UK: Buxton GPM summary 2004-04-25

Lowe Back On A High Harold Lowe got his 2004 season off to a flying start in the 2nd round of the AWS Racewear sponsored Grand Prix Midget Championship, at Buxton on Sunday 25th April. He won the final taking home the Simon Pashley...

Lowe Back On A High

Harold Lowe got his 2004 season off to a flying start in the 2nd round of the AWS Racewear sponsored Grand Prix Midget Championship, at Buxton on Sunday 25th April. He won the final taking home the Simon Pashley memorial trophy. The day also belonged to Andrew Bilby who took two heat wins and a 3rd in the final, boosting him to the top of the point's championship.

12 cars turned up for Buxton on what turned out to be an extremely hot day. Amongst them, and making their 2004 season debuts were, Rod Pashley, out in his Mk VII Dastle; Mark Hodges, out in Gary Jones' old Westfield, and therefore also making his front-engined car debut after years of racing an Arrow; Harold Lowe, who won the 2003 point's championship at this track last season; Evan Stone in his stunning Cheetah.

The first heat saw Andrew Bilby make a flying start from the front row of the blues, quickly taking the lead from Evan Stone after the first lap. Mark Hodges had also made a good start, leading the reds, from Rob Sayell who was close behind. However when the throttle stuck open on Mark's car on the approach to the last behind, he was forced to brake sharply, dramatically locking up all 4 wheels. This wasn't enough though and he understeered at speed into the Armco, also collecting Rob Sayell who was unfortunately caught on the outside of Mark at the time. Both cars were badly damaged and the race was stopped to clear the track.

The restart had closed the pack right up, with Harold Lowe piling pressure on Andrew Bilby in the remaining few laps. World Champion Andy Collins also managed to pass Ez Walker for 3rd after Ez experienced oil pressure on the last lap. Andrew Bilby won, from Harold Lowe, Andy Collins, Ez Walker, Neil Clarke, Barry Goldsby, Evan Stone, and Rod Pashley.

The second race saw Andrew Bilby and Harold Lowe once again making flying starts, with Harold following Andrew through the pack of blue and yellow graders, both eventually passing Evan Stone who had been leading. Andy Collins was also chasing hard and making his way through the field, having started from the back of the grid. He eventually passed Steve Terry who had made his way up to 3rd, after going round the outside of Dave Smith. The race looked to be between one of Bilby and Lowe, who had pulled out half a lap from the rest, until Lowe pulled out with engine troubles. This handed Andrew Bilby a comfortable victory, and a second heat win. Andy Collins was 2nd, followed by Steve Terry, Dave Smith, Evan Stone, Barry Goldsby, and Barry Mayfield. There were only seven finishers, with Ez Walker, Rob Sayell and Mark Hodges not starting, and Harold Lowe and Rod Pashley retiring.

Evan Stone was the early leader in the final, and was able to keep the blue graders at bay for a lot of the race. It took a fast moving Harold Lowe to finally find a way past the Cheetah, where he took the lead and started to build up a healthy gap. Rob Sayell, who miraculously made it out for the final after a big Sayell team effort to repair the damage from heat one, was also making his way through the field, eventually finding his way into 2nd. A pack collision midway through the race had the domino effect, with Andy Collins coming off worst and brushing against the wall. Steve Terry also looked Armco bound but was just able to stop in time.

Despite Rob Sayell's best efforts, nobody was able to catch Harold Lowe, who took a comfortable win. Rob Sayell came across taking a well-deserved 2nd after all that hard work in the pits. Andrew Bilby, Neil Clarke and Dave Smith made it past a quick Evan Stone to take 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively, with Stone 6th. Andy Collins and Steve Terry recovered well to round off the top eight despite both picking up some slight car damage.

Harold took home the Simon Pashley memorial trophy, and also an Aurora Bearings in association with Racers Hardware voucher, who had supported the meeting.

-gt-

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Series Midget