Plastengrave "Non-Ford" Bangers
|Meeting in brief|
The Lightning Rods started things off well at Arena Essex in their first meeting there in 2005, March 13, in a race that was pretty fraught as the back grades tried hard to make it through the other grades. Terry Shelvey managed to get up to third as he raced Ray Harris through the field, but neither was able to catch Chris Jones who managed to stay out of trouble after a messy start. Things got even messier in the second race, from the pre-start spin by first timer Gary Greenland to the crash on the home straight. Paul Harris managed to find his way to the front with Jumbo Kingsmill following at a distance.
The consolation was fairly comprehensively won by Mark Deacon as Rob Naismith recovered well from his abysmal heat performance but struggled to keep a racing line on occasion, allowing Darren Cardy to catch up and challenge second place, albeit unsuccessfully, inside the last quarter of the race.
The final was pretty thrilling as Greenland pulled away into a commanding lead early on, only to be caught and passed by Rick Pannell inside the last lap, getting a nose in front down the back straight inside, holding the line around the pit bend.
Debut driver Stu Palmer took the last win of the day, hanging on to his position ahead of Paul Harris after Greenland, who had led for most of the race, suddenly pulled out. Harris managed to overcome Nigel Carroll close to home but ran out of time in his pursuit of the win.
Plastengrave Non-Ford Bangers
The visiting drivers almost got the best of the PRI folk in their season opening race at Arena Essex, March 13, until the last lap when Dave Canham spun the race leader on the final corner and sprinted home. Plenty of good wrecking action too as Dave Edwards was spanked soundly by Jason Jackson, the Desert Rats seemed eager to restart hostilities with the Runners and the Gladiators congregated on the pit bend too. The second race started controversially as one Gladiator turned on turn three on the rolling lap, then steamed head on into Harry Rawlins as the green flag dropped. The fun and games continued from there as Rawlins took Dave Gardiner head on, Paul Whiteman crushed Roy Laybourn by the pit gate and finally Colin Burnham drivers' doored Mark Marchant to stop the race prematurely, Andy Crawford taking the aborted race, while Burnham swelled the ranks of the disqualified. The third heat was possibly the cleanest of the lot as Nick Oakley became the first visitor to win on the day, but that didn't mean there was any less wrecking action as turn one became blocked early on, Terry Peacock getting smashed to oblivion by repeated hits from the oncoming traffic, Paul Jones claiming the scalp on Jimmy Randall on turn four.
Rob Farrington dispatched Paul Hawkes late in the consolation for his win in possibly the quietest race of the day so far, Rob displaying his new Condom colours for the first time at Arena Essex, boding well for the first team meeting to come in two weeks time.
The final was really something, the race finish coming down to a last lap war of nerves between Billy King and Gary Brown, King knocked back earlier from his race lead by Oakley whose was having a sauna courtesy of his cooling system going pop close to the end of the race. Neither driver was too keen to go in front but, with a little persuasion, King went in front out of turn one, Brown then sticking his nose in, but King managed to hold his line to go outside for the inevitable last 100 yard dash. Brown came off the winner, so King picked him up for a celebratory set of the bumps on turn one, five yards too late to get anything more than second place. Wrecking performance of that race, however, had to go to the MGB of Tony Abrehart, who made a mess of several cars on turns one and two.
After getting his car destroyed earlier in the meeting, it was an unexpected return for Steve Laybourn, though he was hardly likely to win any races in what was left of his car. He was obviously one of many that would be coming up to finish his car off and, hopefully, take a car with it! After one stoppage, the race was swiftly taken by Steve Ward with plenty of carnage going off, especially on the pit bend as usual. Second place Sam Rigby also managed to survive to take the last car award as third spot.
|1. Lightning Rods Heat 1||231 Chris Jones||224||187||232||133||288||101||240|
|2. Lightning Rods Heat 2||225 Paul Harris||152||1||161||182||217||81||267|
|3. Bangers Heat 1||224 David Canham||474||189||331||423||139||148||106||430||252|
|4. Bangers Heat 2||353 Andy Crawford||567||543||589||160||2||214||122||392||242|
|5. Bangers Heat 3||634 Nick Oakley||177||49||552||200||4||273||131||741||NOCR|
|6. Lightning Rods Consolation||100 Mark Deacon||177||218||239||200||234||299||287|
|7. Bangers Consolation||550 Rob Farrington||415||322||457||336||111||19||303||512||NOCR|
|8. Lightning Rods Final||239 Richard Pannell||267||187||182||218||217||152||288||161||224|
|9. Bangers Final||567 Gary Brown||49||457||139||NOCR|
|10. Lightning Rods Helter-Skelter||196 Stuart Palmer||225||182||152||133||224||288||187||161||239|
|11. Bangers Rawlins 2000 Qualifier||560 Steve Ward||323||27|
Last car: 323 Sam Rigby
|Pictures from Crashnet|
Sorry this took so long, but I'm experimenting with a new camera this year. Most of the pictures here have been cut down from what I originally took but, if you want to get a copy of a picture in its original form (bear in mind that original shots are approximately 440KB each), please contact me and I'll see what I can do! - CJ
Click on photo for larger image
Also see Matthew Bull Photography for official photos of this meeting.
© 2005 Chris Johnson (Crashnet) / Promotasport Raceways