Friday, 15 July 2016

Midget Heritage Newsletter 15 - 2016

Once again thank you to all those who acknowledged the previous newsletter – loads of you actually which was great.

Among those who wrote were Derek Smith and Graham Brown in response to my comment about not having the results from he Oxford meeting. We now have the race winners in the archive - many thanks.  We already knew about Keith Fransella but the other races were won by Bob Burridge and Frank Boyles. Frank also won one of the match races against the Hot Rods whilst Derek Green won the other so it was one-all between the two classes.  Derek (Smith) has kindly provided a great deal of missing race winners for other years as well so a big thank you to him. I’ve also been able to help him with his own research – with regard to the meetings that the Club promoted under its own steam on Spedeworth circuits in 1975.

Thank you David Wesbroom for helping with data relating to the ex Gary Bonner car that we mentioned in the previous newsletter.

I am not too far away from having a full list of every Midget meeting contested by the present formula but for some reason am missing a list of dates for 1999 as a cross check. We may also be missing some MARC events so if anyone can help, please let me know.

I have also had a very interesting chat with Ron White, a driver who only raced one meeting in the formula back in 1969.  Ron was responsible for getting Frank Boyles involved in Midget racing and the pair shared the driving duties at the opening Ipswich meeting that year.


The annual Motorsport at the Palace event (Crystal Palace Park) proved to be well worth a visit. It was good to meet former Midget racer Jon Doubleday was among the entry in his ‘Fraud Cortina’ . Jon raced with the club back in 1986.

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 ovaltrack@btinternet.com

Current news…

Congratulations to Camey Dorrell who became the first lady winner in the GP Midgets in only her second race meeting. She is probably the youngest winner too at just 16 years of age but it’s going to be difficult to prove that one with nearly 50 years worth of drivers (over 400 in the database so far) to consider.  Camey is also one of a handful of people to race under a three digit number in the class (262), the one she raced in Ministox with.  This has been fairly common practice over the years in Europe but I can only find seven others here in the UK: Scott Roth (100), Geoff Divey (101), Don Bird (111), Chris Phillips (121), Eddy Nichols (124), Arthur Knowlton (128) and Hedley Leyton (208).

I mentioned that Steve Sutch has joined us this year and he has also been a race winner very quickly and led the points after the second meeting.  Steve has coped with racing from the back of the grid really well too, maintaining red grade and staying in a healthy position in the points.

Congratulations to Dave Bonser on winning this year’s World Championship race (the 40th running). Sadly there was no overseas representation but the entry was not the lowest for the event.  Sorry to hear that Neil Clarke was taken poorly at this meeting and we wish him a speedy recovery. Dave also won the European Championship at Posterholt where Richie Scheepens and Fran├žois Damen (making his Midget debut) represented the Netherlands. Congratulations also to Mark Hodges who bagged a race win and also Jonathan Pooley who won the Peter Scheepens Memorial. Thanks to all those who made the weekend’s racing at Posterholt a success and we have continued hope for the return of regular Midget racing out there.

Three new car owners – Keith Brooks (ex Hodges VW), Stu Stretton (ex Bunn Firehawk) and Alex Causer (saving the ex Scheepens car from being weighed in) – welcome both. Actually it’s also farewell to Alex who has sadly had put the car up for sale already.

Four cars went along to Coventry in September for the shale invitation – the following picture is Tony Smith in action (courtesy of Anthony Jenkins).



From the archives...

Courtesy of Thomas Ackroyd, a picture from Skegness which he tells me is from 1979.  We think it might be the Easter weekend. No idea who the lead car is but it’s Basil Craske in 21 followed by Malcolm Goodman, John Lowe and another unidentified driver in a white Fireball mk2 (possibly Ray Hooper).



I am indebted to anyone who has contributed to the archive over the years in any way however small! It can be viewed online at www.ovaltrack.co.uk/gpmidgets/tome.  If you are able to contribute then I would very pleased to hear from you - photos, results and programmes, etc.  I don’t have to have your originals as scans which you can email to me are just as useful.

In closing, as ever, I apologise if I have missed anyone out of this newsletter – It’s not intentional! Please let me have any news when you have it – I will try and maintain a balance between the various eras represented. Please 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.

Richard – gpmidget@gmail.com