High speeds at Foxhall Stadium

ANOTHER dry Saturday evening at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich meant that speeds were high and the racing very competitive which, with two important championships on offer, was what the drivers were hoping for.

ANOTHER dry Saturday evening at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich meant that speeds were high and the racing very competitive which, with two important championships on offer, was what the drivers were hoping for.

The Lightning Rods British Championship pulled in the best drivers from far and wide, including reigning and World and European Champion Stephen Emerson from Northern Ireland, who was strongly fancied to make it a grand slam with victory in this race.

Thirty-three cars came to grid for heat one, which saw Stockport's Lee Parsons build an early lead and hold on to it beyond a re-start after a four-car pile-up a few laps from the end. Defending champion Gary Greenland was leading the group of cars that chased Parsons to the flag, which almost guaranteed both of them a reasonable grid position for the championship.

Heat two was the best race of the night, with Banger World Champion Jason Jackson, who has only just come into the Lightning Rod formula, driving well to hold off Emerson in a race-long duel before all came out for the main event.

They had barely started when drama struck. Emerson went out with a puncture caused by too many cars attempting to round the same bend at the same time, while Greenland was also buffeted around and slipped from second to eighth.

Parsons made the most of the confusion, repeating his start to heat one by pulling clear and extending his lead as the other main contenders fought a furious battle over second place.

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In the end, Jackson kept them all out to hold on to second, with Mick Brassey a close third ahead of Greenland and former World Champion Darren Ahern.

In the Two Litre Hot Rods no top names could get anywhere near Mark Fuller, who sprang something of a surprise by winning heat one with rather less difficulty than he might have expected. Heat two had a dramatic start when Jimmy Rix failed to get going at the green flag. Since he was sitting on the front row of a 16-row grid, it was incredible that most of the other 30 starters managed to miss him as they roared off the grid.

His stationary car took glancing blows from Carl Pye and Chris Harvey, but all seemed to get away with it until the very last car arrived, which was Fuller's Renault 5. He hit the stricken car absolutely flat out, but by now the red flags were out and the race had been stopped.

Miraculously, Rix was out of his car quickly, whilst just as amazingly Fuller was back into his just two minutes later, ready for the re-start.

Jason Kew eventually won the race, giving him grid two for the Long Track championship. He had a good start, beating pole sitter Lee Pepper to the first bend, and managed to stay clear of Pepper and Kevin Randell from then on to take the biggest win of his young career.

The Two Litre Stock Cars provided the bash and crash element to the programme, most of the action centering on Chris Colliver and Bruce Wilcox in heat one, which resulted in the Ipswich-based Wilcox having to miss the rest of the meeting with concussion, while Colliver was excluded from heat two and the final.

Wilcox's early departure was just the start of a bad night for the local drivers who never really threatened their Southern colleagues, Billy Wood and Stuart Olding winning all three races between them. And to add to the home team's embarrassment, Stuart Smyth who made second in the final, wasn't even a stock car driver, although he is very successful in the non-contact Hot Hatch 1400cc Stock Rod formula.

Results round-up

Lightning Rods

Heat One: 1 Lee Parsons (Stockport), 2 Gary Greenland (Romford), 3 Dave Imber (Chattisham).

Heat Two: 1 jason Jackson (Romford), 2 Stephen Emerson (Northern Ireland), 3 Mick Walker (Peterborough).

Final: British championship: 1 Parsons, 2 Jackson, 3 Mick Brassey (Birmingham).

Two Litre Hot Rods

Heat One: 1 Mark Fuller (Havant), 2 Lee Pepper (Easbourne), 3 Kevin Randall (Luton).

Heat Two: 1 Jason Kew (Oxford), 2 Sean O'Leary (Newbury), 3 Kym Weaver (Halesham).

Final: Long Track Championship: 1 Kew, 2 pepper, 3 Randall.

Stock Cars

Heat One: 1 Billy Wood (Aldershot), 2 Mark Watson (Norwich), 3 Stuart Olding (Farnborough).

Heat Two: 1 Olding, 2 Steve Anscombe (Eastbourne), 3 David Wright (Aldershot).

Final: 1 Olding, 2 Stuart Smyth (Uxbridge), 3 Dean Baker (Saxthorpe).