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. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. 60s / 70s
Thanks to Graham Brown and
Derek Smith for looking into the Kirkby programme cover that I included in the
last newsletter. It seems that Midgets were not racing on that day – the
promoters simply decided to put the photo on the front cover. Graham’s research
also added another date to the archive however, the first Trackstar promoted
meeting at Boston on 28 April 1972.
If you’ve not heard of it before then we need to tell you about the
‘Old Skool Superstox’ which is a heritage group set up by Dean Cox and Stu
Blyth. It’s different however from the classic racing formulae that you may
already know about ie the Classic Hot Rods and Historic Stock Cars. The
Superstox are very much about heritage rather than competition. The aim is to
restore original cars or build replicas without the worry of competition with a
strong social element. 80s / 90s
We’ve now added Steve Lay and Eddy Ricketts to
the mailing list – good to hear from you both. Also good to hear from from
former club scrutineer Peter ‘Olly’ Ollson who has been watching Midgets out in
Australia – thanks very much for the postcard!
Very pleased to
say that the ex Gary Bonner / Carl Checkley Fireball has been bought by Peter
Bourn. We are trying to work out who had the car before Gary so we can document
the complete history. Carl Checkley is making a welcome return to the formula
in the Suzuki powered Dastle formerly owned by Darren Clark and Derek Hawes.
The first meeting of our new season was at Northampton and saw Marc de Land top
the points and also win the June Cochrane Trophy. Marc lost his position at the
top of the points with a ding in race two in the second meeting at Grimley –
all three races being won by front engine cars – Peter Dorrell and Tony Smith.
We’d like to welcome ex Hot Rod racer Leon Smith to the formula. Leon is racing in last year’s championship winning Scorpian (below) bought from
The British Championship took place at Northampton on Easter
Monday – congratulations to Dave Bonser on winning the title for the first
time. According to our records this was the 42nd running of the title – it
harks back to 1971 when both Spedeworth and MARC drivers competed for it so,
like the National Championship at that time, it actually had some meaning being
something other than a Spedeworth or MARC “domestic” meeting. The first few stagings
were at London’s White City. It looks like following the cancellation of the
1974 event it was forgotten about for the first two seasons of the combined Midget
Grand Prix Club and then re-instated in 1977 when two versions were held – one
at Newton Abbot on 5th June (dubbed the ‘Speedcars’ British Championship) and
the properly labelled version at Hartlepool on 28th August. That may well have been
the formula’s only ever meeting at Hartlepool. Sadly
I can’t find any record of the 1978 British Championship at the moment and the
trophy currently raced for only goes back to 1993.
This year’s dates include
the World Championship at Arena on Monday 26 May which will most likely be past
by the time you get to read this newsletter. We also return to Eastbourne on 25
August when Marc de Land defends his Southern Championship title. Since then
Jonathan Pooley has regained the top spot in the points table with Nick Price
(last year’s top newcomer) in second and Daz Rycroft in third.
years ago… 1969 was the second full season of Midget racing promoted by
Spedeworth. Notable racing included a Walthamstow meeting on Friday 25 April
where South African visitor Julian Silberman won two races. It would be
interesting to know whose car he was driving – sadly that’s not recorded in any
journals we’ve seen.
35 years ago… In 1979 there was an early season meeting at
Lydden Hill where thirteen drivers took to the oval for two races which were
won by Basil Craske and German visitor Willi Thissen. It was also reported that
Brian Harding had been racing his Arrow with the South Eastern Grass Track
Organisation at Funtington.
25 years ago… Back in 1989 the majority of meetings
were run at Alwalton although the Bill Boarer Trophy was contested at Ringwood
in April with Anthony Brewer becoming the first front engine driver to win it.
years ago… Although not so far back in the mists of time, this particular
season is one where we don’t have too much information at this stage. Gary
Bonner won the Casa Challenge cup with Andy Collins winning the West Country
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.