Motor racing at Arena Essex Raceway

Fixtures - Review of recent meetings

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Sunday, 17 May 2015 - All MPV (people carriers) National Bangers plus 2L Stock Cars, Stock Rods and Lightning Rods Supreme Q/R 2

This meeting, and all others, are captured by Arena DVDs. Order your DVD now..


The Stock Rods were probably the pick of the formulas at what turned out to be an entertaining afternoons sport here last week.
 
Gary Byrne won the thrilling Stock Rod final, resisting race long pressure from a succession of challengers, finally taking the win by a matter of inches from Tony Perfect.
 
The novice graded racer, resolutely stuck to the inside line around the race track, offering the outside as the only route around him. Paul Haralambou got alongside on several occasions before the pack relegated him. Carl Shackleford then tried to sneak up the inside where there was no space and found himself spearing across the track, launching Dean Kitchen into the air and sending Jordan Morgan and Richard Haines into the wall. Dale Atkins settled into second place but didn't seem interested in trying the outside line, which allowed Perfect to make a prolonged charge around the outside of both of them which only just failed to get him the win.
 
The earlier heat races were as lively with Dean Kitchen and Carl Shackleford taking the wins, the latter taking his first such success. That second heat in particular was one which I completely lost track of. There was so much going on I was spinning round like a top on the infield trying to follow it all! Byrne was going very well again until a clash up on the pit bend saw much of the field delayed and several three abreast moments as they all accelerated away, David Crouch found himself crashing into an infield marker tyre whilst the infield became littered with race cars and irate drivers in equal measure.
 
Numbers may have continued to slide, but the 2 Litre Stock Cars were quite superb, despite Dave Palmer winning all three races from a generous yellow grading. Behind Palmer the battling was fierce, particularly between Matt Fuller, Brian Jarvis, Phil Wise and Steve Davies. The gold bumpers were going in on each bend with each taking turns pushed out wide or spinning, yet somehow they always seemed close enough to have a dive at each other. This was superb Stock Car racing - they all had a lot of respect for each other - hitting each other hard enough to shift them out the way, but not to bury them. Great stuff. In fact they were battering each other so much that Palmer was able to lap them on the last lap, nearly finding himself put in the fence himself!
 
Dave Barwick came out in what looked like Joey Palmers car and was doing well, in between misfires. He would be another great addition to the formula.
 
After the controversy of recent weeks, the Lightning Rod class showed just how good it can be without the need to resort to illegal contact. Richard Norman was clearly the fastest in the field and made good use of the outside line to get good places in the two heats.  Steve "Peanut" Moore won the first heat by quite some distance. The former Banger star had a fairly trouble free day after his previous outing was afflicted by mechanical issues. That first outing was little more than a testing session as his planned testing day happened to fall on the first Saturday of the month which is no longer a practice day here at Arena. Of course Steve didn't realise until he turned up!  
 
Connor Reeve won the second heat, finally seeming to put all manner of engine troubles to rest. At least, that was, until the final where ominous blue smoke starting coming out of the car and the unfortunate Reeve had to tour round the best part of a lap before he could pull it onto the infield. Hopefully the damage is not as expensive as it appeared.
 
In the final Richard Norman was soon onto the bumper of race leader, Lee Hall, and with Hall keeping to the same inside line employed successfully by Byrne earlier, Norman just had too much pace to hold back and with a wide sweep around the outside he was soon clear.
 
A not entirely unexpected small entry of MPV (People Carrier) Bangers provided plenty of entertainment. The first race was unusually run five laps in one direction and then fine laps in the other. Despite running third after a fluffed start, Andy Reynolds was the only one who correctly calculated the number of laps and won by default! Georgie Lee won the remaining races which were a bit forgetful with only Steven Collings seemed willing to slow down and mix it with the others.
 
The Destruction Derby was much better and we even saw a rollover for Andy Reynolds as an attack on Collings went very wrong. Collings and Georgie Lee then battled for the victory with both dying at the same time to tie for the victory.
 
We must make mention of the unfortunate tragedy that took 11 year old Mini Stox racer, Keir Millar, up in Scotland a fortnight ago. The news came too late for the programme last week, but we held a respectful minutes silence in his memory at the start of last weeks meeting. You will notice the majority of racers today have painted their bumpers gold in memory of Keir, who was already a World Cup champion in the Ninja Kart/Sprint category. The news has hit the oval racing community hard, but it must be emphasised that every safety feature that the drivers use has been developed over many years and injuries are incredibly rare, particularly in Junior racing where I genuinely cannot remember a serious injury, certainly not a fatality, in the 40 years Junior racing has taken place. That will make it no easier for the friends and family of poor Keir, but the outpouring of emotion and the touching tributes seen at every raceway in the country, and beyond, will surely offer some comfort. Race in peace Keir...
 
Captions:
 
Gary Byrne heads the way whilst heat winners Carl Shackleford and Dean Kitchen clash further back.
 
Gary Byrne (Left) just beats Tony Perfect (Right) with Dale Atkins trying to split them
 
Andy Reynolds rolls over during the Destruction Derby
 
Steve Collings lifts a wheel and loses a spring as he comes under pressure from Andy Reynolds
 
Matt Fuller, Phil Wise and Brian Jarvis had a great battle in the Stock Cars
 
Race in Peace - Keir Millar RIP.
 
Sunday, 05 July 2015 Chick Woodroffe Memorial Meeting Featuring All KA Micro National Bangers plus Ministox, Lightning Rods Supreme Q/R 3 and Stock Rods Supreme Q/R 3
Sunday, 07 June 2015 National Bangers W/Q round 2 plus Ministox, Lightning Rods and Stock Rods
Monday, 25 May 2015 PRI Bangers plus, Stock Rods Supreme Q/R 2, Ministox and Junior Bangers
Sunday, 17 May 2015 All MPV (people carriers) National Bangers plus 2L Stock Cars, Stock Rods and Lightning Rods Supreme Q/R 2
Monday, 04 May 2015 PRI Bangers plus Junior Bangers, 2L Stock Cars and Ministox
Sunday, 19 April 2015 National Bangers W/Q Round 1 plus Stock Rods, Lightning Rods and Grand Prix Midgets Southern Championship
Monday, 06 April 2015 Micro National Bangers 4 Man Teams plus Junior Bangers, Stock Rods Supreme Q/R 1 and Ninja Sprints
Sunday, 05 April 2015 PRI Bangers plus Ministox, Lightning Rods Supreme Q/R 1 and 2L Stock Cars
Sunday, 22 March 2015 PRI Bangers plus Junior Bangers, Lightning Rods and Stock Rods
Sunday, 08 March 2015 Open Shakedown X featuring National Bangers Unlimited Overs and 2L Unders plus Ministox and 2L Stock Cars
    

Arena Essex Raceway
Arena Essex Raceway