The roar of stock car engines in Hartlepool

Who remembers the days of the stock car in Hartlepool.

Wednesday, 9th November 2016, 10:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:21 pm
High-speed action at the Hartlepool Stadium.

It was big news in the town and today, Chris Cordner looks back on the times of the Hartlepool Raceway.

Top names providing top entertainment, said the headline.

They're battling for position at the start of another race.

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And for every stock car racing fan, that’s exactly what it was at the Hartlepool Stadium.

For those of you not in the know, the stock car - and greyhound stadium - was right next to the Victoria Park home of Hartlepoool United.

We look back to November 1985 and the last meeting of that year’s season.

Our reporter told: “As usual there is a large number of entries expected for this premier meeting with more than 50 Formula Two drivers and 40 Formula One competitors already booked to appear.

They're battling for position at the start of another race.

There was more than £5,000 to be won at that meeting alone and ten events were taking place in one day - true value for money in anyone’s eyes.

For the spectator, there was plenty to keep them happy,

There was a track shop, refreshments’ covered accommodation, and a licensed bar.

The Clarence Road stadium boasted that it was the home of the Skoal Bandits Stock Car Racing Team.

The prize money that day was the biggest that had been seen that season and the Hartlepool Mail at the time reported: “Competitors in both Formula One and Formula Two sections are likely to produce some of the best racing seen at Hartlepool for a long time.”

The standard of drivers on show was expected to be of the highest order. Formula One world champion malcolm Locke was expected to make the journey north from his home in Dorset.

The new national points champion Paul Brooch, of Leeming Bar, was also anticipated to be involved.

Other more local drivers included Trevor Todd from Haswell, Joe Jobling from Aycliffe, Gerald Taylor from Coxhoe and John Tilson from Middleton.

One of the popular competitions was the Dash for Cash event but that year it was replaced by the Skoal Bandit Shootout. Who remembers it and who can tell us more?

Another event was the Hartlepool Mail Autumn Trophy with £100 up for grabs to the winner.

Other attractions included Rob McElnea’s Heron Suzuki Grand Prix motor cycle team and the Phillippe Alliot’s Formula One Grand Prix car.

Although it was the last race of the season, racing was expected to be back the following April.

However, the stadium eventually disappeared from the Hartlepool skyline.

Who has fond memories of the stadium, whether it was for stock car or greyhound racing? Email [email protected]