Stuart Gilchrist flies the flag for Scotland at Foxhall Stadium
Scotland’s ‘Tartan Tornado’ Stuart Gilchrist duly tore in to Foxhall Stadium as forecast but drove a super-cool race.
He weathered all that was thrown at him and thus became the first-ever Scottish winner of the Superstox World Championship on English soil writes Kevin Wegg.
For one brief moment Fraser Clark threatened to make it a golden Scottish double in the 1300 Stock Car event only to be hustled back as Barry ‘Butch’ Radcliffe notched an impressive victory. That was until the Scrutineers were let loose and the final result remains in the balance.
Steven Jackson from Harleston surprisingly led the Superstox away after he got the drop from the outside, seemingly catching the Scotsman unaware.
Gilky barked his intent by swiftly re-passing him and that was the last time he was to play second fiddle.
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Two of the pre-race favourites were quickly in trouble; Jason Cooper losing valuable ground when he was shuffled, and Ryan Eaton being punted wide and ultimately out after a clash with Glenn Salmon.
The Scottish points champion was setting a blistering pace though and even a restart – after he pushed Phil Proctor wide and caused Ben Styles to roll – didn’t phase him.
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Jackson and Cooper were left to fight over second which the latter finally took.
Red-hot favourite Lee Pearce thumped his way to the front from row two in the 1300cc Stock Car shoot-out, although he was very nearly wiped out by a retiring Mark Skoyles after a bruising coming-together with Woodbridge’s Kevin Thurlow.
Pearce escaped that one, but ‘disaster’ was rapidly gaining momentum with the back-marking Luke Morphey (Yoxford) also keeping him on his toes.
Before said ‘disaster’ befell Pearce, Chris Partridge (Sudbury) rolled to signal a restart with Morphey clearly giving Pearce plenty to think about.
That gave Pete Beldom the chance to half-spin him thus allowing Scotsman Clark to briefly lead before Beldom sorted both him and Morphey out to take it up with Barry Radcliffe, now in second.
Pearce later revealed that disaster had been brewing for a few laps with his engine slowing and was replaced for the night’s last race. Further back, Ian ‘Duckie’ Beaumont was having a sensational drive in a new car that was only finished at 2:30pm that very same afternoon. He finished third.
In a race that will live long in the memory there was still more drama to come up front with back-marking Daniel Wenn slowing in front of Beldom which effectively gifted Radcliffe the win with just over a lap to go.
The promoters announced that fourth-placed Fraser Clark had been disqualified for an underweight car whilst Radcliffe has been suspended pending an appeal for a distributor infringement, thus putting the final result in doubt.
World Final: 1 Stuart Gilchrist (Scotland), 2 Jason Cooper (Thetford), 3 Steven Jackson (Harleston), 4 Billy Smith (Diss)
Heat Winners: Jordan Aylward (Crowland), Ben Styles (Chandlers Ford)
1300 Stock Cars (Pending Post-Race Scrutineering Appeal)
Last Chance Race Qualifier: 1 Mark Skoyles, 2 Paul Brown (Braintree)
World Final: 1 Barry Radcliffe (Gt. Yarmouth), 2 Pete Beldom (March), 3 Ian Beaumont (Romford), 4 Craig Haxton Jnr (Scotland)
Heat Winners: Karl Douglas (London), Luke Morphey (Yoxford
Banger Ramp Rollover: 1 Andy Hill (Haughley), 2 Steven Anscombe (Langley)