Trackstar Racing | Info | Results | 2013 | Saturday 18th May 2013

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Saturday 18th May 2013

Words by Mark Paulson
Pictures by Damien Widdows


Epic. It’s a word used a lot in banger racing circles. But no word better describes the final act in the career of 401 Steve ‘Psycho’ Hemmings. His farewell meeting, ‘Axestinction’, staged at the Norfolk Arena, King’s Lynn on Saturday night, 18 May, was a fantastic tribute to the driver. Those that were there will know they witnessed one of the greatest banger meetings of all time.

Over 140 unlimited bangers were in action and almost half of them would probably have been the car of the meeting at any other event, such was the standard. Old cars, rare cars, American cars – you name it – and the vast majority were turned out with superb paint jobs as well. There was a large turnout of Predators and ex-Predators to support their departing team-mate, with 157Michael Piggot and 557 Paul Bowen in particular falling into the latter camp. 294 Alan Tarn also came out of retirement, after Psycho had raced in his farewell meeting in February, racing in the Luton Banger Club which were the origins of the Predators. Similarly, ‘the other Psycho’, 09 Andy Holmes also reciprocated after the 401 driver had raced at his retirement meeting at Sheffield four years earlier. Holmes led a large presence of Team Stinkbridge, including a number of former drivers who tend to be only seen in The Silver Boys colours nowadays, which was good to see.

Just a selection of the phenomenal material that was present is listed below:

1 Martin Steenbekkers – Chevrolet Caprice Mk4
13 Pieter Leistra – Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine (1951) (received car of the meeting award)
16 Michael Flaherty – Nissan 300C
17 Kyle Over – Rolls Royce Silver Spur Limousine
18 Jamie Clayton – Ford Thunderbird Mk10
27 Will Longford – Austin FX4
32 Matt Small – Chevrolet Caprice Estate
34 Warren Burnham – Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine (1966)
51 Simon Heilds – Pontiac Le Mans Estate (DNR)
60 Kyle Stevenson – Daimler DS420 Limousine
81 Ashley Bell – Volvo 740 Limousine
125 Roy Preece – Cadillac Coupe Deville
128 Andy Shipp – Jaguar 420
128 Andy Lack – Rover P4
152 James Dillon – Humber Super Snipe
252 Gareth Griffiths – Jaguar 420G
272 Garry Murrell – Ford Customline
273 Kevin McClagish – Chevrolet Caprice Mk3
280 Simon Goodale – Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine (1939) (received car of the meeting award)
280 Wayne Quinn – Daimler X1200 Limousine
293 Nick Houghton – Nissan 300C
295 Danny Nunn – Rover P5 (used)
303 Brian Cope – Buick Limited (1958)
310 John Nicholson – Rover P5 (used)
311 Lee Bradbury – Studebaker Commander (1942) (received car of the meeting award)
313 Craig Osbourne – Rolls Royce Silver Shadow
313 John Cullingford – Rover P5
315 Jack Holmes – Toyota Crown Custom
331 Eelke van der Zwaag – Pontiac Parisienne (1965)
347 Mark Burbridge – Rover P4
363 Sam Trim – Toyota Crown
388 Taylor Sowter – Mercury Colony Park Sation Wagon Mk6
388 Steve McGrath – Rolls Royce Silver Shadow
390 David Gibson – Lincoln Town Car Limousine Mk1
401 Steve Hemmings – Austin A135 Princess Sheerline Hearse
409 Carlos Pears – Rover P5
439 Danny Sutton – Toyota Crown
474 Matty Threlkeld – Chrysler Imperial (1965)
476 Ross Coleman – Austin Westminster
501 Steve Kaye – Rover P5 Coupe
513 Sean Harvey – Jaguar XJS
514 Charlie Taylor – Daimler DS420 Limousine
549 Phil Smith – Rolls Royce Silver Spirit
557 Paul Bowen – Rover P5
579 Gary Beecham – Austin Westminster
583 Dan Weeks – Cadillac Fleetwood
601 Chris Medler – Lincoln Towncar Limousine Mk2
660 Paul Lambe – Rover P4
748 Graham Kiddle – Volvo 740 Limousine
776 Ady Groom – Austin Princess DS7 (used)
791 Nicky Young – Lagonda 3-litre (1953) (received car of the meeting award)
811 Kieran McIvor – Volvo 240 Hearse
844 Tom Haggerty – Daimler DS420 Limousine
851 Adam Storr – Mercedes Limousine (used)
880 Neil Naismith – Rolls Royce Silver Shadow (used)
924 Matt Millen – Rover P5
949 Michael Smith – Nissan Leopard Coupe

After a grand parade at 4:00pm, the meeting proper kicked off with two heats for Pre-1985 cars, each featuring around 25-30 cars. The first was relatively quiet compared with what was to come, but saw 17 Kyle Overy spin and accidentally hit in the driver door area by 218 Wayne Turner. 293 Nick Houghton was done by 572 Paul Scully in his battered Volvo, before 851 Adam Storr spun his Icebreaker Merc Limo and was blitzed by Irishman 811 Kieran McIvor in his unusual Volvo 240 Hearse and 549 Phil Smith’s relatively raw looking Rolls. 315 Jack Holmes’ Toyota Crown Custom was spun by 779 Luke Allen before Smith went in hard and caged the former. 148 Ian Redden (Volvo) drove his usual sideways race to take the win from 363 Sam Trim and 801 Jack Foster Sr (Jaguar).

