Motor racing at Arena Essex Raceway

Fixtures - Review of recent meetings

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Monday, 25 May 2015 - PRI Bangers plus, Stock Rods Supreme Q/R 2, Ministox and Junior Bangers

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Steph Sore once again won the Mini Stox final at Arena Essex a fortnight ago, keeping clear of a superb scrap for second place between Lauren Overy and Charlie Morphey. The final was stopped in the early stages for a big shunt which befell Jack Goldsmith and Lauren Nicholls, Nicholls re-appearing later in the day clutching an  ice pack against her neck, otherwise apparently OK. At the restart Sore was quickly past Marcus Reeve to take up the lead, whilst Overy and Morphey spent a few anxious moments making their way through the pack before embarking on their epic scrap for the runners up spot. With both drivers leaning on each other as they crossed the line, Morphey just got the verdict before being spent spinning.
 
The Mini Stox had already provided us with a couple of very hectic heat races. In the first heat Sophie Fasey took what was to be her last win in the Mini Stox class before her retirement. It was a somewhat fortuitous win too as she was spun out, along with Charlie Morphey, by Lauren Overy as they battled through the pack. The spin coincided with a crash at the other end of the track when Archie Fryatt tagged Nina Leigh into a spin and they collected Jack Leeks on the way through. All three ended in the fence and the race was stopped, allowing Fasey to regrid and subsequently take the win ahead of Sore and Morphey.
 
In the second heat, Fasey but was sent into the fence by Tommy Aylward, bringing the race to a halt and finishing her Mini career a little earlier than planned. At the restart Harry Steward took out revenge on Aylward, putting him in the wall on the entrance of the pit bend, but Aylward was able to lean him into the wall on the exit of the turn. Overy, Sore and Morphey took the podium places.
 
With regular wins here and elsewhere in her former Ryan Polley car, we are likely to see Steph Sore a few places further back on the grid today, with the new gradings coming into effect. It will be interesting if she can still fend off those from the very back of the grid. With a few of them departing the scene before the end of the year, she could well be amongst the contenders for the track championship crown.
 
Just a quick mention of Archie Fryatt, who took a real upturn in pace at the last meeting. He looked much more confident behind the wheel and with a bit more experience under his belt he could be one to watch in the future. He is still gathering speed at the moment, but Archie, and those white grade racers who have yet to take wins, Nina Leigh, Ryan Mayling, Abbie McGuiness, Michael Dobney, Kieron Rowe and Jack Leeks included, are all in the wings waiting for the change of the old guard in the class.  The future is bright.
 
Sophie Fasay may have been unable to grid for the Mini Stox Final last time out, but she instead concentrated her efforts on the Junior Banger class as, along with Harry Steward and Charlie Morphey, she was doubling up in both formulas on the day.
 
Fasey shared the wins with Charlie Murrell and Alfie Jones in the Junior Bangers, the latter telling us it was his first ever final win in the class, which came as some surprise as he seems to be a regular in victory lane. There was plenty of action during the afternoon, including a second rollover of the season for Joe Murrell. Unfortunately several of the racers were disqualified from the afternoons racing for some over-zealous manoeuvres. In fact one race had to be stopped to remove a driver who steadfastly refused to acknowledge the black disqualification flag. The class has to be tightly regulated as clearly the kids get egged on by their mates and, worryingly sometimes, parents, to do some of the daft stuff we have seen, which may well be fine in full contact National Banger racing, but this is a nudge and spin class for a very good reason. In light of the recent Keir Millar tragedy up in Scotland, for which the Mini Stox racers carried out a fine tribute a fortnight ago, that reason is ever more apparent.  
 
A great turnout of PRI Bangers were split into two separate heats won by Grant Kilburn and Billy King. The 43 car final was always going to be lively and so it proved, an early stoppage was necessary with a fire being swiftly dealt with. At the restart Jake Sheldon and Tim King put on a good display, dishing out some damage and attracting plenty of their own. Antoni Colby took some very heavy damage after being spun into the pit gate and then hit head on. Billy King backed up his heat win with the final victory, after a full contact display.
 
The Destruction Derby, as seems traditional, kicked off with an almighty crash with Daniel Nicholls sandwiched between a pair of cars, receiving terminal damage. Sonny Sherwood then attracted some attention with Reid Murray finishing him off with a big crash. Danny Mitchell outlasted the rest, finally having some luck in the same car that had refused to run the last time he tried to finish it in a Destruction Derby.
 
It looked like a hat trick was on the cards for Gary Byrne in the Stock Rods, but the unmistakable rattle and puff of smoke from his engine with three laps to go spelt disaster and allowed Luke Oliver to take the win. After a prolonged bid around the outside of Byrne, Oliver looked to have settled for second place before fate intervened.
 
So we come to today and the second World Qualifier for the PRI Banger World Final. These events traditionally are not the heaviest hitting of the season, the drivers racing for the points rather than the crashes. Karl "Blacknuts" Douglas heads the qualifying chart at the moment with Dean Goodearl and Dale Hughes next up. Steve Collings, who impressed us so much at the MPV meeting lies in fourth just ahead of Georgie Lee, who actually heads the season long points race.
 
 
Captions
 
The odds of this little lot making it round the first bend intact were very short
 
And so it proved! Many of the Bangers come a cropper on the first bend.
 
Jake Sheldon was a crash magnet in the final
 
Dan Nicholls gets squashed in the early stages of the Destruction Derby
 
The race of the day was for second place in the Mini Stox final. Charlie Morphey (592) just beat Lauren Overy to the line
 
Steph Sore (centre) kept clear of the battling Charlie Morphey / Lauren Overy duo in the Mini Stox final.
 
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