Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 28th December 2014

The second annual Banger Bonanza was held on a bright winter’s day – a sunny but very cold afternoon, which saw a pit area bursting with more than 100 Bangers across three classes.  The day also suffered from a generator failure late afternoon, but each of the dozen planned races were completed.

National Micro Bangers

A fantastic showing of 50 National Micro Bangers produced some stupendously hard hitting action from the little cars.  Whilst some cars had been hurriedly finished off, and missed out on some decorative paint, there were plenty of first class efforts in terms of presentation, and six drivers were duly rewarded with cash bonuses – 209 Jack Saunders, 249 Ryan Guppy, 349 James Guppy, 705 Dave Ham, 848 Wayne Kent and 924 Jon Byrd.
The opening race saw a packed grid, with 48 drivers taking the green flag, and whereas the pits bend is often the centre of much action in the National Bangers, this time it was the west bend where the majority of the mayhem unfolded.  For long periods in the race, the west bend was blocked, and drivers were hurtling into the pile-up, reversing out, and then turning around to afford themselves a chance of another run-up, in their efforts to beat a clear path through.  Whilst 360 Jack Reynolds had been the early leader, he duly got delayed in the heap.  In turn, that paved the way for 14 Peter Street to take control.  Time and again, Street managed to arrive at the west bend just as a clear path was available, and Street ticked off numerous laps.  Similarly, 47 Marcus A’Lee kept finding a route through the bedlam.  Just when it looked as though Street was a certain winner, he got snagged on the kerb in turn two, and A’Lee got ahead.  Then A’Lee found his path baulked.  The race was truly superb – featuring heavy crashing and a genuine chase for the chequered flag.  Street took up the running once more, and although A’Lee was on his tail, it was the south coast racer who secured the win.  The second heat began with a rollover in the pits bend for 930 Christian Churcher, and it is to be noted how sportingly Points Champion 162 Brett Ellacott used his car to protect the inverted Welshman.  In the restarted race, Ellacott gained his reward, as he had just taken the lead from Street when the race was halted early, after 57 Christian Mansbridge had been shaken up by a thunderous pits bend blasting from 988 Billy Dennison.  Although 380 Lee Hopkins had illegally stopped Ellacott with a wrong-way attack, Ellacott had been the leader on the last completed lap.  The final was led off by 205 Alex Ganter, but then Reynolds and 141 Toby Tiddy took up the running.  All drivers were struggling for grip on a slippery track, and the lead pair seemed to be sliding around as much as racing, but still they kept clear at the front.  With only a couple of laps to go, Reynolds spun, and Tiddy was now the clear leader.  World Champion 239 Steve Carter was closing, but despite some nervy moments on the last lap, Tiddy held on to win, from Carter and 452 Anthony Sleeman.  A thoroughly entertaining session for the Micro Bangers ended with a brutal eight car DD.  Teenage debutant 838 Jamie Peters took some heavy punishment, but still kept coming back for more, and even combined with 114 Liam Lake to sandwich 341 Andrew Jones.  It was Lake who then landed the last telling blow of the contest, on gold top Carter, and thus Lake was declared the winner.

2 Litre Old Skool National Bangers

Eighteen drivers lined up for the Supreme Championship, with the grid further supplemented by thirteen more drivers who had not scored any points in the series.  Brothers 133 Terry Hill and 131 Sam Hill made the most of their position on the front row of the grid, to lead the early stages.  A little way behind, a great battle developed involving 246 Ryan Sparks, 190 Steve Bailey and 113 Aaron Brown.  By the mid-race point, Sam Hill had the lead to himself, having seen off his brother, but he was now coming under pressure from 910 Katie Dawe and Sparks.  As the lap boards appeared, Hill was dislodged from the lead.  Dawe hit the front, but Sparks was right with her.  The race now looked to be a two-horse one, as Sparks and Dawe traded hits, and swapped places, but then they encountered backmarker 25 Nick Lane.  As Dawe and Sparks contested the lead, Sparks spun, and Lane went up on to two wheels almost enveloping Dawe.  In a bizarre twist, the three cars charged down the back straight – Dawe masked by the Lane car (still on two wheels) and Sparks facing the wrong way.  Eventually, Dawe shook off Lane, who rolled on to his side and then bounced back on to his wheels on the infield.  The race continued, and Dawe had only one and a half laps to run.  She saw them through, and approaching the chequered flag, threw an air punch of delight out of the driver’s side window aperture.  Bailey and Sam Hill bounced back from earlier delays to clinch second and third respectively, but the race and title were Dawe’s.  The next race saw Sparks nudge Bailey wide on the last bend to take the victory.  Bailey was a comfortable winner of the third race, whilst 528 Shane Hector finished as the runner-up.  Just six drivers gridded for the Allcomers race, but even so there were a couple of highlights.  555 Greg Radmore spun in the pits bend, and was assaulted head-on by Terry Hill, whilst Bailey caught and buried long time leader 912 Simon Rees, on his way to a second race win.

Unlimited cc Old Skool National Bangers

Twenty drivers raced in the latest outing for the unlimited cc Old Skool National Bangers, and the quartet of events produced a different winner each time.  First to make an impression was 278 Shaun Brokenshire who took his Nissan Skyline to a comprehensive win in the opening race.  Brokenshire led from start to finish, and a spirited late charge by 862 Darryl Cock saw him take the runner-up place.  Late arrival 362 Johnny James won the second heat.  For much of the race, 185 Richard Coaker and 492 Josh Hutchings had disputed the lead, but James pounced in the closing stages, and won from 120 Mark Ashley.  It was Ashley who then took the Final.  Early on, 165 Paul Easterbrook had made the running, but Ashley overhauled him, and even though Brokenshire stormed up the order in the second half of the race, Ashley won, for what was his first ever victory at Smeatharpe.  121 Mike Ashley completed the top three.  The Spin & Roll contest was relatively uneventful, with only Easterbrook and Mark Ashley managing to spin other cars.  They tied on points, but as Easterbrook had won the race part of the contest, he was declared the winner.

Old Skool National Bangers unlimited CC 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 278 862 382 120 492 65 104 891 270 261
Heat 2 362 120 492 165 185 891 278 382 383 65
Final 120 278 121 362 302 382 492 185 891 270
Spin & Roll 165 120 nos
2L National Bangers Old Skool 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Supreme 910 190 131 372 113 929 185 714 25 47
Heat 246 190 131 133 912 372 25 528 861 113
Heat 190 528 131 133 929 912 714 555 412 333
Allcomers 190 131 929 133 555 nof
National Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 14 47 360 733 nof
Heat 2 162 988 452 nof
Final 141 239 452 114 284 360 71 841 nof
DD 114
Best Presented 249 924 209 848 705 349
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