Foxhall stages traditional meeting

IPSWICH'S Foxhall Stadium stages its traditional and always very popular motor sport special on Easter Monday afternoon which is headlined by the National Hot Rods.

IPSWICH'S Foxhall Stadium stages its traditional and always very popular motor sport special on Easter Monday afternoon which is headlined by the National Hot Rods.

This is Round 13 of their 2007 World Championship qualifying series, from which the top 20 points scorers after 17 rounds will go forward to July's World Championship race which will also beheld at Foxhall, as it has for every year since 1972.

Drivers from other nations have to be accommodated on the World Final grid as well but. in general, the higher the driver finishes in his qualifying series, the nearer to the front of the grid for the big race.

The top 20 is still far from settled, while there are five drivers still in with a chance of topping the points, amongst them Ipswich star and current World Champion Carl Boardley.

He is just a few points behind the surprise package of the series, Scotsman James Jamieson, whose consistency has made his regular long journeys from Aberdeen very worthwhile.

The battle between these two, and other leading contenders like 2005 champion Malcolm Blackman and the up and coming Matthew Simpson will be the focus of attention for regular race goers, while the many first- timers who traditionally boost the crowd on Easter Monday will just enjoy the sight and spectacle of 20 or so of these super cars racing around the very fast Foxhall quarter-mile tarmac oval.

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Outwardly, the cars resemble their road going origins, with Corsas, Tigras, 206s and the like all popular choices, but hand- built all-steel engines producing about 230bhp, and running gear to accommodate all this power, can easily push the price up to around £25,000.

The Superstox provide part of an excellent back up program; although very different from the Hot Rods, they are equally spectacular and just as popular.

These are single seat specials which look good, and are very fast, but to make a difficult driving job even harder, pushing and shoving is allowed.

'Suicide' tactics don't really work, but a well-timed nudge here and there can make all the difference at these sort of speeds, particularly in a pack of around 30 cars.

The formula is very strong locally, with many of the world's best living in this area, including reigning World Champion Stephen Jackson from Harleston, Yarmouth's Mark Smith, who is the reigning British Champion and won both heats at the last meeting here, a meeting in which Ipswich's Mike Walmsley took a popular win in the final.

The Big Van Bangers complete the programme in their own inimitable way.

Something more than just pushing and shoving is allowed in these; it's full on, heavy duty contact, which can soon reduce these Big Vans - transits, Sherpas, camper vans, burger vans and so on - to rather less than their normal length and width.

All good fun and nice to see White Van Man at last getting a taste of what it's like to have an aggressive transit sitting on your back bumper.

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