Lively affair at Foxhall to start season

THE first motor sport meeting of the 2007 season at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich was an entertaining and lively affair that bodes well for what is to come during the rest of the year.

THE first motor sport meeting of the 2007 season at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich was an entertaining and lively affair that bodes well for what is to come during the rest of the year.

It was a bit chilly, but the track was in good condition and had almost dried out by finals time, so all three formulas were able to race at full speed.

The Lightning Rod East Anglian Championship was the main event, and with around 30 cars, it was fairly well subscribed for this early in the year.

These are all big Sierras, so the track always looked full of cars, but as usual, most of the big names managed to find a way through.

Wins in the heats for Stuart Sculthorpe and Steve Santry put these two on the front row of the grid for the championship, but Santry didn't start well and slipped back down the order, while race favourite Diggy Smith from Dereham was making rapid progress from grid five. He was soon up to second, and set off after Mike Daniels who, by now, had relieved Sculthorpe of the lead.

However, mechanical problems set in at half distance, and he pulled out, leaving Daniels comfortably clear to go on and take the win. Sculthorpe's second place was never seriously threatened, while local racer Michael Kent did well to hold off a late challenge for third from George Morphey, Lee Morrow and Santry.

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All in all, it was a very satisfactory evening for Daniels, whose four-hour journey from Poole must have seemed very worthwhile.

There was rather more local success in the Super Stox where the East Anglians chalked up wins in all three races.

Yarmouth's Mark Smith had an easy win in the opening heat, and looked like doing the same again in heat two.

However, 2005 World Champion Jason Cooper had other ideas, and made up a huge amount of ground over the closing laps. He tried to dislodge Smith on the last bend, but was always going too fast, and while he managed to nudge Smith, it was never enough.

His efforts only resulted in him spinning himself off, while Smith escaped to take his second win of the night.

Cooper was unable to repair his car in time for the final, while Smith never really got among them in the way that he had in the heats. Young Henry King from Wisbech led for much of the way, but was overtaken just before the end by Ipswich's Michael Walmsley, who took a popular win, and reigning World Champion Steven Jackson from Harleston.

Another long-distance traveller, Vicky Brand from Brighton, won the opening Stock Car race, but car damage in heat two put her out of the reckoning, while the same fate befell Louis Whiteman, who overturned, resulting in Woodbridge driver Simon Berry taking the victory.

Both Brand and Berry had driven well for their wins, but they had a slight advantage over the others with their front wheel drive Vauxhall Novas, which were more suited to the slippery conditions.

Both went out of the final at various times, leaving Danny Colliver with the win in his Ford Puma, the only other front wheel drive car still in the race.

Local stars Mark Bloss and Simon Welton chased him across the line in a close finish for the honours.

Lightning Rods

Heat One: 1 Stuart Sculthorpe (Chatteris), 2 Steve Santry (Cambridge), 3 Dave Imber (Dartford).

Heat Two: 1 Santry, 2 George Morphey (Saxmundham), 3 Michael Kent (Diss).

Final - East Anglian Championship: 1 Mike Daniels (Poole), 2 Sculthorpe, 3 Kent.

Super Stox

Heat One: 1 Mark Smith (Yarmouth), 2 Henry King (Wisbech), 3 Colin Aylward (Crowland).

Heat Two: 1 Smith, 2 Aylward, 3 Steven Jackson (Harleston).

Final: 1 Michael Walmsley (Ipswich), 2 Jackson, 3 King.

Stock Cars

Heat One: 1 Vicky Brand (Brighton), 2 Simon Berry (Woodbridge), 3 Daniel Wenn (Norwich).

Heat Two: 1 Berry, 2 Paul Brown (Braintree), 3 Paul Anscombe (Eastbourne).

Final: 1 Danny Colliver (Mitcham), 2 Mark Bloss (Woodbridge), 3 Simon Welton (Attleborough).