Sunday 22 July 1979, Northampton, British Championship

Alan and Eric Fretten filled the front row for the 1979 British Championship at Northampton but it was Harold Lowe who jumped from row two and held the lead for 3 laps before Geoff Hughes went by. Mick Bonner soon caught up and he and Hughes had a tremendous side by side scrap for ten laps until Mick edged by. He was soon in trouble with back markers though and got caught in a melee that sent him 2-wheeling towards the fence - going in very hard. Hughes also got caught up and Chris Butler took the lead, having no trouble in winning by a clear half lap. A notable non starter was Basil Craske who blew his engine in practice.

(Motorsport News) CHRIS BUTLER driving a rear engined Arrows Midget, won the GP Midget British Championship event at Brafield Stadium on Sunday. Butler look a surprise win after a major pile up eliminated the leading runners. Grid positions for the twenty tap event were drawn out of the hat, and saw father and son, Eric and Alan Fretten on the front row ahead of brothers John and Harry Lowe. Mick Bonner and Geoff Hughes lined up on the third row of the fifteen strong grid. A notable absentee was favourite Basil Craske. who heads the points chart by a clear margin. Craske suffered big end failure in practice. Hughes and Bonner quickly came through to make the early running, drawing out half a lap advantage by mid distance. Butler made good progress from a lowly grid position to dispute third with John Lowe. David Wesbroom was soon with them too, making up ground fast after an early spin. Poleman Alan Fretten had retired early on with a puncture. By the seventeenth lap, Bonner had stolen the lead from Hughes, but both were fated, getting tangled up in a five car collision which also involved backmarkers Robin Whall, Eric Fretten and Greg Pugsley. Mick Butler was thrown into the air and landed up in the wire hausing. He escaped unhurt, but badly shaken. Eric Fretten was the only casualty, suffering a bruised chest. The demise of the two leaders handed the race to Chris Butler, who was followed home by John Lowe, David Wesbroom and Garry Pollard

The supporting races were won by Garry Pollard and Geoff Hughes. It could have beat two for Pollard, had he not retired from the lead of the first race with engine failure on the penultimate lap.

British Championship: 1st Chris Butler, 2nd John Lowe, 3rd Dave Wesbroom, 4th Gary Pollard, 5th Robin Whall, 6th Brian Harding.


Alan Fretten

Chris Butler