Monday 27th August 1979, Bovingdon, Graham Hill Memorial

Report from Short Circuit, October 1979, by Francis Blay

The second running of the Graham Hill Memorial Trophy took place at Bovingdon on August Bank Holiday Monday. Three drivers made the trip from Holland including current World and European Champion Jan van Rengs, 1978 World Champion Henk Hanssen and Jan Schraets who was making his debut in England.

Twenty Midgets lined up for the Graham Hill Trophy race and a notable absentee was Mick Bonner who blew a diff in practice. Jan Schraets and Gary Pollard spun on the first bend, but luckily the rest of the field got through without damage. Geoff Hughes made the early running with Brian Harding and Harold Lowe in tow. Basil Craske was through into third as early as lap six and he, Hughes and Harding travelled around as one until Craske forced his way through to the front on lap nine. At this point fourth placed Harold Lowe had his throttle stick open forcing him to spin on the top bend and an unlucky Jan van Rengs ran into him forcing both drivers out. With van Rengs out Henk Hanssen looked like the only danger to the flying Craske. Hanssen was having a tremendous race with Hughes and Harding for 2nd, 3rd and 4th places, the trio passing and re-passing several times. Geoff Hughes spun out of contention on lap 13 and four laps later Henk Hanssen was past Brian Harding for second place. There was no way Hanssen was going to catch Craske and he finished three quarters of a lap down with 1978 winner Brian Harding third. (note according to my records Craske won in 78)

The second race had Basil Craske again taking the chequered flag but he and Jan van Rengs provided the crowd with the best GP Midget race of the year. The pair of them passed and re-passed each other several times over the last four laps and Craske managed to squeeze by on the last bend to win by by a nose cone with Gary Pollard third.

1st Basil Craske, 2nd Henk Hanssen, 3rd Brian Harding.