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Old 24 Dec 2015, 19:48 (Ref:3600025)   #16
kelvin88
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kelvin88 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I signed this new petition too, but my statement from last year stands, Wimbo is going whether you like it or not.
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Old 24 Dec 2015, 23:39 (Ref:3600047)   #17
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Kelvin is right - Wimbo is done, I signed the petition too but I think what it serves is to show that the sport does need a home in London.

Problem is the people running oval racing in the UK now (and to an extent in Belgium/Netherlands) simply are not capable of working in the modern world. Look at the websites, the event presentation, the formulas and most importantly dealing with locals, local authorities and local business.

Wimbledon should have been a huge cash cow, think of its location, its entertainment value. But where was the marketing? Instead a slow decline was allowed to happen.

Its the same story at all the tracks - sadly I fear short track racing in the UK will be a thing of the past soon.

The old scrap metal merchant mentality is a thing of the 1980's, this is the post digital revolution world, we need 21st century oval racing.

Hmmm maybe I need to write a long piece on this
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Old 25 Dec 2015, 10:50 (Ref:3600139)   #18
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No one city deserves anything really. London is NOT and never will be again the place to have a race track, it is too populous and far too full of rich people and foreigners for it to ever work. Also it is not industrial, it is financial, how are you going to change that overnight? Nitro Circus? DIRT Showdown? 90 quid a ticket no thanks, this is working man's entertainment, not NBA Jam.

Mr collins attitude to short oval racing is predictably bad, but for those of us that spend a lot of time there there are good signs. Grids in a lot of classes are good, some tracks are under threat yes, but others are opening. There is a new speedway track in Manchester, new tracks have opened in Holland in the past few years and there are rumours of new ones in the UK, albeit in toxic waste parts of the UK where they can only be really.

London is not industrial, the market short oval has been catering for for years. The only way you could change that is money, PR, new purpose built tracks. So saying short oval racing needs to change is fine if you spend lots of time in America, but Europe doesn't care and never has for short ovals, no matter what you do. The two tracks built over here to capitalise on CART, Mansell mania etc were dismal failures as racetracks, with good crowds and good PR. It doesn't work, it never will work, Europe doesn't care about oval racing to that degree!

I agree that attitudes must change, but the people that run these places are small business men, not media moguls, they are incessantly fighting noise issues, delapidated buildings, some simply promote, they don't even own the venues so how on earth can you expect them to spend money improving a place they don't own!

I am not quite sure what 21st century short oval racing is supposed to be really. All that we need to get better is a Palmer type figure to be more ruthless, make hard decisions, and a lot of the issues are fixed. Right now you have a group of people who are content to take the money, do nothing and sit tight.

If you these basics the people will come, look at Santa Pod, simple measures taken, made a scrapyard into a reasonable venue and the crowds are good. It's not hard.

But it does help having a track in the middle of nowhere! Something most short oval racing venues are not, especially one in London.
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Old 28 Dec 2015, 12:20 (Ref:3600522)   #19
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Thanks to all those that have signed. its the Bears Banger Team behind the petition, so those that race and watch, rather than the Promotor.

I think the issue here, is that its a flood plain and land marked for leisure, and the proposed football stadium as with the alternative greyhound only stadium, is really about marking money out of houses, where houses have previously not been allowed.

In our heads i think we all know the future for Wimbledon, its not considered "Green", there is the issue of getting lorries in, the Stadium has been left to decline, and there are always going to residents who complain about noise.

But in this day and age, of sunday shopping and people glued to their smart phones, Stock Car racing at the Stadium still works well, it can still bring in a good crowd, and it is the one and only venue that is running regularly right through the winter, where spectators can watch in relative comfort.

So with our hearts lets just sign the petition and at least show other that our sport exists and we have passionate competitors and fans.

I think "The Bears Banger Team" have done an amazing job to get the petition up and running, at at least giving "the rest of us" as somewhere to have a voice and say what "Wimbledon Stadium and Stock Car Racing in General" means to us.

