|Meeting 00/15, Monday, 29th. May 2000|
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National Bangers Pairs Championship
1300 Stock Cars
featuring Pedal Bangers Grand Prix
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It was a day of mixed fortunes and weathers for all the formulas at Arena Essex over the Spring Bank Holiday, and the Ministox, who met in good numbers on the May 29 meeting, fared no worse than any other. With the racing split along grades, each grade getting at least two races, and a qualifier only final, the first race was destined to finish early with Rikki Taylor going to the wall to stop the race early for a complete restart, then a two point rollover near the end proving beneficial for Daniel Amos as he grabbed the lead shortly before the roll, Daniel Rosenthal and Nick Brown settling in behind while previous leader Jimmy Randall slipped down to fifth. The experts had things to themselves in the second heat, though a spin for Steven Lyons at the hands of Steve Laybourn brought more flags forth; black for Laybourn, red for the race and another complete restart. Not that Laybourn would be the only driver to suffer the black flag in this race, Colin Cooper picking up one for repeated contact, Joe Bullen likewise for contributing to Neal Gardiners' collapsed front end and Lawrence Davey also feeling the stewards' wrath. As for the race itself, it was all catch up, Glen Witherall finally outrunning early leader Colin Thorndyke three laps from home with a tidier line from the corners. Davey would eventually finish the day loaded up with penalties to follow after launching Ryan Richards into the armco in the third race, a similar tactic by Lee Smith on Vic Bilkey getting the same reward in another restarted heat, this time due to a midfield pile up on turn one. RDC visitor Justin Sorial pulled off an easy victory in that race, hitting the front half way and finishing half a lap clear of Mark Wilson and Daniel Amos, Wilson gifted the place as early leader James Avison retired late. This would eventually be the making of a controversial result in the final which saw Michael Sanderson deliberately ignore the black flag after taking Bullen into the wall while a black cross awarded to Tubbs Butler early on for an avoidable collision with Amos was converted to a one place penalty. While Sorial again hit and held the lead to the end with no problems, Butler and Avison following him home, Sorial and Avison took their lap of honour while Butler stormed off the track without the third place trophy. It was not until the final Banger race of the day was due to start that it was then announced that Avison had been excluded from the result for non-qualification, so Butler was returned to second place with a somewhat surprised Simon Smith given third! Whatever else may be said about Ministox meetings, they are certainly not dull!
1300 Stock Cars
A quick run around the circuit for the 1300 Stock Cars at Arena Essex on May 29, quick being the operative word as Simon Welton shot through the pack in the warm up, only missing out on first place as te laps ran out and Scott Hughes just too far in front to collect. Derry monk was back on form though, and the third spot in that warm up, despite an early attack by John McGirr was the start of a good day which was highlighted by a textbook victory in the main event, Welton having to settle for third after again leaving the move on eventual second spot Delbert Mortimer too late. The final race suffered at the hands of the weather but not before Andy Brown secured victory ahead of Hughes, Mortimer holding Monk to fourth spot this time.
PRI Banger Pairs
Occasionally, the hand of fate will lend a hand to any proceeding, whatever it is. This was the case with the annual Pairs Championship for Bangers at Arena Essex on May 29, where a mistake on the programme which was eventually allowed to pass led to one of the best Pairs finals in memory at that circuit. The first heat, however, started calmly marked only by a jacking for Mark Woolner and Mick Bradbury on turn one and a race end rollover jack knife by Chris Ringrose behind partner Neil Livermore. The race went to Dave Robinson and Ray Sharrod, the fact that the Squad man Sharrod survived intact raised a few eyebrows. More were raised as Brian McGuiness rolled home first in heat two with Don Anderson. The heat had its share of hits though, including Luke Radley and Brad Theaker who took the wrong way round, hitting the occasional passer-by. It would be their last race of the day as they were judged to have gone a little too far! Heat three looked like it would go easily to Terry Driver and Keith Newman until they got the pit bend wrong, letting Keith Perren and Paul Lawes in for the eventual win. The consolation, stalled with a non-start for Paul Jones and Andrew Gough saw some heavy wrecking around turn two eventually leaving Spencer Barber and Craig Hewitt in the lead but with little steering, having to use the armco to navigate the turns. This eventually led to disaster as they hit wreckage on turn two with some help from John Drummond and Curtis Major, letting Harry and Riki Rawlins through for the win with Joe Warner and Dan Reid in second. The initial placing of Barber and Hewitt in third was later questioned as though they did recover, they were too wrecked to complete any more laps, the third spot being later given to Drummond and Major, though Major was unable to make it to the final.
During the meeting, however, it had been pointed out that although the final should have been a qualifier only affair, the programme specifically mentioned an allcomers' race. After much argument, the powers that be allowed the non-qualifiers to start at the back of the grid, making a grand total of 26 pairs taking the track. It was mostly the non-qualifiers that suffered when the green flag went down as everyone charged forward to make up lost ground and the resulting stampede thundered into the first bend in one of the biggest pile ups, including a double rollover, since the last Caravan races! This took some time to untangle, but a reasonable field still managed to restart the race and while Lawes had to settle for total destruction, John Harris took partner Stuart Wilson into the Warner and Reid pairing outside turn three, while turn one got further blocking. The eventual upshot was that Sonny Sherwood, complete with totally snapped car, ahead of partner and perpetual second place guy Jamie Wilders managed to crawl home winners, some laps ahead of second spot Lee and Darren Witherington in a four pair finish. How Sherwood managed to nurse the wreck home we can speculate, but Wilders was glad to be second across the line this time!
This just left the Rawlins qualifier, which began a little roddily until Jason Jackson nailed Chris Ringrose head on, then Bulldog Drummond took his wreck round the wrong way up the pit bend and started wrecking proceedings early, neither Darren Stern nor Paul Hunter able to stop him. He ended up in a pitched scrap with Wilson across the chequered flag into the destruction section of the race, while Frank Skinner won only to be comprehensively wrecked in a monster jacking on two fronts on the home straight from which only Lee West and Andrew Davies recovered, Davies being put out with just one further t-bone.
0 Pedal Bangers See main report 1 Banger Pairs 1 275 Dave Robinson + 173 Ray Sharrod /348+42/98+217/203+341/193+420 2 Ministox 1 WY 87 Daniel Amos /577/505/528/524/7/598/536/515/558/549/360 3 Banger Pairs 2 14 Brian McGuiness + 15 Don Anderson /6+183/101+102/336+467/300+301 4 Banger Pairs 3 402 Keith Perren + 532 Paul Lawes /47+49/33+32/84+232/261+383 5 1300 Stx wu 775 Scott Hughes /600/643/668/697/671/658/666/777/639 6 Ministox 2 YBR 558 Glen Witherall /528/64/111/515/50/16/350/549/564/599/368 7 Banger Pairs Cons 58 Riki + 57 Harry Rawlins /128+61/515+437 8 1300 Stx Final 643 Derry Monk /697/600/777/666/671/771/658 9 Ministox 3 WBR 368 Justin Sorial /599/87/380/90/41/386/66/16/111/598/577 10 Banger Pairs Final 348 Sonny Sherwood + 42 Jamie Wilders /84+232/415+339/300+301 NOCR 11 1300 Stx h/s 671 Andy Brown /775/697/643/777/771/699/666 12 Ministox Final 368 Justin Sorial /41/549/599/558/16/598/7/66/577 13 Bangers R2KQ 193 Frank Skinner /301/47 LCR=6 Lee West
Results subject to confirmation by promoter