|Meeting 00/19 & 00/20, Saturday 24th/Sunday 25th June 2000|
Crashnet > Reports Index > PRI 2000 Index > Meeting 00/19 & 20 - Festival of Speed
|Festival of Speed 2000 Weekend||
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Qualifying night started with the Group A Hot Rods, this year split four ways and as well represented as always, and while Ricky McCatty held on for a flag to flag victory in heat one over Darren Clement, third place Nichola Bearman raced probably the best race of her career, holding out against Dave Lamb and even catching the leader by the end. Heat two was stopped abruptly after some contact, Gary Finch adding a black flag to his run of bad fortune this year, while Jason Brown benefitted from the early finish and the bad luck of early leader Allan Billington who conked out a few laps prior to the stoppage. Heat three also was stopped, though it was a midway stoppage as Luke Billington was spun across the race line and stalled. Dave Lamb got in a blistering start, giving Nichola Bearman a bit of a shock as he blazed past on his way to victory, easing past Brown on the back straight inside the last lap to win comfortably. That left heat four, a heat in more than one way as Gary Christie blew up on the slowdown lap and burst into flames after stopping on the back straight! Brother Darren was more successful though, grabbing the lead quickly from James Cawtheray then sprinting away, though he almost came unstuck when Pete read crashed in front of him close to home, Christie just avoiding in time.
After the fraught Supreme Qualifier of the previous meeting, it was hoped that the cooler weather would keep things calm for the Lightning Rods, especially with the instigators including World Champion Darren Ahern safely off track under bans. It didn't stop some of the hotheads though, but Rob Carr rose above all that in heat one as he took the win after first home Peter Waite was docked a couple for fencing Rob Deville early on. Heat two and it's pile up time, Dennis Whiteman emerging as the worst victim of the turn four wreck with an interesting slant on tracking taking him out of the running. John Wicks had sprinted away on the start and John Wicks it would be that came home first as the cars suddenly started having to fight for grip as oil started to grease the track up. Wicks also had a good start in heat three but this time the track was not so greasy and the cars stayed relatively clear of each other, apart from Matthew Arnold who had suddenly taken to hitting anything in reach and Dave Halford who got a black flag for a spin on Mark Mawditt. It was the turn of Lee Morrow to put a win in this time, cruising inside Wick on turn four after half way to leave Wick well behind as second and third fell to Colin Murray and Peter Scott. Morrow was to get more than just the one win that day.
It would be the Superbangers where Morrow would add his other victory in this Festival. Possibly stirred up by his previous win, he came out in the second heat of the SuperBangers, the last race of that day and burned up Matt Fuller early on to grab the lead, Nigel Carroll doing his best to catch him but far too late to do so. Buster Woods had earlier taken the first heat in a flag to flag run, holding out as Terry Shelvey chased the leader home from the back.
The 1300 Stocks were very crash happy this year, though the first heat saw John McGirr manage to avoid his customary spin out by his rivals, Derry Monk and Ricky Wolf involved in a spin out which delayed the current track drivers' champion from getting into contention in this race as McGirr powered home to victory ahead of Andy Brown and Dave Edwards. Brown then went on to win the second heat which was stopped midway when david Perry had to be stretchered off after a massive meeting with the home straight armco.
This just left the new Outlaw Hot Rods. With an opening out of rules on the engine types in consideration of the increasing difficulty in getting a Pinto racing, this new formula, seen elsewhere but at Arena Essex for the first time, attracted quite a few drivers in addition to the PRI Hot Rods including a few faces not seen on the Purfleet circuit in some time. Indeed Mark Lisowski, last seen at Arena Essex during his Lightning Rod days, seemed to remember how to navigate the circuit well enough as he held a tight line against everything that Pual Simmons could chuck at him in the first heat, this after a complete restart when Lisowski was one of a number of drivers to have ended up in a pile up! However experience tells, and the recent experience of Stu Hammond plus the reversed grid meant that Lisowski had to stay back in third behind Simmons as Hammond took the trophy this time. This race also saw some great racing down the field including a good fifth place finish by Alan White who finally seemed to be getting the hang of his 306 conversion, one of the larger cars in the class.
Day two, and we started with the consolation for the Group A Hot Rods and another close race as Richard Haines jetted through the ranks for a win, though he had to hold off Trevor Ledwith towards the end, the experience perhaps winning out this time, while Doug Constable got third after a close race with South African visitor Mark Fry who was forced to retire after Constable had finally passed him.