2000 signature on the first evening, I think its at 6000 now, but I also seem to remember the petition against Greyhound Racing got 15 000.

So please sign, even if its just in memory of the Venues Golden age.
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Old 28 Dec 2015, 21:42 (Ref:3600625)   #20
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London is NOT and never will be again the place to have a race track, it is too populous and far too full of rich people and foreigners for it to ever work.
Rich people and foreigners don't like motorsport?

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Also it is not industrial, it is financial, how are you going to change that overnight
By moving with the times, promoting the sport properly, the things I have mentioned. Some tracks do it well most do not.

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Europe doesn't care and never has for short ovals
I've seen some pretty big crowds which would disagree with that statement. Plus without proper promotion most people are totally unaware of short oval racing, hard to care about something if you don't know it exists.

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I agree that attitudes must change, but the people that run these places are small business men, not media moguls, they are incessantly fighting noise issues, delapidated buildings, some simply promote, they don't even own the venues so how on earth can you expect them to spend money improving a place they don't own!

I am not quite sure what 21st century short oval racing is supposed to be really. All that we need to get better is a Palmer type figure to be more ruthless, make hard decisions, and a lot of the issues are fixed. Right now you have a group of people who are content to take the money, do nothing and sit tight.
Now you are on the same page as me, though 'media moguls' are required. The media can make or break short oval racing. The whole model of the sport needs to be revolutionised. It must keep its 'working mans (and womens) entertainment' core but it must become up to date.
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Old 31 Dec 2015, 15:25 (Ref:3601189)   #21
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Rich people and foreigners are hardly ever around to like this sort of motorsport, as they are not in the USA, it is blue collar only really. And places like London haven't contained a large percentage of blue collar workers for decades. But darts have managed it, so there is a chance. Just not every week or every month.

IN comparison with the US where short ovals thrive, that is my comparison, there is no other place than perhaps Aus and New Zealand, very similar in NZ but the contact element there is arguably harder than the UK. But again, a place totally isolated and therefore a captive audience, not so much the case in the UK where land costs a fortune in inner cities to capture that inner city blue collar vibe and crowd it managed to in the 70's.

Those cities were full of manufacturing and factories, they are not any more, so understanding that is pivotal to understanding why inner city ovals do not work any more.

People think there is a fanbase for NFL here too, but every week no chance! Three times a year fine. But not a franchise based in the UK, it would not last more than a few years.
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Old 24 Jan 2016, 17:56 (Ref:3607668)   #22
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Think we are missing the point. Wimbledon might not be doing the trade it once was, but it is stilling pulling in drivers and crowds throug the winter months. I remember when we used to have thriving circuit racing winter series through ioctober and November kicked off by the Formula Ford Festival and the Grandstand FF2000 championship. We used to have thriving Rallycross events right through the winter, with racing at two tracks in Kent, with the Lydden Winter Series and the Shell Oils Championships. All these have gone, and the last two attempts to get a New Years Day Rallycross back, have had to be cancelled.

So nothing is as it was, but Wimbledon is our last Winter Sports Motorsport Venue. The land was ear marked for leisure and sport. And it is not a case of Wimbkedon AFC coming home, they never played in Plough Lane.

The save the Wimbledon campaign, is just a banger team, trying to give the sport a voice. I think they have done amazingly well in such a short time. Over 10,000 signatures, articles in papers, meetings with MP's and Councillors, and "ex Superstox 221" Derek Warwick voicing his support for grass roots Motorsport.

The question is, does London need really need another football pitch., at the expensive of the last of the Grand Old Stadiums.

Do we want choice, do we want the choice to be able to go short circuit motor racing during the winter months. Do we want somewhere that is warm and dry, where families go, and children can have their interest sparked in the whole world of Motorsport.

Looks like there is just one more day to sign the petition before the planning decision is reviewed by the Mayor of London.
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Old 24 Jan 2016, 21:05 (Ref:3607738)   #23
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The big problem is Stephen the bigger picture.

