Stoxticker

Webster wins at Coventry...> Geo switches back to Pinto...> 3rd leader of the national points...> Burgoyne brilliant at Cowdie...>

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Raceweek 6.... Easter Extrovercy

So with a small third world crop of cocoa ingested, its where the business end of the first grading period comes, as there are plenty of meetings to talk about....and like the Easter films of old, like Ben Hur, and the Greatest Story Ever Told, this is gonna be a bit of epic.

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!

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Raceweek 5. The formbook cometh

So the first month of season 2015 draws to close, we look back and reflect, and christ, we've certainly come out of the traps with a rocket up our arse. And those who have suffered the most from the explosive induced rectal trauma were the ones to watch this weekend.....

BURGOYNE BLASTS ANOTHER DOUBLE

The second Scottish meeting saw a slight drop of 19 cars at Cowdie, on what was a solus night for the tar 2's, but perhaps with there being not another tarmac meeting on that weekend south of the border on the Sunday, it perhaps dissuaded a few travellers from the non Irn Bru drinkers.
Despite him telling me in my interview with him on Stoxradio that he was unlikely to catch Chris Burgoyne, George Macmillan (1) took the first heat, only after a total blow up and carnage (see video) caused by the engine of the unfortunate Brian Hogg (192). However, normal service was resumed and Chris Burgoyne (647) took both the 2nd heat and the final - 100% for final wins so far up at the Wall. Marc Fortune (64) recovered from hefty damage in that first heat, to scoop the national.

PALMER WINS AT LYNN

Like Cowdenbeath, it was visit number 2 to the Adrian Flux Arena as just under 40 cars took part in a meeting using the split grade 2/3 format. With no reds to worry about, it was some one who might beading to red as Colin Eardley (589) took heat 1. Veteran Carl Issit (103) took heat 2, with form man Tony Blackburn (225) taking the third heat. In the final it was a star battle but again, with the form book, it was 2015's renaissance man Andrew Palmer (606) who took the win. from Dave Polley (38) and Sam Wagner (823). In the GN it was Will Clement (158) who took it

MICKY'S MUDDY MARVELLOUS



And the weekend finished off going to the dogs, as Owlerton Stadium played host to the F2's on a Sunday shale shakedown at Sheffield. With a turnout of just over 30 cars, last season's track champion Sam Wagner (823) opened his account for the season with 2 heat wins in slurry like conditions. Come the final it was Rob Mitchell (905) who sped away, and crossed the line first. However, the steward was to have the final say, as Mitchell was deemed to have been a little advantageous and joined the munificent order of the Pringle. This allowed double world champ Micky Brennan (968) to be the main beneficiary taking the final. In the grand national, a career first shale win for George Macmillan (S1). Is there no stopping this guy????

POINTS OF ORDER

The dark side, Spudworth announced a TV deal with Motors TV, a proper coup, with a professional team, including BTCC commentator David Addison, and presenter come NEC fall guy David Richardson, the highlight of which is live coverage of the Banger World Final at Ipswich. Good if the coverage is there, but I'm worried it will be overhyped. Don't get me wrong - this is the banger title they want to win, however, like boxing, until there is an "undisputed" champion of the world, I cannot take the others or this seriously. I mean, how many world titles do you want or need!

And if speaking of telly... this was on BBC Northern Ireland yesterday and is on the iPlayer, a quite beautiful documentary about the Ninja karts

But don't forget, Stoxradio is the place to get your latest news,views and interviews, and now, live race commentary... keep your eyes on social media for opportunities to listen as it happens!

Right, time for a bit of cold turnkey before the chocolate hot cross bunnyganza....

