GREEN GRABS GLORIOUS GOOD FRIDAY
Over to Northamptonshire, and the sleepy village of Brafield-on-the-green. And it was all about Green today. With gloomy skies, and with conditions constantly that would have gotten Peter Kay's dinner ladies rounding the kids inside "it's spitting....get em in", it more cars than actually booked in, as just over 50 turned up at Primo Energy Northampton International Stadium. With 2 heats and a consolation with some of the biggest names in the sport, try as they might, they simply couldn't get on terms with the lower graders in the heats. The first heat went the way of Gary Wrench (359) who took a faultless flag to flag victory from Cornishman Gary Sillifant (627) who hails from Davidstow, where the conditions experienced could be considered to be a nice summers' day at home. The second heat went the way of Pete Bartram (913) who sped away to the victory. The consolation saw Mark Gibbs (578) as the rain started to fall. Come the final, it was constant drizzle that had befell the track, and with the onset of the unsuccessful starting their exodus to the East Coast, it was final time. Keith Wadling (563) led them off and sped away until Lewis Geach (111) took over. However he was hotly persued by Andrew Palmer (606) who took over the lead at halfway. As the boards came out, it appeared that Mike Green (154) was catching, and that he did, with 2 to go, and brushed aside Palmer and took his first win under his late brother's number. So for Green it was an emotional win in taking the Tommy Pitcher Trophy, from the renaissance man Andrew Palmer (606) and Dave Polley (38). The GN saw Master Ben Bate (242) take over the lead early doors, and that was the way it stayed.
LOCKWOOD SKEG LOCK DOWN
So it was load up and mad dash cross country to the Fun Coast for the first of 2 Easter meetings for Skeggy. So after heat wins for Team Polleysport, as George and Dave had a bit of rave, it was blue top Ben Lockwood (618) who was fashionably late for Northampton, who took the win at Skeg. Kelvyn Marshall (101) took the GN.
DAN THE MAN AT THE RACEWALL
It can be said, the Mosses of Fowey are a rare breed. Not only have all 3 members of the family are regulars north of the border, a 1000 mile round trip, but they don't things normal, sane people of rational thought would do, and did 5 in 4 in a Easter extravaganza. But with the loyal help of the McTarts Keith Brown et al, they have a regular Caledonian home is there for the Boys from Fowey. This time the motorway miles and Truckhaven stops certainly paid off.
18 cars at the meeting, again, with a few locals on their Easter pilgrimages to Holyland, it was a little down. Perhaps the form book was about to give a few pointers in the non point scoring White and Yellows race, as Dan Moss (797) stormed to a victory. With the normal heats it was as you left it at the last one as Chris Burgoyne (647) took both heats, and he looked on course to reach a milestone at his local track.... However, lady luck had its way, and it was Dan Moss (797) who sped away, and took his brother PJ along for company. A bit further back was Jason MacDonald (387) and Craig Wallace (16). With the laps ticking down the reds were bearing down on the Cornishman, however it was in vain, as Dan took the final. Then for the second time in as many meetings, Marc Fortune (64) won the GN.
BLACKBURN BEST AT STOKE
So to Round 2 of the World Championship Qualifying Charabang, and to the half racetrack half diplodocus of Stoke. The current low grade shale sensation Colin Eardley (589) took yet another heat. In heat 2, "late" comers took to the track and it was David Polley (38) who took a "winny stick" home. Even later arrving Andrew Palmer (606) took another win in the consi. Final time, and it looked like George Macmillan (1) was going to supersize his GN shale win from Sheffield to a big final win. However with the boards out, the #1 machine ground to a halt as the battery shorted out. This allowed another final win for Tony Blackburn (225). DP took the GN.
LINFIELD LIVELY (NOT THAT ONE) WITH ZETEC IN ZUMMERSET
Zo, with the zound of the Wurzels in thy earlobes, it was a first trip to the Mendips Raceway for season 2015. Gone was the hard inner armco, and replaced with tyres , bedecked in military surplus green, as a nice bouncy castle style alternative. With Easter Sunday being the traditional qualifying round for the track, it saw its usual visitors of Dennis Middler (641) and Wullie Draeger (102). With 43 cars in the pits, it was always going to be 2 heats.
So with full grids in the heats all eyes were on the starter for a clear start, however, due to some communication issues, and a poorly driven pace car, 3 attempts and some casualties, the heat finally got going. Matt Linfield (464) sped to the front, persued by Jamie Conway (604) on track debut. The 2nd heat went the way of Lewis Geach (111). With a few big names in the consolation, it was little surprise that Dan Moss (797) took the win after a much, much, better start.
So to the feature final, and with an astonishing field of stars it was always going to play into the hands of the lower graders. Come the get go, Lee Morgan (745) led, from a gaggle of yellow tops led by Linfield, Geach and Neil Langworthy(740). After a yellow flag for Richard Beere (254), the yellows sped away once again, and after another caution for the stricken Michael Green (154)
GN time.... After early roll for Justin Fisher(315) .... This allowed Lewis Geach (111) to speed away to the lead, and was nowhere to be seen as the technical DQ flag was shown wheel guard came adrift, and was crossed the line to a black flag than the chequered as Geach ignored instruction. Luke Wrench (560) finished off his virgin visit to Mendips with an inherited win.