Heat two featured just Vovlos and Jaguars, including the first appearance of the night for the Psycho himself in his XJ (his Sheerline Hearse would be saved for the evening’s DD). It didn’t take long for him to get involved in a wrecking train on the power station bend also featuring 925 Aaron Preece, 38 Tom Chilton, 01 Kyle Shires, 260 Keith Reynolds and 602 Shaun Cooper. Psycho reversed out, before adding 81 Ashley Bell – who had already been something of a target – to the pile and then being blitzed by one of the Shunters team. 920 James Medley (XJ) raced to the win and celebrated by putting in 400 Kevin Shinn on the run-down lap, while 160 Shayn Winsor came home second.

Heat three was for Pre-1970 cars only, including the two Pre-1950 Yanks and raised a fantastic 26 cars, including three of the four cars of the meeting. 311 Lee Bradbury used his sublime 1940s Studebaker to deliver a massive jacking to 579 Mr Clumsy’s Westminster, while 476 Ross Coleman’s similar machine was done by 388 Little Stevo’s Roller. 409 Carlos Pears delivered a shot over the wheel of 791 Spud’s absolutely magnificent Lagonda before 313 Osbourne blitzed the former. 844 Tom Haggerty and 128 Lack went in hard before 252 Gareth Griffiths did Mr Clumsy, causing the latter to roll. A big pile-up developed on the power station bend with 280 Simon Goodale and 13 Pieter Leistra adding themselves to the heap, almost blocking the track, before 557 Paul Bowen cut to the inside and delivered a stiff shot to the back of 60 Kyle Stevenson’s sublime Daimler limo. Virtually no cars were left running as the red flags came out; the result was taken from the previous lap with 880 Neil Naismith declared the winner from 310 John Nicholson and Goodale.

Yanks only in heat four, and with a couple struggling to get their cars running, that left only 14 cars on track. But the action they served up was as good as anything you’ll ever see. 601 Chris Medler’s massive Lincoln was run in by 32 Matt Small, before Medler himself ran in 303 Brian Cope’s massive 1950s Buick on the roadside bend. That allowed 331 Eelke van der Zwaag to home in on the latter in his magnificent Pontiac Parisienne, delivering a massive shot to the Buick which reduced its enormous boot to not much at all. 388 Taylor Sowter had led the race in his Mercury estate before being spun out by a combined effort from 320 Daryl Wall and 18 Jamie Clayton whose Ford Thunderbird appeared by far the most nimble machine in the race. Wall then gave a stiff shot to 272 Garry Murrell before being absolutely blitzed with a huge shot by Medler on the home straight. By this stage the crowd were on cloud nine and getting very vocal. When 390 David Gibson chose to avoid the inviting rear end of Medler’s car there was an audible sigh of disappointment, only for a huge cheer to erupt seconds later as Gibbo instead embedded himself hard in the back of 273 Kevin McClagish’s Chevy Caprice slightly further down the home straight. That left Clayton as the only car running and he duly took the win.

Heat five was for all other cars and so yielded a massive field of well over 40 cars in the Lexuses, Scorpios, more modern Jags and the like. Unsurprisingly a massive pile-up soon developed on the home straight, started by the Predator/Stinkbridge clash of 79 Ricky Twell and 236 Carl Hoffmann. 101 Klaas Troost (Toyota Supra) turned around 730 Deane Mayes (Scorpio), allowing 157 Michael Piggot (Toyota Previa) to land a heavy blow on the latter’s nose. There was plenty of other action as Troost led much of the race until he was delayed and 99 Richard Ahern took over to win with his usual sideways style, ahead of 128 Mark Atkins and 47 Andy Davies.

The first consolation was open only to pre-1985 (including pre-1970) cars. 38 took to the track. Griffith spun out early and was hit over the rear wheel by Beecham as he tried reversing off track, while 311 Helm’s Studebaker took a big shot from Overy after he had hit a marker tyre. A massive wrecking train then developed, featuring 513 Harvey, 325 Preece, 388 Sowter, 776 Gibbs, 579 Beecham, 388 McGrath, 811 Winter and 360 Reynold and ultimately led to a red and chequered finish with 266 Al Roskell declared the winner, from 185 Lenny Smith and 180 Mark Foster.

There was a mid-20s field for the second consolation where 1 Maai put in 791 Spud before the latter was treated to a head-on by 125 Roy Preece. 34 Burnham then added himself to the back. Houghton gave Troost a head-on before Small put Burnham in on the power station bend, then clipping Houghton and breaking the latter’s steering. 382 Jack Foster Jr took the win from 379 Adrian Clifton and 450 Glyn Platts, while Burnham dished out a big shot over the front wheel of 152 Mr Grumpy after the flag.