The Outlaws started off the finals with a record time win for Paul Simmons who managed to cream Dave Hitchen's old 30 lap time by five seconds, something which would happen in a number of races that afternoon as conditions were perfect for record attempts. Simmons, on pole after his consistant finishes the previous night, powered away well, an early attempt to catch up by Tony Allard coming to nothing as Allard pulled off damaged, while the last half of the race was dominated by an enthalling three way battle between Mark Lisowski, Adam Scott and Dave Fry over second place, Scott holding the outside line most of the way and even managing to get a nose in front but unable to outbrake Lisowski and eventually dropping to fourth behind Fry on the line.
The Lightning Rods were similarly blessed with a fast finish, although an early clash left Peter Scott damaged and Colin Murray with a load up, Don Anderson also dragging off for a black flag when it appeared that his rear bumper was about to come flying off. Oldest driver on the track Roy Rawlins took up a good lead which came under some pressure when, towards the end, Rob Carr came up and pushed hard to get in front, but the wily Rawlins held on regardless to take the Festival trophy for the Lightning Rods.
Then came the A's, the win a foregone conclusion as Dave Lamb bounced off pole and away into the distance with Terry Bearman holding second against the onslaught of Jason Brown early on, then Darren Clement and Lee Follett, though neither were able to keep up with Bearman all the way. Things got a little hairy as Chris Fuller blew up and dropped his sumps' contents close to home which slowed things slightly but not enough to stop Lamb getting the title and the 40 lap record by two seconds from Gary Barlows' 1996 time during the Supremes that year. Mark Browne made a determined effort late on but could only snatch third from Follett in the mess that followed at the end.
The 1300 Stock car final was just as predictable as John McGirr made the mistake of undertaking Derry Monk in his quest for the lead. Monk wasn't so forgiving, spinning McGirr out of the running before chugging away, Simon Welton a distant second.
The SuperBangers lived up to their name at least, with a pitched battle at the front between Kevin King and Terry Shelvey dominating the racing until close to the end when the pair got a little too intense in their hits, both sliding wide enough for Tony Shelvey to sneak inside, though it took a second go to consolidate the lead and, with Nigel Hepburn also getting involved, the four way finish was very close indeed, especially as Hepburn pushed Terry Shelvey home behind Tony Shelvey for a Shelvey one-two, King relegated to fourth in his borrowed Whiteman car after he managed to sell his wrecked SD1 in the pits the previous night.
This just left a clutch of helter-skelters and the Small Vans to consider. Most of the front runners never made it home in the Group A race, Jason Brown being flagged off after his bonnet almost flew off while Mark Browne and Dave Lamb both came to grief in a back straight collision. Allan Billington got his first Arena win in the distinctive Mk.II Fiesta with Darren Clement following. Adam Scott had an easier time of it in the Outlaw race as he took the lead from Colin Crocker at half way and jetted away to a half lap victory over Lisowski and Simmons. However the 1300 Stock Cars went out with a bang as a curtailed helter-skelter saw Delbert Mortimer notch one up over Simon Welton as Spike Ellis and Andy Brown did a synchronised double sliding rollover, propelled by John McGirr in a crash that saw tarmac shred by the Raceway Tavern! Derry Monk was already out of the running when he sent McGirr into the fence, earning a balck flag for the new Festival champion. In the Lightning Rods race, Brian Orriss relived his winning ways from his old Banger days as he sent his Mag 7 Sierra home first, well ahead of Edward Gibbs who had taken, lost and retaken the place on a couple of occasions through the race. Then Tony Shelvey compounded his days' winnings by punting Riki Rawlins wide close to home to finish as the only Festival champion able to win the helter skelter on the same day, though Rawlins tried hard to recover in the final corners.
