Mildenhall 4th July 2015
The return of the V8 Hotstox raised a fine field of 22 cars, a significant increase in last year’s visit with the Supreme Trophy up for grabs, the entry all the more impressive given the distance the majority had travelled to attend.
Sadly two failed to grid for the first heat which was completely spoiled by outrageously dusty conditions. 176 Stephen Young was the first to spin as 227 Sam Wainwright took the lead from 40 Malc Ayriss as 324 Shaun Bowman climbed to third only for the reds to fly when 575 Darren Cottrill shed a wheel and a complete restart ordered. Again Wainwright took the lead away from Ayriss as 478 Shane Geary moved 281 Lee Summers wide for fourth and 450 Sam Mee suffered a spin. Bowman took the lead and had 205 Chris Knight around as 211 Pheobe Wainman battled her way to fourth only to crash out in a heap with 328 Colin Boswell and Wainwright which promoted 1 Kevin Stutchbury to fourth but that was as far as he would go with Bowman winning from 157 Adam Joyce and Summers.
Heat one: 324 Shaun Bowman, 157, 281, 1, 373, 450, 205, 40
All but one for heat two where conditions were far improved and this was subsequently a stunning race. 550 Rob Hughes attacked 525 Amy Jagger from the off as 471 Vince Stone marked his first race by setting the pace while 373 Carl Critchlow had Joyce around and Wainwright overcooked which handed second to Summers by which point Hughes had taken the lead and a lap later Summer moved into the top spot as 275 Terry Hawkins moved Wainwright wide for third only to then lost the spot to Boswell as 26 Hayley Williams tangled with Knight. Boswell moved into second but had Wainman on his tail as the race hit half way and with five to run the race for second escalated with Cottrill and Hawkins joining the battle and they gradually caught Summers. A big push into the road bend saw Boswell fired Summer wide to take the lead but Wainham did the same to Boswell with two to run and she muscled her way into the lead and motored to the win with Cottrill and Summers getting the better of a struggling Boswell in the final laps for second and third.
Heat two: 211 Phoebe Wainman, 575, 281, 328, 275, 373, 227, 1, 324, 550
20 cars again for the Supreme Trophy (sponsored by local fan Graham Read) and Young again suffered an early spin leaving Stone to set the pace from 333 Sam Roper, Hughes, Ayriss, Wainwright and Summers but by lap two it was Hughes who hit the front with Roper second and Ayriss third and a lap later it changed again as Roper hit the front with Summers into second as behind Hughes lunged at Ayriss which took them clattering into the fence as Summer challenged Roper for the lead and grabbed it on lap six with Bowman and Mee on his tail as Cottrill fired Roper wide to grab a place. Bowman then took the lead only to crash out in the most spectacular style as he rolled dramatically on the back straight, breaking two fence posts in the process to bring the reds out immediately. There was a short delay while the 324 car was righted and the fence repaired with 17 for the restart and remarkably the top 16 all started nose to tail with no back markers in between. Mee made a perfect start to break away as Boswell bested Hawkins for third with Cottrill lunging at the latter to move up a place away before Geary span 222 Guy Jolley only to be dumped out by Stone with Jolley then collected by Summers which brought the waved yellows out for the stricken Jolley. Mee had managed to put two back markers, Roper and Young, between him and second placed Cottrill but the back markers both retired on the rolling lap which proved critical as Cottrill was able to pounce and snatch the lead soon after the restart. Stutchbury span Boswell in the race for third but took himself out as well as Stone had Knight around and Williams was able to slip past Critchlow for fifth as Cottrill motored to the win in another fine race from Mee and Hawkins.
Supreme Trophy: 575 Darren Cottrill, 450, 275, 281, 26, 373, 227, 328, 157
A small drop to 16 cars for the Grand National and again Stone led the way as Summers quickly moved into second and Hawkins into fourth and they joined Wainwright and Stone in a fine scrap for the lead with Hawkins able to break through and into the lead on lap five with Boswell emerging in second as Wainham fired into Williams and Joyce lunged at Stutchbury in a bid to take third but it backfired on Joyce who subsequently dropped from contention as Roper tangled with Stone. Boswell started to reel in Hawkins but seemed to have a harder time getting past the back markers and Hawkins edged away again and won from Boswell and Hawkins.
GN: 275 328 1 450 575 525 281 333 471 227
After a difficult start where the dusty conditions completely ruined the opening race and had a smaller impact on the next couple, the night bounced back to be another tremendously entertaining and action packed affair, the Unlimited Van Bangers enjoying another fine affair and the much improved turnout was a hugely encouraging sign with several memorable hits during the night while the action levels in the Saloon Stockcars were again off the charts, the two heat races being nothing short of epic while the V8s enjoyed another fine appearance at Mildenhall, their second heat and final being crackers.
With thanks to Graham Read of his sponsorship of the Supreme Trophy Final.
With thanks to Michael Coventry for his report.