The show gets back on the road this Saturday night at the Foxhall Heath Stadium, Ipswich for what promises to be a fantastic night of racing action from two formulas we very rarely see on the same bill as each other.
The meeting also marks the first Spedeworth/Incarace event with spectators since lockdown began. Now, of course Standlake ran a meeting last Sunday which was the first short oval meeting allowed to run with fans permitted – although admittedly at a much-reduced capacity.
It’s been a frustrating few months for all of us, but thanks to the efforts of everyone, we can resume some sort of normality.
The Unlimited National Bangers return to the Foxhall Heath Stadium for their third round of the Banger World Series (BWS). Normally, the BWS would be nearing its conclusion with the World Championship marking the end of a tough and arduous road. However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it is still in its early stages.
Three drivers have booked their spot on this year’s World Final grid – should it be run – joining current World Champion Mick Maskell Jnr on the grid. These are 2015 World Champion Jack Overy, Stacey Holdsworth and Jack Tuffen.
Overy booked his sport on the grid after winning the soaking wet Aldershot BWS round back in early February whilst Holdsworth put in a storming drive to win the Final at Ipswich back in mid-March. Tuffen took the Final at the Aldershot behind closed doors meeting recently.
All three are booked in for action again this Saturday and will be using the meeting as valuable track time ahead of this year’s World Final.
The Entertainers League is currently being led by Team Black star Patxi Beasley who has raced two very smart Jaguars in the first two rounds. At the Ipswich round back in March, Beasley met Bears driver Ashley Riley with a massive head-on over on turn’s three and four. Whilst Riley is booked in for action again this Saturday, Beasley is not.
This could open the door for a man who has come on leaps and bounds over the last few months and who will go into this Saturday’s meeting level on points with Beasley at the top of the Entertainers League. Brent Shaw is vying to make his first appearance in the World Final and is trying to do it via the entertainment route.
He has raced two Ford Scorpio variants in the first two rounds, both of which were very smartly presented. His Hearse at Aldershot was still left in-tact despite having broken steering and the back end sitting perfectly for a hit. Understandably, Shaw was rather gutted about that but his limo after the Ipswich round in March certainly made up for that with the car ending the night considerably shorter than he started it. It remains to be seen what he has in store for us this Saturday.
Callum Hall currently sits in third with Carl Sowter fourth, Jack Reynolds fifth, Colin Dicken sixth and Dutch superstar Dennis Vorkink in seventh. All these names, with the exception of Sowter are booked and ready for action again this Saturday.
The season resuming is great news for everyone, none more so than for Vorkink himself, who had set himself the goal of competing in all the BWS rounds this year. He’s a great entertainer and one of the most dedicated drivers in the sport right now and is another aiming to make his first World Final appearance, despite coming over for the support races many times.
He’s raced two very smart Volvo’s in the first two rounds with the second one coming under some stick from the earlier mentioned, Beasley, when he followed him in on turn three. Vorkink is yet again Volvo powered for this Saturday, piloting a very smart 262c. He will be joined by fellow Dutchman Kevin Mulder who is no stranger to the crashing side of things.
There are currently an incredible 102 drivers booked in for action with some intriguing battles to keep an eye on.
Ricki Finney will be one to watch as he looks to have his hands full with Holdsworth and 2018 World Champion Carl Korszewski booked in. Similarly, DWO man and Westcountry hard-hitter Andrew Jones will have to keep his wits about him with Team Grey & Black drivers Mark Foster and Jack Foster Jnr as well as Bears trio Hall, Riley and Josh Spokes also on the booking list – although they might have their hands full with Team Black drivers; Sid Madgwick, Harry Overy, John Golden and former World Champion Overy.
Both Steven and Rob Bugler together with Charlie Randell will have their eyes on stopping the Midnight Runners quartet of Jack Ansell, Charlie Jackson, and former World Champions Dale and Lee Hughes.
Both Stuart and Jordan Cumming will be watching out for last year’s inaugural Entertainers League winner, Barton Boy Jamie Pole, but if they can keep their noses clean, don’t count either of them out in booking their spots on the World Final grid either.
Mix with this a whole list of very quick and hard-hitting drivers, it’s set to be a great night of racing action from the Unlimited National Bangers.
The National Hot Rods have had to wait the best part of nearly nine months for their fix of racing action. With the World Final cancelled this year, attention turns to the long road ahead towards the 2021 World Championship.
Current World Champion Rob McDonald leads the entry with English points Champion Aaron Dew also primed and ready to kick-start the defence of his title. He was ‘Mr Consistent’ last year, finishing in the top-10 of every World Series Final, finishing not lower than seventh in any of them.
McDonald finished in seventh as he once again looks to qualify for the World Final through the English series, despite being based in Scotland.
Scottish points Champion and former 2LTR Hot Rod World Champion Gordon Alexander also looks set to compete in the English series this time around. He took the Wildcard Grand Final and the Betfred Trophy at Spedeweekend last year, so will be one to watch this Saturday.
European Champion Jason Kew and former multiple Champion Chris Haird are also booked in for action – they finished second and third respectively in the English points chart last season.
Steve Philips is set to make his debut in his brand-new Autoxross Motorsport Services Ford Fiesta after jumping ship from the Mercedes SLK over the Winter break. He finished down in 38th last year, but with a new car underneath him, he will be one to keep an eye on.
2018 World Champion Billy Wood is set to make his first public appearance in the category after his ban and will certainly be up there challenging for race wins on the night. He was quickest at the practice day at the start of the month with more speed potentially there in his refurbished Vauxhall Tigra.
Tommy Miller is set to make his National Hot Rod debut after performing very well in the 2LTR Hot Rods for a number of years whilst two men who have been around the sport for a long time; Neil Muddle and Frank West are also booked in for the event.
All drivers will be wanting a good start to their World Qualifying campaigns but will also equally not want to lose too much ground early on with the top-17 from the English points chart automatically securing their spot on the grid.
It’s set to be an intriguing night of racing action as we slowly start the long road ahead back to normality. Good luck to all drivers racing in both categories.
By Jordan Hollands.