12th September 1982, World Championship
VETERAN MICK WINS MIDGET WORLD by Jack Brodie from October Short Circuit

BRITISH midget car champion Basil Craske is still dogged by the 'Swaffham jinx' which nearly ended his career when he badly injured his back in the 1978 season. The jinx was to force him out of a possible second place in this season's 40 lap World Championship at the Norfolk track. While holding second place on the penultimate lap, Craske tangled with 1981 National Champion Malcolm Goodman and was forced out of the Championship.

Their departure meant that England's hopes of a 'grand slam' in the championship were thwarted. But 1977 world winner, veteran Mick Bonner proved a convincing winner. He finished a lap in front of the defending champion, Hank Hanssen (Holland), who deadheated with Geoff Hughes senior for second place. Another Dutchman, Jan Litjens was placed fourth, followed by two English drivers, Gary Pollard and Dave Cox, in the main placings.

The race featured 21 drivers in a gruelling, absorbing championship. Besides the departure of Craske and Goodman through crashes, another who saw his chance 'evaporate was first season driver Alan Riley, who crashed out at the midway stage. Bonner looked like making a clean sweep of proceedings at Swaffham when he won the first support race from Pollard, Litjens and Hughes senior. But in the second race, Bonner became part of the 'Craske jinx' when both riders tangled, starting a five car shunt, which left only seven cars able to battle for the check flag. Jan Schraetz (Holland) was winner from Hansen and West Germany's Gunter Beckers.

Schraetz repeated his form to win the final race. But Bonner pressed him all the way, with Hansen third, followed by Hughes and Goodman.

SWAFFHAM SUPPORT RACES, by Dave Cox

The Dereham Glass trophy race saw Harry Sayell the early leader ahead of Dave Wesbroom and Gerry Pinny. Cox took the lead on lap seven wit~ Pollard and Bonner chasing. Bonner passed Pollard and harrassed Cox who obligingly spun to hand Bonner the win ahead of Pollard, Litjens, Hansen, Hughes and Wesbroom.

Race three was for the Norfolk Cellulose and Equipment trophy with Sayell and Wesbroom once again the early leaders until Jan Schraetz took the lead on lap seven with Craske, Cox, Bonner and Hansen chasing. Bonner and Hansen passed Cox and with four laps to run Bonner and Craske collided. Hansen took avoiding action and Cox nipped through to second ahead of Hansen and Hughes with Schraetz still leading. Cox and Hansen were dicing hard for second when they came across a restarted Craske who was trying to run at racing speeds with a rear wheel pointing in all directions. Craske spun wildly catching the rear of Cox's car and sending him into the wall. Hansen somehow avoided the debris and Hughes just avoided a head on with the stricken Cox. Schraetz took the win ahead of Hansen, Beckers, Anthony Brewer and Dermott McGivern.

Race four saw a somewhat depleted field for the Helter Skelter (honest) race sponsored by Gilbert Rice. Sayell led off Wesbroom with Schraetz coming through to take the lead on lap three and disappeared into the distance. Wesbroom and Goodman were dicing for second until Bonner and Hansen relegated them. Bonner and Hansen were scrapping furiously while Hughes passed Wesbroom and Goodman. Schraetz took his second win ahead of Bonner, Hansen, Hughes, Goodman, and Wesbroom.

New men

Some new drivers made their first appearance at the meeting. Paul Holloway son of former Spedeworth driver John Holloway who was sharing his car with Duncan Reid, and Pete Ager who had spent three years building a midget to share with ex motorcyclist Paul Roberts. Roberts was practicing the car when it inexplicably went out of control, rolled three times and caught fire. Roberts escaped with minor injuries.

 


Action from the race