Motor racing at Arena Essex Raceway


Motor racing at Arena Essex RacewayMotor racing at Arena Essex Raceway
Motor racing at Arena Essex RacewayMotor racing at Arena Essex Raceway
1.00pm   Sunday, 24 September - 47th O.R.C. National Bangers World Championship Finals plus Ministox and 2L Stock Cars Essex Champs

1st race 1.00pm, gates open to public at 11:00AM
admission prices on the gate  full price (15 – 64): £15.00,
concessions:(under 5's free),children (5 – 14): £5.00
family ticket (2 * full price and up to 4 children): £40.00,
senior citizens (aged 65+): £10.00    disabled (blue badge holders): £10.00
carers (accompanying wheelchair users or disabled children only): £10.00

admission includes car park and programme - (programmes subject to availability)
No need to pre-book. Purchase tickets at the gate. 

As the season gets closer to the end than the start and the autumn leaves start dropping, so a banger fan’s thoughts turn to gold as we host the 47th running of the PRI/ORC World Banger Championship, the longest running of its kind anywhere in the banger world. Top drivers from around the banger racing world, many of them well known and supported in their own promotion, compete for the honour of painting the roof of their bangers gold and the right to carry away the Harringay trophy.
Why Harringay? It’s part of the heritage of PRI, the Promotasport history being more than just what goes on at Arena Essex though it is a story of how a number of circuits were lost. The stadium first hosted racing of the stock car variety in the mid 1950s though the heyday of the circuit ran from about 1960 up to its closure in 1979, not just for bangers but for a number of different formulas right up to the BriSCA F1 Stocks, a formula that also still flourishes in some parts of the country – they had their annual World bash just recently up at Foxhall, though it surprised me that the first running of that particular meeting was also at Harringay in 1955! Oval racing moved out of the stadium in 1979 though it wasn’t until 1987 that the site was sold off and built over but the trophy lived on with its last promoter.
Arena Essex Raceway has been around for some time now, replacing such venues as Harringay and Crayford – home for a number of banger racers and teams of note over the years from that side of the water – but it is good to know that these fine old venues and many others that have now passed into history are still remember in some way. And believe me, there are plenty of circuits that have passed into history one way or another, whether built over by houses, shops or full blown roads or simply abandoned. Almost every promotion has lost at least one track like this and to this day you never know which track is going to close next, whether a huge, well known circuit like Wimbledon or a circuit that few ever heard of like the short lived Highwood circuit just outside Writtle (if you are interested, have a peek at the fascinating page at and see how many of these circuits you can remember!)
46 years after our first staging of this championship, we find Jason Jackson aka Boxer Jack taking the title for his second time. This isn’t an easy thing to do – Bill King was the last to do it and he is more often seen at the wheel of… well, we shall get to the Stock Cars in a bit! The real talking point of last years’ race, however, was how it finished when Ricky Korpiela, caught in a spin on the gravel right by the start/finish line, managed a spectacular rollover right in front of the grandstand crowd.
The race was pretty brutal at the outset with more than half a dozen cars getting squished inside the first lap or so on the first couple of turns, then the pit bend clogged a few laps later. The lead was contested early on by 2014 champion Scott Cornish who had started in a good position on the grid and Alfie Lee. Boxer picked up the race before the half way mark having climbed up from two places back on Alfie Lee and Blacknuts Douglas who would eventually be placed second and third in the result. All seemed settled until the last lap board came out when Korpiela went flying!
Of course today is more than just banger racing with the 2l Stock Cars doing their version of the Essex Championship. As with the other formulas that have done this, it all comes down to a drawn grid which can work in favour of some drivers and against others but to try and make it all even we simply reverse the grid in the second heat and award points to the finishers to allow us to work out who gets the honour of leading the final grid. Up until a few meetings ago, it seemed that Bill King was unstoppable but then other drivers started to make themselves known at the front with such folk as Nathan Roberts and, yes, even that there Steve “Captain Condom” Davies grabbing silverware! We shall see how it all works out today.
Not to be outdone, we also have Ministox today. It’s the ongoing saga of the rivalries between Morphey, Avery, Totham, McGuinness, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all which is making for a pretty good season, even where the meetings are a bit light on competitors. You never quite know how any one race will end – more than one race this season has changed drastically inside one lap and quite often it’s the last lap where it happens!
And it doesn’t end there! Next meeting sees the 2017 version of the Terry Skeef Memorial featuring the Orange Cars of the PRI Bangers as well as the Supreme Championship Finals for the Lightning Rods and the Stock Rods. That’s all at 1pm on Sunday, October 8. See ya!