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2017 Lackford Engineering Midget and Sprite Challenge - Race Reports

Championship sponsored by Lackford Engineering

 

Report and pics by Phil 'Scoop' Broster - email phil_scoop@hotmail.co.uk

Preview of 2016/17 Season - Spridget Racing goes from Strength to Strength!

2016 saw one of the more memorable seasons in the Lackford Engineering Midget and Sprite Challenge, starting with a smaller than usual field at Donington Park and ending with the weekend at Snetterton with not only the Championship but all the class positions being decided at that final venue. After a 12 round series, there are not many Championships that can boast that. The Croft weekend was the highlight of the season with almost everyone entered in the Championship turning out.

There were some tremendous battles right down the field throughout the season, which is a hallmark of Spridget racing, it’s a firm favourite with the spectators and very much appreciated by the track marshals I come into contact with.

Class B was hotly contested with Stephen Collier, Richard Wildman and Carl Chadwick providing entertainment at nearly every round with Collier coming out on top with the Class title at the end.

The Healey Classes D and E were well represented with Sprite stalwarts Nigel Lackford and Tom Walker together with John Bridge fighting it out at most rounds in Class D. Robin Lackford, Ian Burgin, Pippa Cow and David Morrison amongst others providing spectacular entertainment in Class E. Nigel Lackford and Pippa Cow coming out on top in their respective classes.

It was A Class that provided the overall champion though, with James Dunkley finally taking the title, although he didn’t have it all his own way. Dave Weston had that memorable fight at Brands, Martin Morris was a challenger let down by mechanical issues and Graeme Adams was often a contender for outright victory. Sam Healey pulled off a spectacular win at Silverstone.

We had a few accidents along the way, no serious injuries thank goodness, the most notable being Carl Chadwick’s big off at Oulton, there was the Silverstone incident which saw Stephen Pegram and David Morrison sidelined, Morrison was soon back but Pegram was out for much of the year returning after a rebuild and changed colour scheme. Then there was the carnage at Croft which left both Andy Southcott and Robin Lackford with badly damaged cars. Incidentally, Robin’s car is still under repair with most of its structure needing replacement or extensive restoration. In a separate incident Graeme Adams’s car was also badly damaged and was undergoing repair during the winter.

It’s at this point that I have to report that Graeme sadly passed away very unexpectedly recently and my thoughts, and I’m sure yours, are with his family. Graeme was a fast racer, always there or thereabouts, often leading the field as at Mallory, Cadwell and the first race at Croft, not to mention his pole at Silverstone. He was also a genuinely nice bloke and he will be very much missed around the Paddock this coming season.

So what’s happening for 2017? Well Scoops scoop’s can tell you that James Dunkley has jumped ship to race in the Mini series, his car being sold to Stephen Collier so that should be one to look out for, I believe Stephen's Maroon car is being kept by him though.

Richard Perry is building yet another car, rumoured to be a Class A frogeye, hopefully to be seen at the first round!

The most fluid scoop to date is that Peter May has sold the maroon Class B car raced by Richard Wildman to Carl Chadwick who is to race it while his yellow car, damaged at Oulton, is being repaired with Richard intending to race Carl's old Class D car!! HOWEVER!! Change of plan and now Richard has bought Ed Reeves old Class A car to race, BUT will be out in Dave Weston’s car for the first rounds at Donington and Brands as Dave will be doing some, but not all rounds this season. Presumably Ed will be out for yet another season in his race ready blue car.

Still with me? Good! Other Class A news is young Richard Bridge has been busy with dad John rebuilding an old FISC car and after testing by the time you read this will be out at Donington and hopefully the whole season. Steve Watkins will be out in a car he originally owned many moons ago which has had a full rebuild.

Andy Southcott is coming out but limiting his outings this season, I have heard from Ian Burgin and Tom Walker who both intend to be out again, Ian has fully rebuilt his car so that should be interesting while Tom assures me his car has had a good wash. Dave Jenkins has had his car and engine rebuilt and will be out most notably at Brands and presumably Croft, no thought of retirement there!

So that’s it, exciting news in Class A which sees a lot of changes in car and drivers and some clarification of rules, mainly concerning wheel base dimensions I understand. Presumably people I haven’t heard from will be continuing and we will see an even better season of racing. For the diary the dates of the Championship can be seen on the Events Calendar (see menu tab above) and if you haven’t seen these cars racing then you must, you will be in for a treat!

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