NEARLY 80 Rookie Bangers provided an abundance of action at Arena Essex’s annual memorial event for Banger legend, Terry Skeef, on Sunday.
Micky Turner spun Jodie Cheeseman at the start of heat one whilst Tony Abrehart fenced Jackie Pearson. Ian Ardley put himself in hard when attacking Tom Johnson. Grant Kilburn spun Bugs 310 into a growing car park on the pit bend whilst Matthew Young motored to victory.
Jason Curtis hit Rhys Waters at the start of heat two whilst Darryl Theedom got some heavy rear damage but carried on regardless, inflicting a killer blow on Chris Whiteman along the way. Danny Mitchell went in hard on Sam Watson but later found himself in the pit gate with Richard Wellham for company, Wellham getting a huge hit from Joe Powers for his trouble. Nathan King avoided the melee to take the win.
Unusually there was no consolation event and all the cars were allowed in the memorial final which made for a 63 car race!
Unsurprisingly the final was just moments old when the first stoppage was called for – Paul Ring rolled on the exit of turn two and hit the barrier whilst upside down. He was fine, although he did confirm that this one hurt! Whilst Ring was somersaulting a big crash by the pit gate accounted for TJ Powers and Mark Warner, with Debbie Taylor spun into the debris field, meanwhile a similarly large shunt on the back straight accounted for several more.
So a depleted, yet still massive, grid reformed for the restart. Matthew Young looked good for more success until taken out by an illegal manoeuvre from Ricky Hutton on the pit bend, Hutton carrying over his National Banger practice of turning around to meet the opposition, Leon Sudbury also a guilty party. Sonny Sherwood met a similar fate, leaving Jimmy Randall to take the win, whilst Antoni Colby took heavy damage from Tom Greenstreet, Greenstreet then copping a big hit from Randall on his run down lap.
The Junior Banger entry included the new World Champion, Bradley Lee. Lee wrapped up the inaugural Arena Essex points championship as expected but after two non finishes in both his heats it briefly looked although Jack Coveney might have snatched it away from him. But an assured drive to success in the final secured the title for him, despite a few opponents taking a swipe along the way. A number of the youngsters suffered rollovers during the afternoon, including Aaron Chapman and Reece Jackson, but all were unharmed.
Richard Haines won the Terry Skeef memorial final for the Stock Rods. Dan Newman and Paul Haralambou won the qualifying heats, the second of which was marred by a big crash for visiting racer Kev Lock, who took heavy damage but was thankfully unharmed.
Steve Norman won the Lightning Rod Essex Championship whilst Anthony Lawrence wrapped up the points championship after a dominant season. Indeed Lawrence might well have been able to mount a challenge for the Essex title had he not been adjudged to be blocking in the first heat, which carried a two place penalty.
As the Banger racing season begins to wind down at Arena Essex Raceway the National Bangers return on 19th October for a Team event, which doubles as the final round of the "Keeping it Real Series". Georgie Lee and Jack Tuffen lead the series at present and both are amongst the Team Cheeseburger line up.
However the Midnight Runners must start as favourites for the Team title, could that be enough to elevate one of their number, perhaps former World Champion, Jason "Boxer Jack" Jackson to the series win. Meanwhile Dave Bull seems assured of the entertainers league, fifty points clear of Paul Korpiela. The action starts at 1pm.