Can Mat Newson ends the long wait for 'home win' in Stock Car world final at King's Lynn?
PUBLISHED: 15:10 11 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:10 11 September 2019
If you think England football fans have had it rough waiting since 1966 for a World Cup win, then consider Norfolk's Stock Car fans who have been waiting since 1958 for a 'home' win in the BriSCA F1 Stock Car World final - the biggest Short Oval Race to take place outside of the USA.
Norfolk has a rich pedigree in the sport of Short Oval Racing. The area is regarded as the hotbed of the sport with more tracks here than any other part of Europe and our local stars have dominated the sport in virtually every formula which takes place up and down the land. But the ultimate prize in BriSCA F1 - the formula known as the Big League - has eluded Norfolk drivers and proved heartache for Norfolk fans since East Dereham's Bob Reeve found success at Manchester's iconic Belle Vue Stadium on August 23, 1958.
Norwich star Mat Newson will be trying to end over 60 years of hurt this Saturday (5.30pm) when the BriSCA F1 Stock Car Auto Tech Recruit World Final takes place at King's Lynn's Adrian Flux Arena. This will be the fifth time the event has been held at King's Lynn since its inception in 1955.
Newson is desperate to give the long-suffering fans something to cheer, but just being on the grid is a major achievement for a man who, just six months ago, was fighting for his life in hospital, having collapsed at a charity boxing event in Leicester.
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Matt bounced back and got back behind the wheel of an F1 Stock Car in April. He qualified for the front row of his World semi-final at Sheffield but disaster struck and he spun on the first bend - before a stunning drive saw him claw his way back up to third, which has put him on the fourth row for the World Final just behind the first row of international visitors.
"I am either going to come off that track winning the race or my car will come off in bits trying," he said. "I am not interested in second place. I will be doing everything to win."
Newson will have it all to do though with a very strong grid. Altrincham's Tom Harris - who won the World Final when it was staged at King's Lynn in 2013 - starts on pole position and has been dominant on shale.
This is the biggest event to take place at the Adrian Flux Arena. Extra stands have been erected to accommodate what is expected to be a near sell-out. The event sees the largest ever international invasion of F1 Stock Cars in the UK with over 60 coming from mainland Europe together with drivers coming from as far away as New Zealand.
Racing also takes place on Friday (6pm) when the international F1 Stock Car competitors have their own meeting with racing also coming from the 2L Stock Cars.