Spedeworth’s oldest formula celebrates it’s 50th World championship final at Foxhall Stadium in October and the drivers started the party very early last weekend with an absolutely majestic display of high speed bumperwork that thrilled Stock Car fans of all ages writes Kevin Wegg.
Fans who watched the early Stock Car skirmishes in 1961 at the Heath would have been well impressed as the open-wheeled cars put on a terrific show none more so than former Brisca F2 world champion Daz Kitson who has made the switch to Spedeworth full-time and wasted no time introducing the sports’ top names to his front bumper.
An impressive thirty-eight car entry for the first heat (with Ashley Watts failing to start) made for a busy track and on a fast, dry track a pile-up was a good each-way bet. Dave Pike and Steve Hamilton duly obliged, the latter ending up broadside on the home straight with Kevin Croxon, Ben Marjoram and Paul Birksfield all piling in for good measure. Croxon came off worst with terminal front end damage whilst Marjoram needed a minute or two after his meat and two veg were given a right shakedown, much to the amusement of some of his crew!
From the restart Daz Kitson made his intentions with the front bumper perfectly clear moving over Nick Smith and Shaun Brooker. Jason Cooper was next to be unceremoniously shoved but the battle of the former gold tops had only just started though with Cooper rightly giving as good as he got before Kitson returned the dosage with venom which side-lined Cooper. Great stuff. Meanwhile up-front Dean Hummerstone and Colin Aylward had a great battle which ended when the latter spun out only for Sean Smith to use the bumper to take it up until Jonathan Field nosed in front where he stayed. Kitson finished an impressive eighth with more than a few notches on his bumper which begged the question what would happen in race two? Despite the earlier pile-up only Pike and Croxon failed to make it with Marjoram’s swelling sufficiently reduced thus allowing him to get behind the wheel again!
Once again Kitson sent the “Superstox Skittles” scattering everywhere with Glen Salmon, Billy Smith, Shaun Brooker and Matt Carberry all falling victim. Cooper got in first though before Mark Kelman gave him a no-nonsense hit. Yet again Cooper showed his mettle with another push on Kitson who later got it wrong going in to turn three and almost hit the fence. Inexplicably though he got stuck behind the parked-up Alfie Smith and proceeded to push him away from the fence in order to free himself leaving Smith stranded. Not the most sporting of moves it has to be said. Hummerstone’s long-time lead was finally cut short when Smith put the bumper in with one lap to go.
Two cracking races so far set it up nicely for the final where Phil Proctor was launched over the bonnet of Bobby Davis Jnr and ripped his front bumper off in the process. Kelman was on a mission in this one and took it up after Steve Hamilton had led the early stages. Dave Miles Snr was looking good in third place in his smart new home-built machine until he pulled up whilst Marjoram had cleared the water from his eyes after his race one shunt to land a big hit on Steve Jackson who was unmoved. The dosage was repeated one lap later and this time he was through with Field receiving similar treatment. We always like to see people fight back and that’s just what Field did but it wasn’t enough to dislodge the world champion who hit Hamilton in the process causing him to spin out of third place. A hard-earned third for Marjoram was just reward after his balls bounced back from his earlier spill; Aylward quietly went about his business for second and Kelman took his first win after his return to racing. Brilliant racing then from the Supers and their return on May 15th is an absolute “must see” with Mr Kitson no doubt having added a few more to his hit list in the meantime and vice-versa!!
A World Championship qualifying round for the National Bangers meant that the vast majority of the forty-three starters were on a points-scoring mission and hence went racing rather than wrecking. Andy Scarlett gave an impromptu firework display as his back-end collapsed in heat one. Michael Allard took that one with Lee and Dale Hughes securing a 1-2 in the second. East Anglian hopes were dealt a blow in the final as Carl Gould was gradually demoted first by Jason Jackson and then Charlie King but Jon Wilkinson kept the flag flying with a win. Points on the DD added a few more cars than usual with Jason Cobbold taking a slightly roundy-roundy affair after Ben Smith caught fire.
The visiting Slick Cars – a mixture of Super Rods(nine); Outlaw Hot Rods(fourteen) and National Hot Rods(4) on slick tyres – which were graded accordingly produced some interesting racing with plenty of overtaking as the Outlaws gradually overhauled the Super Rods for whom John Wicks and Shaun Jacklin put on a good show at the front in all three races. Phil Young (Mr Cheese) took the first and made an impressive move to catch the two leaders with just two to go but just couldn’t get past Jacklin in heat two after Rob Tinto’s Super Rod had blown up big time causing several cars to spin. Chas Farrer lost a wheel in the final to temporarily cause chaos as Outlaw Mick Cave got amongst the Super Rods and took Jacklin on the outside to claim the spoils with the first four nose-to-tail. Perhaps surprisingly the national hot rods were simply not in it with Jason Cooper the leading performer taking an eighth in one of the heats. His battles in the Rod and probably even more so with his Superstox now that Kitson is on board will make for some fascinating race action!