Bank Holiday thrills at Foxhall

A MIXTURE of sunshine and snow showers meant changeable track conditions for Monday's motor sport meeting at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, but, despite that the drivers put on an exciting display to entertain the hardy souls who had ventured out.

A MIXTURE of sunshine and snow showers meant changeable track conditions for Monday's motor sport meeting at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, but, despite that the drivers put on an exciting display to entertain the hardy souls who had ventured out.

Considering everything, it wasn't a bad crowd at all, even if someway short of what it would normally have been for such an attractive fixture, which was headlined by the National Hot Rods who were hear for round 10 of the World Championship Qualifying Series.

Once again it was a big entry with 36 of the high speed flyers who were having their second meeting of the weekend, having raced Round Nine at Northampton on Good Friday.

The lower graded drivers dominated the heats, with Mike Thurley, Steve Burgess and Hughie Weaver taking the wins, although Ipswich-based World Champion Carl Boardley did produce one of the drives of the day to come from the back of the grid to get third in Heat Two.

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The final was a classic - undoubtedly the best race of the year so far - with the last 10 laps being worth the admission price on their own.

The lower ranked drivers made the most of starting at the front of the grid to lead the first half of the race, but the big names were storming through the traffic, Matt Simpson eventually taking up the running as the race went into its closing stages.

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Steve Thompson was right behind him, though, while Malcolm Blackman (who had crashed heavily in the previous heat) was on the kind of charge that took him to the World Championship title three years ago.

He passed Boardley, then with two laps to go he got passed Thompson as well, and began to close in on Simpson.

He gave it everything coming off the last bend in a bid to take Simpson on the outside, but that left the inside line open which Thompson dived into, and just pipped Blackman to the line, the pair of them right on Simpson's back bumper.

Boardley's sixth place was enough to just keep him ahead of Simpson and Thompson at the top of the World Series, while Blackman, who started the day in eighth place overall, showed that he could yet give the top three some cause for concern over the remaining rounds.

Forty one Super Stox was an outstanding turnout of the single seat specials, but unusually for Ipswich, it wasn't a particularly successful day for the big guns. 2005 World Champion Steven Jackson was among those who crashed out early in heat one, with his successor as World Champion, Jason Cooper, eventually taking the lead, however, his car slowed just before the end which let in Kevin Croxon for the win.

An early stoppage in heat two when Jonathan Field overturned made no difference to Dean Hummerstone who led more or less all the way with Cooper a close second, but Cooper wasn't to be denied and took an impressive win in the final from Felixstowe's Stuart Thompson and Tommy Miller from Potter Heigham.

The traditional Bank Holiday Banger action was provided by the Big Vans which, as usual, featured all sorts of vehicles as well as the standard transits and Sherpas.

The big busses of Mike Nicholls and Eric Pearson were the main eye catchers, along with Chris Smith's former ambulance.

Despite playing their part in the customary mayhem they were just a bit too slow and lumbering to stand any chance of winning - although their finest hour was to come later in the day, when their strength was to prove decisive in the Destruction Derby.

Yarmouth's Michael Allard and Ipswich driver Roger Kerr won the heats in a fairly standard Sherpa and Transit respectively with Kerr also winning the final.

However, the Destruction Derby soon saw all the normal vans fall by the wayside, leaving the big three to battle it out. Nicholls' enormous bus was incredibly strong, and even though Smith's Ambulance was falling apart under the constant onslaught from Nicholls, he couldn't finish it off and eventually the officials had to call it a day, with the pair of them taking a deserved joint win.

Results round-up

National Hot Rods

Heat One: 1 Mike Thurley (Thetford), 2 Dick Hillard (Sutton Bridge), 3 Steve Burgess (Saffron Walden).

Heat Two: 1 Burgess, 2 Lee Pepper (Eastbourne), 3 Carl Boardley (Ipswich).

Heat Three: 1 Hughie Weaver (Eastbourne), 2 Pepper, 3 Hillard.

Final: Matt Simpson (Langley), 2 Steve Thompson (Scunthorpe), 3 Malcolm Blackman (Langley).

Super Stox

Heat One: 1 Kevin Croxon (Marlow), 2 Sean Smith (Marlow), 3 Daniel Rutterford (Wisbech).

Heat Two: 1 Dean Hummerstone (Aldershot), 2 Jason Cooper (Thetford), 3 Tommy Miller (Potter Heigham).

Final: 1 Cooper, 2 Stuart Thompson (Felixstowe), 3 Miller.

Big Vans

Heat One: 1 Michael Allard (Yarmouth), 2 Carl Gould (Norwich), 3 Roger Kerr (Ipswich)

Heat Two: 1 Kerr, 2 Luke Parfitt (Hempnel), 3 Chirs Bailey (Claydon).

Final: 1 Kerr, 2 Eric Pearson (Great Blakenham), 3 Scott Bloss (Ipswich).

Destruction Derby: tie between Chris Smith (Hasketon) and Mike Nicholls (Hadleigh).

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