Karly Crowned EA Champ
The latest Stock Car and Banger meeting at the Norfolk Arena went ahead on Saturday night when both the 1300cc and 2 Litre Saloon Stock Cars raced in the second rounds of their 2011 track championship series but the headline act for the night were the Unlimited Bangers racing for their annual East Anglian Championship.
In total, 86 Unlimited Bangers assembled in the pits including strong gatherings from teams such as The Bears, The Predators, The Wild Boyz, Mr Men, Team Black, Bad News, The Stanley Crew and The Cowboys. On top of this, there were a number of individual drivers from the upper echelons of Unlimited Banger racing. Somewhat unexpectedly, there was a sprinkling of fresh material on hand with Dean Moljourd (Boston) bringing out a Rover P5, Adrian Jaggard (Cambridge) piloting a smart Mk2 Ford Granada Limo, Lee Millhouse (Derby) bringing a Jaguar XJ Coupe, Brian Cope (Leicester) in a Jaguar 420, Steve Martindale (Maidenhead) in a Nissan 300C saloon and Garry Webb (Berkshire) at the wheel of a smart Lincoln Town Car. The used material was also of interest and included both Saloon and Estate versions of the Mk1 Ford Granada, two more Rover P5s, a Rover P4, a Ford Granada Mk2 Minster, a Nissan 300C Estate, Toyota Crown Custom Coupe and a Volvo 940 Hearse.
Three heats of just under 30 cars were run with most of the action in the first race coming at the start when Matt Harrison (Sheffield) picked up a train of cars taking Cope in the historic Jag together with Bob Rose (Worksop) and Aaron Preece (Nottingham) all into the wall in a single move, Luke Allen (Wisbech) then producing a jaw-dropping hit on Rose to take the entertainers trophy for the event. Shane Fry (Bletchingley) took a good win for The Bears which was to prove to be a signal of what was to come later.
The second heat was by far the most damaging of the night with both The Predators and The Bears featuring prominently. Amongst the highlights were Nigel Riley (Brighton) blowing up Aaron Gray (Wisbech) in the Rover P4 and a mini wrecking train where Martindale nailed Steve Hemmings (Wisbech) of the Predators only for fellow Pred Ricky Twell (Lynn) to blast Martindale. Another hit from Riley saw him deliver a big head-on to Lee White (Saffron Walden) although Riley paid for this with more Predator hits raining in from Wayne Dolan (Wisbech) and Jason Chilton (Lynn) with Ricky Beasley (Oxfordshire) using the Volvo Hearse to nail Riley on the nose as well. Jason Chilton also blasted Justin Riley (Brighton) well on his way to a very impressive full contact race win although Justin lifted the entertainer trophy for his big shot on Adrian French (Leicester).
The last of the heats was more of a race although Millhouse used the Jaguar Coupe to good effect with a decent hit on John Mills (Berkshire) to lift the entertainer trophy with John Cullingford (Norwich) guiding his Jaguar to the finishing post first.
Surprisingly the Consolation race wasn’t a heavy crashing affair with the best of the shots coming from Garry Webb who used the Lincoln to deliver a big shot to Alan Hogarth (Luton) after the latter had spun himself out taking a lunge at Nigel Riley. Dave Vincent (Brandon) took a good win having not fared so well in the second heat which had proved to be the biggest battlefield of the three earlier races.
The first running of the East Anglian Championship was declared void after a freak accident involving Millhouse who was spun out of the race and tried to rejoin quickly driving straight into the path of the oncoming car of Simon Goodale (Spalding) who was powerless to do anything other than strike the other car in the drivers door. The process of cutting Millhouse from the car took more than an hour in the presence of the emergency services who took every precaution to not injure Millhouse during the operation. Despite the appearance of the incident, the driver was released from hospital around 24 hours later after X-rays confirmed nothing broken, the safety equipment in the car having fulfilled its task very well.
The second running of the Final saw another race stoppage although this was a much quicker event to get Shayn Winsor (Norwich) from his car after he was winded when Martindale buried him into the wall hard with Cullingford then picking up Adrian Gibbs (Wisbech) and firing him into the back of Martindale. The restart saw Andrew Newton (Boston) use his Rover P5 to blow up Greg Mulligan (Harworth) and Twelly follow in Kalin Dawe (High Wycombe) whilst earlier winner Fry shared a big head-on with Bobby Daniels (Boston). However, the biggest series of hits came when Sam Gelsthorp (Boston) span out Mills allowing David Gibson (Bourne) to give the latter a T-bone before Chris Bull (Retford) arrived with a devastating shot on the back of Mills car. Bull was blown up in turn by Justin Riley as Karly Day (High Wycombe) took a faultless drive to victory and the title ahead of Jack Foster Jnr (Worksop) and Ian Redden (Kettering).
The Destruction Derby saw Daniels manage to squeeze another big head-on out of his Volvo with Justin Riley the other participant. Michael Woodward (High Wycombe) finished off Ben Harrison (Belper) with a head-on and then silenced Gibbs to be the last car running.
The 1300cc Stock Cars produced a good field of 24 cars for their second meeting of the year although unfortunately their racing programme was cut to two races because of the disruption to the meeting schedule following the accident in the Bangers. Liam Easter (Swaffham) was in the wars in the opening heat when a spin on the entry to the first turn part way through the race saw him take a hard hit from Tom Yould (Spalding) who was too close behind to miss him. Lewis O’Keefe (Boston) made the running from the front of the field but was caught four laps from the end by the returning Buster Ketteringham (Wisbech) who clearly settled straight into his recently acquired car to win the race.
The second event was the meeting Final and saw plenty of action in the early stages as Alan Coleman went for a push into the bend on Ketteringham sending the latter climbing up the plating and also taking out Steve Walden (Lynn) in front of them who was fired backwards into the wall. Stuart Palmer took Richard Hampshire (Wisbech) for a guided tour of the plating later in the race but was then taken out in unusual circumstances when Pete Beldom (March) lost control on the straight and clipped Palmer in the passing car. John Moat (Wisbech) drove well to win from the back of the grid with Yould coming in as runner-up and O’Keefe taking third place.
The National Saloon Stock Cars had 35 drivers in action but their Final had to be cancelled due to late-running of the meeting. Shaun McMillan (Wisbech) was on good form winning the white and yellow grade race at the start of the meeting before coming home in second place in the first full heat of the meeting. However, his luck ran out in the second heat when he attempted the wall of death stunt around the wall in Turns One and Two but failed on the dismount when his car dropped gently onto the drivers side and slid to a halt. Andi Newman (Spalding) had won the first heat with Carl Waterfield (Ely) taking the second victory after Simon Venni (Long Sutton) crossed the line first but was penalised two places for jumping the restart after the McMillan incident.