Small Van Banger Championship
1300 Stock Cars
Things got off to a sticky start at Arena Essex on April 4 as the first heat had to be stopped quickly following a pile up when a spinner collected a large number of the following field. This seemed to foreshadow the day as more than one red flag came out to stop a race as the well packed field got in its own way. Danny Currans took the majority of the lead through the first race before Nick Wiseman caught him, Currans drifting too wide and allowing Wiseman through before Paul Harden came to grief with the elder Vic Bilkey. With three laps to go, Pat Kenneally caught and passed Wiseman to take the first trophy in what was left of his Sierra. John Crowther lost a wheel right at the start of the second heat, so he missed out on the second heat pile up which clogged turn one and put a few more dents on what was an already well battered assortment of vehicles. Steve Farmer won this one, having taken on the lead very early on, keeping hold of it after another stoppage to remove Michael Woods' car from the circuit. Mark Collins managed to hang on to second spot though he had to nurse his car home, well behind the winner and just ahead of Lee Morrow. Richard Anderson would come across the line first in the consolation only to be sent back to third place following a contact penalty, Anderson being one of a number of drivers to fall foul of the sloppy cornering technique of Eddie Gibbs, the win going to Martyn Jones ahead of Steve Powell.
The final started with Collins ahead of Anderson and Jones, though again Gibbs and his habit of fishtailing the corners meant that passing from behind was sometimes hazardous, and it certainly kept the higher grades back for some time. Anderson had to drop out after picking up some damage after a trip to the wall while Darren Cardy survived some contact with Gibbs, though whether it was luck or skill only the drivers would know! Collins' lead, however, would slowly disappear once he got into the back markers, slowing his progress down and eventually letting Steve Farmer through to take the lead, Collins trying hard but unable to retake the lead before the end of the race, with Lee Morrow third. Anderson made up for his earlier performances by winning the helter-skelter race ahead of Collins, though the talking point of this race was the stoppage that happened when Morrow and Kenneally came together on the back straight on the fence, both cars left in pieces.
1300 Stock Cars
Arena Essex saw the return of the 1300 Stock Cars on April 4 with the return of a few drivers that had sat out the first meeting of the year, including defending Drivers' Champion Spike Ellis and erstwhile driver and RDC commentator Michael Coventry. The latter named driver started well at the front of the warm up race but lost out shortly before half way to James Avison, who would eventually finish second behind Glenn Bragg and ahead of Paul Griffiths. Avison would do well out of this meeting, going on to win the main event ahead of Lee Palmer and Darren Pratt before taking eighth in the helter-skelter race from a lap handicap, though most of the action in the final happened off the lead place, Griffiths' hit on Pratt into Bragg taking him into the wall on turn four effectively changing the line up there late in the race, then a last corner dash kept everyone guessing until Palmer just dove over. Jim Radcliffe won the helter-skelter, putting Bragg into the back of early leader Jamie Mitchell then taking advantage of the melee to grab the front.
Small Van Bangers
The annual Small Van Banger Championship at Arena Essex often produces a few surprises, and the various people who turned out for the 2004 version, held on April 4, certainly tried their best, including some unusual tools and more than a few good hits. The first heat went the way of Jason Jackson, piling a few more points onto his total for the year, though the talking point for this race was the four point roll by Steve Laybourn. It was self inflicted, Laybourn clouting the kerb at speed to kick the van over. Mark Bunting was well ahead in the second heat but was unable to hold on in the end as Paul Whiteman beat him to the line, the first of three wins on the day. Whiteman managed to take the final in a race that saw only five vans survive out of the thirty that managed to make it into the race, a number of drivers deciding to start the destruction early including Roy Rawlins who reprised his wrecking efforts from a previous meeting starting with a big hit on Buzz Kelsey. Kelsey would just about get away intact as his car was hit while he was dismounting, while Rawlins got a couple in the drivers' side starting with Kelly Wilson who was put there by Tony McNeil, then Luke Radley ended up there after going after Gary Harvey, whose van was getting flatter with each race. Third place Bernie French managed to leave an impression in Joe Warner's van as it staggered away from another hitting session. Simon Smith took second spot, his dad Ian finishing fourth and Malcolm Fuller being the only other driver to finish the final. Having taken the Small Van title, Whiteman then won the Rawlins 2000 qualifier for the day, beating Dave Osbourne and Simon Smith, Ian Smith managing to stay the attentions of the rest of the field for the last car award, Simon killing his van off on Terry Peacock.
|1. Lightning Rods Heat 1||201 Pat Kenneally||217||187||218||261||152||272||224|
|2. Lightning Rods Heat 2||168 Stephen Farmer||299||240||133||161||288||81||107|
|3. Small Van Bangers Heat 1||331 Jason Jackson||208||321||174||336||46||169||67||528||407|
|4. 1300 Stock Cars Warm up race||714 Glenn Bragg||620||770||701||697||698||658||725||668||675|
|5. Lightning Rods Consolation||232 Martyn Jones||212||234||102||283||231||122||143|
|6. Small Van Bangers Heat 2||10 Paul Whiteman||50||23||462||63||242||128||589||547||639|
|7. 1300 Stock Cars Main Event||620 James Avison||675||631||770||697||698||658||725||714||640|
|8. Lightning Rods Final||168 Stephen Farmer||299||232||133||187||201||212||288||161||240|
|9. Small Van Bangers Championship Final||10 Paul Whiteman||589||23||336||46||NOCR|
|10. 1300 Stock Cars Helter-Skelter||699 James Radcliffe||714||770||697||698||725||658||620||640||631|
|11. Lightning Rods Helter-Skelter||234 Richard Anderson||299||143||187||161||122||152||288||170||1|
|12. Small Van Bangers Rawlins 2000 Qualifier||10 Paul Whiteman||174||589|
Last car: 336 Ian Smith
L234 Richard Anderson - Penalised 2 places (contact) in event 5
Please note that the points shown are unofficial and are given as a guideline only. For the official standings, you should consult the monthly newsletter or contact the PRI Office during office hours on (01708) 867728.
RJK Export Bangers
Yokohama Tyres Lightning Rods
1300 Stock Cars
|Pictures from Crashnet|
Click on photo to see full size
Also see Matthew Bull's website for more pictures from this meeting!
© 2004 Chris Johnson (Crashnet) / Promotasport Raceways