The festival has always featured Bangers though in recent years it supplanted the old Banger Supreme championship with such events as Star-Spangled Bangers (Yanks), Jaguar racing and for the last couple of years, Caravan racing. This year, however, the Small Van Championship was conveniently shifted to take over as the Festival Sunday contact interest, and a good turnout including three Spedeworth visitors; Dave Hazledene in a Bedford HA, Jerry Ansell in a Mk. II Escort and Clive Diamond in a Mk.III Escort, provided plenty of good racing and wrecking. Keith Wildman was probably the most surprised of them all, however, as he came home in heat one to victory for the first time in ten years, or so he said! The heat was mostly a spin and go affair though Shane Davies resisted the attentions of Ansell midway and Hazledene put his nose to good use by jacking Craig Hewitt into the pit bend. The second heat was far harder, sporting two stoppages, the first when Mark Ruskin tossed Ross Jenner over for a two point roll at the Aveley end, the second when Paul Hawkes suddenly felt the force of Clive Harwood as he pinned Hawkes on the Tavern turn, then Garry Deacon planted his van straight up Hawkes' loading bay! Hawkes had been avoiding Deacon for some time, parking up on the safety when Deacon got too close, though what possessed Harwood to relinquish a promosing grid finish to pin Hawkes could be the subject of speculation for some time! Paul Whiteman was given the win over Andrew Parker in that one. The final was a 35 van start, two stoppage affair - the first stoppage when Paul Fynn failed to start -, Jenner getting some hits in after his disastrous start when he took Greg Cheeseman head on by the Tavern while Whiteman was finished off after a nutting, Tommy McGurk and Dale Atkins both piling in. it was Jerry Ansell that was the source of stoppage two when he took Scotch Tommy head on, hard. Mark Bunting led the restart away but would not make the finish there as Steve Street spun him, allowing Billy King and Mark Ruskin through to grab first and second before Bunting could get in. For good measure, King then blitzed Shane Davies on the back straight. It's good to have friends! However, if Wildman was amazed to have won once, imagine what he felt when he made it home first in the Destruction Derby at the end of the meeting, a race that took many a van out including a big head on by Davies on Jason Randall and a three way blitz on McGurk when he found himself jacked by Phil Rumsey after pinning one on Randall himself! However things got far heavier as the chequered flag waved, Lee Weeks' van igniting on impact as he tore head first into McGurk while Steve Macklin bent Dave Truman mightily, Davies dying on one last hit, then Macklin likewise as Truman's car survived, bent but still running for the last trophy of the day!
Day 1 1 Group A 1 A&B 136 Ricky McCatty /197/119/82/38/174/48/12/83/163 2 LRods 1 A&B 104 Rob Carr /150/118/203/218/201/155/240/217/272 3 1300 Stx 1 748 John McGirr /671/619/799/600/606/643/699/658/668 4 Group A 2 C&D 35 Jason Brown /91/102/67/155/45/108/33/93/135 5 Outlaws 1 22 Mark Lisowski /51/277/140/21/4/103/256/5 NOCR 6 SuperBanger 1 238 Buster Woods /87/6/387/89/68/82/60/529/167 7 LRods 2 A&C 105 John Wicks /236/217/199/151/198/245/115/111/104 8 Group A 3 A&C 82 Dave Lamb /35/176/48/65/79/163/174/94/01 9 Outlaws 2 8 Stu Hammond /51/22/119/103/21/6/20/277/140 10 1300 Stx 2 671 Andy Brown /606/658/643/775/600/771/668/619/697 11 Group A 4 B&D 84 Darren Christie /133/99/91/102/108/83/197/67/86 12 LRods 3 B&C 240 Lee Morrow /203/198/150/167/245/272/140/131/277 13 SuperBanger 2 40 Lee Morrow /82/6/347/397/238/387/68/88/419 Day 2 1 Group A Cons 94 Richard Haines /33/73/190/131/93 2 Outlaws FINAL 51 Paul Simmons /22/20/119/8/21/140/121/4 NOCR 3 Van Bangers 1 9 Keith Wildman /314/341/19/217/33/98/30/158/V483 4 LRods FINAL 245 Roy Rawlins /104/201/118/167/217/111/169/236/199 5 Group A FINAL 82 Dave Lamb /91/67/48/108/197/102/176/174/65 6 1300 Stx FINAL 643 Derry Monk /600/697/658/771/671/606/748/766/664 7 Van Bangers 2 10 Paul Whiteman /433/250/104/336/235/84/467/32/428 8 SBanger FINAL 347 Tony Shelvey /87/68/89/82/238/60/397/387 NOCR 9 Group A H/s 79 Allan Billington /197/108/176/131/38/174/102/91/48 10 Outlaws H/s 119 Adam Scott /22/51/8/121/21/4/140 11 Van Banger FINAL 49 Billy King /32/250/72/536/9/158/33 (NOCR) 12 1300 Stx H/s 697 Derek Mortimer /600/666/631/668/701/606/741 13 LRods H/s 169 Brian Orriss /160/118/105/150/167/272/245/201/151 14 SuperBangers H/s 347 Tony Shelvey /58/89/238/387/68/397/167/60/275 15 Van Bangers DD 9 Keith Wildman /250/49 LCR=217 Dave Trueman
Results subject to confirmation by promoter