2012 Season review and preview of 2013 with Marc de Land

As we look forward to the new season, 2012 was one of the best with so many drivers picking up their first wins. Grimley saw Darren Clark and Tony Smith taking there first ever wins whilsts Daz Rycroft and Gordon Pooley took a heat and the final, Cliff Bunn was on top form at Birmingham for the next meeting by winning both heats and a second in the final, Gordon once again took that win. Off to Buxton late in April and on a wet track Marc de Land took his first win of the season with Daniel Pooley doing likewise in heat two, The final was a great battle as last year with Mark Hodges Jonathan Pooley and Marc de Land exchanging places with some great close racing, But there was a new winner with Dave Dollin taking that honour. Jonathan Pooley came alight at the next meeting at Birmingham in May by taking all three wins, Dave Bonser did likewise at Yarmouth later that month but it was a close final as he just managed to keep Jonathan Pooley at bay. The world final at Hednesford was one of the closest for some time, with Jonathan Pooley and Marc de Land putting on a great show, side by side, each losing the lead but with all his years of racing experience Jonathan Pooley held on to take his fourth world final win. The two heats were taken by Tom Keep for his first win and Mark Hodges. At Northampton in late June Mark Hodges was on form taking heat one and just making his car wide enough that Jonathan Pooley could not get by to take the final, Tom Keep to the other heat. Steve Dawson had the accident of the season with a summersault in mid air and landing on his side, Steve was ok, though his car did not look so good, but it does prove the strength in the cars. In July we all moved north of the border as it was Cowdenbeath and a first meeting at Lochgelly and it was a couple of meetings to be in Steve Youngs car who had had a nightmare season up til then but winning all six races glossed over that. Next stop was Yarmouth not so many cars made it there with the meeting only a week apart, Jonathan Pooley took heat one and it was good to see Pete Dorrell taking heat two and his fist win of the season and Jonathan took the final with ease. We had two Birmingham meetings next with Dave Bonser taking both heats and Marc de Land taking the final. Two weeks later and Jonathan Pooley took the British title, Tom Keep took heat one and Dave Dollin the second heat. So now we are in September and off to Aldershot where it was good to be a blue grader as all three races were taken by Pete Dorrell, Dave Dollin and Marc de Land took the final after two rolling restarts and a good battle with Dave Dollin. The European was in late September and with heavy rain this was a lottery who could win. Jonathan and Daniel were possible favourites starting on the front row But it was to be their dad Gordon who started in 5th place who took his first major title in 24 yrs of GP Midget racing he also dominated both heats. A dry Birmingham for the Graham Hill trophy and a new winner as Phil Retchless had retired from the sport, Dave Dollin took heat one and Daniel Pooley heat two, Jonathan Pooley came through to take the final. With only two meetings left Jonathan was all ready national points champion, and so it was Arena Essex next up for the Southern Championship, the track was cold and very damp, Daniel Pooley came through from the red grade to take heat one, Andrew Bilby took heat two and it was his first win of the season, the final was taken by Marc de Land, So now it was the final meeting of the year and Daz Rycroft took heat one Gordon Pooley heat two and Jonathan rounding off a very successful season by winning the I factor final. It was also good to see the youngest driver take to the track in his dads' car at Birmingham, (Jack Hodges) we look forward in seeing him back next year.

2013. So onto next season with Jonathan Pooley still coming out on top by winning the National points and world championship and proving he is still the man to beat can any one take away any of those major titles? If Gordon Pooley does every meeting in 2013 and really puts his mind to it he could give his son a run for his money, we will have to wait and see on that one. Dave Dollin had an impressive first season he could be one to look out for, Dave Bonser in a new carů one just like the Pooleys (Scorpion mk3) he could bite the hand that feeds him, another one to look out for could be interesting. Tom Keep had a bit of a roller coaster first season in the Cheetah Peugeot, I would expect Tom to be pushing a bit more in 2013, Steve Young will be out in a new car still powered by the quick Peugeot engine, could be a top runner out of the box. Cliff Bunn well Cliff is always in the top six, I am sure he would be looking to take a major title given the chance, Marc de Land starts his fourth season and will be looking to go one better in the World and European races after two runner ups in the last two seasons,

Chris Neal who had a bad second season will want to do a lot better, there was a rumour he may switch from the BMC to Vauxhall Power plants we will have to wait and see at Grimley in April. Another driver who had a bad year was Neil Clarke but he kept his record of getting silver ware every season he has raced GP Midgets (23yrs) with a second at Arena Essex. With his car having a complete suspension overhaul and with that 16v Vauxhall power plant he could start picking up some good points.

Good luck to all the drivers, and lets make 2013 even better than last season.