Stock Rods.



The ProStocks have had a roller-coaster of a season with car numbers fluctuating between good, great and not so great! The added incentive of the coveted Christopher Burke Memorial Trophy brought a few drivers out who had originally intended on missing the fixture and those who made it on track produced a good show. Ian Taylor has been seen more often in his CC Rod this year but an all too rare appearance in his ProStock saw him take the win in heat one ahead of Ricky White and Stevie Gold. National Points, HRP Track and Scottish Champion Tam Melrose, who has dominated the formula on a domestic level this year, claimed yet another win in heat two ahead of recent debutant Tony Wright and White. The feature final would see the destiny of the 2015 Christopher Burke Memorial Trophy decided and, after several big hits and an action-packed sixteen laps, it was Ricky White who came out on top to claim the prestigious trophy ahead of Jordan Cassie and Stevie Gold on an entertaining evening to round off the 2015 ProStocks season.



The final formula on show were the open-wheel Superstox class and an excellent twenty cars arrived to battle for honours one last time this year. David Frame arrived with the ex-Jackson RCE car belonging to brother Colin, Allan Gibson was also in an RCE as he debuted the ex-Nick Smith car and former rally driver Stuart Ballantyne made his debut in the ex-John Clark car. Stuart Gilchrist came through the chaos of heat one to claim another win ahead of a resurgent Lee Livingston and Mark Brady while Allan Gibson’s night came to a premature end as an impact with the wall curtailed his challenge. Brady was clearly on a mission this past Saturday and he managed to keep Livingston and Gilchrist behind him to take the spoils in heat two. The final was a frankly brutal race with bumpers flying in everywhere, most notably Kenny McKenzie managed to make contact with the rear of David Frame’s car and sent him wall-wards in a hit that was apparently payback for an incident earlier in the evening. With almost twenty cars starting the final; they dropped like flies as Barry Stephen also pulled off in the early stages among others. As the laps began to wind down; Gilchrist and Livingston were battling hard and Gilchrist pushed Livingston’s car wide on turn four and Livingston was left coasting as a suspected broken rotor arm ended his final hopes. Gilchrist went on to take the final with relative ease as those behind him battled it out for the minor places with Tony Lattka ultimately claiming second place and Lee Clark taking third on an incredible night of Superstox action to finish off the 2015 season.



There is only one more fixture at HRP Lochgelly Raceway and it is this Saturday November 7th and it is a huge event packed with action and spectacle as the annual 1300 Stock Car Ladies race gets underway at 5pm before a full programme of events featuring National Hot Rods, CC Rods, Ministox, 1300 Stock Cars and Under 3L FWD National Bangers – plus a huge fireworks display. The final event starts this Saturday at 5pm at HRP Lochgelly Raceway.

29/9/15 I have been contacted by Toby Porter of the South London Press who says wants to know about the heyday of Wimbloedon Stadium in the 60s and 70s, he would love to get some info and pictures from the period. It appears that this might be the start of the last season at Wimbledon, hence the interest in the Oval Racing at the Stadium. If you can help, Toby can be contacted at Toby.Porter@slp.co.uk  . Please contact Toby direct.

2/3/15 George Rimmer once again keeps us informed of a great display put on by the BriSCA Heritage folk (Many thanks also to Chris Clark of CSC Photography for the excellent pictures) ...

