21st August 2004, Swaffham, WorldChampionship
Report by Gavin Terry

Rob Sayell cruised to victory at Swaffham Raceway on Saturday 21st August to take the Grand Prix Midget World Championship title. Rob, who started on pole, took the lead from start and never looked back, building a commanding lead that would took him to his fourth World title, equalling his father's (Harry Sayell) record. Points Championship rival Alan Buckland took second, with last seasons World Champion, Andy Collins, in third, proving that his grovelling to his in-laws was well worth the effort! Harold Lowe came from the reds to win both of the support races, topping off a successful night after coming from the back of the grid to fifth position in the World Final.

The World Final grid positions were decided by points scored at all of this seasons meetings (heats only), with the highest scorer started on pole. This gave the front row the top Points Championship contenders Rob Sayell and Alan Buckland, making for a good first corner! The second row was made up of Andrew Bilby and Andy Collins. The third row saw Ez Walker line up on the inside of Chris Phillips. The fourth row was headed by Dave Smith with John Salter on the outside. Neil Clarke and Andrew Hinch made up row five, with Steve Terry and Barry Mayfield bringing up the rear of the qualifiers. Those drivers who had not completed 60% of the meetings started in graded order behind the qualifiers grid. As the green flag dropped it was Rob Sayell who made the best start and hit the first bend in first position, with Alan Buckland tucking in behind him. Andy Collins had also made a good start, getting past Andrew Bilby, and challenging Buckland for second place. Dave Smith was also moving his way through the field settling in fourth place just off the lead pack until trouble with back markers allowed Ez Walker through. Ez eventually had to pull off, as did Gordon Pooley. Sayell made the most of a clear track pulling out a half the length of the straight lead on Alan Buckland. The real action seemed to be further down the field with a charging Harold Lowe making his way through the field having had to start at the very back of the grid. Buckland was unable to gain an advantage on Sayell as they moved through back markers, with both drivers having no trouble lapping slower cars. Unfortunately Chris Phillips did have trouble resulting from a collision with Barry Mayfield five laps from the end, which put both drivers out of the race. Dave Smith also had to pull off after sustaining suspension damage. Rob Sayell took a reasonably comfortable win from Alan Buckland in second and Andy Collins in third. John Salter had a flawless race to cross the line in a respectable forth position, with Harold Lowe coming fifth after a superb drive. Neil Clarke was sixth, and Andrew Hinch seventh, with Steve Terry taking eighth despite handling problems.

The first heat (and second race) of the night saw Mark Hodges take the early lead from the yellow grade. However blue grader Andrew Hinch who had made a quick start quickly overcame him. Another quick starter was Harold Lowe, who powered his way from the red grade into third place by the first lap. Harold was on a real charge eventually going round the outside of Hinch to take the lead. Newly crowned World Champion, Rob Sayell, was also moving his way through the pack, with Dave Smith and Alan Buckland also looking to find their ways through a mixture of yellow and blue grade drivers. Although Sayell could keep with Lowe he was unable to pass, and Lowe went on to take the heat win. Rob Sayell took second, from, Dave Smith, Andrew Hinch, Ez Walker, Alan Buckland and Neil Clarke, with Andy Collins rounding of the point's scorers.

In the second heat and final race of the night, Harold Lowe once again made a flying start from the back of the reds. He was followed closely by Rob Sayell who would be right on his tail for the duration of the race. A pack of red graders on a charge and with little room for manoeuvre resulted in Dave Smith making impact with the wall, causing his suspension to collapse, ending his race. Waved yellows closed the field allowing Sayell and Lowe to close in on leader Andrew Hinch. A spin from Hinch after the restart allowed them both through, with Harold Lowe going on to take his second win of the night. Rob Sayell took a close second from, Neil Clarke, Ez Walker, Mark Hodges, Alan Buckland, John Salter and Andy Collins who rounded of the top eight.


Rob Sayell in action