And that is housing, same as Coventry stadium closing, the BriSCA worlds biggest stadium at the end of this year. It was always going to happen there sadly.

If you could build housing at Wimbledon no council worth their salt will refuse, especially in London where housing is at a premium that it has never been at before.

If you keep it as is you are offering nothing. If you knock it down for housing only you are offering nothing but that, if you want a footy stadium, perhaps some local facilities and housing no council worth their salt would and should turn that down.

It might mean a stadium closing but if you had to make the decision as a local councillor without a vested interest you would, Imagine if it was an old factory or warehouse site or train station. No-one would care, yet years before that site employed hundreds of people, more important than any houses, stadiums or anything else, yet no fuss is made.

Alternatively the ideal is to push the stadium a lot more, rebuild parts of it, improve the local industries, try and get some big stuff like a Speedway franchise and a GP there. But the chances of that happening are nil.
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Old 25 Jan 2016, 00:14 (Ref:3607775)   #24
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Oh I am well aware of the bigger picture. At an early stage the Greyhound bid dropped including Stock Cars in its proposals, as it thought "dropping the noisy sport" would help it get residents onside. Plus no stock cars means no pits, so space to build houses which in turn finances the new stadium.

I'm pretty certain if the owners did not get their way for planning permission, they would have just done what happened to the Speedway team, and put rent up till it was no longer viable run Stock Cars or Greyhounds, and then the site would be left to decay, till one day it "accidentally caught fire" or similar.

I think most of the Stock Car world has stood quiet, and just accepted Wimbledon was going to be a memory like Crossing Hand or Wisbech.

But I really admire that a few Banger drivers, didn't want to let it go quietly, and just started by trying to give away a stuffed toy called "Boris" in a competition on Facebook, to highlight their sadness at the planning decision, to then getting Newspaper interest, to a petition that got 2000 signatures in one evening.

I know 10,000 signature isn't enough to save the day. Wimbledon AFC has 36,000 twitter followers, so if they rallied the many, they could squash the valiant Bears Banger Teams Efforts. But also from Twitter, I see the club seemed pleased to get 640 something fans at its last away match. So maybe they are not that popular.

And from visits to Croft, look what happen to Darlington..they knocked down the Football pitch in the Town, built that shiny new 25,000 seater Stadium on the outskirts, and in 2012 with attendances of 2000, stopped playing there.

So my head is in the real world, but my heart admires the passion of a few Bangers Drivers, who have achieved a great deal to raise public awareness in less than a month.

So I`m just glad there is a way to say "We don't like this". and I just urge any motorsport fan to back "The Brighton Bears Banger Team" and sign the petition. Just to say Wimbledon Stadium was "ours" she was an important part of our lives and we will miss her.

And the Capital will be poorer for her loss. London gains nothing by having yet another Football Pitch, but it looses a complete Sport with over 50 years of History. London is a heading mix of old and new, the Lndon Eye looking over the Houses of Parliament, The Shard over The Tower of London. It is richer for a mix of old and new.

There is just a day left to sign, before the planning decision is reviewed.

Just google "save Wimbledon stock car racing" to find it.

Last edited by Stephen H; 25 Jan 2016 at 00:28.
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Old 25 Jan 2016, 17:23 (Ref:3607906)   #25
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Sadly fella London is a shadow if its former self.

It is now a city full of wealth from all over the world, all the local people have been driven out by rising housing costs and it is largely inhabited by the super rich or the very poor living 10 to a house working in retail parks and distribution centres.

It is also a giant airport terminal, there is no London, it is just a huge centre for every single race, creed, colour and shape.

Nothing wrong with that per se, but all identity is lost.

Aswell as a stock car stadium that only really works for a few months of the year and the rest of the time is a white elephant surrounded by a toxic waste London suburb renowned for the biggest tennis tournament in the world and a football club so in love with the place they sold out and moved to Milton Keynes.

