Frankie at Mildenhall, April 2018

Well another week has passed by and we’re ready for another weekend’s racing. This weekend it’s a fairly rare trip down to Mildenhall. Only ever raced there twice in my career, once in 1988, my first ever meeting at red top I think, then again in 2000 and something, ha ha.

Only me and Phoebe racing tonight as Frankie and his girlfriend Chloe are going to concert in Manchester. To be honest that will make the trip bit easier as the old Broome truck has been an absolute godsend, but a 195 mile trip dragging 3 stock cars and the trailer would have been a long day. We decided to leave at 10.30 so we could have a steady drive down with plenty of Costa stops. It took us 4 hours and 5 min to get there which I thought was a really good run, so now to the racing…

The car felt really good in the heat but it took me a few laps to remember where the fast line was. Once I remembered that, it was definitely fast… but a run of bad luck and a flat left rear with 2 laps to go meant a second place was best I could manage.

It felt just as good in the Final, and I had a good run up to second place, leaving the rest of the top drivers well behind. But then with about 6 laps to go it all went a bit pear-shaped when Sarge who was leading the race decided to tangle up with a back marker and perform a track blockage, causing me to get stuck with them and nearly lose a lap.

The yellow flags came out for a car stuck up on the fence and when we lined up I was nearly last car in about 8th or 9th, and only had 5 laps to make some places up. So as soon as the flag dropped I started to pass cars and managed to get back up into fourth place when the chequered flag came out so it didn’t end up too bad.

I only managed to do a few laps in the Grand National as my second gearbox this season decided to throw all its parts out the side, so not a good finish to the evening really, but not a bad points haul again.

Phoebe was well happy with her evening as she had managed to finish all her races and although she didn’t qualify for the Final she was well on pace all night so a happy Phoebe made for more enjoyable drive home.

The only problem we had was my car had a blown gearbox and Phoebe’s had split a clutch pipe, so I had to wander down the pits and steal one of the tractors, as the drivers had all finished for the evening. Luckily I’m not too shabby on a tractor either, coz my Grandad taught me how to drive one before I could see over the steering wheel, ha ha

So after getting everything loaded away we were ready to set off. A quick check of the time was quite depressing coz the meeting had dragged a bit and we had to get loaded with the tractor so by time we were ready to leave it was midnight. It was a fairly long drive back and we got home at about 4.35 in the morning, so an 18 hour day!

But well worth it as I really enjoyed the racing, and I just hope, even though it’s a long trek, that we get some more meetings there next season as I thought it was a real stock car track!

Frankie

Photos from Paul Greenwood and Colin Casserley, many thanks.