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Raceweek 4 - Double Mac Attack

So Week 4, and this season is an absolute corker if it keeps on like this... great scrapping, big action and all round fun

MACMILLAN MARVELLOUS AT BRUM


The second meeting in the second city saw another impressive turnout of challengers from the North and the South. With a turnout in the mid 40's 2 heats and a consi was the shout. Heat 1 was won by Lee Dimmick (59) and heat 2 for the second time in as many meetings Sy Harraway (83). Consolation saw a win for Ben Bate (242). Final time and George Macmillan (1) continued his gold roof tour with yet another final winpicking wear he left off at Skegness.
Luke Wrench (560) spannered his way to victory in the GN

PALMER PERFECT AT DRAWN OUT MILDO


Over to the Suffolk peaceful idyll of Mildenhall in Suffolk for "One Wild Night" - for the track that doesn't require any hype, their banger meetings are always overhyped! A 2 out of 3 format was adopted and after heat wins for Mark Clayton (81), Anthony Winters (260) and Mark "Simmo" Simpson (871). However in a bizarre 13!! car final, Andrew Palmer (606) took another shale final, and the battle for the "silver" stripe for top shale man between him and Sam Wagner (823).
Tony Blackburn (225) continued his rich form with a first place finish in the GN.

3 IN A ROW FOR GEORGE
Chuffed as a badger...

Barfbados certainly had an advantage of a few visiting drivers as the only meeting in the non extremities, as Buxton regulars Marshall, Birkin and Marriot tried their hand at the tight and tricky Barford oval as 19 cars took part. The first heat went the way of Chris Utley (780) who has had another good start to the season which maybe see him go red like a few years back if this form continues. Liam Rennie (3) took the second heat, however, it was 3 final in 3 meetings for George Macmillan (S1) as he stormed to the win! Keeping it the final in the national as Dave Polley (38), and a lap of honour as an early birthday present for DPj!

AVERY IS AUTOSPEED VOICE WINNER

So for the first time in 2015, down the valley of ever increasing windmills to the wonderous republic of St Day for the opening meeting of the year. With 7 or 8 no shows it was no surprise that a 2 from 3 format was adopted. In the first heat Liam Rowe (605) fought off the advances of Tom Clark (575) to take the win. Behind him, Neil Hooper (676) swooped on the young Cornishman and final winner at Taunton, Steve Gilbert (542), and sent him to the tip bend fence.

The second heat was probably the race of the day. Gary Sillifant (627) and Dale Moon (302) led the charge to the front with both yellow tops trading blows on every corner. Behind them, the same was happening with Hooper and James Rygor(783) and as the boards came out, all 4 were together, and when Sillifant went deep on Moon, it allowed Hooper and Rygor to get past. Hooper took the win but as the 783 crossed the line, the engine sounded sick as a dog.

The third heat was less eventful. With Rygor's meeting curtailed, it was down to see if Gilbert could stamp his authority. Early running was done by Sam Weston (468) who certainly put pedal to the metal and put a clear gap. However it was Jamie Avery (126) who took the win from Ryan Wadling (476).

Final time, and the grid was formed and it was Weston again who took up the running, in an advantageous start which was almost a Pringle. Moon followed and Avery and Wadling, and behind Hooper had broken from the reds. Just after halfway Moon and Avery swooped on Weston, moving the white top aside and with the boards coming out, Avery had sped away to a useful lead. Moon held off a last bend assualt from Hooper to take 2nd.
Check 1-2 6! Righhhhhhhhhtt den!

In the GN, Gilbert replayed the compliment to Hooper, however in shades of the world final, the 542 car slowed, and left Hooper stranded behind. However, a loss of power not braking was the cause. This allowed Moon and Richard Beere (254) to get away, and it was 1-2 for those two

A good solid 7 out of 10 meeting, a few more cars would have made it epic, but St Day is an all action track....

SAM THE BELLE OF THE BALL

Upto the land of swagger, top one, nice one, innit, as Manchestaaaaa played host to the opening F1 meeting of their season at Belle Vue.  This was very much a meeting that run to form in the shale form book.  Sam Wagner (823) and Andrew Palmer (606) took heat victories, and a season first victory for the original cheeky chappy Mickey Brennan (968) in the consolation.
Final time, and it was another Startrax final for Wagner.
So a heat and final double for the lad from the North East, which caused much bants between him and the Heritage ECL innit. The GN went the way of Glen Scott (177).