Last weekend saw the annual classic 'Race Retro' festival held at Stoneliegh Showgrounds near Coventry. As usual, the 2015 event was up to it's brilliant high standard, with cars on display from virtually every division of motorsports. For the firth year, BriSCA Heritage were invited to bring a few cars along, and certainly didn't disappoint with an excellent display featuring five historic stock cars that attracted a great deal of interest throughout the weekend. The cars on show represented all four divisions of BriSCA Heritage, and included the Barnstormer's of Robin Izzard's Crawfish Crider Mercury Coupe plus Mike Shirley's 1950's Jack Crawley replica. The F1 'Golden Years' class was well represented by the fantastic 'new' Doug Wardropper 1963 Gold Top replica, recently completed by Dan Squire. Alongside this was the beautiful Heritage F2 Junior car of Ian Johnson 347, with another contemporary F1 replica - the 1988 John Toulson 'Supercar' F1 recreated by Luke Dennis rounding off the display perfectly. This was the Toulson cars second show appearance following it's previous outing at the NEC back in January. These great old BriSCA warriors were seemingly right at home at this high profile event, and were certainly getting plenty of attention from both the public and MotorSports Media alike; despite being surrounded by an abundance of other glamorous and exotic machinery. One element of the Heritage display that proved very popular with the public were the oil barrels strategically placed under the wheels of the Wardropper car, complete with a fully kitted out ''dummy driver'' behind the wheel. In fact, Dan took these special effects one stage further, by ingeniously having an audio recording of the 1963 World Final commentary playing in the background!! The stand was manned all weekend by a dedicated group of regular Heritage drivers that included Mike Shirley, Robin Izzard, Peter Hill, Dan Squire and Brian Owen (plus several other volunteer helpers), who all worked tirelessly to engage with the public, distribute literature or fixtures, and generally spread the oval racing gospel!! The BriSCA Heritage season is due to start soon on March 22nd when the F2 Juniors have their first meeting at Bristol. The classic F1's will be on track the following weekend with the 80's & 90's Supercars racing at at Sheffield on March 29th. The Formula 1 'Golden Years' division have their season opener at Stoke on April 11th where they will be support to the regular BriSCA F1's, but any 1950's fans out there will have to wait until May 2nd before the wonderfully entertaining 'Barnstormers' cars are in action at the Stywell Atomic Festival, Northants. GWR

3/2/15  George Rimmer, who is a great ambassador for the sport, tells us of an unusual event that took place in 2014. The report is illustrated with some excellent photos from Stu Stretton (see more of Stu's work at www.stustretton.com ).

Stock Car Dragsters!!



Nobody could ever say that 2014 wasn’t a diverse year for the BriSCA Heritage group. In addition to the usual race meets and some exciting action on track, many drivers took part in a selection of other unique events during the year. These ranged from various car shows throughout the UK, exhibition racing on a street oval in Coventry, driving around the public roads of Ormskirk in front of 25,0000 spectators, ‘Hob –Knobbing’ with the finest motorsport elite at Race Retro, or running on a rally stage along New Brighton promenade on the Wirral.
However, in early September history may have been made when several F1 stock cars took part in a Drag Racing event at Shakespeare Raceway near Stratford on Avon (Warks). Heritage stock cars have visited Shakespeare for a couple of years now, but this has been for static displays only. This was the first time that they had actually done a competitive run along the drag strip …. and to say that they made a good impression would be an understatement! The event was part of Shakespeare’s ’Flathead Meltdown’ Nostalgia Weekend, so the Heritage cars were a terrific fit alongside all the other fabulous classic vintage hardware. There was also the bonus of some extra oval race ‘Americana’ on hand, with a couple of UK Sprint Cars who came to join the fun. Although these amazing winged wonders were only on static display, they complimented and enhanced the overall oval experience perfectly.
The classic F1 cars included John Stirk’s incredible six wheeler, John Bartlett’s #33 Falding Longtrack Special, Mike Shirley’s Ellis Ford replica, Robin Izzards 1940’s ‘Crawfish Crider’ Mercury Coupe, and the stunning 501 Chris Elwell Supercar recently restored by Gary Tressler. The cars took to the strip in a series of match races, with the Ellis Ford and Crawfish Crider cars opening proceedings in fine style. Mike Shirley did ‘double duty’ over the weekend as he was also at the helm of the six wheeler. In one of the runs Mike managed to get the mighty eight litre Dodge powered # 65 sideways in a spectacular drift, but was able to skillfully gather it up, and get all six wheels pointing in the right direction again!! The Sunday segment of the weekend culminated with a ‘head to head’ between the Elwell and Stirk cars, with Messrs Tressler and Shirley hard at work in their respective hot seats. Gary’s 501 really ‘looked the part’ with a huge pair of wide Goodyear shod rims fitted to the rear of his contemporary BriSCA F1 classic. The ground literally shook as these two iconic F1’s left the lights in a plume of smoke and sped down the strip, with the six wheeler narrowly inching ahead of the 501 supercar at the line. All the Heritage drivers did an incredible job in what must have been a somewhat alien environment to them, and as usual were great ambassadors for oval racing in general.
The older 50’s & 60’s BriSCA Heritage cars have already had a return invitation to Shakespeare for the 2015 running of the nostalgia weekend. This again proves that these famous old BriSCA war horses continue to maintain a unique fascination within the wider motorsports community. With more cars and new drivers set to join the various Heritage groups in 2015, the season ahead should be an interesting one for classic oval race followers.
Words GWR: Photo’s: Stu Stretton (Stu Stretton Design – Motorsports Photography).

