Friday, 18 October 2013

Midget Newsletter 08 - End of Season 2013

Welcome to the latest newsletter – I am sorry it has taken longer to put together but this proved to be a very busy year. Thanks to everyone who has been in touch to ask for copies of the newsletter and also to those who acknowledge that they’ve got past the email spam filters. If you have news of anyone who was involved in the formula from days gone by I would be very pleased to hear from you.

60s & 70s
The day after the printed copies of my book arrived I received an email from Dan Hornby with some scans of some late 1972 MARC reports which rendered the publication out of date straight away! Thank you Dan. I’ll have to start work on the second edition.

Duncan Adams has been in touch, Duncan’s dad, Ken, raced Midgets with Spedeworth back in 1971/72 but sadly passed away in 2010. Duncan tells us that his dad was not really one for keeping memorabilia and he only has two photos from the time (one of which is reproduced here. We found a cutting from a 1971 programme and if anyone has photos of Ken from the time then please get in touch!
In the previous newsletter I mentioned that I’d found out about an advertised 1971 Southern Championship at Harringay. Graham Brown once again very kindly looked into his records and found the results of the event which have been recorded on the history site. Thanks Graham.

A top man in the BriSCA Heritage scene is George Rimmer who has kindly sent through a DVD of racing from New Brighton which includes a short clip of the infamous incident with Clive Carter’s Dastle in the fence. George has also sent through a couple of programme covers including one reproduced here from Kirkby. Buyers of my book or those familiar with the history site will know that there is no mention of the track so it’s good to be able to add it to the archive. Anyone able to tell us the date (or results?)

I am extremely sad to report that a 1973 Fireball mark 4 that was racing with the current formula has unfortunately been scrapped. The driver concerned did try to advertise the car on Facebook but such adverts drop down the listings very quickly. Had he contacted the club we could have advertised it on site and also used the Midget and general Heritage grapevine to find a home for the car. It’s a good thing to advertise on Facebook and the like but club officials cannot be expected to trawl the internet for such listings. There are two other mk4s for sale on the website – it would be a crying shame to lose them so let’s hope that some positive news can be reported in the next newsletter. Incidentally there are likely to be some opportunities for restored Midgets to have some track time (demo only) so perhaps now is the time to think about having a heritage project.

80s / 90s
Again, thanks to Dan Hornby who kindly loaned me some video footage from 1983 – racing at Alwalton and Ipswich. I’m still trying to put the exact dates on them but that’s difficult as I think that’s the season I have the least information on. If anyone has the full fixture list from 1983 gathering dust somewhere please let us know. Guy Smith has been in touch about the Dastle Indy which his dad, Gerald, raced in the late 1980s. He is looking for information and photos of the car from any stage of its’ career. I have put him in touch with Malcolm Brockhurst who I think was the original owner. Hopefully more progress will be reported in future newsletters.

Current Scene
Many congratulations to Jonathan Pooley on winning the points championship as well as the World and European Championships. Gordon Pooley won the National Championship whilst Dave Bonser and Daniel Pooley were second and third in the points (Gordon fourth). What’s more they were all racing Pooley-built and designed Scorpian chassis. This year’s top newcomer, Nick Price was also racing a Scorpian. The front engine championship went to Clifford Bunn (congratulations Clifford) after pipping Tom Keep to the top of the points in the very last meeting. Very sad to lose Dave Dollin from the driver listings. Dave’s car was a real credit to the club – no surprise that he won the best presented award as well as being 2012 top newcomer. We wish Steve and Tom Keep both speedy recoveries from their incidents. Both had been going really well with Steve winning the British Championship and Tom, as mentioned, leading the front engine category and setting a new lap record at Aldershot.

Great to see Richie Scheepens coming over from the Netherlands to add an international element to the World Championship and we hope that he can make it over again in the future.

Looking Back…
40 years ago… Results for the 1973 season are a bit sketchy at best but Frank Boyles won the National Championship race at Wimbledon on 3 November and also secured the Points Championship. Rod Tanswell retired from the racing at the same meeting.
30 years ago… Basil Craske was the points champion and again there was some late season racing at Wimbledon with John Seamark winning the London Championship from Dave Scott and Anthony Brewer.
20 years ago… The end of season races at Northampton saw some guest drivers in the fun races. I am fairly sure this was Gary Piper’s first time racing a Midget.
10 years ago... In 2003 Harold Lowe won the points championship from Alan Buckland with Daz Rycroft third and Neil Clarke in fourth. John Salter had enjoyed a good run in the later stages of the season winning the National Championship at Buxton in October.

Internet
Just a quick reminder that the club has its own website which is www.gpmidgets.co.uk. From there you can also access the extensive history site which is www.ovaltrack.co.uk/gpmidgets/tome. Wanted! Photos, results and programmes from any era – I don’t have to have your originals as scans or photocopies are just as useful. In closing, as ever, I apologise if I have missed anyone out of this newsletter – It’s not intentional! Please pass on any news when you have it – I will try and maintain a balance between the various eras represented. Please also let me know if you have contact with anyone from the Midget scene who might not be getting a copy of this bulletin. Don’t forget to keep in touch.