Trackstar Racing | Info | Results | 2012 | Saturday 14th July 2012

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Saturday 14th July 2012

Report by Mark Paulson


Lincolnshire’s 399 Jonny Atkin was victorious in the 25th staging of the Trackstar Banger World Final at King’s Lynn on Saturday night, 14 July. Starting on row two of the grid, he was always in contention in a field packed with top-line visiting drivers. One of those, Spedeworth’s 331 Jason “Boxer Jack” Jackson led much of the race but Atkin was there to take advantage when Jackson was held up. Atkin was well clear at the flag, with 730 Deane Mayes second and 597 Andy Ashman third as the home promotion filled all three podium places.

Held on its earliest ever date, the meeting was blessed with something more akin to a summer’s day than we have seen most of the rest of this year so far. That meant the track was in near perfect condition to provide some excellent action thanks to the efforts of Buster Chapman and his crew during the week.

The drawn grid saw 328 Daniel Lathan join Jackson on the front row. Lathan, who turned out an extremely smart Mondeo saloon for the occasion, is the reigning 1500cc National Champion. And Jackson is one of the most successful drivers currently active in the sport with a string of major successes to his name. That left many thinking there was no need to look beyond the front row for the likely winner. Twice a Spedeworth Unlimited Banger World Champion and a former English and Supreme champion, Jackson did nothing to dispel those beliefs as he raced into an early lead and began to pull away. Lathan kept hold of second for some time before spinning and allowing Atkin ahead. On the back straight, Startrax’s 34 Mark Earnshaw took a big accidental hit to his driver’s door and the red flags came out to check on Ernie.

On the restart, Jackson led in his Ford Cougar, one of several on the grid. Atkin and Lathan were next up but Boxer had some backmarkers as buffers. Lathan soon dropped further back while former podium finisher 162 Brett Ellacott took a heavy hit on the back straight. His running mate and reigning champion 190 Steve “Pikey” Bailey would surely have been among the favourites if it weren’t for drawing 38th spot on the grid. Even from there, anything is capable for Pikey, but the locals were keen to ensure he didn’t walk off with their crown for a second year running. 390 David Gibson put him heavily into the turn four fence and 338 Terry Garrod finished him off.

Out front, Jackson continued to pull away as he negotiated the backmarkers with aplomb. But when his arch nemesis 349 Michael Allard is in the race, Boxer is never going to have things all his own way. With just three laps remaining, Allard positioned himself on the outside of bend four, ready to pounce. Boxer was too quick for him though and avoided Allard’s lunge across the track. Jackson might have started to think luck was on his side but just a quarter of a lap later the backmarking 5 Mo Crowson was the man to delay him, Atkin was through and it was all over bar the shouting. Knowing his chances of winning were gone, Jackson was only too pleased to oblige an inviting looking Allard with a head-on on the next tour and complete the job with another one a lap later, on the final bend. Allard was loaded for his actions but it wasn’t him that cost Jackson the title.

Meanwhile Atkin steered clear of trouble to take the flag and with it become World Champion. Some way behind, Mayes, the 2007 champion, completed a fantastic drive from row 18 of the 42-car grid to come home second. Ashman was third from his row four starting slot while 69 Jonny Wilkinson came home in fourth place after another superb drive from the very back of the grid having qualified through a last chance race before three-time champion 119 Davey Cox also put in a superb drive to fifth having started way back on the 19th row. Cruncher might not like the Mondeos but he certainly turned out an absolute stunner. In fact all of the top five who had been seeded on the grid had super-smart paint jobs on fresh motors, befitting the occasion. Sixth home was the first seeded visitor, Spedeworth’s 86 Alec Savage, with RDC veteran 188 John “Victor” Reeves seventh. Last-chance qualifier 589 Simon smith was eighth ahead of Incarace’s 129 Jono Brook. Completing the top ten was PRI’s 143 Paul Russell.

For Atkin it was a dream debut in the big race. Undoubtedly an entertainer on the track, he’s not so accustomed to scoring big results. He owed his qualification to the attendance points for racing at all four qualifiers – his only top ten race result being a single second place. But banger racing is as much about avoiding the trouble as it is making it, and come the big race it was Atkin who did that the best to take a fully deserved win.