POINTS OF ORDER

Starts. At Birmingham, now quite prevalent with dishing out the pringles, however some criminal misses from the steward.

Also.... there are some dodgy  roof colours. The whole aerofoil should be the colour of the grade. Blue roofs starting in the yellow, white roofs also. Incorrectly coloured, rule book says, get to the back!

Mildenhall. In the present climate, was it really advisable to have such a long drawn out meeting. A gap of 2 and a half hours between F2 races, and then to lock out 10 drivers from the final...Plenty of grumbles! If it takes 2 hours to run and clear up a race, maybe you need a few more tractors!

And it was cheque presentation day for the 2015 Jho Calendar, where I was joined by Sammy, Kim and Emily, and from Macmillan Cancer, Emma Wright, fundraising manager for Cornwall, who brought her little son Zak with her. So after a brief interview with Whispering Wyatt (Sorry Jon couldn't hear you!) it was photocall time. It was Emma and Zak's first time- and well, we have a convert after Banger driver Ryan Sparks (246) gave the delighted youngster his trophy.

Top work fella- the little lad "was buzzing and playing with cars when he got home". Excellent PR! You know I haven't ever got a trophy myself....sob

Crying now, and now I want an ice cream....

Monday, 16 March 2015

Raceweek 3- Steady Eddie, Webbo Wonderous, Birkin Brilliant and George Gorge

The third weekend sees a start for Scotland and Buxton, with the shalers playing at an early Coventry and a second trip to Skeggy. For me, it was meeting ex Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock in front of us in Tesco, and me doing Marlon Brando impressions as I became godfather to my nephew Jake!

BURGOYNE BRILLIANT AT COWDIE
For many this was a barometer meeting. A Barometer to see which of the young guns was going to rise to the challenge of the Cowdie track championship, a barometer for the Zetec engine and also a barometer for the ridiculous clash between the Wall and Lochgelly. However, despite the Scottish young guns being the future, it was an "older" gun (not old - the guys only just gone past 30!) who dominated proceedings. Chris Burgoyne (647) took both heats and the final, boosting score to the top. However, Craig Wallace (16) took the GN, and rose to the top of the national points.

WEBSTER IS BRANDON BEST

A third shale meeting brought the highest turnout so far of 55, and with it a familiar feel to the condemned Coventry track, on nights like this, its such a shame. However, progress is much, and we'll enjoy it while we can. It was a faultless heat and final double for Billy Webster (226). There was a heat win for Colin Eardley (589) and the massively undergraded David Tomlinson (885) took the consolation. Mark Gibbs (578) continued his charge towards a red top with GN victory.

GEORGE GORGES AT SKEG


So a second showing at the Funcoast, and despite many of the regulars being on top of the Peak District a showing of 19 cars included plenty of Scots. It was world champ George Macmillan (1) who took top honours now wearing a more comfier pair of shoes than last week with a faultless triple of victories by taking both heats and the final - his first wins of the season, and cemented his place at the top of the points. Andrew Palmer (606) took a rare win on the tarmac, quiz question when his last tarmac win?

BIRKIN BEATS BUXTON BOYS

So to Buxton and the highest point of Briscaland, and certainly the highpoint of attendance for the tarmac boys this weekend as Nik Eastwood takes up the story
With 28 cars in attendance for the Buxton opener a three Heat format was the order of the day on a dry track and in the bitter cold.

Heat 1 242 Ben Bate from yellow pulled out a lead over second placed 55 Courtney Finnikin, Courtney rode up over Bens back wheel and both cars spun into turn 3, Courtney getting away and finishing the race but Ben suffering tyre and wheel damage and retired, meanwhile it was business as usual for 101 Kelvyn Marshall aka Whalley who excelled on a dry track to take the win ahead of 761 Richard Bowyer and 59 Lee Dimmick.

