Friday, December 8, 2023

Arena Essex confirm their elite team

ARENA Essex have confirmed their team of elite Banger racers for the prestigious ORC Team Championships this coming Sunday at the Thurrock venue.

The ORC Banger Team championship brings together drivers representing their local track and promotion and Arena Essex are bidding to win the title they last took in 2006 when the event was held at Ipswich.

Heading the Arena entry is Grays resident, Stuart “Joey” Palmer, fresh from his fourth place finish in the Unlimited Banger World Final. This has been a breakout year for Palmer in the Bangers, following a successful time in the 1300cc Stock Car formula.

Cream Team member, Aleks Gjoni, has been a popular addition to the Arena Essex scene since his arrival on these shores and he will be sure to make an impression, as will Canvey Islander Jack Deacon, who recently returned to the track following a bad neck injury. Concerns of a tentative return were dismissed at the World Championship meeting where he put in a spirited display.

Veteran, John “Hitman” Harris provides the muscle on the team. The 1998 World Champion doesn’t care too much for winning races these days and when he takes to the track you can usually be assured of an all action display.

Another man who enjoys the contact side of the sport is Dan Gardiner, who tends to star in the novelty events at the venue, such as the Big Van and Caravan races. He is equally adept in the regular cars though and could be quite an asset.

Karl Douglas can race or wreck as the mood takes him and when he does wreck, he tends to go wrecking in a big way. The same could be said of Dagenham’s Alfie Lee, who reached the podium in the World Final when fresh out of Junior Mini Stox, but can also crash with the best of them.

Completing the eight man team is Mark Marchant, a recent returnee to the tracks who has pace and killer instinct.

Home advantage should help this Sunday, although last years champions, Spedeworth, will be difficult to beat, with a team that oozes quality and features several World Champions in the line up.

Supporting the Bangers this Sunday are the Saloon Stock Cars and Mini Stox, who both also compete for their ORC Championships. The Saloons provided the highlight of last years fixture and the heavy hitters are out in force again with World Champion, Eddie Darby heading the entry. Meanwhile it is the most prestigious championship of the year for the Juniors in the Mini Stox and track champion, Dan Newman will be out to test his mettle against the best in the country.

It all starts at 1pm this Sunday. Arena Essex is situated on the A1306 just 100 yards east of the Dartford Tunnel Roundabout, opposite the huge Lakeside Shopping complex.

Photos attached of Banger Teams, Saloons (Saloon Stock Cars) and Minis (Mini Stox)

All photos are to be accredited to Matt Bull/ and all rights for newspaper publication in printed or digital form are granted.


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