Obituary Charlie Hodges and Nick Linfield.
We at Spedeworth / Incarace are still reeling from yesterday’s very sad news at the loss of former Spedeworth Stalwart Drivers #64 Charlie Hodges and #87 Nick Linfield.
Again, it is so very difficult to put into words the contributions they made to Oval Motorsport. Charlie first came to Spedeworth in the 1980’s to race in the Formula 80, Formula, and Later to become Spedeworth F1’s after competing at his local Grimley raceway in Worcestershire.
For many seasons, Charlie hardly ever missed a meeting and would travel miles to honour a Sunday Night Booking at Yarmouth, only to travel back through the night and be at work for 8:00am in Worcester the next day such was his commitment and love for racing.
In a similar vein, Nick Linfield is simply a legend in Spedeworth Banger Racing folklore. 1981 World Champion, Nick was known as ‘the Gentleman’ of Banger racing and was highly respected by anyone who traded paint with him. His trademark Austin 3Ltr’s became synonymous with Spedeworth Banger racing and he would happily travel into East Anglia alone for a Saturday nights action at Wisbech or a Sunday Yarmouth – in short he was a fabulous ambassador for his chosen sport and even featured in a TV Documentary profiling both his and Eddie George’s lives on and off the Ovals.
Well known Banger Racing Scribe 'Farina' had this to say about Nick;
“Legend” is a word far too often used these days but it is an apt description for former Banger racing star 87 Nick Linfield, the mutton-chopped sideburned racing farrier from Rowlands Castle.
My records show him first appearing at the old Aldershot HQ in an A60 Estate on May 25th 1974, as a member of the newly formed Chantry Farm Racing team, although I am sure he would have begun his career at the old ARC track in Funtington near Emsworth.
In his early days, he was well known for racing Austin Westminsters and driving in a very direct and full contact style. However, when he moved onto Austin 3 Litres, he really came into his own. In 1981 he won the King of the Fens title at Wisbech but his crowning glory was winning the World Title the same year at the much missed Plough Lane circuit at Wimbledon.
It was a pleasure to watch him in action, and when he reappeared for a couple of the Old Boys meetings at Wimbledon using XJ's, he showed that all the skill and aggression was still there. RIP Nick - gone but will never be forgotten.
Both man were larger than life characters, always had time for a chat with everyone at meetings and even after their respective retirements from racing a good few years back now, were still very popular characters when seen around the Raceways and Car Shows.
For now we ask you to remember and reflect on two good men and larger than life Drivers who will be missed by so many.
Our sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to all the Hodges and Linfield Families, and many, many friends and fans at this very sad time.