Heat 2 94 and 55 tangled on turn 1, both cars tractored off, leader 242 from 821 Gary Walker, Gary took a spin on the restart while 242 continued to lead up to lap 11, when 768 Tom Adcroft became the leader to finish in 1st place from 59 Dimmick and 761 Bowyer.

Heat 3 was a fairly straightforward race with 604 Jamie Conway gaining a lead from yellow after around 5 laps, to which he would hold on to take the win followed by 319 Sheldon Wadsworth and 101 Kelvyn Marshall.

Onto the Final then and it really was a race for the Buxton locals 132 Dan Birkin and 94 Charlie Marriott, both drivers racing away to the flag , it looked like Charlie might have chanced a last bend lunge but perhaps didnt want to risk it so it was 132 Dan Birkin, 94 Charlie Marriott and we wont be forgetting another local driver 604 Jamie Conway from Glossop who secured third.

In the Grand National Birkin took his lap handicap but the car seemed to fluff on the start which held up the pack as the green went down, Birkins race was over before it started as he pulled to the infield, meanwhile 604 Jamie Conway got away, mid race the yellow flags had to be called due to 768 Tom Adcroft and 297 Paul Bailey got tangled against the turn 2 fence, back under way and taking the winners spot was 604 Conway followed by local 101 Kelvyn Marshall and third was 59 Lee Dimmick.



POINTS OF ORDER

1-5 in the Buxton Final was all KMorWR Car, or whatever is the correct parlance, these cars certainly are flavour of the month. And certainly not an RCE....

Cowdenbeath beat Lochgelly on footfall and car numbers in the first real test of the silly clash. Try spinning that one....

And.....4 drivers have led the national points so far - thats more than the last 3 seasons put together!!!

Right must get me posing right, photocall on Sunday... cheeeessee

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Raceweek 2- A pair of Stevens and a right Charlie!

So for me it was the official start of the season from my Westcountry base, and the hard stuff lads season certainly gathered apace.

CHARLIE CLASS AT BRUM BASH

To the second city, and hot foot it if you may, for it was the time for the opening Wheels meet over at the spiritual land of the Balti, Birmingham. 49 Cars in the pits, but engine troubles befell a good half a dozen competitors, and with others with engines spitting and farting everywhere. 2 heats and a consolation format for the first time in eons was greeted with smiles all round. First heat went the way of 2014 Novice of the Year, Steve Gilbert (542) who came out on top of a 27 car heat from his advantageous Blue grade. The next heat was taken by Sy Harraway (83) in what commentator turned uber-anorak Dave Goddard reminded the crowd was a repeat of the opening Brum last year. That boy is a mind of useful/less knowledge, and it's not just F2. Having competed against him in a racing related quiz, I can tell thee, I couldn't beat him even with my teammates, G Oogle and Rick Epedia. However, that trend stopped in the consolation, as Lewis Geach (111) took the first Zetec tarmac win, followed home from similarly powered Chris Mikulla (522) and Tom Adcroft (768), making it a Zetec 1-2-3.
Final time, and like the tradition mentioned before, a white top final winner, and it was youngster from Buxton, Charlie Marriot (94) supersized his Skegness heat win by taking the final, only just as the king of the last benders, Mark Gibbs (578) attempted the mother of all them all. Luckily for the white grader, he didn't quite get there, and a career first final for Charlie.

Geach rounded off the evening with a win in the GN

FORSTER FIRST AT BARFORD

The North east drivers (well, whats left from Daztardly Kitson and Red Jeff's attempt to power control) got their opportunity to play with some homeward bound Scots, to make a 16 strong line up at the Barnard Castle track. And indeed, it was the Scots who invaded, and took top honours. Liam Rennie (3) took the first heat, at a track which he set a lap record at the tail end of last year. Chris Burgoyne (647) took the second heat and the grand national, however it was blue top Stephen Forster (652) who took the victory in a new TLF car. Another return to red for Forster, and the grid at Cowdie set to be top heavy again!

