ALAN Buckland fought a thrilling battle with Marc Deland in the Grand Prix Midget Southern Championship at Arena Essex on Sunday.
After both had demoted early leader, Jack Hodges, Buckland closed on Deland, aided by the latter getting momentarily baulked by a backmarker. Taking to the outside line, Buckland fought wheel to wheel with Deland over the remaining laps and as the two crossed the line, Buckland got the verdict by the narrowest of margins.
It was a shame the great example shown by the Grand Prix Midget formula was not replicated in the Lightning Rod class where all out warfare broke out. New driver to the class Lee Hall saw his new car badly damaged by a deliberate retaliatory attack from heat winner Nigel Carroll. Spins and shunts were the order of the day and through it all Nathan Roberts took a heat and final double, although even he was lucky to not be docked for a hefty shove on the wayward Hall to take the lead of the heat race.
Contact also decided the Stock Rod final with Alex Martin leading most of the way before Dean Kitchen found a gap up the inside. Daniel Newman then found the smallest of gaps up the inside of Kitchen and the resultant three abreast moment saw Kitchen rattled into Martin, the latter than bundled into the barrier as Newman raced off with the lead and the win. Perhaps unsurprisingly he was docked two places for the contact allowing Jamie Akehurst to inherit the win, continuing his fine start to the season.
The first National Banger World Qualifying round of the season went the way of Dale Hughes. Hughes spent both heats following Dean Goodearl around, his last bend shunt on both occasions not unseating the leader. But with Goodearl upgraded in the final, Hughes had little competition for the win.
The next action at Arena Essex is on bank Holiday Monday 4th May when the PRI Bangers are joined by the Junior Bangers, 2L Stock Cars and Mini Stox. The very full day of contact motorsport action begins at 1pm.