This Sunday, 22 July, the feature Final for BriSCA F2 Stock Cars at Smeatharpe will see the Roy Goodman Perpetual Challenge Trophy be raced for. It was in 2005, when this magnificent trophy was first raced for, after Roy had presented it to the sport after his retirement at the end of 2004. Roy’s commendable wish, was to celebrate his 50 years of involvement with racing.
Back in the 1950’s, Roy had been one of the original pioneers of Stock Car racing when it came to the UK. Some years later, at the inception of “Junior Stock Cars”, which would become what we now know as BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Roy was one of the early drivers in that too. Indeed, he went on to emerge as the first World Champion, when he won the title at Swindon in 1963.
Roy followed up that success with no less than nine National Points Championship titles.
Another string to Roy’s bow, followed in 1973, when he set about creating Smeatharpe Stadium, utilising a strip of land on an unused World War II airfield in Devon. The circuit first ran on Easter Monday 1974, and during 21 years with Roy at the helm of Five Star Promotions, Smeatharpe went on to host the F2 World Championship on four occasions.
The first and third World title wins of the career of Bill Batten came at Smeatharpe, in 1977 and 1982, and then further history was made at Smeatharpe in 1988 when Jimmy Wallace became the first Scotsman to claim the F2 World title.
At the time of the 1994 World Championship, it was a long way from everyone’s mind that this would be Roy’s last year as a promoter. Nonetheless, that event remains one of the most talked about World Finls to this day, as 218 Rob Speak fought off repeated attempts from 24 Les Palmer to illegally remove him. Speak took the chequered flag, and then proceeded to trash Palmer’s empty car on the infield.
In 1995, Trevor Redmond’s Autospeed promotion took over at Smeatharpe, following the demise of Newton Abbot. That signalled a new lease of life for Roy’s racing career, and he competed for another ten seasons, which ended in style, as Roy won the World Championship qualifying round at Bristol on Easter Sunday 2004 and then also signed off in almost Hollywood fashion when he won his last ever race, at Smeatharpe in October 2004.
Last year, when the Roy Goodman Perpetual Challenge Trophy was contested at Smeatharpe, it was sixteen year old 921 Jack Aldridge who took the win, which promped Roy – one of the sport’s living legends – to comment that Jack was a future World Champion in his view, and with well over 50 years of involvement with the sport, who better to make such a prediction?