25th May 1980, Arena Essex, Southern Championship
Report by Linda Keen from July Short Circuit

It was nice to see the Grand Prix Midgets with a substantial increase in numbers on May 25 compared with their previous meeting at Arena; it certainly makes for better racing, without doubt.

Geoff Hughes was the early leader in the first 15 lap heat, but he was swiftly overtaken by Alan Fretten. Consistent winner, Basil Craske was not to be left out, and with two laps to go, he was out in front with the chequered flag in sight. Not only did Craske succeed in winning the event, he also beat the lap record, knocking 10 seconds off the existing 4'58" record! Fretten raced home to a second place whilst Hughes took third.

Six cars raced nose to tail for lap after lap in the second race with Roland Parker leading tohe the second race with Roland Parker leading the pack. Alfie Boarer, Fretten, Gary Pollard, Mick Bonner and Craske, diced with only inches between each car, weaving in and out of traffic, like a long snake. Boarer and Parker swapped places, the former taking the lead and Pollard spun, which dropped him from the results, but it was Boarer who took the honours and unbelievably chopping another 2 seconds off the record, in a time of 4'46". Fretten, took third ahead of Craske in an unusually low position for him.

Hughes took the early lead in the big race, the all-important Southern Championship, but he could not hold off the strong challenge of Boarer and then Craske. Craske had just taken up the running in a very determined drive, when disaster struck for him; his steering completely broke, leaving his front wheel pointing upwards. Fretten immediately pulled away in first with Boarer on his tail and Bonner not far behind the first two. As the race drew to a close, the three were all together and it was the best line that eventually won the race. Fretten, indeed, took the flag with Boarer, Bonner and Parker making up the placings.