Foxhall spectacular promises fireworks
MOTOR SPORT: The traditional gala night hits Ipswich's Foxhall Stadium tonight – the motor racing and fireworks meeting that has got bigger and bigger over the years to the point where it is now part-community event, part-tourist attraction.
THE traditional gala night hits Ipswich's Foxhall Stadium tonight – the motor racing and fireworks meeting that has got bigger and bigger over the years to the point where it is now part-community event, part-tourist attraction.
This is one of the biggest motor sports stadiums in the country, but there is always a full house for the Evening Star-sponsored event as thousands flock from all over the country and beyond with coachloads of spectators coming from as far afield as Germany and Holland.
This year the Dutch are even bringing two drivers with them to take part in the racing.
The action gets underway at 7pm and, as has become customary, its Banger Racing all evening with 60 of the big National Bangers and 80 of the smaller Rookie Bangers providing the on-track excitement.
As well as all the top locals, many big name drivers from other areas are scheduled for an evening of non-stop action with the likelihood of crashes galore, spins, probably an overturn or two, and generally very few finishers to each race.
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Despite the punishment that the cars take, most of the drivers manage to repair them for their next race, and so it goes on until the last event of the evening, the Destruction Derby, where the last car left standing is the winner.
But there is much more to the evening than just the racing. The turnstiles are open from 5pm and there is no shortage of things to do for those who beat the rush by getting here early.
There will be face painting, stilt walkers, cartoon characters, and a bouncy castle. The catering outlets are all open, while there is the famous torch light procession at 6pm.
Spectators, all carrying flaming torches can walk round the track, led by the truly inspirational Suffolk Samba Band, who are back by public demand after their memorable first appearance here last year.
The meeting also includes a spectacular mega stunt which, as always, will involve plenty of loud explosions.
Last year David Sayer drove a Reliant Robin through a line of exploding caravans. Tonight he will be driving an ordinary car straight through a 50-seater coach – from one end to the other and, hopefully, without stopping.
Of course, there will be fireworks as well with £5,000-worth of explosives due to light up the night skies.
Every race and every other event on the night has been sponsored by local businesses with the money raised from the sponsorship going directly to the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) and to the Evening Star's Christmas Charity Appeal.
A good sum has been raised over the last few years and this year the promoters are hopeful that even more will be able to be passed on to these worthwhile causes.
Last year's crowd was one of the biggest in the stadium's 50-year history, and while the car parks are large enough to accommodate everyone, this is such a massive and well established event that it can get very busy on the surrounding roads and in the whole general area. So the advice from the promoters is to get there as early as possible.