|Meeting 00/18, Sunday 18th June 2000|
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Lightning Rods Supreme Championship Qualifier
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It was a hot day on June 18 when the Lightning Rods lined up for the second round of the Supreme Championship qualifiers at Arena Essex, and it would seem that the heat got to a few heads too. Not that this did not leave us with some great racing from the get-go, including a stunning return to form by Dennis Whiteman who had borrowed his brothers' car some weeks before and had suddenly discovered that he still liked racing the 2 litre Sierras. He managed to get a win in a stunning first heat which saw a millimetre finish by Vic Bilkey and Shaun Mayle, Bilkey only just getting the decision for second place. However even during this race it was clear that things were getting overheated as both Darren Ahern, out for the first time under a gold roof, and Matthew Arnold received black flags in what seemed like a fairly heated private battle. This got worse in the second heat as Ahern and Nick Langley went into the pit fence together, a later spin on Dave Halford by Langley being enough to get him flagged as Ahern led the pack past early leader Peter Hayfield to victory. After some harsh words to the steward and some threatening behaviour on the track, Langley was loaded for the day, but that was not the end of the troubles. Meanwhile, the third heat saw Roy Rawlins remind us that he is still to be reckoned with as he struggled from his car as the winner after dummying Trev Draynor close to the end. The final, however, was an allcomers' affair and while the starter breathed a sigh of relief when only 22 cars of the forty or more came out, the heat was still on as Darren Ahern hit the front of the field and was then adjudged to have spun back marker Hayfield a couple of laps from home, earning him a black flag which was increased to a load up after some more of those words, including some from his supporters. The race was awarded to Shaun Mayle who had had a blistering race behind Ahern with Pat Kenneally and Mick Thompson, but sadly this meeting was remembered most for its incidents rather than for its racing which, after all was said, was very good.
A quiet outing for the National Bangers at Arena Essex on June 18 as many folk seemed to be staying away preparing for some of the larger events to come at Arena in the next couple of weeks. So a fairly spartan pit of about forty to fifty bangers gave us an unexpectedly good meeting including the return of Roy Bramley who picked things up in the first heat, a Rising Stars qualifier, where he took out Steve Shaw, but was upstaged somewhat by Neil Partridge who took Bramley on towards the end and Mark Nicholls whose t-bone/rollover combination on David Maynard was a hitters highlight. Andy Spooner took the win, with Martin Spicer and Partridge taking the other two spots in the October 22 Rising Stars final. The old boys were next out with Jeffrey Scorah electing to do the second heat instead of the Rising Stars one. He may have regretted it as a turn one pile up saw his car being smashed as Dean Kingsworth and John Drummond piled in amongst others. Things were close at the front with the first five within striking distance of each other but Dean Bateman put himself out of the running by hitting the dead Scorah car, and Tommy McGuirk took himself and Dave Greenstreet into the fence on turn one to leave Dale Atkins and Tony Wade clear to take first and second. The main event was well attended, but was afflicted with piles again, especially in the pit area. McGuirk was especially busy as he shrugged off an attack from Jason Jackson to bury Spooner on the back straight before hitting the leader at mid point; Partridge gave way to Clive Killick at that point, but Wade was running up the places and keeping clear of the worst of the trouble and when Killick and Steve Macklin met on the back straight close to home, Wade went through ahead of track points leader Sonny Sherwood and John Harding, who charged through Killick and Macklin to take third spot, which is how it finished. The Rawlins qualifier was a little bit of history as Jimmy Silver powered his way through the field then took Atkins out on the pit bend to win, while Bramley and John Hazell had to settle for dead heat in the last car running stakes as they both conked out after one last head on.
1 Ministox 1 501 Danny Mann /576/7/505/558/564/87/528/536/519/582/366 2 LRods 1 155 Dennis Whiteman /111/218/104/306/200/169/199 3 Bangers R/S 246 Andy Spooner /406/491/142/10 NOCR 4 Ministox 2 527 Steve Laybourn /87/558/564/528/129/88/(368)/16/7/90/599 5 LRods 2 149 Darren Ahern /104/245/111/203/236/277/101 6 Bangers 98 Dale Atkins /33/331/348/130/59/160/30 7 Ministox 3 576 Chris Smith /536/(368)/88/129/41/505/501/90/66/50/599 8 LRods 3 245 Roy Rawlins /272/167/200/218/217/42/170 9 Bangers Final 33 Tony Wade /348/160/59/336/331/72/100 (NOCR) 10 Ministox Final 576 Chris Smith /558/88/501/536/599/528/87/16/564 11 LRods Final 218 Shaun Mayle /201/167/155/104/217/151/272 12 Bangers R2Kq 51 Jimmy Silver /348/331 LCR=126 Roy Bramley/404 John Hazell Mnx 328 removed from result following post-race scrutiny failure.
Results subject to confirmation by promoter