GILBERT GRABS PRIDDLE PRIZE

Soawakening to mist and drizzle was not what the doctor ordered. Neither was the fact that my phone had decided to lose signal, causing mass panic from nearest and dearest, including Alana, on trophy duties for Mike Priddle, whose fellow trophy girl, Sophie, threatened to kill me if I didn't bring the ginger winger up (Luv ya ginge!). We were greeted to a slight drizzle, grey skies at the track, despite a bit of optimism coming into Exeter, which made the opening races a little tricky.

I spoke to Mr Zetec, Matt Linfield (464) and said this was his weather. He was right, as after a tussle with fellow regenmeister Lewis Geach (111), he took the first heat. If heat 1 was a  battle between yellow graders, then the second heat was a blue top battle. Youngster Steve Gilbert (542) battled with wily old veteran Richard Beere (254), and it was the youngster that took the win. The consolation promised to be a better race with drying track, and it was Lee Morgan (745) who took a flag to flag victory.

Final time and it was looking lively. The sun was out, and a busy grid meant one thing! Action. Morgan sped away again, hotly persued by Geach and Tom Clark (575). Clark broke away and set about the white ahead. Meanwhile, Geach's car throttle stuck open and flailed around the wall at incredibly high speed. After a period of extraction for Geach, he was off for a check up, and nothing more than bruises and stiffness the prognosis thankfully. With the restart Morgan soon gave way to Clark, but Gilbert was not too far behind. After a pile up caused by Linfield's oil (sump fell off - ooops!) Gilbert led, but Neil Hooper (676) in his new Motorworld steed was looking omnious in 3rd. However, Gilbert made the best of the tricky track conditions to seal an instant return to red, with Hooper pipping Clark on the line.

The Grand National saw Clark take the win.

POINTS OF ORDER

Zetec vs Pinto.
Well for some, there is a lot of moaning about the Zetec. The more the moaning about the speed of the zetec versus the pinto, the sooner the later is likely to be restricted to keep the playing field even. Perseverance is key, and perhaps if a few more star drivers persevered with the Duratec back in the day, then they would be 3 realistic choices. The Pinto needs to die out naturally, and not kept on life support because of ulterior motives. However, it seems many are too quick to ditch the zetec, and maybe too quick to ditch the pinto too. My advice to anyone thinking about a switch- hold steady, wait til your pinto goes bang, then make the change. It took Brisca over 6 years to restrict the 1300, so no immediate fix is there, however the rule is there to be used if necessary. It is a completely different unit to the Pinto, and its there to keep the lifeblood of the sport -  the lower graders - in the sport that we all love...

Testing. Maybe not just random drink test after a boozy Saturday night before, but maybe drug testing. I have smelt the particular whiff of a herbal cigarette at a track, and there are allegations that some have raced under the influence of Colombian Marching Powder too. A drug test is available to most employers now, and any narcotic can stay in the system for up to a week.

Don't forget both myself and Steve Linfield are on the latest episode of Stoxradio .... the latest episode at the top of this bar, or if your reading on the phone spreaker.com/stoxradio. Download the Spreaker App and listen to me at any time!

Right, onto the next weekend!!!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Raceweek 1 - 2015... Luv you, hi!

So here we go again....Season 2015 is a go go go go

SARGE SKIPS TO MUDDY DOUBLE

happy as a pig in sh*t innit!

