Wednesday, 29 November 2017

GP Midgets on YouTube

Sunday 29th September 1974, Wisbech
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtwWnpG2N_o

The Midget footage starts at 5:46 although you will probably enjoy the other racing in the film as well.  One caveat though - the various clips are not shown in date order, for example the Midgets are from 1974 but there is a 1975 SCOTA F1 clip shown before that.

5:58 Green car is Malcolm Goodman, the red car following him is Derek Kisby.
6:01 Orange and black car inside is Keith Fransella with the red front engine of 55 Neil Thomas then the white Fireball of Frank Boyles. Mick Bonner in green is at the back
6:13 the black Dastle is Bob Elson



1975 European Championship, Kaldenkirchen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqkn5vkjFFI&t=15s


Arlington 1975
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnvZ7H4sgqI

2:32 - brief shots of the Grand Parade
4:23 - about 10 seconds of race footage from the back straight


Posterholt late 1970s(?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cjm8DEc6oU0

From 1:54


1983, Tilburg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6GsaBhUEBI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjkfdXw_zCU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDobUZ0o4LQ


23 October 1983, Kaldenkirchen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8wDbUA18G0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcn0_Hmve7Y


1983 Kaldenkirchen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XTDFt6X_Og


1984 World Championship, Northampton 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtwWnpG2N_o


Northampton Easter 1992
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOHLxEaomec

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Midget Heritage Newsletter 18 - November 2017

Hello and welcome along to our latest newsletter, the second in Blog format. If you're a new reader then please let me have your email address.  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 gpmidget@gmail.com

Thanks to all who said "hi" after the last issue - always good to know people have at least had a look at this posting. I was very encouraged with the viewing statistics of the first blog newsletter.

Toni Scheepens

Very sad news to open this one - Toni Scheepens has passed away. Toni won the 1996 Midget World Championship at Peterborough in his Fireball mk3 copy. Our sincere condolences to Toni's family and many friends.

2017 Points Championship

Congratulations to all drivers who took part in this year's championship and to the champion Jonathan Pooley who takes the title ahead of Dave Bonser and Steve Sutch. Well done to this year's top newcomer Pete Gillett who was 8th overall.  The full table is here.

New Build


Matt Hyde's new car
Matt Hyde's new car broke cover - Eight months hard work rewarded and it looks fabulous.  The car debuted at the Bill Boarer Memorial meeting at Birmingham in October and won heat two from the blue grade.

Ipswich

The Ipswich meeting on August Bank Holiday Monday provided a few news stories.  The entry list originally included former World Champion Klaus Kilianski but some late problems meant that he was unable to come. We were however delighted to welcome Dutch driver Francois Damen who was racing one of the Pooley team's rear engine Scorpians. Francois became the first overseas driver to win here in the UK for many years. Michael Sutch was also back on track, this time along with his brother Steve plus the welcome return of Peter Dorrell too.

From the archives...

Something a little different.  There are several decent Facebook groups looking at different formulae and a discussion on a Superstox one went off at a complete tangent talking about Midgets and former Spedeworth commentator Alan Cullen who used to race.  To cut a long story short I dug out an old Spedeworth Wheelspin newsletter which I recalled had a picture of Alan's car for sale.   It was actually part of a dedicated Midget Cars Sales & Wants section which I am reproducing here.  It was February 1974 by the way.



We'd not connected Alan to the number 77 before - all the Spedeworth programme entries for car 77 that I have seen only show the number and no name so it was good to fill in a blank in the records.  The good news is that I gather that Alan is still around - he was one of several people whom I used to send printed copies of the newsletter to but unfortunately I never heard back from him.

The car in the photo looks like an early Arrow. Perhaps if anyone reading this knows then they could let us know.

Going back to number 77 it was of course also used by Norbert Dietsch at around the same time in MARC circles and then later on by Graham Sinclair and nowadays of course by Neil Clarke.

Our next update should include details of the 2018 season. If you have any news then please let us know.

Cheers,

Richard – gpmidget@gmail.com

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Midget Heritage Newsletter 17 - Summer 2017

Hello and welcome along to our latest newsletter which I am now writing up as a blog rather than a formatted newsletter. Although I will still send out some printed copies I am going to make this internet based version the principal one.  You can also access the previous copies via the links on the right. The key thing though is staying in touch with people and I will continue to send out email to alert people to these updates. If you're a new reader then please let me have your email address.  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 gpmidget@gmail.com

The 2017 season is well underway with several more new side engine machines – I wonder if we should now be recording the “sides” separate from the traditional front engine cars trophy-wise?

Great to welcome Malcolm Fozzy Foskett, Luke Carnwell and Pete Gillett to the formula – Malx has already won a race (in only his second meeting with the formula. Such a shame that we do not have Short Circuit magazine to report such things in these days – there really is nowhere in print media for the club to feature (unless anyone is getting some local coverage).

From a promoter’s point of view it must be very difficult to get new spectators through the gates these days. Social media is all very well but it tends to preach only to the converted.  Many organisations defer to Facebook and the like for their news or results but these do not marshal the information in an accessible way for people to access the information again at a later date.

