Hednesford, 17 June, World Championship
pictures by ovalpix.com, report by Marc de Land

Top picture is Daniel Pooley, Jonathan Pooley and Marc de Land (3rd, 1st and 2nd respectively in this year's world final). The second picture is Marc de Land leading Jonathan in the big race. The next is Daz Rycroft dicing with Andrew Bilby. Finally there are two winner's photos - the first is Mark Hodges and then finally Tom Keep who had his first ever GP Midget win.

Hednesford was staging the world final for the fist time in GP Midgets history. It was good to see Richie Sheepens over from Holland for this event.

Race 1 World Final.

With rain through out the morning it was a tricky decision on what tyres to have on your car, Jonathan Pooley went on cut slicks, Cliff Bunn on intermediates, Daniel Pooley hard wets Marc de Land on slicks as did the majority of the field. At the green flag Jonathan just got in the lead from Cliff Bunn with Daniel third Marc de Land slipped in behind Daniel going into turn one with Chris Neal very close behind. Next up was Andrew Bilby from Neil Clarke Mark Hodges Dave Bonser Steve Young went wide to allow Gordon Pooley pass then came Darren Clarke from Pete Dorrell Daz Rycroft Tony Smith Richie Sheepens did not get of to a good start and just behind was Tom Keep.

By lap 2 the first five had pulled well clear of the pack, Richie Sheepens got caught out with the damp track spinning to the infield, Daniel moved up to second on lap three when Cliff slid wide on the exit of turn four and then allowed Marc and Chris through on the turn two. Neil Clarke was the leader of the chasing pack with Dave Bonser one side and Andrew Bilby the other putting him under lots of pressure and the very next lap they found a way pass followed by Gordon Pooley and Mark Hodges.

On lap 6 Marc was now with the front two with Jonathan still leading from Daniel, Traffic was now starting to play its part as the trio worked there way through. Marc and Daniel were side by side on the home straight through turn one and two down the back straight but a back marker was on the outside line so Marc had to slip back in behind Daniel, this allowed Jonathan to pull a little further clear, Chris Neal had now dropped of the pace as his wet tyres were starting to overheat. Dave Bonser was up to fifth and going well on lap 10, Gordon was now eighth just behind Mark Hodges. Lap 11 and Daniel start to slip and slide as his wet tyres start to over heat, this allows Marc to drive around the out side of him on turn two, the cars had a slight coming together as Dan slip wide. Jonathan was out in front by eight or nine car lengths as he came up on some more back markers, Andrew Bilby spun in front of the leading car but ended up on the infield, Chris Neal slipped another place when Dave Bonser found a way pass, then going into turn one Chris slid wide and into the barriers damaging the rear suspension and stopping on the exit of turn two, the next lap Dave Bonser spun on the same corner bringing out a yellow flag, So behind the pace car we had a rolling lap and Jonathan made the better start to pull three car lengths on Marc, Daniel was still in third with Gordon fourth though he had three back markers to pass before he could catch Daniel. For the next nine laps Marc tried everything to pass Jonathan, and on lap 20 he did going into turn one around the outside of Jonathan but could not get completely pass so down the by straight they were side by side and again Marc got his nose in front but coming out on turn four slid wide and allowed Jonathan back in the lead, Marc started to line him self up for another go on the home straight but back markers were blocking his pass one last chance on turn three and four , Jonathan stayed in tight so Marc went wide in to turn three to try to under cut Jonathan on the exit but could not get any more from his car, the pair crossed the line just 0.133 apart, one of the closest finishes to a world final for some years. Well done to Jonathan making it three world finals in a row and his fourth in total.

1/J.Pooley 2/M.de Land 3/D.Pooley 4/G.Pooley 5/M.Hodges 6/C.Bunn 7/D.Clarke 8.N.Clarke

Race 2 ( heat one)

At the start Richie Sheepens run of bad luck continued when he broke his drive shafts and was just missed by Mark Hodges, so there was a restart once Richie1s car was moved from the track, and it was Neil Clarke in the lead from Mark Hodges, Tom Keep went three wide to take Steve Young and Tony Smith, one man on the move was Dave Bonser who by lap two was on the back of the yellow grades, on the same lap Neil started to spill water from his water tank as his head gasket started to say it had had enough, Tom Keep got past Mark Hodges and then took Neil on the exit of turn two, for a couple of laps Mark was on the outside of Neil and now they were joined by Dave Bonser making it three wide going into turn three, with Dave going for a ever decreasing gap and the two had a slight coming together with the no 10 car retiring with bent wishbone. Daren Clark was with Daniel Pooley as these pair had now caught Neil and as they battled to find away pass Marc de Land Steve Young and Jonathan Pooley joined them though it was hard to see where they was going with the fluid exiting no 77, Daniel did find a away through when he got on the inside coming out of turn four, Darren Clarke was not far behind Jonathan Box Marc to make up two places, Further down the field in ninth Pete Dorrell Daz Rycroft Chris Neal and Cliff Bunn were in a very close battle with each other as the positions kept changing, with five to run Tom was out in front, Mark Hodges slipped back as Daniel and Jonathan Pooley made there was pass that was followed by Marc de Land a couple of laps later, but it was Tom Keep who took the race win by a length of a straight.

1/T.Keep 2/D.Pooley 3/J.Pooley 4/M.Hodges 5/M.de Land 6/D.Clarke 7/A.Bilby 8/T.Smith

Race 3 (heat 2)

With loads of cement dust put down from the previous race visibility would be a problem to start with, They was no Tom Keep as he could not get his car to start, so it was Mark Hodges who jumped into the lead from Steve Young and Tony Smith. Dave Bonser was soon on there tail with Darren Clarke just behind. Chris Neal pulled off with mechanical trouble on lap one. Lap 6 Mark was out in front from Dave Bonser and Darren Clarke was up to third, then came Tony Smith Steve Young and Daniel Pooley, Marc de Land was close behind with Jonathan Pooley all over the back of the no 15 car, Cliff Bunn retired with handling problems and the next lap Marc de Land did the same but visibility was his trouble.

The gap at the front was staying the same, though Jonathan had found a way pass Daniel and was now setting about catching Tony Smith, On lap 14 Steve Young dropped two places as Andrew Bilby and Daniel Pooley found there way pass, and on the last lap Tony Smith was caught and past by Jonathan for fourth place, But the win went to Mark Hodges who lead from start to finish.

1/M.Hodges 2/D.Bonser 3/D.Clarke 4/J.Pooley 5/T.Smith 6/A.Bilby 7/D.Pooey 8/S.Young