22/10/14 George Rimmer (who does great work promoting the sport in general and the Heritage cars in particular) has kindly been in contact  to let us know that ....(PHOTO'S KINDLY SUPPLIED BY JAY ADAIR MOTORSPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY www.jayadairmotorphoto.com)

The fans up at Warton Raceway near Carnforth, were treated to an unexpected nostalgia trip last Sunday (18/10), when three Heritage drivers took their 'Oldskool' F1's for a few demonstration laps around the Cumbrian oval. Local driver Martin Makim, a former Super Banger Champion at Warton, had his long awaited Jim Esau 244 replica on hand, alongside Dave Newby who gave his recently acquired Doug Cronshaw 'Potent Mix 2' its first outing in the hands of her new owner. Making a short trip up the coast to join the fun was Southport's Ron Harney, a Heritage F1 veteran who raced with the original THORA division, giving his Topolino bodied Wilf Blundell #75 tribute car an end of year work out. These three mighty F1 war horses looked quite at home on the tight and tricky little track (with its notorious 'dog leg' on the back straight). However the 244 cars run was cut short after a slight detour to the fence in what can only be described as ''greasy conditions'' that didn't agree with the skinny cross ply tyres!! The cars seemed to be very well received judging by the large crowds around them in the pit area after the demonstration. As with most Heritage events, the drivers were more than happy to take time and chat with the fans about their cars and rekindle plenty of old memories and stories. Martin's Esau replica took over two years to build and features a Standard ' Flying 8' body with a 350ci Oldsmobile 'Rocket' motor as was used on the original 244. The Pontiac powered 'Cronny' Auto Enthusiast Special' was recently purchased by Dave from Rochdale's Steve Dyson who built the car in 2013 and unveiled it at the NEC show. Ron's car was one of the first Heritage Retro Specials, built by BriSCA Veteran John Plant, and originally featured a Jaguar power unit prior to having it's current ferocious small block Chevy installed. Many Thanks to all three drivers for putting on a good show at Warton's final meeting of their 42nd season.

9/9/14

George Rimmer has been in touch to tell us about an exciting demo put on by the Heritage folk.....


All pictures kindly supplied by JASON EVANS PHOTOGRAPHY

We did a demo event last Saturday at the Wirral Rally which is held along the closed public Promenade road at New Brighton. Its a big event on the rally calender, with all the usual Subaru's, Mitsibushi's, Escorts and all sorts of other exotic rally machinery on hand. The organisers (Wallasy Motor Club), asked us to take the stock cars out on the road in the interval, but little did I know that they had actually set up a full oval course and told the lads to let rip!! We had seven Heritage cars there, but sadly only five of them made it out onto the demo run due to tech issues. It was still quite a spectacular sight however, and the huge crowd of 16,000 Rally fans totally loved it!! Obviously there was a great deal of interest from the locals too, as New Brighton once had the legendary high banked track that closed back in 1976. It was just a pity that several of the Heritage drivers who had said they were going pulled out for various reasons, as it would have been even more impressive with a dozen of them out there!!

3/4/14 As most people will know Mildenhall Stadium has been the subject of court cases that have alleged noise nuisance. The result of the legal action could affect all sorts of events that have taken place for years with no problem. RDC have more information about it all on their web site and you can sign the official petition by clicking here.

16/2/14

Thanks to Mark Teg for the pictures from the Wisbech Remembered gathering that took place in the car park of the Tesco's that now stands on the site of the old Wisbech track. Like many others I spent many a happy hour at this track.

16/2/14 Read what the Richmond and Twickenham Times has to say about a meeting at Wimbledon, nice to read a well informed piece.

14/2/14 Read what Your Local Guardian has to say about the prospects of racing continuing at Wimbledon.

28/01/14 News from Kevin Hassell Racing.....

Kelvin Hassell will fly to California in April to take part in the Northern California Pro 4 Modified Series.

The Championships opening round is at All American Speedway, a venue where Kelvin plans to race the NASCAR K&N Pro Series later in the year.
“This is going to be a kind of recce mission for us ahead of our K&N debut. We just want to see how the logistics work and, from my point of view, I want to run a race there and the GSR Racing team have given us the opportunity to do that with their Pro 4 Modified program.”

The race will hold more new challenges for Hassell, yet another unfamiliar car at an unfamiliar venue. But Hassell is confident. “I feel like we say this every year! It will be fine. It is always fine!”

