As the calendar turns to 2019, the seasons are changing and so are the sporting events that we look forward to. One such event is the annual Bedford Speedway meeting which is now just around the corner. As with the other major racing meetings in the UK, tickets are selling fast and the demand is high. If you’re reading this, then you most probably already know what happens at Bedford. The big question is can you attend and if so, where can you sit? The answer to the first part is yes, you can go to the meeting but the answer to the second part is variable. The following article will tell you everything you need to know about the 2019 Bedford Speedway meeting and what you can expect.
What Are The Rules Around At Bedford?
The first and foremost thing you need to know about the British racing season is that it’s different. Generally speaking, when a Grand Prix or other major race takes place abroad, the roads are closed for a few days so traffic can move around the tracks effectively. The same cannot be done in the UK and so the racing can go on for much longer. This means that the British motorsport fans get to see more of the action per week than their continental counterparts. One way of countering this is to stage the meeting in an anti-clockwise direction which means that on a Saturday night you will see the finishing line as darkness is beginning to fall. Of course, this means that in the early hours of the Sunday morning, the traffic wardens and police need to be on hand at the meeting to make sure that things run smoothly and that everybody follows the rules. Otherwise, you can expect some hefty fines if you’re caught speeding or parking in a prohibited area. If a full report is submitted to the stewards, then you can bet that the car ahead will incur a minimal penalty and the offender will be verbally warned.
How Are The Timing And The Lighting Different At Bedford?
The timing of race nights at Bedford is also different to other UK venues. The main reason for this is to allow the promoters an opportunity to have a longer meet which in turn allows more of the smaller meetings to fit in. As a result, the smaller meetings have to be spread over a longer time which, in turn, means that the pace is slower and the action is lessens. One of the major attractions at Bedford is that tickets allow you access to the entire meeting. You will be able to see the entire field as they go around the track and you will also be able to see the whole procedure from take-off to landing. This is something that you don’t get to do at other UK venues as far as I’m aware. The downside is that there isn’t as much variation in the weather as you might get at other venues so if you want to sit in the sunshine, then you might have to put up with some wind or the occasional shower.
Who Is The King Of The Track At Bedford?
If you’re a fan of NASCAR, then you’ll know who the king of the track at Bedford is without needing to be told. Gordon is the man. The Brit has won the race five times in the last six years and the 2018 edition was no exception with him taking the chequered flag ahead of Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. The closest anyone has come to dethroning Gordon is Scott Hamilton who finished second in 2014 and 2015 and also in 2017. His best result in the king of the track is third which he has achieved on two occasions. The 36 year old comes from New Zealand and has been based in the UK for the last three years running Gordons Garage. Hamilton has done well to keep up with Gordon over such a long period but has never been a serious threat to his throne. The fact that he is even on the scene is a testament to how effective Gordon has been in preventing challengers.
What Is The Most Popular Car At Bedford?
The most popular car at Bedford is the Ford Fiesta. The versatile little hatchback has been around for nearly 70 years and has achieved iconic status partly because of its wide appeal and partly because of the way that it was designed. The 2019 Fiesta may be a modern interpretation of the classic British roadster but it still has that unmistakable charm that makes it so popular. It is significantly cheaper to buy a new car than it is to buy one that is more than a few years old so there is definitely a market for used Fiestas. The Japanese company, TOYOTA, says that 47% of all Fiestas sold globally are in the UK. It’s clear that people are holding on to these cars for dear life. The good news for present owners is that they’re still pretty quick and can be upgraded with a simple tune-up. This coupled with the fact that Ford is still effectively supporting the classic model, makes the little car a classic British possession.
How Is The Racing Different At Bedford?
The racing at Bedford is also unique in that it is conducted on the road. This is something that was first introduced to the public in the 1950s during a time when the tracks were closed to traffic. Since then, the public have taken to the closed roads with both enthusiasm and imagination decorating their vehicles with wings, grills and other aero add-ons. The cars are driven at high speeds down the main drag which means that there is always the risk of a serious accident. In order to deter competitors from racing dangerously, the sport is now relatively risk-averse and so most of the action is confined to the corners, the gravel and the tar pits which are the traditional places for car enthusiasts to have a good old burn out. If you want to see some extreme action, then attend a Vauxhall/Cadillac meeting or a midweek fixture where the racing is more methodical and so less likely to result in a serious accident. As an example, the midweek meeting at Oulton Park is a great place to see traditional motorsportmanship with gentleman drivers courteous and willing to assist drivers from other makes and models. This is the type of racing that you would expect to see in an old-school style pub crawl with the drivers buying rounds for all the other competitors. Things don’t get too crazy as there are several insurance companies that wouldn’t stand for it. All in all, though, it’s a great spectacle and a real eye-opener for anyone who has never witnessed professional motor racing firsthand. It can also be a lot of fun if you’re not too scared to be caught in the middle of it all. Just make sure that your camera is well-protected as there is frequently a lot of flying metal around.
Will Anyone Be Atop At The Starting Lineup?
The biggest change this year at Bedford is the fact that the entire starting lineup for the race is yet to be determined. Last year, it was decided long in advance who would be starting in the top four and so fans could plan their Saturdays around those positions. This was great for those who were able to secure tickets in advance as they knew exactly who was going to be competing for the top spot going into the meeting. The downside is that for those who had to wait until the day of the race to find out who was starting, there was a lot of disappointment as fans had to plan their days around the results of the previous year’s version. It would have been better if the final decision had been left to the end of the season as this would have allowed for more time for fans to find out in advance what was going on. This is one change that will hopefully be for the better as being at the mercy of the organisers makes it a whole lot more exciting as a spectator and a lot less stressful as an attendee.
Who Is The Veteran At Bedford?
One of the most recognisable faces at Bedford is that of Derek Warwick. The popular long-time commentator has been attending the meeting for as long as I can remember and so much of what is now seen as standard procedure at a major UK racing meeting was first introduced by Warwick. He was the first person to raise the flag at the end of each lap and so, by extension, the first person to stop the race. In years gone by, fans would wait patiently for the commentator to walk round and wave the chequered flag as he had the habit of taking his sweet time in doing so. The fact that he is still at the height of his career at the age of 78 is a testament to his popularity. Derek has been talking about the upcoming race for close to a year and so fans are looking forward to hearing all the details about what promises to be a fabulous night of racing. For those who can’t make it to the track, then the commentators will be doing their best to keep you up-to-date on all the action via the various social media platforms. The more, the merrier as they say and so it’s vital that drivers, teams and organisers make the most of this opportunity.