United Downs Raceway - Sunday 30th August 2015

Despite poor weather in the morning, racegoers turned out in good numbers for the most eagerly anticipated Blockbuster at St Day for many, many years, as the Banger racing fraternity paid tribute to Eddie James – one of the originators of the event.  The raceday programme proved to be a most treasured item, carrying historical tales (and photos) of Eddie’s long association with Banger racing.

Unlimited cc National Bangers

The first event on the programme was the Grand Parade, fittingly led by 153 Eddie James, who had been presented with an Hawaiian shirt by 384 John Golden, for the occasion.  Several of the drivers on the Grand Parade wore comedy bald wigs in deference to Eddie, and with smiles and happy faces galore, there was a particularly cheery feeling to the day, which also coincided with an improvement in the weather.

As they signed in earlier in the day, drivers were given the option to race neither, one or both of the Old Skool races at the start of the meeting.  No less than 26 cars assembled for the first of these, which began the race action in too boisterous a fashion.  The luckless 24 Brian Lee, had his Granada Hearse destroyed within the opening laps, and 661 David Jones found himself excluded until the consolation.  A re-run of the opening race eventually brought a win for 528 Alan Hunt, from 862 Darryl Cock.  There were 19 starters for the second Old Skool heat; seven of whom were straight back out for a second successive race.  Nine went the distance, with 622 Garry Webb turning an early lead into the win.  Despite being Old Skool, the opening two races had taken its toll on numbers, such that just 16 gridded for the first National Bangers heat, which included the trio of Rolls Royce cars, driven by 341 Andrew Jones, 239 Steve Carter and 190 Steve Bailey.  Indeed, it was Jones who edged past early leader 45 Anthony Croshaw (in his Mk 10 Jaguar), to take up the running, and despite a spirited late chase by Hunt, Jones held on for the win.  Fourteen cars took to the track for National Bangers heat two, with much of the action centred around the duelling friends and rivals Eddie James and 225 Richy Edmonds.  Between them they accounted for the Granada Limo of 447 Adam Hicks, and essentially accounted for one another.  In the race, 383 Andre McLellan overhauled 714 Paul Smaldon to win.  Another fourteen car grid set off in the consolation, but that number was swiftly decimated after some heavy wrecking in the pits bend.  The P5 Rover coupe of 07 Jerry Harvey was completely destroyed, firstly when 278 Shaun Brokenshire followed him in, and then when 162 Brett Ellacott weighed in on him, in his meaty Yank.  A truncated re-run brought another Cornish victory, this time for 141 Toby Tiddy, after Jones had led initially.  The Blockbuster final featured nineteen starters, and in no time, Bailey had hit the front.  Carter launched a thunderous head-on attack which flat packed the front of the Croshaw Jag in turn four.  737 Ian Crandon was spun around on the back straight, and Jones blasted him head-on, which saw the Crandon Merc disappear in a cloud of steam.  Bailey still led, but was unable to pull clear of the chasing pair of Smaldon and Webb.  With four laps to run, Webb made his move, but Bailey spun him inside out to try to hold on to first place.  However, that opened the door for Smaldon to grab the lead, and soon after Bailey retired to the infield.  Smaldon ran out a clear winner, taking the Blockbuster title after many years of trying.  Webb recovered for second and 74 Adam Hitchcock completed the top three.  Just a dozen contested the Allcomers, which saw James and Edmonds involved with one another again, whilst 452 Anthony Sleeman and Hunt joined in the battle this time.  Hunt looked set to win for the second time, but expired late on, which left 180 Andy Bailey victorious.  The day closed with a DD, which included 118 Steve Ball in his fourth National Banger event of the afternoon – he certainly got good value from his Volvo.  After Ball had blasted 841 Tom Perkins, Bailey duly arrived to finish him off, before seeing off the challenge of Hitchcock, and finally 62 Pat Dorrington.

Ministox

The entry of youngsters included 946 Stacey Coombes on her career debut, and south coast visitor 276 Chey Bridger, who was making her track debut.  The youngsters had a special bonus with four programmed races instead of the usual trio.  667 Tommy Farrell took the opening heat, after 951 Aiden Vincent had made the early running.  Farrell edged past with five laps to run, and proceeded to record his first St Day win of the season.  Thereafter, the day belonged to Vincent.  He enjoyed his finest hour by far, scoring a hat-trick of wins.  Vincent had endured a poor run of meetings, which had resulted in a demotion to the white grade.  However, from the front of the grid, he made the absolute most of things.  Following up a third place in the opening race, Vincent won heat two, with Farrell the runner-up.  Regrettably, the race included a catalogue of incidents in turn two; after which Coombes, Bridger and 982 Sophie Daughtrey took no further part in the meeting.  Thus, it was a sparse grid for the final, but Vincent again sped to victory, this time leading home 980 Charlie Lobb and Farrell.  To round off a sensational day for himself, Vincent duly won the Allcomers; with 907 Cameron Lawrence the runner-up on this occasion.

National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Old Skool 528 862 278 383 225 999 nof
Old Skool 622 714 179 384 522 180 841 28 891 nof
Heat 1 341 528 45 190 622 239 452 382 74 nof
Heat 2 383 714 384 180 147 118 737 nof
Consolation 141 202 891 661 nof
Blockbuster 714 622 74 180 891 341 nof
Allcomers 180 74 341 nof
King of Crash/DD 180
Oldest/Rarest 07 45 917 351 522 622
Best Presented 452 341 190 180 239 384
Top Trier 153
Wrecker of the Day 162
Most Wrecked Car 07
Hit of the Day 278 on 07
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 667 907 951 980 677 943 931 987 911 917
Heat 2 951 667 980 931 987 907 988 943 911 946
Final 951 980 667 931 907 943 677 911 987 nof
Allcomers 951 667 980 931 907 677 911 943 917 988
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