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Old 24 Feb 2016, 09:42 (Ref:3617307)   #31
old man
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Not a regular contributor to this sector but spotted the Wimbledon thread, a familiar name from my early days watching speedway at Odsal.

It is strange and sad that greater London cannot support a short oval track, I have visited a few in recent years and, like karting, it is an exciting trackside experience where all the action is visible .
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Old 25 Feb 2016, 02:11 (Ref:3617556)   #32
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Not a regular contributor to this sector but spotted the Wimbledon thread, a familiar name from my early days watching speedway at Odsal.

It is strange and sad that greater London cannot support a short oval track, I have visited a few in recent years and, like karting, it is an exciting trackside experience where all the action is visible .
The support is clearly there for the track and oval racing, 2000 people signed the petition to save it on the first evening. Despite all the restrictions on transporters, and battling Sunday Trading to get to the Venue, it still pulls in reasonable crowds and reasonable car counts. Most meetings have around 100 plus cars spread over four formula on average. Which is good through the Winter Months.

The problem is the owners, who seem to have brought Greyhound Tracks, for the purpose of trying to bulldoze them for housing.

Thankfully there are some strong Councils out there, and Oxford have said NO to houses on their Stadium. They see it as an asset.

Wimbledon Stadium is designated leisure land. So the developers have gone in with Wimbledon AFC to build a Football Pitch to tick that box and build 600 homes on the Car Park/Pit Area to fund it.

Until recently most media has been promoting it as a positive story. "The Dons are coming home". Well I'm sorry Wimbledon lost its pitch to housing and team to Milton Keynes. But Wimbledon AFC have never played in Plough Lane, so they aren't coming home and in truth it is a story of loss for London.

London is loosing its last Grand Old Stadium, Greyhound Racing and Stock Car Racing.

There is a huge area just been cleared of warehouses less than 3 miles from Plough Lane, with far better public transport links for a football pitch. So its not as if there is not space on cleared sites elsewhere.

Still it will be a story you must know only to well, with Odsal Stadium losing speedway after 54 years.

Its long over due that someone stood up for motorsport.

And full credit to Superstox driver Peter Gray amongst others, for stepping up and trying his hardest to save racing in the Capital.

And congratulations to him and BBC London radio for a great programme on Monday that highlighted the passion and family involvement in grass roots motorsport.

If there is one good thing to come out of this threat, it is the passion that all those involved in oval racing have shown for the sport, and the media are finally starting to recognise and report on that passion.
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Old 25 Feb 2016, 12:55 (Ref:3617691)   #33
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Perhaps we should have a marketing campaign putting South London as the hub of city motorsport featuring Wimbledon, Battersea Park (Formula E) and Crystal Palace ( sprint at end of May).?
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Old 25 Feb 2016, 17:48 (Ref:3617750)   #34
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The point about London being a town full of non English is to be blunt one of interest, The vast majority of ethnic minority folk are not historically the slightest bit interested in anything motorsport orientated, whereas if the city was a little more how can we say English, then perhaps there would be more support.

The ONLY reason there is still oval racing there at all is because there is still a promoter operating in the area, Spedeworth. But, they have invested heavily in Ipswich, a stadium that can house more fans, is not in a largely built up area and is a far better venue for hosting big meetings with parking and access. Wimbo is dying and not theirs so why spend.

Wimbledon is a dinosaur of an age that does not exist anymore (tracks in cities), and yes it is sad but to be honest if I was on the council and someone wanted to build 600 houses there or keep the stadium open I would close it in an instant, stub out the football pitch and build even more houses or flats, they are far more needed in London areas than anything sports related (Olympics take note), of which there are countless venues within a 10 or 15 miles.

If it wasn't for Spedeworth, racing would have stopped there years ago, and is only really a part time thing in the winter anyway, as it can't be sustained the rest of the year as it used to be even a few years ago, even Spedeworth ahve moved away to venues like Aldershot, Eastbourne and Yarmouth more now.

Odsal is different, the track is still there by and large and the area surrounding is probably the same as it was in the late 90's, sadly rugby league got in there and dumped the short oval folk, and despite lots of hot air, it's never going to happen there as a venue until Bulls are kicked out and that is not likely despite them going to the wall various times.

Move on, Coventry are trying to secure a new venue, but imagine the hurdles!

The best places for one are North East, Wales and perhaps remote parts of Norfolk or the East where there are less people, you are unlikely to EVER get planning permission for a track in a built up area, that is a simple fact these days, unless you can attract kids or something and its quiet and not polluting, all things motorsport is not good at.