Modified racing hails back to the beginnings of stock car racing in the United States where, in order to prepare a car for motorsport, you simply removed the lights and fenders. Today, the Modifieds are a unique brand of specialised race cars. From the back, they look like the conventional American NASCAR stock cars you see on television. At the front you can see an open wheel design more like a single seater. A “No lights and fenders” look that gives a nod back to the formulas roots.

Hassell is not planning to race full time in the USA at the moment, but will do so whenever his budget allows. “We are looking at races that are best for us and our marketing partners within the NASCAR umbrella. But really we want to concentrate on the NASCAR K&N West Series.”

26/05/13 I have been wanting to see the Classic Modifieds in action for a long time but things like heart operations got in the way. At last I was able to get to Swaffham Raceway and I was pleasantly surprised, not just by the Classic Modifieds but also by the whole set up at Swaffham. If you want a good day out for a reasonably price then Swaffham could be for you. This Sunday was a 'Speed Sunday' which meant that the emphasis was on Rod type formulas (Next week on the 2nd June at 1:30pm its the turn of the contact guys with East Anglian Championship for Junior Bangers plus Bangers, Superstox, Unlimited Rookie Bangers and Street Stox). This Sunday there were 21 races on the program and there was little time spent looking at an empty track. It was virtually racing all the way. Its all very friendly (perhaps not quite so much amongst a few of the Hot Rod Drivers that has a slight falling out at one stage :-)  ). I was particularly delighted to find that the commentator is none other than Jim Gregory. The joint promoter Shawn Mason was pretty busy as he was also the meeting steward and was racing the great number 01 car shown below (Good looking but a bit of a handful to drive, mind you Shawn managed to win with it).

Also on hand was Malc Foskett with his classic Ford Cortina, sadly this had piston ring problems early on as can bee seen by the trail of smoke.....

You couldn't find a more likeable couple of chaps than Malc and brother Trevor. Trevor won a race in the 63 car, he had taken on a drive in this car at short notice after usual pilot from Team Tegerdine was a taken ill....

Click here to see more of my pictures from Swaffham.

For more news about what's coming up at Swaffham visit www.swaffhamraceway.com

28/2/13 Rob Speak has announced that he will be racing a F2 in the QR at Kings Lynn this coming weekend.

22/1/13 I have uploaded four albums of pictures from the show at the NEC, they can be viewed by clicking below....

Album 1

Album 2

Album 3

Album 4

6/8/12 On Sunday I visited the very smart Great Yarmouth Stadium. In fact this must be one of the best facilities we have in the UK. Great under cover viewing with a good variety of food available. Sit behind a table in very pleasant surroundings or enjoy the atmosphere on the grass spectator banks. If you like to enjoy a bit of comfort with your racing then Yarmouth is the place for you. See more details at http://www.yarmouthstadium.co.uk/ and see what's formulas are on on the left of this page or on Spedeworths web site.

The Superstox final on Sunday went to :- 482, 176, 612, 540, 17, 279


Jane Allard proved to be more than just a pretty face when she took her 369 banger to a win in
one of Sunday's National Banger heats.

A trip to the seaside followed by an evening at Yarmouth raceway makes a fabulous day out or long weekend. See more pictures from Yarmouth by clicking here.


A regular and very enthusiastic competitor at Yarmouth in the rookie Rods is a guy usually
more often seen on two wheels, Coventry Speedway Star Edward Kennett.

9/4/12 Many thanks to Mark Tegerdine for sending the Photos by AmmoPhotography.co.uk and the report by Richard Waldridge....