TON UP FOR BURGOYNE AT BARFORD
History was also made at Barford, as another driver joined the throng of greatness, as Chris Burgoyne (647) became the tenth driver to take a century of final victories (The others by the way are Roy Goodman, Bill Batten, Rob Speak, Gordon Moodie, Bert Finnikin, Mike James, Mick Sworder, Chris Bradbury & Barry Goldin) at Barford. However, the other star of the show, was yellow going red top Charlie Marriott (94) who took the other races.
TONY'S GREEEEEEEEEEEEATTT AT BELLE VUE
Another bank holiday Belle Vue saw again, a few entries from all around, as again Tony Blackburn (225) became victorious with a heat and final double, but the final looked like it was going the way of white top Brian Mason (139). The other heats went the way of Luke Branston (741) and Andrew Palmer (606), with Rob Mitchell (905) rounding out the day with the Grand National.
HOOPER ROSEBOWL SCOOPER
To Smeatharpe on a blistering hot day, with clear blue skies, scorching temperatures, plenty of cars, a large holiday crowd and some truly blistering racing. With the saloons dropping the sa, and some full fat old skool bangers ratcheting the noise up to 11, it truly was an awesome sight.
Sy Harraway (83) took his race win count to 3 for the season with win in Heat 1. The second heat saw a flag to flag win for Lee Morgan (745). The consolation was won on the line with the mother of all last benders from Chris Mikkula (522) on Jay Tonkin (290) to take his first win of the year.
The final saw a complete restart, which saw a few entrants leave before the fat lady had got the auditorium.
Sam Weston (468) and Morgan led them off, with Tom Clark (575) tagging along. As the backmarkers came into play, Weston got hooked up with a back marker. This allowed Clark to move into the lead but as the lap boards came out, bedlam ensued. Clark was punted wide by Lewis Geach (111) which allowed Morgan back into the lead. Liam Rowe (605) and Dan Moss (797) also got involved with Moss leading from Neil Hooper (676) who had positioned himself wisely, and took over the lead with 3 to go. Hooper claimed the win, from Moss and Rowe, signalling a first final win for 676 in his new car, and a trophy which he found in his dad's loft! Father Garry was on hand to present the "Autospeed Rosebowl" last one by the 686 driver in 1986, which was resurrected in memory of Hooper Senior's late mechanic Paul Oakley, who to many was known as Autospeed's handyman and track office steward, who sadly passed away last November.
A GN win for James Rygor (783), his first of the season in his new TLF car but only after a 2 lap game of cat and mouse from Semtex Kid Dave Sansom (352).
THE ONLY WAY IS CONWAY AT BUXTON
So up on top of the Peak District, and some glorious awe inspiring views, didn't distract from a busy afternoon at the Hi Edge. Like last time, Jamie Conway (604) signalled his intentions with another win.He followed up with a second in the second heat, which was won by Pete Bartram (913). Then in the final, he took a faultless win, and a move to Blue for next weekend, but he's looking like he's heading to red for May if this form continues. As is tradition, Kelvyn Marshall (101) took a win, with victory in the National
GEORGE BEATS CONGESTION TO CLAIM SKEG HOLIDAY PRIZE
|Bloody holiday traffic!|
With the glorious sunshine, most muggles go in search of the seaside. Such muggle-ish behaviour has a dire effect on the traffic. I am fortunate that in my Westcountry location, racing is going against the tide, but I feel the pain of those racing wizards stuck in holiday traffic. So when most of the drivers had been stuck in the same traffic jam en route to the sunny Fun Coast of Skegvegas, it was no surprise that the promotion delayed the start. Like Good Friday, the holiday saw its fair share of travellers, but it was Good Friday final winner Michael Green (154) who took a brace of wins, in Heat 1 and the Grand National. Ashley England (846) took the second heat, but the final was another for the MacChamp, and rounded off another week on top for GeoMac....
POINTS OF ORDER
I must admit, I don't take any interest in the National Hot Rods as they consider themsleves too precious to race on proper tracks, and stay as predominantly a Spedeworth formula. Which is a real shame because there are many more challenging tracks that could give those plastic boys a run for their money
The nay sayers were proved rigth as the front man sped away in both heats and it took a mid race yellow flag for fan of the blog, Jason "Kewy" Kew (174) to win the final. But for a sport to be classed as "National" it needs to be "National" - something to consider hot rodders!
Start times. It's always good to see a hearty crowd, and sometimes traffic can get the better of us and a common sense solution is to delay the start, as Taunton and Skeggy did. However, its foolhardy to move start times forward willy nilly. Stoke was a case in point with 3 different start times advertised, and total confusion, and cramming more and more races into an already packed programme. Value for money it may be, but I'm a firm believer of less is more.
Addressing a problem there and then, full marks to Bristol to notice that there wasn't clean starts and addressing and making the meeting much more pleasurable. And safer for me
Technical Disqualification Flag. This continues to baffle all drivers, and most drivers plead ignorance as they don't know what it is first and foremost! It simply doesn't work - so an alternative? A Black flag, and perhaps with a board saying "wheelguard" or "steward" to distinguish. Then there can be no repeat of it.
Right, spreadsheet on standby. Get ya masking tape out lads... it's spraying time!