Ipswich, 13th June 2015 – Meeting Report and Photo Gallery

My first visit to the jewel in the Spedeworth crown for some years and I have to say I was very impressed with the improvements they have made to the Foxhall Heath stadium, especially the seating along the back straight – reminded me of Venray but without the pesky – sorry – plexi-glass screens. Thirty-seven cars in attendance so a two-thirds format was adopted for the evening.

Twenty-four lined up for Heat One, amongst them a brand new car for Rob Speak (318) starting at the back of the grid. Chris Cooke (460) led the early laps until a three way battle between Gibson (249), O’Connor (316) and Cowley (73) was resolved briefly in favour of the 316 driver. Cooke spun and 249 took over the lead but Frankie Wainman Junior (515) was up to third in a matter of laps, picking off both second-placed Davids (462) and leader Gibson in quick succession. Tom Harris (84) gained on the Silsden man over the closing laps but FWJ did just enough to take the victory.

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Shoot Out Champion Rob Speak’s new tarmac machine

Another twenty-four for Heat Two, some first time out, some already with one race under their harnesses and another new car, this one in the hands of Dave Allen (499), a very smart Harrison Racing (97/197) built machine. Cooke and rare racer, Mark Allen (301), led them away at the green but were soon passed by Jordan Falding (36). Mark Gray (224) retired with a flat rear tyre for the second race in succession and the yellow flags flew as Ed Neachell (321) gnashed the third bend fence hard. The caution was for debris on the second bend from the Daniel van Spijker (231) car. Mick Sworder (150) was already up to sixth at the time of the stoppage and from the restart made short work of getting to the front. Harris took second off Allen at the half-way stage and, as in heat one, closed the gap on the lead car but was too far back to do anything about Sworder.

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Ed Neachell getting into trouble in Heat 2.

Twenty-three hopefuls for Heat Three which was run at a frantic pace. 301 led from Whittle (183) and Allen (499). Craig Utley (46) clobbered the wall on the first and second bends, dislodging his front axle, bringing out the caution. 301 and 499 retired to the infield before the restart so the new leader was Shaun Webster (48) from Cowley (37) and 249. Speak began his charge through the field as Cowley wellied Webster wide for the lead, taking third as John Lund (53) and Whittle tangled. Dean Whitwell (195) spun when one of his rear tyres popped, Cowley went wide and Speak was through, a lead he maintained to the end.

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Dean Whitwell returns to Ipswich.

No white tops in the twenty-seven car Final so yellow tops 48 and 36 made up the front row as the strains of “Rinky Dink” echoed across the Suffolk countryside. Webster got a bit of a jump start at the green flag but the caution flags flew before the first lap was complete – Colin Goodswen (372) climbed onto the 499 car at the start of the back straight, van Spijker executed a slow roll onto his roof and they were joined by Steward (512) and Hines (259). After a delay to clear up the mess, we had a complete restart, with once again 48 taking the lead from 25 and 36. Cowley (37) clattered 183 and 462 into the fence before the race was again stopped for a serious incident on the centre green.

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This was where Colin Goodswen ended up, after colliding with Dave Allen.

After an understandably long delay the race was resumed with Webster still in front but Tom Harris was lurking in seventh place and was a good bet for the win over the longer distance. As Harris moved inside Sworder on the home straight they hooked up and scraped down the fence, Harris breaking free and chasing after the lead cars. Will Hunter (220) took second from 249 as Webster maintained his lead but Harris closed rapidly and knocked the former saloon pilot wide to take the top spot, extending his lead to the flag. Last bend bumperwork between 48, 220 and 217 failed to change the order – Harris first, Webster second and Hunter third.

Due to time constraints the Grand National was cancelled.

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Tom Harris (84) eventually took victory in the Final.

Words: Mick Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley

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