Classic Modifieds @ Swaffham Raceway – Easter Sunday 8th April 2012
Easter Sunday saw Swaffham Raceway host the ‘Panda Car Pandemonium’ race day. A six formula race fest in aid of Cystic Fibrosis research, and this was to be the first outing of 2012 for the Classic Modifieds. A lot of midnight oil had been burnt over the winter months which saw the field grow to eight cars for the start of the season. New comers include John Jones in the immaculately prepared Anglia 105E; the mid Norfolk circuit also welcomed veteran Super Rod World Champion, Malc Foskett in his Cortina Mk1. The racing family of the Classic Modifieds world, otherwise known as Team Meakins swelled to three drivers for this season. Young Jordon in a Triumph Stag, and Eric Newson in a BMW 2002; both of which had been mated to Reliant Scimitar chassis gave company to Julian in the Escort Mk1.
Along with regulars Dave Cumbridge in his aptly reliveried Morris 1000, Shawn ‘Mr Swaffham Raceway’ Mason in his Standard Vanguard and former Super Rod star Kelly King guest driving the Cortina Mk2 of Darren Barnes, this was looking to be a very entertaining afternoon of racing.
Due to the mix of formulae on show, the Classic Modifieds opted to go out for the first race of the afternoon. As the burbling V6 engined machines came out onto the track, grid positions were determined by a mixture of experience mated to the finishing results from the 2011 season. This meant that John Jones in 26, Jordon Meakins in 33and Dave Cumbridge in 92 lined up nearest the start/finish rostrum. Half way round the pit bed you was to find Shawn Mason in 01, Kelly King in 69 and Eric Newson in 34. Finally on the back straight was Julian Meakinsin 32 and Malc Foskett in 48. Although half a lap down, once the green flag dropped the grid soon bunched up in what became a fairly evenly paced race, only separated by the more experienced drivers taking the outside line in which to pass. Kelly King was an early retirement due to fuelling issues and Julian Meakins was also a casualty to gremlins within the gearbox and also a weepy engine core plug – the latter proving too risky to continue the meeting. Plenty of sideways action (not always intentional) from Foskett and Mason, Shawn ending up doing a detour via the back straight infield at one point to save any nasty repercussions from his Vanguard deciding to have a case of steering from the rear. Once the chequered flag dropped, it was a well-deserved win for ‘rookie’ racer John Jones, with Malc Foskett in second, and Dave Cumbridge in third.


During the other supporting races, the heavens decided that enough was enough for a dry Easter Sunday and treated the track to a hefty downpour. This would prove to be somewhat challenging for the Modifieds in that only half the field was equipped with wet tyres, so the decision was made amongst the drivers that in keeping with the spirit of the formula, and to keep the playfield as level as possible, everyone was to go out on slicks. Once the second race had arrived, the first two home from race once saw Jones and Jordon Meakins start alongside Malc Foskett on the back straight. This was to be a slightly more sedate pace due to the weather but the action tap was still flowing well enough to see pirouettes from King (right in front of a rapidly paced Foskett), Mason, Jones and a fairly hefty nearside rear quarter clout of the home straight Armco by Newson in car 34, luckily the bumpers saving the Bavarian tin work. Unfortunately, about four laps from home, the 48 car came to a rest on the outside of the pit turn due to what was later found to be a broken differential, the second in two meetings for Team Foskett. On completion of the race, it was the Stag of Jordon Meakins first home, followed by Jones and Newson.


Although the rain held off for the final, the track was left in a very greasy state for the drivers; in particular, Kelly King, who fought desperately to catch the fish-tailing Mk2 Cortina as it exited turn two about half way through the race. This resulted in it tagging the wall about a third of the way down the back straight, buckling the nearside front wing and bending the steering and suspension enough to prematurely retire the 69 car from the meeting. Malc Foskett saw his team’s hard work rewarded in getting the Cortina back together by taking the win, and to celebrate this landmark in the formula, a celebratory powerslide accompanied by a wave to the crowd as he exited turn four. Second was Jones with Cumbridge in third.
Post-race feedback from the drivers and spectators alike was all positive, a thoroughly enjoyable meeting whereby spirits weren’t dampened by the inclement conditions. If anything, the main question was ‘what else is being built?’ Currently in various stages of build are a Mk1 Capri, Daf 44, Ford 100E, a second Triumph Stag a pair of VW Beetles and even a Mk2 Jaguar. These should all be turning a wheel on the Norfolk oval during the season.
The next meeting for the Classic Modifieds is at Swaffham is on Saturday 12th May at 6pm – we can’t promise you better weather, but the action from the V6 powered retro racers will continue to be, as Terry-Thomas would say, ‘bang on, old boy…!’
Regular reports on the Classic Modifieds will be appearing on this website and also in the Retro Ford Magazine throughout the season.
Formula Website www.classicmodifieds.co.uk




F2` Final winner Dan Moss

The caravan race had 16 caravans and in no time the crowd got what they had come to see, the vans reduced to piles of aluminium and wood.

22/4/11 It was the old firm in the F2's at Northampton where young Mr George was doing the tweeks to a certain Mr Speaks car with rather good results ( results above )....


  

22/4/11 In my opinion some of the engineering on todays F2's are almost works of art, have a look at the inboard suspension on this F2 that was at Northampton on 22/4/1 for the Autospeed meeting (larger pictures available by clicking here)...



  

 If you have any Oval Racing news please post it to me and I will include it. Please mail to rogerv@btinternet.com.

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