June 29th Aldershot Graham Hill Trophy

Twelve cars attended the all new Aldershot raceway for the prestigious Graham Hill Memorial Trophy. This trophy was presented to the club by the Hill family and it is one that Graham actually won racing at Monaco in the sixties. Graham Hill was a former president of the Grand Prix Midget club

If it wasn't for bad luck, then Gary Grimsley (2) wouldn't have any luck at all. "Mr Chairman", Gordon Pooley (33), had been working on the car all week, changing suspension points and replacing the head gasket working up to 10.30pm on Saturday night so that Gary could race. He went out for practice only for the car to deposit oil all over the place causing Gary to retire for the day.

Nigel Robinson (67) was due to return for this meeting but he broke down "en route" suffering a blown head gasket on his tow vehicle on the M11.

On the positive side, the club welcomed back Gary Bonner (27) in the "flying funnel". Gary has been having engine problems, i.e. locating parts since a major blow up last season.

So down to eleven cars for the first race. With no white grade drivers it was down to Neil Clarke (77) in the "Barbie mobile" and Allan "sicknote" Herbert to lead the pack away with Gary Bonner in pursuit. Mr Chairman (33) had made a lightning start from the red grade taking to the outside line to pass Cliff Bunn (23) and the rest of the field to take up the lead. Steve Brattan (75) was the first midget to christen the Aldershot fence hitting it on the exit of turn two in a four wheel drift. This must have woken Jonathon Pooley (31) up to get past Brattan as he also took to the outside. The race finished with Gordon holding onto the win from his son Jonathon. Neil Clarke had his best finish so far this season coming in third with Cliff Bunn fourth and Brattan fifth. Sadly for the third member of the Pooley racing team Daniel (32), the race ended prematurely with his engine throwing a rod early on.

Heat two saw ten cars take to the track and the initial race pattern was the similar to heat one with the exception that Gary Bonner was flying to take up the lead which he did not relinquish. Steve Young (59) had obviously taken note of the outside moves by others and he took to that line to make good progress with Jonathon Pooley. These two persevered for lap after lap to pass the Bunn's, Clarke and Herbert for second and third. There was a titanic battle for the minor places between the aforementioned and Brattan and Andrew Bilby (16). After a number of laps of close clean racing, Bonner won from Jonathon Pooley and Young. Good finishes again from Clarke fourth and Herbert fifth.

To the final. Unfortunately Jonathon Pooley had to retire on the warm up laps following his brother in blowing up in a similar fashion. At the start the yellow graders once again took up the initial running with Bonner claiming the lead position. He was hotly pursued by Clarke and Herbert. Geoff Bunn made a lightening start from the reds outpacing Brattan into the first turn. He was on a mission soon to take up the lead. Gordon Pooley missed the start eventually finding a gear and set off in hot pursuit. His race was to come to an end with a puncture. Once again the racing was close and clean which kept the crowd engrossed till the end. Cliff Bun, Brattan and Bilby were fighting over the minor positions again with Andrew having a couple of scary moments when Brattan's car jumped out of gear. Geoff Bunn won the race from Bonner and Young third. Herbert just missed out on a trophy in fourth, Cliff Bunn was fifth and Brattan sixth. Andrew Bilby worked hard for seventh place and Clarke was eighth.

All in all, a good days racing which included another different final winner, a good debut performance by Gary Bonner and improved performances from Herbert and Clarke. Good atmosphere in the pits, great racing for the appreciative crowd and a happy promoter.

Also it's official; Midgets are the fastest formula around Aldershot with Geoff Bunn taking the lap record of 13.81 secs. Pretty amazing when you see the size of him!

 
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
Race One
33
31
77
23
75
28
16
76
59
32
27
Race Two
27
31
59
77
76
28
33
23
75
16
Graham Hill Trophy
28
27
59
76
23
75
16
33