Friday, March 31, 2023

Arena Essex: Alfie returns from ban with a bang!

ALFIE Lee’s return from a racing ban could not have gone any better at Arena Essex on Sunday as the Dagenham star won all four Micro National Banger races and the Destruction Derby too.

Whilst Lee was stocking up on his silverware collection, the rest of the Banger racers had a smashing afternoon with notable highlights coming in the form of Darren Jones’ spectacular rollover in the second heat and a massive smash dished out to David Parker by Ricky Hutton in the same race.

Hutton was again on hand in the final to stop the rapid Darren Cardy with a head on, Matt Butcher then finishing Cardy with another pair of hits. Jamie Harding put a stop to Ian Nelson’s day with current PRI Banger points leader, Lewis Canham making sure of Nelson’s demise with another smash to the rear of the Ford Ka.

The highlight of the Destruction Derby was Matt Butcher destroying Lee Munday, with Butcher in turn getting finished off by Canham. Canham then went on to play a leading role in the finale with Sonny Sherwood and Alfie Lee, but after the day that Lee had already enjoyed, it seemed there was only ever going to be one winner.

There was also domination in the 2 Litre Stock Car category with Banger star, Nathan Roberts taking all three wins. It looked like his march to success came unhinged briefly in the final when he lost a big lead during a caution period as Jason Curtis became beached on the inner curbing. With formula kingpin, Steve Davies, on his tail it seemed inevitable that the big push would come at the races resumption, but Davies fluffed the restart and became embroiled in a battle with Dave Palmer and John Harris. It was a battle he would win, but Roberts was a long way up the road.

A massive chain reaction shunt in the early stages of the Lightning Rods first heat decimated the field somewhat and put several cars out. Strangely enough, the car that looked most damaged, that of Nigel Carroll, returned for both remaining races despite requiring a tow vehicle at the front and rear of the car as it was lifted off the track.

Dan Guidotti took advantage of the carnage to win both heats, but success in the final looked unlikely as a fast starting Jamie Lee Callis moved into the lead and Guidotti began duelling with Richard Norman. We weren’t destined to find out whether Guidotti could get past Norman to challenge for the lead as a problem with the wiring saw a brief fire in the car and understandably Dan was quick to jump clear.

A very poor turnout of Junior Bangers provided three largely uneventful races, Alfie Cornish and Bradley Lee shared the heats before Lee, Alfie Jones and Patric Hughes shared the silverware in the final.

The next action at Arena Essex is on Bank Holiday Monday when the PRI Bangers take pride of place with one of their famous pit bend Destruction Derbies providing a spectacular finale to the day. The Heritage F2 Stock Cars will provide a nostalgic glimpse of Stock Car racing back in the 1950s and 60’s, whilst the Stock Rods and Junior Mini Stox complete the packed racing programme. Start time 1pm.


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