PRI Bangers provided the highlights at Arena Essex on Sunday. Heat one saw Anthony Baldwinson spin James Hutchins on the back straight, which lead to a brief flight for Ben Lawrence as he was tagged by Baldwinson as he steamed past. Matt Lewis took the win.
With a slightly uneven split, heat two was by far the livelier. William Jenkins had a rough ride, getting spun and then getting a big hit from Ben Rogers. Jenkins then spent much of the rest of the race broadside in the middle of the home straight. A massive series of crashes at the end of the straight saw Michael Galloway destroyed by a massive crash from Tony Sealy. This brought out a red flag to check on the well-being of Vic Bilky, who had taken a knock in the same crash. Jack Coveney raced to the win at the restart.
With a close to 40 car grid the final was always going to be lively and so it proved with a massive pile up on turn one which lead to a few disqualifications as a number of drivers diverted onto the speedway track to avoid the melee. With a narrow gap up the inside of a number of crashed cars, the mass of mangled machinery grew as the race progressed with a number of drivers getting shunted into the scrap pile and others misjudging their braking, or hitting oil and skating in all by themselves. As Tom Greenstreet took the win, Callum Sealy lost control at the troublesome first corner and unfortunately found it was brother Tony who was there to cushion the impact!
An extra allcomers race saw a win for Reiss Carroll, aided by team mate Tom Greenstreet launching the closely following Charlie Barwell into as spectacular crash on the home straight.
Danny Mitchell won the final race of the day before a Destruction Derby ended proceedings. Jodie Cheeseman shrugged off a big hit from Wayne Benson to slug it out in the final moments with newcomer Toby Hall. The two looked to be heading for a head on but Hall turned out at the last minute and got a hit in the door instead. After a moment to regain his senses, Hall fired his car back up and finished Cheeseman with a heavy hit to seal the win.
Teen sensation, Alfie Jones won both heats in the Stock Cars, which put him further back on the grid for the final, which was easily the race of the day. David Donovan built up a good lead, whilst Jones fought his way towards the front. A very physical duel between some of the sports top names resulted in Nick Glover spinning and getting collected by Vic Bilkey. After a brief pause to check on Glover, Paul Ring barged Donovan wide to take the lead briefly although he overcooked it allowing Jones to come through. Seemingly on his way to victory number three, Jones’ car then died and he headed for the infield allowing Dave Palmer and Phil Wise to battle for the lead. Their fight allowed Nathan Roberts to close and dive past both of them in turn to take a well earned win.
A good turnout of Lightning Rods saw Marcus Reeve win the first heat and Wayne Londors, the second. After admitting to ‘over-driving’ in the heats, a calmer Jim Heard displayed a master-class of driving in the final, slipping underneath several cars on the first bend and overtaking Londors on his way to a perfectly judged victory.
A lowly number of Ministox nevertheless provided a thrilling final with the double heat winning Charlie Morphey overtaken int he final yards by David Sheering. Sensing a last corner attack from Morphey, Sheering braked, not allowing Morphey to slot back in behind him. This allowed Aaron Totham to launch an attack on the pair, although Sheering held firm on that inside line and duly took the flag, Totham just pipped Morphey for second.
There is a double header scheduled for Arena Essex over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend with Easter Sunday featuring the PRI Bangers, Stock Cars, Stock Rods and the popular Brisca F2 Heritage Stock Cars. The latter formula relives the early years of Stock Car racing. Bank Holiday Monday features the latest round of the Micro National Banger World Series as well as action from the Lightning Rods and Mini Stox. In contrast to the previous days activity the youngest members of the oval racing fraternity, the 6-11 year olds in the Ninja Karts, also get an outing. Start time on both days is 1pm.