12th October, Ipswich Stadium, European Championship
Report from Sayell Racing website

Club Chairman Andy Collins became the first front-engined midget driver to win the European Championship since Toni Scheepens took the same car to victory in 1994 when the event was staged at Ipswich this weekend. With very greasy conditions it was a race that favoured the heavier cars; with just that and a full set of wet tyres in his favour ultimately Collins made victory look relatively easy taking a well served win by almost half a lap. 16 cars made the grid with the two promised German entries failing to show for the second time this season.

The two support races went to Chris Phillips who starting from the yellow grade took and then held the lead from lap one in each event. Collins and Sayell taking second and third in the first heat and Barry Goldsby and Gary Bonner the runner up places in the shorter second heat. The meeting also saw the formula debut of SEGTO star Alan Buckland who although not eligible to take part in the main event was out in the support races. Buckland was probably more at home on the conditions than most, gliding the ex-Clarke car round the corners and thus managed to score points in his first race finishing 8th and went even better in the second event finishing 5th.

Lowe took an early lead throwing it all away (as he so often does in big events) on the second lap. Collins took up the running but Lowe recovered quickly and took it back again 2 laps later then pulled ahead whilst Collins followed two or three cars behind. They were soon lapping into the back of the field with cars spinning or simply struggling for grip. Clarke another of the heavier cars was taking a steady approach and thus held on to third place whilst fending title holder Sayell struggled for almost 20 laps with Daz Rycroft who gingerly hugged the inside line running full slick tyres. Sayell crawled all over the back of the VW but was unable to find any grip to go round him.

Collins having found grip on the outside eventually closed in on Lowe and passed around 10 laps from the end, a lap later Sayell finally got by Rycroft and once he did so rapidly left him behind to chase the top 3. But the lead two had lapped all the way up to third with Collins passing Clarke around the 5 lap mark. Unfortunately Lowe stood between Sayell and Clarke so although Sayell had him in his sights was unable to unlap himself with Lowe and challenge for third. Collins was well clear at the flag, whilst Clarke (3rd) Lowe (2nd) and Sayell (4th) crossed the line in procession. Afterwards Collins expressed his delight at taking his first major win since joining the club in 1995 and dedicated his win to his baby daughter Sophie (born 2nd Oct).

European Championship 1st Andy Collins, 2nd Harold Lowe, 3rd Nail Clarke, 4th Rob Sayell, 5th Daz Ryecroft, 6th Gary Granger, 7th Ez Walker, 8th Andrew Bilby

Race 2 1st Chris Phillips, 2nd Andy Collins, 3rd Rob Sayell, 4th Joe Bourne, 5th Ez Walker, 6th Harold Lowe, 7th Gary Granger, 8th Alan Buckland

Race 3 1st Chris Phillips, 2nd Barry Goldsby, 3rd Gary Bonner, 4th Harold Lowe, 5th Daz Ryecroft, 6th Rob Sayell, 7th Andy Collins, 8th Gary Granger