Atkin’s success was very popular around the Norfolk Arena. The locally based Mad Hatter Young Guns team have been a breath of fresh air in recent years. The youngsters certainly have the right attitude when it comes to their racing, turning out week in, week out and always with smiles on their faces. They’re happy to race for the wins and equally happy to have a crash, not afraid of a good scrap on track. The lads deservedly scooped the Trackstar team of the year award a couple of years back. And now they have a World Champion in their ranks. Team captain 390 David “Gibbo” Gibson was clearly delighted for his mate as he congratulated Atkin after the latter had taken the flag. Whilst Gibson has been well placed in the national points and entertainer league standings, Atkin’s win is definitely the team’s biggest success on track to date.

With over 100 bangers in the pits, the night’s action started with a couple of last chance qualifiers with over 30 cars apiece. The first began with a roll for Ipswich’s 543 Gavin Ward to begin a painful night for the Team Simple man. On the restart, 519 Lee Middleton spun and was done by the Younger Hitman 603 Jon Cooper in a Cougar, one of the smartest cars of the night. The all-action Cooper then delivered a big hit to 793 Jamie Johns. 305 Fryett, in another smart Cougar, was followed in by 779 Luke Allen while 392 Sam Baines pulled off from the race lead. New leader 155 Lloyd Mullings was followed in hard on the road bend by 400 Kevin Shinn who took up the running. Shinn duly took the win and with it a place on the World Final grid where he would be joined by second place man 589 Simon Smith. Rotten luck for Shinn though saw him blow his engine as he crossed the line. Whilst the Aftermath crew got him out on track for the big race, he pulled off before the start.

The second last chancer saw the Lee brothers in top form. 2 Georgie put away 706 Jazz Grutton on the power station bend and 577 Alfie arrived to finish him off. The spun Gladiator 560 Andrew Milner took a monster t-bone from Cream Teamer 405 Shane Tilley. The Aftermath’s 100 Callum White then blasted Tilley and had the same done to him by Midnight Runner 415 Scott Cornish. Red flags came out for a fire on board 843 Jacob Foster’s Cougar. On the restart, 132 Robert James led from 69 Johnny Wilkinson and 317 Nick Wakeham. 116 “No Luck” Nat Cohn lived up to his nickname and spun, delaying much of the field and allowing James and Wilkinson to race away and claim their spots in the big race.

After the big one, there was a consolation to decide the final places in the night’s World Masters race. 43 cars took to the track and faced an early stoppage when Grutton was in trouble by the pit gate. On the restart a wrecking train soon developed further round the same bend, with 305 Fryett, 176 Adrian Gibbs, Alfie Lee, 549 Phil Smith and 206 Phil Milner all involved. 89 Joe Barrett caged the already dying Mondeo of Ward, knocking the latter out. With some concern for Ward the race was stopped and declared early with Barrett’s team-mate 79 Ricky Twell in front. Ward was treated for a neck injury on track before being whisked to hospital where, thankfully, he was declared fit and well according to reports.

World Final night traditionally has a Masters race later on and tonight was no different. A field of 37 qualifiers were on track where Allen followed in 388 Emmo Fairweather and the Gladiators combined to trash Big Dave Johnson’s well smart Mondeo estate. 107 Michael Seex raced to the win ahead of 403 Marcus Sprawling and a racey looking 912 Kieran Greenway. And it was Greenway who took the honours in the allcomers race which rounded off the racing. With well over 50 cars on track, there was inevitable carnage with a huge number of cars piling into the pit bend melee. 779 Munch continued his big-hitting night with one on Ellacott which left the latter in trouble and led to the red flags coming out. On the restart 602 Shaun Cooper delivered a head-on to Jacob Foster with returnee 82 Barrie Foster also involved. With Cooper taking a pounding the race was stopped just short of the distance with Greenway again looking good on his way to the win. A destruction derby rounded off proceedings with 180 Mark Foster victorious.

