Marty stable after heart attack horror
MOTOR SPORT: Saturday evening's motor racing at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, will be remembered for a long while for many reasons, not least for what happened in the V8 Stock Cars East Anglian Championship.
SATURDAY evening's motor racing at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, will be remembered for a long while for many reasons, not least for what happened in the V8 Stock Cars East Anglian Championship.
Favourite Marty Page from Willisham, had built up a huge lead by half distance, but then started to slow before speeding up again, and then slowing once more, this time to a halt parked up against the safety wall alcove.
The race had been run in a torrential downpour, so officials assumed that water had perhaps got into the car's electrics, when all of a sudden, it started up again, ran around the alcove for a few yards before bouncing off it and careering across the centre green, demolishing the flag pole as it went, but this did at least stop the car.
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Before that, officials could see that all was not well with Marty, the race was stopped instantly and the two on-site ambulances were on the scene within moments. He was immediately transferred to Ipswich Hospital and as of Monday, he was sitting up in hospital, eating breakfast and wondering what all the fuss was about.
What it was about was a heart attack, and while his situation is "stable and comfortable" there are further tests to be carried out, and it will be a little while before he's up and about again.
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The race was abandoned and no result declared.
Dennis Harris and Darren Mitchell had been second and third at the time; neither would have accepted the win under these circumstances even if it had been offered to them.
The other formulas raced on, though, with the 2L Hot Rods contesting the British Championship. The heats had been run in the dry, producing wins for Peterborough's Jon Field and the Hayes' driver Sean O'Leary, but the championship was all about one driver, world and European champion Dave Longhurst.
He took the lead on lap two, lapping the entire field by the last lap, his masterly control of the car in appalling conditions being the highlight of the night. No one can ever remember a race winner winning by this distance at any time in the circuit's 40-year history.
Former world champion Lee Pepper looked as if he might be the only one who wasn't lapped, but his clutch gave out on the last lap, the car coming to a halt just a few yards from the line when still in second place.
He could only sit and watch as Kevin Randell and Alan Burksfield went past him to claim the trophies.
The Rookie Bangers provided all their customary action in four very lively races. Ipswich's Ray Compton and Sudbury's James Melia both had their first ever wins in heats one and two, while another Sudbury driver, Scott Griggs, had heat three when only seven cars finished.
Only eight survived the conditions and the action in the final which produced a good win for local driver Carl Whitmore ahead of the formulas most successful driver, Jason Langley from Braintree, and Woodbridge's Chris Watling.
2L Hot Rods
Heat One: 1 Jon Field (Peterborough), 2 Stuart McClaird (St Albans), 3 Alan Burksfield (Hayes).
Heat Two: 1 Sean O'Leary (Hayes), 2 Lee Pepper (Eastbourne), 3 Jimmy Rix (Norwich).
British Championship: 1 Dave Longhurst (Worthing), 2 Kevin Randell (Luton), 3 Burksfield.
V8 Stock Cars
Heat One: 1 Steve Stretton (Coventry), 2 Dennis Harris (Wembley), 3 Darren Mitchell (Oxford).
Heat Two: 1 Harris, 2 Mitchell, 3 Stu Blyth (Kings Lynn).
East Anglian Championship: No results declared.
Heat One: 1 Ray Compton (Ipswich), 2 Darren Frost (Woodbridge), 3 Gareth Raymond (Ipswich).
Heat Two: 1 James Melia (Sudbury), 2 Robbie Nicholls (Ipswich), 3 Julian Buck (Fressingfield).
Heat Three: 1 Scott Griggs (Sudbury), 2 Chris Watling (Woodbridge), 3 Kevin Burt (Ipswich).
Final: 1 Carl Whitmore (Ipswich), 2 Jason Langley (Braintree), 3 Watling.