DAVE Imber won the Stock Rod ORCi Championship at Arena Essex on Bank Holiday Monday, the Chatham racer defeating over thirty racers from across the country to lift one of the most prestigious titles in the Stock Rod calendar – a formula that is run across several tracks under the Oval Racing Council’s banner.
Three qualifying heats decided the grid positions for the Championship race and the intense battling lead to a couple of rollover victims in Scottish racer Leon Stewart and Ringwoods Jordan Morgan. Ricky Walker won one of the heats but with two heat wins, Imber qualified on pole position for the final.
In the big race, Imber fought a great battle with first Ricky Walker and then Carl Shackleford, the latter particularly putting him under a great deal of pressure. With Walker becoming embroiled in a battle with Scottish racer Jim Pitcaithly and Daniel Newman, Imber and Shackleford pulled clear by mid distance.
As they began the process of lapping backmarkers, the race fell apart for Shackleford. Imber successfully got up the inside of Trevor Calvin, Shackleford went to the outside but was blocked and eventually spun up the inner kerbing, putting him well down the order, indeed he was lapped by the races end. As Imber raced clear, Walker shrugged off the attentions of Pitcaithly, with the Scottish racer subsequently hanging onto third place, despite repeated attacks from the following Jordan Wainwright and Luke Oliver.
Imber was delighted with the win "Once I had pole position I knew I only really had to hold my line and it would be really difficult for anyone to come past" Imber said after the race
Having recently purchased a ready to race Banger from a friend, Sheerness racer, Charlie Barwell took a heat and final win on his debut in the PRI Bangers. Corringham’s Danny Wade was another double winner, one of his wins being gained after spinning Barwell. Both of Wade’s wins were decided on the last corner. The first came after punting erstwhile leader, Tom Greenstreet, wide, whilst his second win was gained despite a last bend challenge from track championship leader, Lewis Canham
The days biggest crashes included a first heat, first corner shunt for Mitchell Scott, a heavy impact with the wall putting him out for the rest of the meeting. Meanwhile Stanford Le-Hope’s Dwain Powers suffered a drivers side impact with the pit gate courtesy of Grays, Tom Greenstreet, which brought about a stoppage in the final.
The Destruction Derby was won by Gray’s Jordan Webb after Dan Morgan became stranded on the inner banking following a hit from Lee Johnson. After a series of heavy smashes, Johnson’s car was prone for a final shunt from Webb to finish it off.
A fantastic final was a feature of the Mini Stox competition with three drivers all in with a chance of victory on the last corner. Harry Overy had driven a tactical blinder, allowing the more rapid Steph Street past him and following her through the field until they came onto the tail of leader, Aaron Totham. Sore was delayed slightly when passing Totham, which put Overy in striking distance into the last corner. He hit Sore hard enough to send her wide, but this nearly allowed Totham up the inside and all three got to the line in a blanket finish – Overy just getting the verdict from Totham and Sore.
Using similar tactics Overy had earlier spun Sore out of the lead on the last corner of a heat race, but a potential treble went west when his car jumped out of gear whilst battling with Luke Dorling, Sore and Totham for the lead of the other heat. In one of his best meetings at the venue, Totham completed his day with victory in the allcomers race at the end of the programme.
The next action at Arena is on 15th May when the National Bangers compete in the Micro Madness event. Ford Ka’s and Nissan Micras are expected to be at the fore at this one, with the small cars regularly providing the best Banger action across the country. Making it a double bill of Banger action, the Junior Bangers also take to the track with the 11-16 year olds competing in very similar cars to the National Bangers stars. The all action Stock Cars are back, in the midst of their most successful season to date, whilst the Lightning Rods complete the busy programme.