Arthur Debenham’s motor sport column: Our sport is coming to life
It’s March, and like our gardens, motorsport is coming to life again, although trials and rallies have kept us awake over the winter months.
This weekend, the Foxhall Stadium at Ipswich will one again echo to the sound of well-tuned engines, as Spedeworth springs into action.
However, this is somewhat overshadowed by the fact that Sunday looks like the end of the road for oval racing at Wimbledon, which began in 1962 when Stan Ingle won the Superstox World Championship.
Over the years, our local drivers have enjoyed success in the World contest including Garry Sparkes and Jason Cooper, both of whom have secured the title at the London venue.
Since the introduction of London’s Low Emission Zone, the cost of taking a transporter to the track has forced some drivers to drop Wimbledon from their programme, and this includes Garry Sparkes from Felsham.
This weekend, the Superstox competitors gather there for round two of the Safari Land Rover Series, part of a meeting that will be for advanced ticket holders only.
Last Saturday, Foxhall hosted an open practice night and Matt Carberry was giving his Superstox a shakedown in a readiness for his coming season, the car having seen the arrival of a new power unit over the winter.
Another member of the Stanton-based family, young Toby Partridge, has already given his new Ninja Kart its first outing at Arena Essex.
Following a good run in his first races, which included an eighth-place finish, Toby was up to third position in the final when the race was stopped. A result was declared following a one-lap countback, this dropping him to an eventual fifth position.
Toby has a busy season ahead of him, but he hopes to fit in the show on the Angel Hill in May.
Classic Hot Rod racer, Steve Lumley, should also make the show but his MKII Ford Escort may have a somewhat quieter season due to business commitments.
The recent Snetterton Stages Rally not only provided a good day’s sport for its competitors, but also allowed them to find out more about the Anglia Motor Sport Club, the event organisers.
The rally was well received and the recently-formed 10-strong group of local motor clubs must now be well known right across the UK.
The number of clubs in the country have reduced in large numbers over recent years and AMSC is doing a great job of bringing a degree of stability to the situation.
With the next two rounds of the Motorsport News Circuit Championship coming up over the next few weeks, there seems few if any local crews entered.
Hopefully, this will change when the 2017-18 series fires up later this year.
The news from the Rix family is that youngest member Aaron, plans a full assault, whether that will be with the MG ZR he took to third in class at Snetterton, remains to be seen.
The Ford Kat of Clare Rix is due for a rebuild prior to any further outing.
Short Circuit. Ipswich, Saturday, 6.45pm.
Two-litre Hot Rods, Historic Stock Cars, Bangers.
Wimbledon, Sunday, 5.30pm.
Final event, BriSCA F1, Saloon Stock Cars, Superstox.
Car Trial. Wattisfield, March 19.
Targa Rally. Wethersfield, March 26.