Kings Lynn have to jump through hoops and they are on an industrial estate next to a giant paper factory, but because the the dust they are STILL bound by time limits and have to over water the track etc.
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Old 26 Feb 2016, 22:54 (Ref:3618137)   #35
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Just to correct you slightly on Odsal, Bradford Northern played there from the start, speedway came next and was very successful for quite a long time. Next came stock cars on the shale and the speedway died with complaints that the cars ruined the surface. At that time the corners of the rugby pitch were relaid with turf over the speedway track between meetings!

Next came tarmac for the stock cars and the F1 cars ran with good crowds for some years but despite heavy timbers being used to try and keep the cars off the pitch the two were uneasy bed fellows and as Super League replaced the old league the danger of metal from the F1 cars being on the playing surface and the fact that the "Bulls" were a major force in Super league ended the dual purpose. The F2 cars were never major parts of meetings at Odsal I don't think

There has been much talk of the redevelopment of Odsal in many ways but it remains solely a rugby ground now. Locals have written off the chances of a return of short oval racing as it is in a very built up housing area. The Bulls of course are now out of the SL but trying hard to gain promotion
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Old 27 Feb 2016, 13:03 (Ref:3618239)   #36
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Odsal will never run stock cars again, I care not for the history to be honest.

Nor for speedway, the two have always been tough relations, but more often than not the stock cars will provide more attendance and if the track owners put their weight behind both like Kings Lynn and Coventry the two can co exist happily.

At some tracks that will never happen, and those tracks will always struggle as a result.
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Old 29 Feb 2016, 23:11 (Ref:3618890)   #37
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Well the "Dogs" have announced their Final Meeting, 18th June, as their lease expires on the 14th July.

As it stands there is a fixture list for Oval Race Meeting after the Summer break from October till New Years Day.

But Wimbledon AFC are still talking about site clearance.

So there could be just 2 race meetings to go, before we loose the last weekly winter motorsport venue.
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Old 17 Apr 2016, 03:54 (Ref:3633611)   #38
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Great news on the 62nd Birthday of Stock Car racing, that following on from "Boris" calling the proposed Football Stadium in for review. The owners of the stadium have signed a 2 year lease with Spedeworth There is talk of a 6 month notice period. But at least it means the chequered flag has not fallen on Oval Racing on London just yet. Though worryingly Wimbledon AFC have launched their own campaign "London Calling" calling for all Football fans to back their plans to return to Plough Lane. Which is in itself very mis-leading as Wimbledon AFC have never played in Plough Lane. Still hopefully, the new lease will mean we will get Motorsport in the Capital next winter.
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Old 23 Jul 2016, 14:22 (Ref:3660358)   #39
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Until the British oval racing product improves, stadiums like Wimbledon will always struggle. I have been to tracks all over the country, and 99% of the racing is in dull uninspiring beat up old cars.
I used to go to Wimbledon in the 90's, when I lived nearby. There was a show on Motors TV from Wimbledon last year, it looked like the same cars from 20 years ago, and the commentator was trying to tout it as the UK equivalent of NASCAR. Frankly I was embarrassed. 20 old sierras hitting a fence made from railway track and cable.
The National Hot Rods are incredibly boring, our stock cars are allowed too much contact, and the best prepared race cars in the country are bangers.
Spedeworth run 20 series, which seem to all resemble bangers. The only decent series in England are the BRISCA F1 cars, and they won't race outside of the midlands and north.
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Old 16 Aug 2016, 20:09 (Ref:3666015)   #40
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The planning recommendation is for the planning decision to be handed back to Merton. if that happens we will have to say good by to Stock Car Racing and Grass Roots Motor Sport in the Capital.
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Old 19 Aug 2016, 15:10 (Ref:3666586)   #41
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Until the British oval racing product improves, stadiums like Wimbledon will always struggle. I have been to tracks all over the country, and 99% of the racing is in dull uninspiring beat up old cars.
I used to go to Wimbledon in the 90's, when I lived nearby. There was a show on Motors TV from Wimbledon last year, it looked like the same cars from 20 years ago, and the commentator was trying to tout it as the UK equivalent of NASCAR. Frankly I was embarrassed. 20 old sierras hitting a fence made from railway track and cable.
The National Hot Rods are incredibly boring, our stock cars are allowed too much contact, and the best prepared race cars in the country are bangers.
Spedeworth run 20 series, which seem to all resemble bangers. The only decent series in England are the BRISCA F1 cars, and they won't race outside of the midlands and north.
Number 4? Is this Dan Johnson?
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Old 19 Aug 2016, 22:42 (Ref:3666655)   #42
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Number 4 is I very much doubt Mr Johnson, he would not be so utterly misinformed about short oval racing nor so disparaging about most formulas that race there.

Bangers are a staple diet for a simple reason, they bring in far bigger crowds than anything else and most of the drivers are local meaning they will always support that track. The support formula's for the bigger series are simple, basic and the cars are built to last hence they look tatty and beaten up, what on earth do you expect? If you want inspiring cars go to Goodwood and watch them being ambled up a hill by a rich owner. who has no driving ability and is too scared to drive it properly.

