Arena Essex: Tom is the king of the castle

TEENAGER, Tom Castle won a dramatic Junior Banger final at Arena Essex Raceway on Bank Holiday Monday. The race had many twists and turns, the first of which was a stoppage to deal with the car of Regan Baughan which was in flames on the exit of the QE2 bend.

As soon as several fire extinguishers had been emptied into the engine bay the race resumed with Castle launching himself up on two wheels as he passed Samuel Voller. Bradley Lee looked on course for his third win of the day but he spun out backmarker Charlie Murrell and as he passed the car he clipped it and spun heavily into the fence. “Fast and Fearless” star, Alfie Jones then took over the lead but an attack from a backmarker spun him on the pit bend and frustratingly he stalled the car, losing a substantial lead and dropping to third place by the time he restarted. Castle moved past for his debut win at the venue with Charlie Murrell in second place from Jones.

The heats for the Juniors proved just as lively, even if both of them resulted in wins for Bradley Lee. Aaron Chapman suffered a near rollover which was bettered by Jordan Godfrey’s airborne effort on the start/finish straight which left him on his roof having tangled with Brandon Sudbury. The race stoppage came just in time for Lee, who had just been spun out of the lead, the result being taken from the last completed lap.

The Junior Mini Stox also got an outing with a healthy entry and some very lively racing, not least in the final where the green flag was greeted by much bumper bashing into turn one which first saw Jack Goldsmith pushed up onto the inner barrier and then pretty much half the grid of cars spinning and crashing all round the first half lap. The race was halted to clear up and things were a little more orderly at the second time of asking with Aaron Totham showing a marked improvement in pace by taking the win, even though the final few laps amongst a duelling pack of backmarkers provided some very nervous moments. Will Morphey bumpered aside earlier heat winner, Lauren Overy for second place. David Shearing continued his meteoric start to his Mini Stox career with a win in the other heat.

Stock Rods were present in good numbers too with Jamie Collins taking a heat and final double, his Nova showing much improved pace with a few vital set up changes really producing the goods. Ray Petty won the other heat on the day, a race which had a mid race stoppage as David Robinson shed a wheel on the home straight.

In the National Banger class the crashing was largely confined to Danny Allen, who turned round on the pit bend to deal with a succession of the non regular racers. A massive head on with Sam Dace and a follow up shot from Scott Cornish finished off Dace in heat one, whilst the same script accounted for Trevor Gillman in the second heat, with Jamie Harding delivering the knock-out blow. It briefly looked although the co-operation between the teams on the day might have broken down when Billy Randall turned around to try to stop leader Dave Johnson in one heat, but Randall missed in any case and words in the pits seemed to stop anything developing further. The Destruction Derby did at least provide at entertaining contest with the game Allen taking shots from Harding and Dave Bull, before the latter two were left to beat each other up, in a mechanical sense, in the fun finale. Harding eventually getting the win.

The next action at Arena Essex is on Bank Holiday Monday when the National Bangers, Stock Rods and Mini Stox are joined by the Lightning Rods, the latter competing in their first qualifier for the Supreme Championship. Start time 1pm.

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