UK: GP midgets Swaffham summary

Walker Bags the British Ez Walker produced a fantastic drive at Swaffham raceway on Saturday 24th July to win the Grand Prix Midget British Championship title. Ez drove superbly to hold on and take the chequered flag in a race in which the top 5...

Walker Bags the British

Ez Walker produced a fantastic drive at Swaffham raceway on Saturday 24th July to win the Grand Prix Midget British Championship title. Ez drove superbly to hold on and take the chequered flag in a race in which the top 5 cars crossed the line together, nose to tail. Alan Buckland got the runner up spot, with Dave Smith a very close third.

The British Championship was the first race of the day for the Midgets, with the grid split into two. Those drivers who had attended 60% of the meetings or more lined up in graded order in the first group, this encourages drivers to attend as many meetings as possible. Drivers who had not attended 60% of the meetings lined up in graded order a few car lengths behind the first group.

Ez Walker made a quick start from the front of the grid and took the early lead. Dave Smith followed into second with Alan Buckland and Rob Sayell right behind him. Pressure from the pursuing pair of Buckland and Sayell forced Smith to drive defensively for a few laps, allowing Walker to pull out the slightest of gaps. This gap was short lived however as Dave Smith, now with warm tyres, was able to match the speeds of Buckland and Sayell, closing them in on Walker. Andy Collins was also driving well, with free space around him; he was able to close on the front pack making it a 5-way battle for the lead. Walker was holding such a tight racing line that the only way past looked to be right around the outside, something Dave Smith tried, only to have Buckland and Sayell slip up the inside of him. Smith wouldn't give up that easily though, and he managed to pull off the best overtaking move of the day, whereby coming through back markers instead of sliding down the inside as both Buckland and Sayell were doing, he powered the long way around the outside. This gave three cars abreast, but paid dividends for Smith who leap frogged past Buckland and Sayell to reclaim second position. However a slide from Smith with just a few laps remaining allowed Buckland to snatch second. Ez managed to hold on to the lead and took the win and the British Championship title. He was followed closely over the line by Alan Buckland, Dave Smith, Rob Sayell, and Andy Collins. With Andrew Bilby, Harold Lowe; who drove well coming right from the back of the second pack; and Neil Clarke rounding off the points scorers.

The second race saw Ez Walker storm away from the front of the grid, right from the start. With the grid back to its usual form with spaces between grades it left too much work for everyone else to catch a fast Walker (no pun intended)!! Harold looked quick from the front of the reds and soon made his way past the blue graders and into second place. Dave Smith and Alan Buckland were once again having a fierce battle, frequently changing positions behind the back wheel of John Salter who was proving extremely difficult to pass. Walker went on to take an easy win from Harold Lowe, the only person to find a way past John Salter who came third. Fourth place was declared a dead heat after even a video replay couldn't separate Dave Smith and Alan Buckland as they crossed the line! Andy Collins came sixth, with Rob Sayell seventh and Gary Bonner eighth.

The third and final race of the day was for the Gerald Smith Memorial. The first start had to be red flagged after John Salter failed to get away from the line. The restart saw Harold Lowe get away quickly, and was soon up with the blue graders, passing Andrew Hinch into second place. However by this time Ez Walker had already managed to pull out a healthy lead from the rest of the field. Once again it was a close battle between the red graders of Dave Smith, Alan Buckland, and Rob Sayell, who were all once again bunched with the other red graders and John Salter. An incident somewhere in this big pack caused Alan Buckland to spin, and John Salter to receive suspension damage putting him out of the race. Harold Lowe was unable to catch up Walker, who went on to take his third win out of three. He was followed over the line by Harold Lowe, Dave Smith, Rob Sayell, Andrew Hinch, Andrew Bilby, and Andy Collins, with Chris Phillips; who had recovered from a spin earlier in the race; rounding off the top eight.

-gavin terry

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About this article
Series Midget
Drivers Neil Clark , Chris Phillips