Just 16 made it out for the last consolation where 331 Whitebean was put in hard on the back straight before taking a massive head-on from 474 Threlkeld’s Chrysler Imperial which was left with hardly a mark. 137 Jay Chilton then collected the aftermath as 399 Jonny Atkin raced to his first win in an unlimited banger, from team-mate 391 Ben Gibson and 185 Smith.

Next up was the qualifiers-only (top three from each race, plus all race entertainers) final, with around 35 making it on track, although 99 Ahern and 13 Peewee pulled off with mechanical troubles before the start. 390 Gibbo did 16 Flaherty before 1 Maai put in 601 Bling on the pit gate bend, 89 Panda spinning as he tried to join the train. Threlkeld continued his hard hitting with a shot on Psycho before Gibbo did the former on the nose. The race went a little quiet so 779 Munch tried to take in 571 Mark Quinsey (Mazda MPV) to liven things up. It didn’t come off and he ended in the fence towards the end of the home straight himself, whereupon first 01 Shires hit him hard and then 920 Medley delivered a massive blow to finish Munch off. 47 Andy Davies raced to the win from 382 Foster and 128 Atkins.

Twenty-five made it out for Allcomers 1. 101 Troost was followed in hard before a big wrecking train developed, featuring 166 William Ogilby, 360 Reynolds, 811 McIvor, 43 Bart Vermissen, 404 Luke Brinton and then 174 Curtis Rathbone. A short while later, 501 Steve Kaye monstered his Rover into the back of the exposed 43 Odol, riding high in the air to create an auto-sculpture and delighting the crowd (and Odol himself!), with the red flags coming out to check on everyone. On the restart, 349 Lee Saunders, 100 Callum White and 313 John Cullingford went in hard on the back straight, before 604 Cooper, 41 Kevin Freestone and the lively White piled in hard on the roadside turn. 280 Quinn delivered a big shot over the back wheel of Freestone, allowing 498 Chris Wilcock to go in hard on the former. Cully then blitzed Wilcock and was done in turn by White. The latter two were the last left running and had a private DD on the backstraight before Cully expired, leaving White to take the win as the last man running.

A massive 40-car field came out for Allcomers 2. 557 Paranoid was turned hard into the side of 390 Gibbo, before 32 Small and Gibbo sandwiched 560 Andrew Milner on the back straight, heavily reducing the length of the latter’s machine and leading to a big pile-up. Threlkeld delivered a monstrous follow-in to 27 Longford near the pit gate, virtually caging the big taxi, but leaving the Chrysler almost unscathed. 180 Foster rolled onto his side after hits from 15 Colin Troussaint (Volvo) and 196 Ben Harrison, leading to red flags being waved. The restart was then relatively quiet but featured a good scrap for the lead between 382 Foster and 148 Redden both sliding round the bends on opposite lock, in unison. Redden spun Threlkeld on the last lap, damaging a wheel in the process and allowing Foster to clear off for the win, Redden holding onto second from 439 Danny Sutton

A superb mid-30s field of cars returned for the DD and want a climax it proved to be. Psycho was given a hero’s welcome as he toured around in his A135 Hearse before his last ever driving action. It didn’t take long for a massive pile-up to develop on bend two, with car after car thundering in. To huge cheers, Psycho broke free of the melee to leave him and Threkeld as the last cars running. The latter delivered one last blitz to the hearse which splintered and crumpled around its driver in spectacular fashion – a perfect end to the perfect meeting. 

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 (Pre 85 cars) 148 363 801 811 (PW) 160 811 (KM) 180 166 325 nof
Heat 2 (Pre 85 cars) 920 160 (SW) 269 266 400 185 nof
Heat 3 (Pre 70 cars) 880 310 280 60 313 347 252 514 557 924
Heat 4 (All Yank) 18 nof
Heat 5 (Other cars) 99 128 47 101 382 267 519 399 451 157
Consolation 1 266 (AR) 185 (LS) 180 887 439 17 160 185 390 196
Consolation 2 382 379 450 360 101 128 247 34 nof
Consolation 3 399 391 185 (LS) 439 149 252 196 474 604 209
Axe-Tinction Final 47 382 128 (MA) 269 391 439 379379 180 920 549
All Comers 1 100 nof
All Comers 2 382 148 439 269 450 209 474 247 nof
Destruction Derby 474
Cars of the Meeting 13 311 280 791
Merit Awards 17 22 128 (AS) 152 252 (GG) 272 294 303 313 (CO) 315
Merit Awards 347 363 388 (SM) 474 476 579 583 811 (KM) 32 34
Entertainer Awards 32 1 293 474 137 331 920 474 604 501
Entertainer Awards 313 360 474 560 549 501 79 196 549 779
Entertainer Awards 572 401 (0)1 260 13 128 (AS) 311 (LB) 601 320 920
Entertainer Awards 89 174 (DO) 571 811 (PW) 16 388
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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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