Suffolk competitors prepare for new motorsport season

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As we head towards spring, so details are appearing for plans being made by local competitors and the events they intend to compete in, writes Arthur Debenham.

The winter-based Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship ends in May, just two weeks before the 2016 Flanders International Rally Championship gets underway in Belgium on May 28-29.

The series starts with the ORC Canal Rally, the first of six events, with the final round – the Rally Kortrijk – not until November 26-27.

These rallies usually attract considerable interest from UK competitors, including some crews from West Suffolk MC.

Another local crew intending to take in Belgium rallies this year, will be that of Thetford-based Johnnie Ellis.

Following this weekend’s South Downs Rally, the Thetford International Subaru Impreza will be given a new power unit in readiness for a Belgium-based series.

The circuit racing season at Snetterton gets underway on March 19, with a Clubmans meeting organised by MSVR.

The two main meetings at the Norfolk circuit will be held on consecutive weekends, with the British Touring Car Championship on July 30-31, followed by the British GT and BRDC Formula 4 Championships, on August 6-7.

However, it will be events organised by clubs such as the 750MC, Classic Sports CC and Historic Sports CC that will attract a good number of our local race competitors.

Troston’s John Cutmore is awaiting completion of a new Spire for the 750MC’s RGB Championship, with the main aim of improving the aerodynamics as he sets out to take on current champion, Scott Mittell.

Testing should begin in March.

Among HSCC competitors, Stephen Glasswell will continue in Historic Formula Ford 2000, with his Reynard, and is preparing a second similar car.

Glasswell also continues as the constructor of the very competitive Storm Formula Vee single-seater race cars.

Tony Davis tells me he plans to race an MGB in the Historic Road Sports Championship, while Peter Chappell will continue with the Austin Healey Sprite.

Both have Fairthorpes being rebuilt, but neither are expected to be seen this year.

The HSCC will be at Snetterton on June 4-5, in what will be their 50th anniversary year.

For the 750MC, June 25-26 will be the first of two visits to Norfolk.

For Chedburgh’s Stephen Pearson, the Toyo Tyres Racing Saloon Series will begin at Snetterton at Easter.

This will see him continue with the BMW M3.

For oval racing fans, Foxhall Stadium, at Kesgrave near Ipswich, hosts its first meeting on March 5.

Major events at the Ipswich venue include the Superstox European Championship on May 14; Thunder 500 National Hot Rods on June 18, with the World Championships for National Hot Rods held as part of the 2016 Spedeweekend on July 2-3.

The current Wimbledon programme ends on March 20 (let’s hope it’s not the last one) and Great Yarmouth opens its season on March 27.

DIARY DATES

Rallying

South Downs Stages, Southern MC-Bognor Regis MC, Saturday.

Round two of the Jelf Motorsport.com/AEMC Championships. Local entry - Johnnie Ellis/Marc Fowler.

Short Circuit

Wimbledon, Sunday, 5.30pm.

Lightning Rods; Stock Rods; Bangers.

COMING SOON

Car Trial

Holbecks Park, February 21.

Short Circuit

Wimbledon, February 21.