Speed the main aim at Foxhall meeting
TOMORROW evening's motor sport meeting at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, is one of the speed specials that Foxhall does so well.There is a contact formula on the bill, but the meeting, in general, is mainly about speed rather than the traditional bash and crash that so many still associate with the stadium.
TOMORROW evening's motor sport meeting at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, is one of the speed specials that Foxhall does so well.
There is a contact formula on the bill, but the meeting, in general, is mainly about speed rather than the traditional bash and crash that so many still associate with the stadium.
The National Hot Rods top the bill, setting out on their year-long chase to qualify for next July's World Championship. Only 18, rather than the usual 20 English drivers will make it onto the World Final grid (the two 'lost' places have been given to the Irish and the Northern Ireland qualifiers) so the 17 English rounds are going to be even more fiercely contested than usual.
All the top drivers should be here, including Ipswich's Carl Boardley who retained the World Title at last month's Speed Weekend, arch rival Malcolm Blackman from Langley, up and coming stars Steve Thompson from Scunthorpe and Matt Simpson (another Langley resident). The lineup at this early stage of the series traditionally also includes a number of relatively new drivers who join the formula too late to challenge for the 2007 final.
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Ipswich's Jamie Austin is perhaps the best known of these, while everyone will be watching Phil Spinks from Middlesex. He's been around the scene for many years, and always qualifies for the World Race, but usually too far down the grid to give himself any sort of a chance.
Many observers feel that he is good enough to win the World, but he's got to qualify well, which means a big haul of points from every round, starting on Saturday.
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Like the National Hot Rods, the Lightning Rods are non-contact class, but while the Nationals are based on modern day hatchbacks such as the Vauxhall Tigra, Peugeot 206 and the Ford Fiesta, the Lightnings are limited to two litre Sierras only.
They have nothing like the speed and performance of a National Hot Rod, but it's an extremely competitive and well subscribed class.
The leading local names are Diggy Smith from Dereham and team mate George Morphy from Saxmundham, but there's a lot of talented drivers in the class from down south, and up in the Midlands, so they'll have to be at their very best if they are to enjoy their customary Foxhall success.
The Superstox complete the line up; unlike the other two divisions, these are not based on road going vehicles, they are single seat specials. They are allowed to push and shove, which coupled with their speed, tends to make for some very fast and furious racing.
Almost all the big names come from the East Anglia area, but World Champion Steven Jackson from Harleston will be missing following an incident with Sussex racer David Pike at Bovingdon a fortnight ago.
Felsham's Gary Sparkes won both heats at Yarmouth two weeks ago.