MIDGET MATTERS Jack Brodie, Short Circuit, July 1982

VETERAN driver Dan Hornby, who was a star in midget car racing in the early 1970s under the Midget Auto Racing Club banner, gets a surprise call-up for this season's European GP Midget Championships in West Germany.

He squeezes in as the sixth British starter for the meeting, following the decision of 1981 British champion Geoff Hughes junior not to reverse a retirement decision to contest the event.

Former GP World Champions Basil Craske and Mick Bonner head a competitive group of British drivers. Besides Hornby, they are backed by Gary Pollard, Geoff Hughes senior and 1981 National champion Malcolm Goodman. Hornby, who has just returned from a trip to America to study midget car racing there, is hoping to get back to the States before the end of the season to compete in several meetings.

Besides his commitments for the GP Midget Club, Hornby is also involved with speedway-midget cars running under the Namicsa banner.

CUT OFF date to qualify for this season's World GP Midget Car Championship is Monday, August 9 - one day after the GP Club haul north to Cowdenbeath, for Scotland's first taste of midget car racing since the mid-1950s.

The hopes of British drivers is boosted by news from the continent that multi-former world champion Jan Van Rengs has not raced this year and seems to have retired from the sport. But his fellow countryman and defending world champion Hank Hansen will be at SWi1ffham for the meeting.

DON BRAY who has been racing midget cars for about 12 years recently gained his first trophy in the sport, when he won a supporting race to the Derek Kisby Memorial Trophy at Swaffham. The top trophy went to former GP World Champion Mick Bonner, who took the lead after 10 laps and led home come-back driver Dave Cox and Geoff Hughes senior.

Malcolm Goodman was involved in a spectacular pile-up when Hughes broad sided across his path. Goodman could not avoid a collision and was catapulted into the air. Although his car was extensively damaged, Goodman escaped with a slight ankle injury. THE GP MIDGET Club is still in negotiation with West Australia's top 1981-82 points scorer Graham Jones to contest September's World GP Midget Car Championship at Swaffham, which will be televised. They have even offered to provide Jones with a car if he has problems finding a sponsor to transport his own car from down under.

But efforts to also feature American woman driver Maria Alaina Schneider have gone cold. After setting out the terms, we have heard nothing more from California: says GP Midget organiser June Cochrane.


VETERAN West German driver Joe Therstappen has announced his retirement from speedway-midget car racing and sold his car to the Smith brothers, John and Pete.

The Smiths are spending the first two weeks of July in America, mainly visiting midget car meetings to gain ideas for the further development of Namicsa organisation and the type of front-engine cars it sanctions. THE speedway-midget cars have two provisional July dates lined-up. At Hackney on Friday, July 2, when they plan to run an England versus 'World of Rebels' team match. Then at Eastbourne (Arlington) on Sunday, July 11, with the Sussex Championship featured.

The Sussex Championship was last run in 1950, at Brighton & Hove Stadium. Winner was Laurie Robinson (Northampton) in a 1000cc four-wheel-drive JAP-engined Skirrow speedway-midget. NAMICSA are trying to persuade former MARC star Martin Robertson to emerge from retirement and race for them. Robertson showed some interest during the winter, but has so far delayed a track return.

With southern meetings suited to his Littlehampton, Sussex base, Robertson seems likely to be back during this month.