Knock it down and move on I am afraid, it has no future whatsoever. Though as you say I admire the passion of the banger fans, but in all honesty bangers are what keep most short ovals going in the UK, I detest the things and everything they stand for, but without them the sport I love would be gone.
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Old 26 Jan 2016, 02:48 (Ref:3608010)   #26
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I suppose, I was lucky enough to go to Wimbledon, when the stands were open all the way round, when air horns greeted the drivers coming through the tunnel, when there were grand driver parades, the track was shale, and when Hot Rods passed on the outside. When there were BP nights and when the Winternationals were Televised on World of Sport.

I just look at the way other Countries seem embrace motorsport and their events and the heritage...look at Mettet, the road racing may of stopped, but they built that little circuit on the back of the old pits and now hold "World Rallycross Events", but ensure there are enough banners and posters to remind new spectators of the heritage that has gone before.

In the days of French track rotation for the European Rallycross, I loved the way the local communities supported getting the "European" at their local track. Though sadly in IMG world that is another thing we have lost.

Just getting fed up of the sport I love getting, strangled with ever tighter noise restrictions and regulations.

Not really a banger fan myself, its always been the other formula I go to watch, but I have to say the racing of the last few seasons in the "non national" kind, has been pretty amazing. And you have to admire the effort they put in week in and week out to gets cars on track.
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Old 26 Jan 2016, 09:12 (Ref:3608072)   #27
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Again, for some eason Brits are far more protective of lots of things than motor sport.

I do not know why really. Abroad they seem to embrace closed roads rallying and local events, but in the UK most motorsport is seen as a pest or a nuisance or at best something to put up with, it is rarely embraced in the same ways.

There are ways to combat it, but they need to be incorporated from the start not at the last minute just as the thing is closing.

You have to be proactive, it only takes one lobbyist these days to start a petition and get support for tracks getting closed.

And the big elephant in the room is space, there simply isn't any in England in the areas where people live, there is space of course but it is out in the sticks.

If you are wanting to build tracks right now the place to do it is Wales, or the North East. Both places that are on their knees with the government unwilling to help their steel industries, so any investment of something else would probably be welcomed!
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Old 26 Jan 2016, 19:22 (Ref:3608247)   #28
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I'll be racing a Legend there on the 20th of March, I'll expect to see both of you there armed with air horns.
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Old 23 Feb 2016, 22:19 (Ref:3617177)   #29
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Ha, Ha, not sure I would get passed Stadium Security with an Air Horn!!!!

Though I will certainly aim to be there, to see the Legends, assuming I can get in. Heard they had to turn people away at the recent Banger World Series Meeting. (Banger only meetings, not my thing, so gave that one a miss.)

Looking forward to hearing the sounds of the biked engined oval racers, reflecting off the glass fronted grandstands.

The "hopeful" fixture list now show meetings from October 2016 till New Years Day 2017.

But Wimbledon AFC seems to be forging ahead with a Stadium design, though have said they cannot afford a 20 000 seater stadium, so are looking to build a 10 000 seater.

Apparently the developers haven't submitted a section 106 yet, so the Mayor has yet to rule on the planning decision.

The sad thing is, the "Legends" meeting could be still be the last at the Stadium, but we might not know its the last till after.

Full respect to Peter Gray and the Save Wimbledon Stadium campaign, and full support for trying to raise awareness to save the Venue.

Great to see Leapy, Duffy and George do a lap on the back of the control car on Sunday. A great reminder of a Golden age.....when you could use an Air Horn and ironically a "Football" Rattle.....
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Old 24 Feb 2016, 00:05 (Ref:3617199)   #30
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there is no London, it is just a huge centre for every single race, creed, colour and shape.

Nothing wrong with that per se, but all identity is lost.
Errr soo not too up to speed on the history of London then... its been a melting pot like most port cities since it was founded. Indeed "a huge centre for every single race, creed, colour and shape" is the perfect description of London through its entire history. Suggest the Peter Akroyd (sp?) books.

Not quite sure what that has to do with Wimbo though.
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