Brian Spicer, front, and Paul Emery on the grid at New Brighton in 1970.[/quote]
In 1970 the Midgets were exclusively a Spedeworth class and so would not have raced at New Brighton. This is actually 1972. As mentioned earlier in the thread, New Brighton was only visited by the MARC Midgets in 1972.
...and now you must excuse me, I need to have my nap...
Sunday 16th April 1972 New Brighton (MARC) Report from Car Advertiser and Auto News, 26th April 1972
This was the Grand Prix Midget circus first visit to the New Brighton circuit. The drivers soon found that the banking was very tricky � they had difficulty sitting upright in their cockpits, the joints in the concrete gave them a very bumpy ride and it was very difficult to pick a fast line through the steeply banked turns. A narrow �lane� at the bottom of the slope allowed room for just one Midget. The cars on the outside line were forced up onto the banking, three abreast in some cases.
There was a sensation in practice when front runner Paul Emery had a rear hub upright break, effectively putting him out of all further racing for the weekend.
Race one: There was a terrific duel for the first four places in the opening race David Niven took the lead on lap four leaving Griffiths, Brian Spicer and Tony Stubbs to dispute second spot. Niven maintained his lead to the end for a well deserved win, followed by Griffiths, Spicer and Stubbs. Peter Smith was fifth and Cliff Davis bought the Team Advertiser car home in sixth place after a very unhappy ride on the banking.
In race two Griffiths made a lightning start and was leading by lap three closely pursued by Spicer and Niven. It was a race packed with incident and cars were spinning everywhere. It was during one of these tangles that Spicer and Niven slipped by Griffiths on lap 10. Undaunted Griff took up the chase closely followed by Stubbs and repassed Niven on lap 12 as he was spinning wildly. At the finish Spicer was leading from Griffiths, Stubbs, Peter Smith and a slightly more cheerful Cliff Davis.
In the final Peter Smith leapt straight into the lead pursued by Stubbs, Griffiths, brother John Smith and Spicer. For eight laps there was some very hard-fought close racing. Then on lap nine there was a clash of wheels between Peter Smith and young Clive Carter. A rear wheel was torn from Smith�s Fireball and Carter went into the safety fence very hard indeed. The front of the car slid under the wire safety rope and the brunt of the impact was borne by the roll cage. It was so great that the car�s substantial driver protection was bent right back and Clive finished up with the rope hard against his neck � it was a very lucky escape.
The race was stopped in the 10th lap with Stubbs leading so that Carter could be extricated from the wreck. He was taken to Victoria Central Hospital, New Brighton suffering from a damaged shoulder, facial cuts and severe shock. He was detained overnight for observation although his condition was not thought to be serious.
When the race restarted the cars were in the positions they�d occupied when Carter crashed. There was immediately a terrific battle between Stubbs and Griffiths. Both drivers were trying their hardest, Griffiths taking a high line through the awkward banking and making ground on Stubbs, only to lose out to the Emery team driver on the short straights. They eventually finished with Stubbs ahead of Griffiths followed by Niven, John Smith and Cliff Davis.
In spite of his trio of second places Griff still had cause to be content. The points he had amassed during the day took him into the lead of the Duckhams National Midget Championship.
Results from Raceday programme
Race one: 1st 14 David Niven, 2nd 8 Griff Griffiths, 3rd 29 Brian Spicer, 4th 6 Tony Stubbs, 5th 41 Pete Smith, 6th 11 Chris Davis, 7th 12 Cliff Davis
Race two: 1st 29 Brian Spicer, 2nd 8 Griff Griffiths, 3rd 6 Tony Stubbs, 4th 41 Pete Smith, 5th 12 Cliff Davis, 6th 9 John Holtham, 7th 21 Clive Carter
Race three: 1st 6 Tony Stubbs, 2nd 8 Griff Griffiths, 3rd 14 David Niven, 4th 29 Brian Spicer, 5th 4 John Smith, 6th 12 Cliff Davis, 7th 19 Les Summerfield
Sunday 30th April, New Brighton (MARC) Report from Auto Enthusiast magazine, June 1972
At New Brighton Mr Smith, the promoter, introduced AE over the tannoy to the big crowd, who soon bought all the mags that we had for sale, if you couldn't get a copy don't despair we hope to have more and regular supplies of AE available soon in the area. Griff Griffiths, No. 8 and John Holtham, No. 9 were introduced in yer genuine Scouse, like.
For AE's team it was a day of mixed fortunes. In the first two laps Griff shot away and in fact lapped one back-marker - those Firestone Slicks certainly paid off, but don't ask us for the mix because we're not telling. Nearing completion of his third lap, in lining up to take another back-marker on a corner Griff misjudged it slightly and ripped off his rear offside wheel complete with suspension bits torn from the chassis. It was an education in cool driving under difficult circumstances to, see Griff bring the car to a standstill, under control and in a straight line. A disappointing and abrupt end to Griff's racing for the day - London to New Brighton for two laps. The eventual winner of that first race was Tony Stubbs who had come out on top in a dice with team boss Paul Emery. Unfortunately for Tony during his lap of honour large globules of that lubricating stuff could be seen dripping from his car. In the paddock a wide open, cracked sump was seen - so he was out for the day.
Second race of the day was dominated by David Niven who still considers himself a bit of a 'rookie' at Midget racing - he has experience in other forms of motor sport. In this event he was untouchable and was duly followed in by John Holtham and Paul Emery. Niven seemed to decide to put on a show for the cameras as in the first race he appeared to be practising for the Welsh rally as he span on a corner, special staging through a large puddle.
In the final, which was also the second round of the AE Midland Grand Prix, it was once again Niven. In this race there were only seven cars but any thoughts of it being dull were soon dispelled by the spectacle of Emery and Niven racing shoulder-to-shoulder with Niven establishing authority as Emery's car slowly dropped in speed due to engine trouble. Niven was called back from his joyous romp around the paddock to be presented with his prize by Gerry Marsden - the pop star who had taken a "Ferry across the Mersey" specially to present the day's prizes. Gerry: "You did alright there our kid". David: "Thanks awfully, I thought it went jolly well". In case you have never been to New Brighton - why not, we have ways of making you go? - We ought to point out that the tight, steeply banked circuit makes for exciting viewing whether it's Midgets driving round the corners or the stockers in their opposite-locking fight with each corner.
Race one: 1st 6 Tony Stubbs, 2nd 1 Paul Emery, 3rd 29 Brian Spicer,4th 9 John Holtham, 5th 41 Pete Smith
Race two: 1st 14 David Niven, 2nd 9 John Holtham, 3rd 1 Paul Emery, 4th 29 Brian Spicer, 5th ??, 6th 21 Clive Carter
Race three: 1st 14 David Niven
Last Edit: Aug 17, 2018 13:03:01 GMT 1 by ovaltrack
...and now you must excuse me, I need to have my nap...