The traditional curtain raiser to the season meant that for many it was a trip to King's Lynn, the newly monikered Adrian Flux Arena, in another sponsorship deal, probably more for the speedway than for the others. With numbers slightly down on previous years, it was a fact that maybe a week too soon for many. Still a cosmopolitan entry from Scotland to Cornwall via Holland descended onto the Norfolk countryside and it was a traditonal 2 heats and consolation format that took place in rapidly darkening cloudy skies. Billy Webster (226) took the first heat, and in the second, East Coast Leg-end, Curly wurly tourettesmith, and abuser of drivers named after cars, Mark Sargent (798) took a win on the super smooth loose stuff. Sadly, and if Adrian Flux does insure against monsoonesque deluges, then King's Lynn just put a claim in, as the consolation soon turned into a slurry fest. Tony Blackburn (225) came out on top. Final time and in similar brown car order, and it was Sarge, taking his first heat and final double innit, and with it National Points Champ for February innit. For someone who only is occasional F2 racer now innit, with his F1 and son Finn's Mini innit, he has a really good chance of being on a semi grid on his home town track of SkegVegas....innit!. Webster completed the evening with another win in the GN...luv you bye.


SAM WAGS HIS TAIL ON THE STOKE SHALE


Somewhat better conditions befell the Stoke shaleways on the Sunday, as just over 30 cars took to the potteries. Unlike Lynn the night before, the only clay slurry was in the nearby Wedgewood factory, and heat wins came the way of Paul Prest (49) and Will Clement (158), which saw a bizarre Top 6 go through (when are they going to realise that the points are being missed out on due to poor formats - the consolation is a second chance race and should be treated as such!!!). The Consi went the way of Daz Shaw (377). Final time, and like the last in season Startrax meeting at Sheffield, it was Sam Wagner (823) that got the breaks, taking another shale final win. However, unlike Sheffield in November, Wagner couldn't seal out a GN win, that honour falling to Rob Mitchell (905).

SKEG WIN FOR WHALLEY TURNED MARSHALL


And for most, a second day on the East Coast for most, as 36 cars turned up, and a 2 from 3 was deployed. Ashley England (846) opened his account for 2015 with a win, and Heat 2 went the way of yellow top Mark Meeds (458) local to the track by about 5 minutes! The third heat was won by Charlie Marriot (94) in a near flag to flag victory.

Final time, and Dan Birkin (132) sped off, super quickly.., persued by Skeg specialist Andrew Spence (557). Behind them, the superstar pairing of the Artist Formerly Known As Whalley, Kelvyn Marshall (101) and the zetec powered World Champ of George Macmillan (1) set about persuing them. Indeed Marshall took over from Birkin, who crossed the line ahead of Spence and Macmillan. Birkin then took the GN, with no ticking off from the steward!
selfie champion of the World!



It's baaaaaaaaaaaaack.....POINTS OF ORDER

2 pringles to kick off the year - good start (if not advantageous and gone before the green) to the year for that!

Apologies for the incorrectness for the points - lack of supercomputer (being rejigged for 2015, and UK open weekend proof) but just a gentle reminder, results are totally unofficial. Most of my sources are excellent, however some are not that great and cake based....

And thank you to all those listeners of the new Stoxradio. My reasons for leaving Downforce are clear, and available to anyone who asks, but creating a podcast that has the support goes into the very depths of the sport has always been my aim. I've always been a passionate radio producer in my formative years, so getting a format that I hope works and sound good and professional, is key to me.
 

We won't be afraid to be innovative - by the way next episode will be released after next weekend, with a new show due to be released....

Now the season starts.... to Taunton, and don't spare the horses!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Steve Green Junior #154

It's a real shame that the latest blog post should be on such a sad, sad, occasion, but tonight, we mourn the passing of one of our flock.



Steve Green Junior has been taken so cruelly from us by cancer, at the age of just 34.

A third generation racer, following in the footsteps of grandfather Stan, and dad Steve, he was one of a illustrious club, winning his first ever race.

A tarmac racer of some repute, Steve was a regular in red grade and a regular race winner on the midlands tar tracks.

So cruelly taken from us at such a young age, the whole stock car community is in shock, and in collective mourning.

Race in Peace, Steve