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Arena Essex Raceway - Meeting 04/05 Sunday, April 11, 2004
Crashnet > Reports Index > PRI 2004 Index > Meeting 04/05
Group A Hot Rods
Outlaw Hot Rods
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Group A Hot Rods
Easter at Arena Essex started off with Group A Hot Rod racing on Easter Sunday, April 11 with big success for Ricky McCatty who carried off a heat and final double in stiff competition. The first race, however, was won by Ryan Richards in the familiar Richards Corsa. Richards dominated the race after getting past the early leaders and sprinting away, Steve Gooch crossing the line second only to be disqualified, giving second to Gary Rouse and third to Terry Bearman whilst Simon Simmons and Steve Goldsmith fought to the line over fourth, Simmons recovering after an earlier crash with early leader Bill Witherall. Simmons was doing well in the second heat, dominating the race for much of the time until he was eventually caught and passed by Ben Eastmead on the last lap, Simmons beginning to blow up but just managing to coax enough out of his car to finish second ahead of Bearman and McCatty. Some early antics by the white tops marked the start of the third heat, "Uncle" Richard Haines leading early once things settled down until eventual winner Jason Griffiths found an inside line, Chris Smith getting one of his best finishes so far this season in second from Andy Beverton.

McCatty's final started from the back, while Lee Hall took to the front early on and Dave Hutchins ran from the circuit early on with a flapping bonnet in his face. Eastmead dropped out of the early race for the front with a spin before Hall also spun away to let Haines into the front with Richards in pursuit, but McCatty was already making progress through the field when the waved yellows came out when Mark Avison clouted the kerb on the pit bend, destroying his front end and blocking the inside line. Haines and Richards led the restart, with McCatty already up to third spot and gaining. In the space of half a lap, McCatty found the inside line on both front runners to take the lead then rubbed it well into the rest of the field by jetting away into the distance. The outside line, by this point, proved to be a liability, with Haines and Griffiths both suffering drops in places towards the end of the race, especially when Steve Gooch took advantage of the space to shoot through to second spot inside the closing stages with Steve Goldsmith in tow.

Outlaw Hot Rods
It was another chapter in the Outlaw Hot Rod survival course at Arena Essex on Easter Sunday, though Salvo Falcone had rebuilt his car, there were a few mistakes elsewhere that left other drivers in need of taping up, though not as badly as in March. One driver that certainly did better than his first outing was Jimmy Bryan who managed to hold onto the outside line successfully after the half way point, beating occasional driver Alex Maclean to the line. A crash halted the main event at first time of asking, Simon Smith and Chris Wood in some trouble as a result. With everyone gridded up again, Wayne Souter took the lead and kept it to the end, winning the race by quite a margin from Dave Hitchen, who won the quest for second place that dominated the majority of the race, Stu Hammond having to settle for third. Colin Crocker took the lead early on in the helter-skelter and seemed on his way to an easy victory, even after a complete restart due to a crash that left Clinton Groom in some trouble after colliding with the armco after a racing incident. Only nine cars restarted, Crocker grabbing the lead from Maclean quickly and jetting away. All seemed well, Hitchen having a battle with Rick Fray over second place, Crocker well away in front, until about four laps from home as Fray hit the front and Crocker suddenly had to struggle to keep his car going, dropping almost to last place within a couple of laps. Fray won ahead of Hitchen.

There were plenty of new faces amongst the Ministox that showed up for the Easter Sunday meeting at Arena Essex, though enough of the regulars from last year also made an appearance to make this a big meeting for the smallest formula. The heats went smoothly enough, some poor starting discipline notwithstanding, the first heat going to Liam Friel ahead of Joseph Simmons and Paul Scully, though there were a few crashes, and one stoppage when Jamie-Lee Potter got hit fairly hard by Phillip Smith in a racing incident on turn two, Potter going onto two wheels from the force of the hit, though the driver survived unscathed. Paul Kent ran away with the lead in the second heat to win easily, while Josh Fuller came through well to grab second and Jack Wheelwright just scraped third from Tom Waller, the early leader of the race. The consolation saw Christopher Whiteman winning his first ever trophy in the Ministox, winning ahead of Dan Melluish and Michael Outen. Melluish tried hard for the first place trophy but some back marker interference worked in Whitemans' favour on this occasion.

Joseph Simmons and Jack Wheelwright both managed to go one better in the final. Scott Waite took the lead early on, but with Brad Turk crashing out mid-race, an order restart cancelled any racing advantage. Waite led the restart, but would eventually lose the lead to Wheelwright and Simmons, an accident that saw near rivals Tom Waller and Liam Friel collide eventually leading to another restart as Waller got stuck in an awkward position. Simmons led this restart, the remaining race dominated at the front by a close race for the front spot, though one other high point was reached by Jack Harrington who took to the air after a collision with Paul Scully. Wheelwright tried everything to pass Simmons, but eventual winner Simmons stuck to the racing line like glue. Friel doubled his points on the day in the helter-skelter, finding his way past early leader Harry Stevens inside the last lap to win, with Stevens keeping second ahead of final winner Simmons.

1. Group A Hot Rods Heat 1 5 Ryan Richards 63 91 112 115 180 122 86 93 94
2. Ministox Heat 1 562 Liam Friel 515 537 547 593 542 549 583 519 521
3. Ministox Heat 2 524 Paul Kent 588 516 509 500 518 503 532 585 536
4. Group A Hot Rods Heat 2 180 Ben Eastmead 112 91 137 18 134 122 44 93 31
5. Outlaw Hot Rods Warm up 17 Jimmy Bryan 47 21 3 296 277 479 8 10 121
6. Ministox Consolation 556 Christopher Whiteman 526 539 530 572 533 571 517 520 504
7. Group A Hot Rods Heat 3 134 Jason Griffiths 18 176 136 94 102 115 12 119 146
8. Outlaw Hot Rods Main Event 35 Waine Souter 3 8 198 17 21 479 10 47 263
9. Ministox Final 515 Joseph Simmons 516 547 583 537 503 530 536 549 504
10. Group A Hot Rods Final 137 Ricky McCatty 136 115 134 5 94 122 44 31 93
11. Outlaw Hot Rods Helter-Skelter 21 Rick Fray 3 198 10 296 479 35 121 17 NOCR
12. Ministox Helter-Skelter 562 Liam Friel 531 515 549 500 530 580 524 542 503

A136 Steve Gooch - Disqualified from event 1 for contact (was second at line)

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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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