Bangers to top the bill at Foxhall

AFTER two unusually early, but very successful motor sport meetings at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, in recent weeks, the promoters are hoping for another good crowd tomorrow for the first of the year's big dates for the National Bangers.

AFTER two unusually early, but very successful motor sport meetings at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, in recent weeks, the promoters are hoping for another good crowd tomorrow for the first of the year's big dates for the National Bangers.

The annual £2,000 Raid is the feature event, and as usual, many of the country's big names should be battling it out for the big money.

East Anglian drivers Luke Parfitt, Lee Clark and Dean Mayes have been sweeping all before them on their travels all over the country in recent weeks, and will go into this one as serious contenders for a share of the money. However, around 90 others are expected to race, and they, too, will be eyeing up the loot.

Last year's race was won by the then World Champion Keith “Maverick” Painter from Oxford who, like the aforementioned trio, was winning everything at the time.

However, he hasn't been anything like the same force since then, and he will do well to hold on to his title, particularly if the Romford-based Midnight Runners come visiting. They are led by the reigning World Champion Jason Jackson, and have a host of quality drivers racing in their colours.

Other leading contenders include Sonny Sherwood, from Thurrock, who has won a huge number of championships in his time; Peter Corbett and Nigel Denby from Buxton, Romford's very quick Richie Ahern, and the Mildenhall-based trio of Barry Wade, Davy Cox and Dave Vincent.

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This should be a very lively affair with lots of heavy action and enough crashes to keep even the most demanding spectator more than satisfied.

By way of contrast, the Two Litre Hot Rods are also on the bill as they contest their East Anglian Championship. This is a very competitive formula, but most observers see it as a battle between the top two from the south in Mark Paffey and Jason Wilks, and the top two East Anglians in Diggy Smith, from Dereham, and World Champion Gary Goodswen, from Harleston.

This is non-contact racing, in expensive modern-day hatchbacks, which look good and have impressive performance levels to match. With around 30 or so of these on the fast Ipswich quarter-mile oval, it is always exciting - even more so when there is the expectation of a very close-run race.

The V8 Stock Cars, which are purpose-built single seaters, powered by big American V8 engines, also make their first Foxhall appearance of the season. World Champion Peter Scott, from Romford, heads the entry for this Long Track Championship, and having won the World Crown on this very track late last year, he is clearly going to be one of the favourites this time around.

There's some strong local opposition, though, with Titch Gardener and Colin Goodswen quite capable of upsetting the veteran Scott, while stadium promoter Roy Eaton might also make a surprise appearance, having recently acquired a new car which he intends to race as often as his other commitments allow.

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