Three formula affair at Foxhall

THE second meeting of the new motor sport season at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich is another three formula affair. With all three formulas completely different from an excellent opening meeting here a fortnight ago, Saturday's meeting is conformation of how much variety is to be found on the oval tracks these days.

THE second meeting of the new motor sport season at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich is another three formula affair.

With all three formulas completely different from an excellent opening meeting here a fortnight ago, Saturday's meeting is conformation of how much variety is to be found on the oval tracks these days.

The Stock Rods provide the only non-contact racing on the agenda. These are hot hatch type cars, mainly Novas and Corsas, but models like the Vauxhall Tigra are becoming increasingly popular.

It is a competitive class which is always well subscribed with around 35 cars in each race, the line-up being based on a handicap system with the top drivers having to start at the back of the grid. Despite that, they generally find a way through the traffic with stars like Stuart Smyth, Andy Sturt and Tristan Jackson having a remarkably consistent record of wins and championship successes.

Some of the top Scottish names often make the journey to race at Foxhall and like their English counterparts they are very skilled at making progress through the field.

There is quite a strong local contingent in the class, with Ipswich drivers Paul Frost and Kevin Teager likely to be in contention for honours, while other Anglian hopes incl-ude Manningtree's Steve Abbott and Peterborough star Wayne Leedell.

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Many of the drivers in the mainstream formulas got their start in the Ministox, which have been producing oval track racers for well over 30 years. They drive standard 1,000cc minis which means they are reasonably quick and given they are allowed to push and shove as well they are also very lively.

They don't race at Ipswich all that often, so there's not too many truly local drivers, but many of the countries top names are based in the wider East Anglia region and race regularly at Yarmouth, where the most successful drivers last year were Billy Smith from Dereham, team-mate Timmy Barnes and the Annison sisters from the Mildenhall area.

Banger racing completes the programme with yet another big entry booked for what should be an action-packed evening.

Ipswich is always over subscribed and with anything from 40 to 60 cars battling it out in every race this is a guarantee of some spectacular mayhem, major pile-ups and even the occasional overturn.

In theory they all have more or less the same chance as they sit there on the grid, but as with the other classes the established names are masters at avoiding the worst of the trouble, and generally manage to pick up most of the wins.

However, it's never without a struggle.

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