This is budget motorsport of the kind no MSA licence holder will ever realise or be aware of likely. Hence the cars look a bit shabby.

All contact Stock cars are supposed to have lots of contact, if you don't understand that then you really have no comprehension of what you are talking about.

And F1 stox often provide the least amount of action on a stock car meeting, try national saloons, 13400 stox, Ministox or shale F2 before making sweeping statements.

In other news, Woody has bought Mildenhall, so their future relatively safe.
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Old 20 Aug 2016, 07:26 (Ref:3666696)   #43
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Number 4 is I very much doubt Mr Johnson, he would not be so utterly misinformed about short oval racing nor so disparaging about most formulas that race there.

Bangers are a staple diet for a simple reason, they bring in far bigger crowds than anything else and most of the drivers are local meaning they will always support that track. The support formula's for the bigger series are simple, basic and the cars are built to last hence they look tatty and beaten up, what on earth do you expect? If you want inspiring cars go to Goodwood and watch them being ambled up a hill by a rich owner. who has no driving ability and is too scared to drive it properly.

This is budget motorsport of the kind no MSA licence holder will ever realise or be aware of likely. Hence the cars look a bit shabby.

All contact Stock cars are supposed to have lots of contact, if you don't understand that then you really have no comprehension of what you are talking about.

And F1 stox often provide the least amount of action on a stock car meeting, try national saloons, 13400 stox, Ministox or shale F2 before making sweeping statements.

In other news, Woody has bought Mildenhall, so their future relatively safe.
In the last year I have been to meetings at Aldershot, Birmingham, Buxton, Dover, Northampton, Ringwood, Smallfields, and Sheffield. So I have a reasonable idea of what I am talking about.
You call me disparaging, yet go on to agree with all of my points.
Obviously you believe that I am not entitled to my own opinions about stock cars, or anything for that matter.
The fact is Wimbledon is closing. Would it be closing if it had huge crowds every week? No. Why does it not have huge crowds every week? Because people don't want to pay to watch the racing there.
There is a short track race in the States this weekend. Maybe 150,000 will attend. It could be something to do with the cars being a little bit more inspirational.
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Old 23 Aug 2016, 11:12 (Ref:3667181)   #44
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The main reason why Wimbo does not get big crowds or big meetings anymore is nothing whatsoever with the racing that is there.

It is do with inner city legislation in London that heavily taxes the Hi-abs and transporters that most stock car teams and drivers use to ferry their cars. THey are heavily monetarily penalised for bringing their vehicles into London.

In the last decade Wimbo used to hold the Banger world final, a huge event that had sell out crowds and was the only short oval meeting anywhere in the country to be all ticket. It could not be held there anymore because of this emissions legislation that prevents or heavily financially penalises older diesel vehicles from being in the inner London area.

And with meetings often finishing late on Saturday night, the chance of being "done" twice by the cameras was high, so the promoters moved the big meetings to other stadia.

Surely someone with your experience might know that eh? As it's been common knowledge as the main reason for the downfall of Wimbledon for years!

Khan has effectively signed the death warrant now anyway, by allowing Merton council to go ahead with building a football stadium there.

Americans to be honest don't know any better, their motorsport diet is built around oval racing, so the prize oney is immense, the ladder to top series like Late Models, Sprint cars and NASCAR is there for them, unlike anywhere else in the world, hence their short oval and oval racing in general attracts the kind of crowds we get for F1, MotoGP and other large events.

I personally dislike US racing, it is all non contact. the thing I like about most UK short oval racing. Yes the cars look great, are fast, but the racing is so so in my opinion.
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Old 25 Aug 2016, 19:29 (Ref:3667554)   #45
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Oh dear, did IG suddenly drop while you are banger only tracks watching bangers!

Where in my post did I say I like bangers? You've "allegedly" been to Smallfield for Gods sake, they only run bangers there lol! And Dover, and Ringwood! All primarily banger tracks.

If you did any kind of research, you would know that the emissions situation is the prime reason why Wimbledon does not host big banger meetings anymore. They certainly used to, but all those big dates have now gone to Ipswich, a far bigger, better and more settled track where these things are not a problem and big crowds and car attendances are still guaranteed.

I do not like watching them any more than you do, but they HAVE to be accommodated as their big meetings get far bigger crowds than any other short oval racing. Ice breaker, world final, some of the big meetings get massive crowds, so as a track owner you have to make sure you get the biggest dates and meetings.

Read what people post, do some research, bangers will be here to stay a long time after stock cars will I am afraid.

Last edited by BertMk2; 27 Aug 2016 at 09:48. Reason: Minor edit for language.
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