Sunday 26 March 1978, Thanet
The first outing of the season for the merry men (and ladies) of the GP Midget club was Thanet Raceway's opener on Easter Sunday. The refurbished raceway was an improvement over the previous year, but still held terrors for the Midget pilots in the form of bumpy bits and concrete filled barrels! Only a dozen or so drivers showed (usual excuses - cars not ready???), but really that's enough for Thanet's small size.
Mick Bonner showed he meant business by bagging heat one (and three, and the Final), followed home by Basil Craske in the first, after a duel with 'Duke' Wayne Doidge in one of the Arrow team cars. 'Short Circuit's' own Midget Man Brian Forrest went out in a collision in heat one, losing his steering, but got it all together for a second place in the next, and in the Final, in which he hung onto the inside line doggedly, keeping Basil Craske fuming behind)
In heat three, Alan Fretten went well to take second in his almost rebuilt ex John Holtham Dastle mk7, and Steve Elliott again spun out while leading. It wasn't a good day for the Harding boys, both having all sorts of mechanical gremlins in their Arrows, Fred's fifth in heat being the best they could do, very unusual.
The Final saw an early duel between Fretten and Elliott, with the on-form Bonner, and Doidge in hot pursuit. Wayne pulled off a neat inside pass on the tricky top bend to take the lead, only to get a misfire and spin, handing it to Mick B.
All good stuff, early season 'bugs' or not.
Heat 0ne: 1st 24 Mick Bonner, 2nd 21 Basil Craske, 3rd 3 Wayne Doidge
Heat two: Basil Craske, Brian Forrest, Alan Fretten
Heat three: Mick Bonner, Brian Forrest, Basil Craske, Harry Lowe, Alan Fretten, Wayne Doidge
OH DEAR Many thousand apologies from the Short Circuit office for not only referring to Eric Fretten as Alan, in SC8 but spelling his name wrong (i.e. Fretton) and demoting him from Superintendent to Chief Inspector. Woops.
MIDGET TYRE WAR? A spin-off from the current Grand Prix tyre war between Michelin and Goodyear might mean some really demon soft compounds v. suitable for Midget boots being available one day soon. At least, thats what Basil Craske's meth Cliff Colling (sic) is hoping. Only hope they'll not have to be full size Grand Prix wear, though, or Basil could find himself perched quite a few extra inches off the ground!