Mildenhall Stadium - 1400cc Bangers and F2 Stockcars Update
Monday, 1st September 2008.
Lakenheath based banger racer Dave Lewis (37) established himself as a serious threat in the season long track championship at Mildenhall Raceway with a blistering performance in the 1400cc bangers on Saturday night.
Reigning National Champion Lewis first won his qualifying heat, the most brutal of the night where only seven of the 30 starters survived the motorised bloodbath, before he finished sixth in the final, second in the Accumulator Championship qualifying round and outlasted nearly 50 other drivers to be the last man standing in the destruction derby. His results saw him pile on the points and race into second place in the track championship behind Mildenhall's Lee Overy (125) who had far from a poor night with a decent third in the Grand Final.
However the same can not be said for reigning track champion Sean Winchester (364) from Rainham in Kent who could not follow up his fourth place finish in his heat with any more points in the final as his Nissan Sunny was destroyed by the opposition. He subsequently drops to third in the standings but with five meetings still to go he is far from out of contention.
The meeting marked the second 1400cc banger meeting at Mildenhall Stadium in as many weekends and last weekend's 100 car entry was almost matched with 97 drivers competing this weekend, an incredible 143 different banger drivers racing at the track in the space of eight days.
The most successful driver of the night was teenage hotshot Jack Wheelwright (316) from Wickford in Essex who removed leading lady race Lizzy Crowden-Murfin (84) from Newark to win the first qualifying heat before he held his nerve to win the 20 lap final where Crowden-Murfin was the runner up.
The evenings other race winners were Barry Lee (64) from Romford in heat three, Lee White (830) from Haverhill in the consolation and Neil Smyth (217) from Norwich in the Accumulator Championship qualifying race which means he will be able to compete in the title race next month.
There were plenty of talking points during the course of the evening, one of the biggest came in heat two where the feuding teams of the Midnight Runners and Blue Crew continued their battle from Arena Essex Raceway in Thurrock with a hard hitting display which culminated in the Nissan Sunny of Mark Marchant (592) of the Blue Crew being completely decimated by World Champions Matt Fuller (188) from Rayleigh and Jason Jackson (331) from Romford.
The second big talking point was the incredible hits in the destruction derby, in particular a 'wrecking train' at the end of the back straight where one after another the drivers crashed into the car in front producing big wrecks for Matt Battle (897) from Saxmundham, John Reeves (188) from Dover, Braintree's Paul Robinson (178), Ipswich's Adam James (540) and Martin Stopher (425) from Saxmundham with the hundreds of crash hungry banger fans cheering loudly each time a hit went in.
A special mention is also deserving of a mention was Gary Langley (317) from Huntington who raced in memory of his friend Harry Butler who died this summer from cancer aged just 21. Gary was racing to raise money for the Teenager Cancer Trust at Addenbrooks hospital and despite his car getting wrecked in a few laps he managed to raise £500 which was a fantastic effort.
Things also heated up in the BriSCA F2 Stockcar track championship as series leaders Dave Polley (38) and Jon Lawrence (599) scored in all three of their races but ultimately Lawrence outscored his rival by a single point meaning his trails Polley by just two points going into the final round next month.
Almost 50 of the open wheel stockcars put on a cracking show of contact racing throughout the night with the qualifying heats won by European champion Tom Smart (744) and John Wright (448) while former World of Shale champion Allan Cooper (702) triumphed in the consolation after long time leader Andy Ford (13) crashed out in the final laps.
The Grand Final saw a thrilling finish with Graham Mole (145) just holding off World of Shale champion Andy Palmer (606) in a last bend shoot out to take the win with Matt Metcalfe (446) in third place before Steve Mallinson (788) made up for failing to score in either of his previous races by winning the Grand National event which ended the programme.
Stockcar and banger racing returns to Mildenhall Stadium on Saturday, September 13 with a massive triple header of full contact action. Having won the world championship last weekend west country wizard Shane Brown will defend the European Championship in the Saloon Stockcars, there is set to be an outbreak of vandalism with the annual small van banger meeting and the 11 to 16 year old stars of the future in the Ministox will be competing as well. The first race is at 7pm.
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