Monday, 19 February 2018

Midget Heritage Newsletter 19 - February 2018

Hello and welcome along to the third newsletter in blog format. If you're a new reader then please let me have your email address.  If you have news of anyone who was involved in the formula from days gone by I would be very pleased to hear from you. My email address is gpmidget@gmail.com

In case you didn't realise you can click on the pictures for a better view of them :-) 

Unfortunately the newsletter tends to bear sad news more often than not and we were saddened to hear about the passing of Malcolm Brockhurst in January. Malcolm raced in the Spedeworth years in the early seventies and will be remembered for being a race winning driver and also the man who raced the lone Dastle type 5 which is being restored by Guy Smith as mentioned in an earlier missive.

After moving to a Dastle type 7 Malcolm was also runner up in the 1973 European Championship at Kaldenkirchen - the Midgets having made a three day racing trip to Holland and Germany. This was the first proper international meeting staged for the present Midget racing formula.

A minute silence was observed for Malcolm at the BARC South Eastern Centre presentation night at Brands Hatch in January.

Sadly Bette Hill passed away on 9th December - we reported the news on the GP Midgets Facebook page and a couple of readers mentioned that they had met her during the MARC days. Graham Hill was of course Club President for a very short while and he actually drove a car on one of the MARC press days at, I think, White City.  Bette donated the Graham Hill trophy to the club and it has been contested since 1978.

There were three impressive looking Midgets on display at the Autosport Show in Birmingham in January - all of them side engine vehicles.  The cars attracted a lot of interest from visitors and that may well generate new drivers on track in due course.

2018 Fixtures

Hope you can all make it along to one of the meetings this year - a good variety of locations again so well done to those responsible and our thanks to all the sponsors and also to Spedeworth. It's 50 years since the first season of competition!

2018 dates Venue Event
Saturday 7th April Birmingham Fire expel / i Factor
Sunday 15th April Buxton Simon Pashley Cup (BCP Services)
Sunday 6th May Swaffham  
Sunday 20th May Hednesford British Championship
Monday 28th May Eastbourne Southern Championship
Sunday 10th June Hednesford European Championship
Sunday 24th June Buxton Northern Championship
Sunday 1st July Aldershot Bill Boarer Memorial
Saturday 21st July Ipswich World Championship (Super Slicks)
Saturday 11th August Swaffham June Cochrane Cup
Sunday 12th August Swaffham East of England Championship
Monday 27th August Ipswich National Championship (Pooley Plant)
Saturday 8th September Birmingham Dorrell Flooring Challenge
Sunday 23rd September Swaffham Derek Kisby Trophy
Sunday 7th October Birmingham Midland Championship
Sunday 21st October Swaffham Graham Hill Trophy
Saturday 3rd November Birmingham i Factor Final

                 
Andy Collins returns

Nice to welcome back Andy Collins the ranks for 2018.  Andy was World Champion in 2003 and European Champion in 2002, front engine points champion in 1999 and 2002 after originally joining us in 1995 when he was the top newcomer. Andy was also Chairman at one time and he was very good at keeping the media side up to speed. Since leaving Midgets he has raced Hot Rods (2 Litre and Classics) plus Superstox and F2. He tells me he wanted to race a traditional front engine Midget (a brand new Gazelle) and is looking forward to meeting up with old faces again although he has kept in touch with us all since his first stint.

Archives

We've been getting loads of detail for results from Spedeworth races in the seventies and discovered that the last ever Spedeworth Midget race (before the formation of the Grand Prix Midget Club) was won by MARC driver Paul Daly. I mailed Paul and unsurprisingly he was unaware of the significance. I say unsurprisingly as no one at the time would probably have given it a second thought. There was also a multi-formula race at the end of the meeting in question (Sunday 27th October 1974, Arlington) but the only Midget starter, Derek Johnson, wound up in the fence.

Moving on a couple of years, can anyone tell us more about a driver who pops up in the 1976 listings? It's 95 Tony Heath who scored 9 points in the season and I reckon they were at the Yarmouth meeting in July - he does not appear in any other results from the year. Thanks in advance.

The other thing which is a gaping hole in the archives are the complete championship points from 1981-1983 - if anyone has them it would be good to be able to build them into the archive.

Blast from the past

I found a photo in Trevor Hill's archives of some white graders on the grid at Ipswich early in 1973 most likely the meeting on 25th March - it features #77, the topic of one of our previous archives, Alan Cullen. Alan is chatting with M42 Dave Stevens. Ray Perry M47 is in front.

Cheers,

Richard – gpmidget@gmail.com

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