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Arena Essex Raceway - Meeting 04/32 Sunday, September 19, 2004
Crashnet > Reports Index > PRI 2004 Index > Meeting 04/32
The 34th ORC/PRI National Banger World Championship
1300 Stock Cars Supreme Championship
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National Bangers
Wayne Cotterill takes the ORC/PRI World Championship title back to East Anglia as he becomes the second driver in the past three years to visit Arena Essex on World Final day and walk away with one of the biggest prizes of the year, not to mention the coveted gold roof. The final was certainly an event to remember, with the same nailbiting finish that marked last years' event, though for vastly different reasons.

Had it not been for his win in the first last chance race, Richie Ahern would not have been in the position he was in the main World Final race, though his win from his second row start was unremarkable as he outpaced Mark Simmons from Spedeworth and occasional PRI driver Lee Madden. Simmons made a good effort to try to get to the front, but ran out of time. If anything, the most notable moves came from the back, including the destruction of Tony Roe of Ringwood, but for the big wreckage, you really needed to wait for the second last chance heat which ended up in a big wrecking session on the Tavern turn which led to a declared result as the track blocked up completely, John Randall being declared the winner after completing the most laps in the least amount of time, Clyde Williams racing under the RDC banner getting second ahead of Spedeworth regular Dale Hughes.

It took ex-Dirty Half-Dozen driver Mick Bradbury 25 years of racing to get to the World Final, his amassed points helped primarily by his haul in the Mk.III Granada Banger meeting earlier in the year amongst other feats, so you could imagine his surprise when he drew pole position, Steve Farrell outside him and Jamie Wyatt, a last minute Ringwood replacement, immediately behind him. Unfamiliar territory certainly, and certainly not a position he stayed in as the cars got under way. Defending champion Andrew Davies didn't get quite so lucky with the draw this year, starting midfield along with a number of the main PRI drivers, though Jason Jackson, current PRI Drivers' Champion and runner up last year after losing out on the last lap, did somewhat better with a fifth row start. Jackson would not make it, however, despite three engine changes in the run-up to the race - it doesn't matter how good the engine is when the wheels come off, and flat tyres meant that Jackson would miss out on the title again. It was a problem that Ahern knew too when, as the race progressed, he started to gain on Cotterill fast. It turned out that the Trackstar visitor's engine had started to blow up with the race running out, so last chance winner Ahern suddenly found himself in with a chance having survived from the back of the grid. He passed Cotterill out of turn four, and all looked well until Ahern ran straight into parked traffic on turn one, Cotterill struggling past with less than one lap to go! Ahern had blown a tyre, and was suffering with the handling as a result, managing to get back into the race enough to hold second spot but unable to do more in the time. Another last minute replacement, Autospeed visitor Stephen Carter, was pleasantly surprised to find his trip worth the effort with a third place finish with Matt Fuller in fourth. There were a number of good places for visitors, including David Palmer adding to the RDC quota in sixth, Lloyd Isherwood putting in an appearance for Incarace in ninth and the best ever finish by a CAMSO driver as Morice Katier got eleventh, the rest of the places dominated by the members of the PRI Midnight Runner team.

However, if anyone thought that this years' World Final would pass peacefully after last years' controversy, they would obviously have reckoned without the ongoing antagonism between the Davies' brothers and Jack Overy. This has been a battle that has featured in many meetings this year at a number of venues, and Overy seemed determined to carry the battle on, ignoring a black flag for a safety area hit to crush the Shane Davies car onto the nose of the dead Boxer Jack car on turn three, a crash that would need some coaxing after the race to pull apart! Luckily for Jackson, his car survived the shunt, though Davies and Overy took no further part in the meeting, by order of the steward!

Mark Rowland is best remembered this year for a rollover in the Brian Orgles Memorial but, in some ways, it is fitting that he should get something more than that as he took the winners' trophy for the meeting consolation in a race that saw a number of drivers falling foul of the new ban on turning on the shaleway. The rest of the trophies primarily went to Jason Jackson, with the exception of the last car award in the Rawlins qualifier. Boxer managed to lead the surviving five cars home in a manic Banger Grand National final, Jamie Bulley getting rather a lot of attention amongst those that would fail to finish the race. Clyde Williams would come second for the second time whilst Dave Palmer improved on his World Final finish in third. Burbridge and Williams had to fight for their second and third places in the Rawlins as Williams was first spun out by the eventual winner before Roy Laybourn got involved, Burbridge delivering one up his back end after Laybourn attacked the vulnerable Williams beast before chugging off for second spot then just managing to keep it going long enough to get the last car award.

1300 Stock Cars
The success story at the moment in the 1300 Stock Cars at Arena Essex is Barry Radcliffe. His domination of recent meetings was extended on September 18 when he strolled off with the Supreme Champion title, managing to keep Darren Pratt off the front with Lee Palmer in tow. The title race was settled fairly early on, Radcliffe having half a lap on Pratt by the end of the race, though not everyone had an event free race, RDC commentator and magazine editor Michael Coventry being one of the worst affected in a pile up outside on turn one, planted in the back of Colin Boswell's parked car. Dave Collin fought hard with Paul Haralambou in the closing stages of the revenge heat, Haralambou's car letting him down at the last to give Collin his first win this year at Arena Essex, but was unable to repeat the feat in the last race as James Radcliffe kept the family name in the frame.

1. Bangers Last Chance 1 99 Richard Ahern S355 171 395 282 474 18 M172
2. Bangers Last Chance 2 207 John Randall R136 S27 330 60 A28 M133 290
3. 1300 Stock Cars Supreme Championship 696 Barry Radcliffe 631 675 714 698 646 668 770 725 640
4. Bangers World Final T998 Wayne Cotterill 99 A239 188 46 R53 10 57 I83 567
5. Bangers Consolation 322 Mark Rowland x97 169 440 S120 S363 19 NOCR
6. 1300 Stock Cars Revenge Heat 725 Dave Collin 631 766 698 699 620 646 696 675 640
7. Bangers Grand National Final 331 Jason Jackson R136 R53 18 589 NOCR
8. 1300 Stock Cars Allcomers Race 699 James Radcliffe 725 696 620 698 766 631 675 640 646
9. Bangers Rawlins 2000 Qualifier 331 Jason Jackson 18 R136

Last car: 18 Rob Burbridge

Annotation: Above numbers apply to PRI registered drivers except where number is prefixed:- A - Autospeed, C - CAMSO, I - Incarace, M - Ringwood (Matchams), R - RDC, S - Spedeworth, T - Trackstar. Numbers shown with x prefix are late booked (i.e. they did not appear on the official drivers list as issued before the meeting) and may be amended later.

Pictures from Crashnet

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Also see Matthew Bull's website for more pictures from this meeting!

© 2004 Chris Johnson (Crashnet) / Promotasport Raceways

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