Trio of top attractations at Foxhall

THREE top-of-the-bill attractions should pull in a good crowd to Ipswich's Foxhall Stadium for tomorrow evening's motor sport meeting.The high-speed National Hot Rods are here for round five of the 2008 World Championship qualifying series, and with fewer English drivers being allowed on the grid for next year's world final, the chase for one of those vital places is going to be even more intense than usual.

THREE top-of-the-bill attractions should pull in a good crowd to Ipswich's Foxhall Stadium for tomorrow evening's motor sport meeting.

The high-speed National Hot Rods are here for round five of the 2008 World Championship qualifying series, and with fewer English drivers being allowed on the grid for next year's world final, the chase for one of those vital places is going to be even more intense than usual.

It's a busy time for the drivers - they had their 2007 World Final here in July, round one of the 2008 series was here in August, and they are already up to round five, having raced at Rockingham, Lydden Hill and over in Ireland in the meantime.

The star of the show at round one was Phil Spinks from Pinner who, although he didn't win a race, was the highest scorer on the night, outscoring the established top two of 2005 champion Malcolm Blackman and reigning World Champion Carl Boardley from Ipswich. His “round the outside” style has always been exciting, but now it's beginning to reap dividends as well, and if he can qualifying well for next year's big race (something he's never managed to do before), then many believe that he could be the man to stop Boardley's attempt at a third successive title.

Spinks, Boardley and the other big danger man Matt Simpson from Slough all drive Vaxhall Tigras, while Blackman has one of the other “must have” cars, a Peugeot 206cc, which shows how far the sport has progressed even from two years ago when Hot Hatches were more favoured.

The Super Stox, a single seat special where pushing and shoving is permitted, go for their European Championship, and with such an important title at stake there should be another high-quality entry. The only known absentee is World Champion Steven Jackson, who is currently suspended, but in his absence, his Yarmouth Stadium team-mate Mark Smith will be one of the favourites.

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The third formula on duty sees the Big Trucks make their annual visit to Foxhall. These are not to be confused with the Big Vans which usually race here on Bank Holidays; these are the tractor units more usually seen hauling articulated lorries up and down the motorways of Britain.

Of course, such vehicles race at Brands Hatch and on similar circuits, but what they don't do is hit each other. The ones at Foxhall on Saturday definitely do; they have a big bumper at the front specifically for the purpose, and when you get hit by one of these you tend to stay hit.

They are not pretty with their battle scarred paintwork, great clouds of black smoke pouring out from them, and squealing tyres as they try to take the bends around the quarter-mile oval circuit, but it really is one of those “once seen, never forgotten” experiences.

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