Crashnet > Reports Index > PRI 1998 Index > Meeting 98/20
Meeting No. 20, Sunday, 28th. June, 1998
Small Van Bangers
Pocket Rocket Legends Demonstration
Pocket Rocket Legends
For those of you not in the know, a Pocket Rocket Legend is a replica American car from the first part of the twentieth century, powered by a Yamaha 1300cc motorbike engine. They may have a passing similarity in appearance to Rebel cars but are much meatier beasts underneath. Five of these cars made it to Arena Essex on June 28 for three demonstration races, though a practice session crash by Angie Sturmey meant that only four cars took to the track for the first race. The early race leaders, Arthur Bright and Derek Hayles, both ended the race in crashes; Bright stalled after clipping the inner wall on the Aveley turn and Hayles shredded in the armco on the home straight, leaving BriSCA F1 vet Des Chandler an easy win ahead of Trevor James who was struggling with the Arena oval. Chandler also pressed hard in the second race but Hayles outpaced him to take the win, then Chandler repeated his early performance as Bright and Hayles removed themselves from the front in a close succession of nudges ending with a spin for both on the pit turn. The Pocket Rocket Legends return to Arena Essex on August 16 and can be seen at many venues in the next few months (check your local promotion for details).
The Ministox came back to Arena Essex on June 28 for a three race programme. Tom Meekings managed a comfy win in the first heat ahead of a close scramble for second, provisionally won by Alistair Pizzey after a storming race from the back until the steward put him back two places for avoidable contact, putting Lee Smith up to second with third going to Danny Cassar. A pile up on the first turn started the second heat which was stalled as Laura Milligan ended up stuck across the first corner on a slippery track, helped on her way by an out of control Richard Grindrod, visiting from Incarace. Tom Meekings managed to pull away after the restart but slowed towards the end with the first rumblings of something wrong under the bonnet. Ian Thorndyke dummied James Avison outside to get an inside line on his way to his first victory while Smith managed to cut inside Neal Gardiner to nick second. The final saw an early spin by Pizzey allow Dave Devine a clear chance on the race, with only Smith to cause him much trouble on his way to a back of grid win, Smith second and Pizzey, after a remarkable recovery after his early mistake, getting third away from Grindrod who had held a podium place for most of the race, holding onto his best finish of the day in fourth.
After their Festival performance, it would be expected that the field would be reduced for the Lightning Rods June 28 meet at Arena Essex, but they showed up all the same with Rob Carr and Darren Ahern both looking for points after tying up the Driver's Championship between them during the previous week. Mark Collins held Ahern back in the first race for a win despite everything that Ahern could do, with Carr behind him, all held up until late in the race by Pete Barnes who was flagged off late for spinning Lee Page. Page was to receive his own set of marching orders in the second heat when the race was stopped early when he shunted Ahern which sent the points leader full pelt into the home straight armco off the fourth turn, Carr also sliding down the armco, Barnes and Collins also troubled. Carr and Ahern took no further part that day with shredded cars and Page awaits his doom after being loaded up pending further penalties. Lee Sharpe was in his accustomed early lead being the only fast white top and was declared winner with Steve Holding, who had been pressing for the lead prior to the pile up, was given second ahead of defending English Champion Roy Rawlins, whose title is up for grabs in about a month. As a result of this carnage only 11 cars hit the track for the final and Colin Murray made that ten when he hit the inner wall and stalled inside the first couple of laps, making things very tricky at the Aveley turn. Sharpe took up his normal early pace, but Rawlins was through quickly and made use of his superior experience to pass Sharpe coming onto the back straight after rounding the stalled car with Holding chasing. By the end Holding was pressing Rawlins hard but Rawlins held the line well to win the final with Holding settling for second and a good third place for Shaun Lavelle. If the trophy fell to pieces in Roy's hands as he took his victory lap, surely this shouldn't be taken as an ill omen?
Small Van Bangers
The Small Van Bangers made their appearance for the 1998 Championship at Arena Essex on June 28 and if ever a disgrace was seen, it was the A35 van of Kev Harland. A classic, soon wrecked as he t-boned George Rowbotham in the first and promptly fell to bits! A good scrap was had by all including Frank Parker, Sean Collin and briefly Kev Wilsher who carved through on his way to second place, Collin following for third though first place went to Boxer Jack, Jason Jackson staying far enough ahead to avoid capture by Wilsher. The second finally got going after a jumped start, a pile up on the Aveley turn taking Ken Knight, Steve Witherington, Paul Hawkes, Jim Chilvers and Gary Earl in letting Mark Want through briefly for the lead before Garry Deacon and Ian Knight pulled through inside opposite the raceway tavern. As the race headed toward conclusion, Ken Knight tried an innocent poke at Stuart Allen on the home straight, Allen promptly rolled his van in a four pointer that left him a little dizzy but he still drove on to finish ninth! Deacon took the race ahead of Mark Mahoney and Stu Brooks, while Gary Earl took his van from the track having caught fire. The allcomers' final was big on contact, Luke Radley starting off with a shunt into Hawkes and Glen Seago, Tony Cooper following that up by pinning Allen to Collin with Rowbotham joining in. Robo tried to finish Allen off but ended up on the receiving end of a monster jacking by Collin. Gary Earl's van then caught fire again. He abandoned the van again but it still made a return visit for the Rawlins 2000 qualifier at the end of the meeting. Meanwhile Brooks decided to test the wrecking ability of a Fiesta van by first jacking Collin, then nutting Andy Burrough! It stood up fairly well but that was the end of the pink Fiesta. With things getting hairy behind him, Deacon suddenly dived off, his heat-winning van letting him down while Karl Vanner got his van lowered. Kev Wilsher took the lead at that point ahead of Mahoney; what a time for a van to go sick! Wilsher got slower as he closed with the finish but as Mahoney saw his chance on the last approach, he left it, preferring to try to skirt around Wilsher and losing the race by a coat of paint rather than trying the riskier option of spinning Wilsher out. Wilsher finished his van off in the Rawlins, first by heading the Big Green Snot Machine HA van of Bernard Allcock then a jack on Vanner as he pushed Burrough into Mark Cope. It might have been all over then for Wilsher except that he managed to free himself from the defunct Vanner van and snapped Allcock's snot van, then received a jacking from Bradley Theaker, only to be helped out by Pete Ford to get one last shot in on Deacon on turn two. Ford then affected the result by taking the leader, Parker, head on within sight of the line, allowing Ken Knight first place ahead of Mahoney and Jackson. Boxer Jack then jacked Ford for his efforts, Knight also putting a full chat jacking in on Ford, while Deacon gave his last hit of the day to Mahoney. Mohoney survived the head on to take the last car running award.
Event 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Grand Parade 2 Small Vans 1 331 96 257 464 429 487 48 228 266 NOCR 3 Ministox 1 34 64 24 62 17 27 111 5 22 56 4 LtRods 1 299 149 104 143 135 113 118 140 136 123 176 NOCR 5 PRLegends 1 213 7 NOCR 6 Small Vans 2 101 391 352 268 206 43 269 28 558 NOCR 7 Ministox 2 28 64 88 62 34 16 17 22 5 29 8 LtRods 2 136 290 245 140 104 143 118 135 176 NOCR 9 PRLegends 2 8 213 5 7 10 Small Vans Final 96 391 43 206 429 NOCR 11 Ministox Final 17 64 62 22 5 29 90 160 31 20 12 LtRods Final 245 290 143 136 135 113 299 140 118 176 NOCR 13 PRLegends 3 213 7 8 5 14 R2000 Q/R 43 391 331 LCR=391 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All results subject to confirmation by promotion.