Codling lands final by inches
THE biggest entry of Two Litre Hot Rods ever assembled for a domestic meeting put on a superb showing at Saturday evening's Foxhall Stadium meeting. Even with only two thirds of the cars in each of the three heats, the track still looked very crowded and, while potential disaster never looked too far away, most of the drivers escaped with very little damage.
THE biggest entry of Two Litre Hot Rods ever assembled for a domestic meeting put on a superb showing at Saturday evening's Foxhall Stadium meeting.
Even with only two thirds of the cars in each of the three heats, the track still looked very crowded and, while potential disaster never looked too far away, most of the drivers escaped with very little damage.
Ipswich driver Karl Jones, who was making his debut, led the opening lap of heat one but that was pretty much the end of his hopes as he got relegated down the field very quickly, but full marks to him for turning out such a stunning car, his immaculately-prepared Ford Puma being the first of its kind in the class.
Londoner Martin Codling took over the lead at around half distance, and went on to win in a close finish with Martin Freeman.
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Dereham star Diggy Smith was the best of the locals, getting fourth from 28th on the grid. Vic Hope, who has been racing for some years, got his first-ever win in heat two, while Freeman had heat three.
Thirty eight cars for the final was a bit fraught, the race featuring two compulsory “pit stops” along the way, which was a legacy from when the series was planned originally with a 75-lap final. In the event, the distance was cut to 35 laps but such was the excitement that no one would have minded 75 laps. Codling took the win by inches from Andy Lane, while another stirring drive from Smith got him up to third until something broke on the car going into the last bend. He managed to limp it to the line and got fifth place as the only East Anglian to finish in the top 10.
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Sadly for the locals, they didn't fare any better in the Stock Cars, where the East Anglian Championship was the feature race. Woodbridge's Simon Berry won heat one but was subsequently disqualified when his car failed the “ride height” rule (ie it was too low), Paul Ayleward therefore inheriting the win.
Another southerner, Terry Norris, won heat two but he was turned aside early in the Championship race, which saw Ayleward make solid progress through the pack, going on to win from Gavin Richards and the highest-placed Anglian in young Jason Scopes.
A 25-a-side Ipswich v Norwich Banger team match provided some spectacular back-up to the other two formulas, with honours even after two heats. Only five cars survived the mayhem in the decider and Ipswich were awarded the win by 165 points to 147.
Heat One: 1 Martin Codling (Lewisham), 2 Mark Freeman (Croydon), 3 Andy Lane (Bracknell).
Heat Two: 1 Vic Hope (Epsom), 2 John Ridyard (Great Bookham), 3 Mark Crome (Abbey Wood).
Heat Three: 1 Freeman, 2 Codling, 3 Phil Blackford (Uckfield).
Final: 1 Codling, 2 Lane, 3 Dave Garrett (Chesham).
Heat One: 1 Paul Ayleward (Eastbourne), 2 Sam Mallett (Norwich), 3 Daniel Damon (Bedford).
Heat Two: 1 Terry Norris (Aldershot), 2 Gavin Payne (Trunch), 3 Ayleward.
Final - East Anglian Championship: 1 Ayleward, 2 Gavin Richards (Seaford), 3 Jason Scopes (Yarmouth).
Heat One: 1 Michael Ayton (Alburgh), 2 Mark Webb (Costessey), 3 Ian Wright (Cranford).
Heat Two: 1 Dean Mayes (Scole), 2 Dave Canham (Ipswich), 3 Danielle Hewitt (Norwich).
Final: 1 Webb, 2 Dean Baker (Saxthorpe), 3 Martin Clements (Mendlesham).