Archives
Compiling the history of the sport is throwing up some questions of late. I recently watched the Spedeworth film “The Long Black Strip” for the first time in a good while. For those who don’t know, it’s a film of some of the action from the 1968 British Superstox Championship weekend – the forerunner of the present Spedeweekend and there is a very short segment featuring the Midgets.  The problem arises because Geoff Rumble’s #3 car appears with the name Don Bird on the side. All the results we’ve accumulated over the years assume that #3 was Geoff Rumble all the time (and Don Bird does not appear on the points charts or driver listings until 1969).  So, at the moment a question mark has to remain over the results of that meeting.

If we tie up the video with the text from Rod Tanswell’s “Evolution of Midgets” chapter from Living With Spede, we can assume that the film captures John Houghton’s debut in the Black Lawnmower.

You can order a copy of the film from this web page

Another problem with 1968 results is the first meeting at Wimbledon which I was recently supplied with and shows Denis Jenkinson in second place in the first ever race. The issue here is that he does not appear in driver listings or points charts…

Midgets in Holland - 1970 at S'Hertogen Boch
I am still adding odds and ends to the archive - the latest thing of interest is the formula's first visit to Holland in May 1970. Small mentions about the visit appear in different places such as Living with Spede and Wheelspin but I've started to pull all that information together now which helps the context.

Dell Stickings 
Dell in winning form at Brands Hatch
We are sorry to report the passing of Dell Stickings. Based in south London, Dell was one of a few Stock Car formula drivers who tried their hand at Spedeworth's Midget racing when it commenced in 1968. His stay in the formula only lasted a few months but he has the distinction of being the driver at the top of the first ever points chart dated 11 May 1968. He won Midget races at Ipswich, Yarmouth, Wimbledon and Brands Hatch, dovetailing his racing with the then newly renamed Super Stock Cars. Dell first appears in the Stock Car entry lists back in 1963 which saw the first full season at his home track of Wimbledon Stadium. He quickly became a red graded driver and maintained that through to the end of the decade. He also represented London in the 1966 Team League races. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Latest News

Visitors to the website or Facebook page will have seen that Jonathan Pooley won the World Championship race at Birmingham. Congratulations Jonathan and also to Leon Smith who won this year's National Championship at Buxton.

Reeve's Return

The National Championship meeting at Buxton saw the return to GP Midgets of Tim Reeve.  I thought I recognised the name and of course a dig through the archives found him in the 1990 table. Tim was driving one of the Pooley team Scorpians. Team Pooley have done a great job in getting different drivers out on track and are clearly the people to contact if you know anyone who would like to try the present fomula.

From the Archives

Stuart Staniford's  mk2 Fireball in the pits at Buxton - taken back in 1995. Somewhat scary to think this was 22 years ago...  The picture was taken by Rod Pashley.


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

Monday, 6 February 2017

Midget Heritage Newsletter 16 - January 2017

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 gpmidget@gmail.com

Current news…
A very smart new Pooley car (below) broke cover in time for the Birmingham show and was on display along with Clifford Bunn's Drinan.


The 2017 fixtures include another trip to Posterholt for the European Championship plus an excellent promotional opportunity with a two day display at the popular Coventry Motorfest. This season is the 50th competitive year of the formula started by Spedeworth with next year being the 50th Anniversary season.

2017 Fixtures

Many congratulations to multiple GP Midget Champion Rob Sayell on winning the Formula Jedi Championship in 2016. Rob therefore becomes one of the select few to move from GP Midget racing to becoming a title holder in National racing on road circuits. His achievement was all the more remarkable as he had to miss two races in the championship since the race dates were published after he had booked a holiday!

TV Coverage
The National GP Midget Championship meeting at Buxton was the first Club meeting for several seasons to feature in TV coverage on the Last Lap programme on Motors TV. Co-incidentally the programme was shared with MASCAR racing and on looking through some Midget notes and Paul Huggett's excellent Short Circuit magazine from 1978 I found a surname that rang a bell, that of Faller from Kettering. I'd interviewed Oli Faller for the MASCAR races and it turns out his dad, Robin, raced with the Midget Club back in 1978. Short Circuit mag included a picture with Robin in car 17.

You can watch the coverage on-line and free of charge via the following website: www.motorsportwebtv.co.uk

From the archives...
Very grateful thanks to George Rimmer who sent me a couple of superb photos including the following. It's from the collection of the late Bev Greenhalf and I am fairly sure I have seen it in a Northampton programme at some time or another. Probably early 1980s and I think, and maybe someone can confirm, it's Pete Smith who was one of the very first Spedeworth drivers. Pete did not race at too many Midget Club meetings in this era.

I've been adding quite a lot of information to the history website in recent months and paid a visit to the British Library in an attempt to find some missing MARC information from copies of the early seventies Car Advertiser title but unfortunately they only hold one copy which I had already seen. Back to the drawing board for missing 1970s data.

Those of you who have looked at the history of the formula will be aware that the text starts in 1967 but I recently found a printed reference to the first completed car which was built by Ron Amas in 1966. The second car to be finished was the Popular Motoring car which was the one displayed at the 1967 Racing Car Show and was used in circuit demonstrations that year. Ironically I've know Ron's son Peter for many years as he raced Legends Cars several years ago but I'd never realised that his dad actually built the first car. Peter tells me his dad let him drive the car around the pit area at Wimbledon Stadium back in 1967.

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