I really enjoyed the 5 years I spent with Speedeworth racing Superstox. The racing was fun as the better drivers started from the back so the racing was exciting unlike most racing where the race was usually decided during qualifying and the drag off the start line into the first corner.
It was also satisfying to race something you had designed and built yourself. The product of many nights designing cutting grinding and welding was there on the track at Cowdenbeath Raceway and Armadale. My second car the one shown above had several unique features compared to other cars, both in design and component choice. One thing that served me well was my steering set up. Other drivers with independent front suspension used Triumph Herald setups with the odd driver like Malcolm Paterson using Vauxhall Viva kit. Both the Vauxhall and Triumph racks were farely fragile and easily bent in quite minor contacts. They also required much wheel twirling. I wanted something more robust and finished up with a mix of Mini and 1100 wishbones plus a rack from an ancient Morris Cowley which gave me kart like steering one turn lock to lock.
I have to give a big thank you to Ian Finnie and Gavin MacCreadie who were my mechanics and supporters when damage had to be dealt with.
I made it to Red Top status in my first year and became a bit of an Armadale specialist especially on wet nights. I did not do quite so well at Cowdenbeath but won my share of races especially when it rained. In fact the local rag who reported the goings on at the track labelled me the 'champ in the damp' and 'the greasy king'. I do not know if it was my driving skills or the fact that my car was easier to drive in slippery conditions due to the high ratio rack and the limited slip differential.
The forays to England were exciting although I disliked the shale tracks. Of all the tracks I raced at I liked Foxhall Heath near Ipswich the best. The track is a 410 metre tarmac oval and is the fastest and largest track that Spedeworth promote. It also was the scene of the most enjoyable race I can remember. It was a 50 lap international final on a hot and sunny afternoon circa 1974. After a good start by lap 15 or so I was in the top ten behind a local driver from a well known stock car racing family. For the next 35 laps we traded places most laps, we pushed each other wide going into corners, leant on each other mid corner trying different lines to block or frustrate the other driver. I lost out on the last corner but nearly split my face in half grinning as I crossed the line. The other driver was Derick Warwick who went on to race in F1.
What bought all this up. Well I was contacted out of the blue by someone who is working on a driver and car reunion and is lobbying Speedeworth to have a Classic Superstox race at one of the meetings. He has a line on my old no. 2 car and wanted to know if I was that John Duncker that raced as number 9 in the early 70s. I hope it is in better nick than Steve Monk's shown above.
Do I want to drive on to the track with Swinging Safari playing on the tannoy. It would be fun.