Hednesford 30 06 2013
Has I approached the Staffordshire boarders the clouds were gathering overhead but I was sure they wouldn’t rain down on us for this day.
They say that no one is bigger than the sport and the cars are the stars , however Mr Bill Morris was one of the exceptions . A man who saw a future for motor racing on a oval track . A place where spectators could see every aspect of that race, combined with affordable competitive racing for the drivers.
This was a going to be a great day to celebrate this mans life and the fifty years since the opening of the worlds fastest and finest oval track Hednesford Hills Raceway. It also co-coincided with the fact that one Phillip Bond had taken over the promotion as Incarace 30 years since of this year.
Celebrations had been arranged with a V.I.P area for the late Bill Morris’s family and Mr Bond etc, A fine display of Ford escorts had been arranged by Chris Hill and a Mick Collard replica prepared by Darren Owen to stand on display along side the Barry Lee and George Polley replica cars.
Twenty one classic hot rods were booked in plus Pat Smith and Graham Fulker making two extra. Mick Dixon and sparked a bit of life into his smart ford 100e and returned it to the oval for this day.
A ribbon was cut at the start of the day to “re open “ the track by Phillip Bond and Martin Morris the 131 Doug Warner hot rod built a couple of years ago was to be the pace car for the hot rods for the day.
A change of format today as in some previous years which was two heats and girded points scorers in bunches o six and a clutch start for the final proper rod style.
Heat one lined up , now remember there’s no practice at this track pre race anymore so you’ve either got settings or you wing it.
Darren Owen was making a return in a revitalised Mk2 from his pile of plenty sporting fresh paint and a new Toovey built power unit, Darren having last raced a Wimbledon in February. Graham McCabe 247 was having his first outing of the year and lined up alongside front runner Shane Taylor and Garry Winterton .
It was Taylor who made the get away followed by McCabe has Winterton drifted back down the pack , the racing fro the rear of the field couldn’t be any tighter has Tim Foxlow , Colin Hitch ,Dave Fry and Lee Wood took flight amongst the pack. It wasn’t long before Dan Holden And Stuart Wright were on the front runners heels followed by a charging Owen. McCabe took up the front but it sounded like his exhaust had blown, Graham Fulker was pushing on in his pinto powered angle box to relieve Mc Cabe of the lead just behind him Owen was by Wright and having a faultless battle with Dan Holden for third.
Monty and Pat Smith had collided into turn three and both were out of the race Owen was now on Fulker Tail but a tight line left no error for Fulker to take the first win of the day.
Work was busy in the pits on the Par Smith Car but the second heat was not possible may be the final , McCabe was obviously on the exhaust case.
Heat two took to flight and a surprise out in front leader was 79 Garry Winterton who was doing well for a new comer to this fine classic sport although his tail end still a bit loose. Owen again unleashed the “Toovey” beast , being a previous winner of the cup was wanting another go at it.
Winterton held on for several laps before giving way to a charging pack McCabe also fell backwards . The main race was in midfield where a bunched up pack of Jamie Bowring , Wood , Hitch , Donald ,Foxlow and co were at it hammer and tongue without hardly any rubbing Boyd snr had led them away and the a40 looked lost amongst the Ford brigade. In some places these boys were 3 abreast around the oval raceway . . Foxlow was making a charge around the outside followed by Fry with Hitch taking them out to mm within the Armco barriers.
Meanwhile back at the front Owen had taken the lead with Stuart Wright not far behind but not enough distance to make an impact , heat two to Owen who was obviously on a mission.
The grid for the final would be the first six top point scorers a gap and six and so on. Owen and Fulker had earned front row , a coin was tossed and Owen choose the inside line . Behind the duo , Stu Wright an Jamie Bowring , Garry Winterton and Tim Foxlow.
The flag dropped Wright slightly sideways trying for a possible inside boost alongside Owen in to turn one , Bowring going for the other side outside line on Fulker but it was Owen who Boomed out of turn two into a early lead . Wright was not far behind in contention until a shattering of the teeth in the differential flowed him out of the straight to the infield . Owen had made a good gap and looked unstoppable , Foxlow battling through to second with Holden and Fry up on his tail Bowring dropping backwards a tad as Fry made his challenge for third . A some what further back early points leader Donald seemed to have developed problems and pulled on to the centre . The closing laps were vast approaching and the late lunges into the turns by Foxlow couldn’t get him close enough to Owen who was being wary of back marker traffic . Leaving Owen to take victory over a once time hero of his on the raceway where he cut his teeth!
A strip down inspection was called for on the top four and a random car , a unfortunate Stuart Wright was drawn from the hat . No fault was found with Owens car and the result stood.