Supporting the bangers were the heavy metal brigade national saloon stock cars. With nearly 40 cars in the pits, the biggest talking point was the much anticipated debut in the class of 158 Shane Davies. The Unlimited Banger World Champion turned out a very smart looking new car for the occasion. Whilst graded blue, he took his place in the white and yellow grade race which opened proceedings, as a new driver. Doing likewise was fellow blue-graded newcomer 214 Tom Yould, a regular on the 1300 saloon scene and also in the bangers. 219 Luke Grief was also debuting a beautiful new car and was allowed in the race purely to run in his engine, whilst being “invisible” in the results. Unfortunately, Davies’ debut was to be something of an anti-climax. Although he looked well on the pace as he raced to eighth in the short 10-lap blast, his engine blew as he crossed the line and that was the last we were to see of him. The white graders had caught the yellows napping at the start of the race, opening a big lead. After 128 Craig Banwell spun out of the lead with two laps to go, 350 Tommy Parrin took up the running to win from 728 Kris Woods and 51 Paul Licquorice.

The remaining two heats saw the red and blue grades in both, to be joined by the whites in heat two and the yellows in heat three. The latter saw 26 Tommy Barnes give the kind of display he had done in the last Lynn meeting, racing to an easy win in style. It hadn’t gone so well for him in the earlier race though, as he pulled off at the start. That one saw shale specialist 570 Simon Venni fight to the front very quickly, only to see his big lead wiped out by a caution period. 428 Lee Sampson had been in a strong second before getting caught up with the backmarking 192 Robert Heanes. He soon recovered and took his chance on the restart to spin Venni on the road bend, but in the same move 641 Willie Skoyles Jr managed to spin Sampson as well and assume the lead. The wily old 499 David Aldous was working his way through the pack though and having caught Skoyles, nipped through on the inside with two laps to go. 18 Jamie Clayton repeated the manoeuvre a lap later to snatch second.

Behind Barnes, the third heat saw a monumental scrap for second. 360 Carl Waterfield and 149 Jamie Sampson eventually broke clear of the pack but the former was a couple of laps down. 115 Scott Aldridge managed to snatch third ahead of German 303 Frank Loeff on his first visit of the season.

There were 31 cars out for the final which saw an early waved yellow. That became a full stoppage after a number of drivers failed to take heed. Another caution punctuated the race after Grief was stranded on the racing line, his car now looking decidedly less pristine after a bruising night’s racing. Early-season track championship leader Lee Sampson spun whilst well placed and this time Skoyles managed to complete the job, holding on to win from Licquorice and 511 Craig Barnett.

An allcomers race rounded off proceedings with Aldous racing to a second victory of the night with an awesome late move on 512 Darren Barnett. A successful night means Aldous maintains his stranglehold on the track championship and is looking good to retain the crown. There’s still a lot of action to come from the big stockies at the Norfolk Arena this season though, with the second day of this weekender to be followed by two meetings in each of August and September. The last of those sees them contest their European Championship, with qualifying taking place on the Saturday night ahead of the big race on Sunday. There will be plenty more action to come before that though – be sure not to miss it!

2L Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 400 589 107 542 912 602 791 227 313 532
Heat 2 132 69 180 617 998 271 423 415 898 525
World Final 399 730 597 69 119 86 188 589 129 143
Consolation 79 388 779 101 549 403 533 8 401 328
World Masters 107 403 912 382 998 180 162 415 779 791
All Comers 912 247 22 549 7 129 143 589 382 180
Destruction Derby 180
Entertainers 400 2 717 423 602 589
2L Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 350 728 51 192 128 389 233 158 184 303
Heat 2 499 18 641 115 191 401 570 698 402 219
Heat 3 26 149 115 303 164 499 401 184 428 641
Final 641 51 511 402 570 499 420 512 26 698
All Comers 499 512 420 428 149 18 728 115 570 51

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img1From the pure adrenaline and Unlimited Power of the F1 Stock Cars to the destruction and crazy antics of the Bangers - you can see it all at the Norfolk Arena! With up to fifty cars in every race, action is guaranteed and here at the Norfolk Arena we encourage “full contact” where spinning and hitting other cars is all part of the racing!

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