Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Arena Essex: Hunter goes on the hunt

THE Stock Rods provided the highlight of Sundays meeting at Arena Essex with a close fought final that could have been won by any one of four drivers.

Having already shared the heat wins with Ricky Walker, Paul Hunter hit the front in the early stages of the final, but he sent Alex Martin spinning on turn one which attracted him a warning flag. Richard Haines quickly made it onto Hunter’s tail, breaking the lap record for the class in his pursuit. Haines wasn’t too interested about actually passing Hunter as he knew that the Vauxhall Nova racer would be docked several places in the final result for the earlier contact. However as the pack got ever closer to him he began to make an attempt at an outside pass. The two cars ran side by side for several laps until Hunter ran wide with two laps to go, taking Haines with him and allowing Walker a gap up the inside. With Walker on the inside, Hunter on the outside and Haines in the middle, Paul Haralambou also muscled in on the scene but found himself turfed out of the lead pack as they all battled for track space in turn three. Walker just managed to fend off Haines on the line for the win by a matter of inches. Haines was to get some compensation by surviving a sideways moment in the allcomers race, courtesy of Hunter, to run out a dominant victor.

The National Bangers provided more racing than wrecking on this occasion and it was the usual faces that dominated the trophies. Jason Jackson, Jack Tuffen and Dean Goodearl won the heats with Paul Whiteman once again coming good in the final despite a punt or two from a team mate along the way. The battling factions of the Cream Team and the Gladiators only had a couple of representatives each and they came to blows with the pick of the crashes dished out by Ricky Hutton, who followed Lewis Price hard into the turn three armco. Amazingly both the apparently wrecked Gladiators were repaired for the Destruction Derby where they were amongst the last cars running, although ultimately the contest came down to a series of head ons between Danny Londors and Alfie Lee, the verdict eventually going to the former.

In a subdued start to the season for the SuperBanger formula, Lee West looked on course for a clean sweep of wins until gearbox trouble prevented him from winning his fourth race of the day. His earlier victories were scored in a dominant fashion with his closest rival in 2012, Brian Jarvis strangely off the pace. Karl Douglas was able to take the allcomers win at the end of the day thanks to West’s troubles, a race which also saw Tommy Parker show some good pace.

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