Hednesford Hills Raceway
14th January 2018
Civil War 19
National Micro Bangers - National Bangers - National Unlimited Bangers
14th January 2018
Civil War 19
National Micro Bangers - National Bangers - National Unlimited Bangers
Report by James Keane
You have to love Civil War. In its 19th running, it’s always one of the events that gives you butterflies. Everything about it - from the location in the amphitheatre of Hednesford Hills Raceway, seeing teams that would usually war put it aside for one meeting, the tactics of blocking and rodding between teams - and best of all, seeing a raceway cheer half and half, North vs South, it is absolutely electric.
Race 1: Light Brigade - National Micro Bangers - Heat 1 - 12 Laps
32 Micro Bangers made it out for the first heat. 242 Rick Korpiella took an early lead, however a big hit on 106 Darren Terry saw the reds came out as The Cheat found himself on his roof. A former race winner at Civil War, it’s a shame it meant he would take no further part in later heats. 326 took the race win after a lunge into turn 3, spinning the leader, to a huge roar from the crowd on the banking of turn 4, giving the south an impressive win.
- 1st: South 326 Edward Kennett
- 2nd: North 55 Tam Melrose
- 3rd: South 305 Alfie Cornish
- 4th South 271 James Vockins
Race 2: Infantry - National Bangers - Heat 1 - 12 Laps
As the Infantry came out for their first heat, there was a noticeable cheer for the two captains, the ever popular Incarace man Dale Locker, and the PRI world champion, coming out this year in a gold-topped Mondeo, Adam 'Scratchy' Hitchcock. It also saw Jonesey, in his mixed painted car due to the late notice inclusion, joining his DWO teammate out in the Infantry.
341 Andrew Jones was pushed to the infield early on, but after a fire on turn two on the second lap, causing the red flags to come out, Jonesey made it back out.
Jonesey blocked Jack Foster Jnr on the exit of Turn 4, to a big cheer from the south pit crew on the banking of turn 4, because on a day when a lot of rivalries are put aside, the DWO/TGB rivalry was made front and centre. Black Nuts kept going around (with C.T. sprayed on his boot, despite all the rumours they were no more), with Jonesey staying the sentinel on the exit of turn 4 keeping the path clear.
Black Nuts took the win, waving his arm out of the window as he passed under Incarace Starter James Sheard’s flag. On the end of the victory lap, he walked over to the back straight and gave his trophy to a child watching on, a classy touch.
- 1st: South 551 Karl Douglas
- 2nd: North 382 - Jack Foster Jnr
- 3rd: South 917 Andrew Tew
- 4th: South 333 Craig Partridge
After this race, 200 points were deducted for Andrew Jones re-joining from the infield along with another southern driver, however this was later reversed.
Race 3: Tanks - National Unlimited Bangers - Heat 1 - 12 Laps
As the rolling lap went around, 3-time Spedeworth and 1-time PRI champion Boxer Jack pulled on to the infield. We wouldn’t see him again until the final, after clutch and gearbox changes, but this didn’t seem to harm the chances of the Southern’s Tank Brigade stormed ahead.
Early on a big wreck went into turn four, the captain’s son #94 Jack Anscombe lifting his back wheels of the floor by about 4 feet, however snapping his prop shaft and not making it back out again.
The two Previas from each side came to a big hit in turn 3, as Nemo put in a hard hit over the back wheels of the North Previa of #216 Vince Walmsley. Thumbs up from the hit driver, but there was predictable controversy over this hit. Both drivers shook hands in the stoppage moments later.
The restart saw Joey Reynolds misjudge the restart, resulting in a Black Cross, and whilst the front 4 cars were all red, the order was slightly changed to see 114 Liam Lake take the result.
- 1st: South 114 - Liam Lake
- 2nd: South 257 - Timmy Aldridge
- 3rd: South 760 - Joey Reynolds
- 4th: South 333 - Charlie Randell
Standings after the first engagements: North 150 - South 600
Race 4: Light Brigade - National Micro Bangers - Heat 2 - 12 Laps
It was a quitter race 4 compared to the first race, but there was still a lot of action all around.
28 Craig ‘Super’ Cooper followed in hard on #759 Chris Oldcorn into turn 3, and a lap later a fake lunge from #25 Hobbit caused Northern Driver #43 Nicky Bishop to spin into his Oldcorn. Straight away, Southern drivers #442 Ricky Deans #2 Patchy collected #43 to make it a lap to forget for him!
Into turn 1 with a few laps to go, #597 joined the back of a 3 car Northern train, unfortunately for the south #413 Aidan Christie was the man in front of them, taking a big hit into the wall. However, as the two packs then separated, Marc Key took it home for the south, three Northern drivers followed him home to get themselves a decent point haul.
- 1st: South 787 - Marc Key
- 2nd: North 55 - Tam Melrose
- 3rd: North 182 - Ross Steward
- 4th North 25 - Joe Parsons
Race 5: Infantry - National Bangers - Heat 2 - 12 Laps
Captain Adam Hitchcock made it out after a familiar event, pulling out the back quarter of a Ford Mondeo.
In a quieter heat, North driver #275 Jake Morgan put a big hit into #720 Kenny Gabiel, forcing him into the stricken pack in turn 4, and #687 Crossy proved an effective blocker, pulling into traffic multiple times on the start of the home straight.
Karl ‘Black Nuts’ Douglas was looking very good for another podium, however as he came out of Turn 4, a Northern Blocker does his job very well, pulling out on him, causing some big axel damage. #47 Daniel Wright finally gets the North on the back of the Pace Car for the victory lap!
- 1st: North 47 - Daniel Wright
- 2nd: South 341 - Andrew Jones
- 3rd: South 372 - Jay Matthews
- 4th: South 199 - Tom Pearce
Race 6: Tanks - National Unlimited Bangers - Heat 2 - 12 Laps
As the second heat started for the Unlimiteds, #760 got spun round very early by #200 Steven Noon. As Noon got away up the back straight, Tank captain #194 Steve ‘Cecil’ Anscombe but him into turn 2. The opposing captain #171 Tommy West takes a retaliation shot, but Cecil is backed up by #246 Aston Burt.
The packs again got separated, and another red-wash was the result, but not before heat 1 winner #114 Liam Lake took a head on in the middle of the West Bend from 456 ‘Stevo’ Allen.
- 1st: South 257 - Timmy Aldridge
- 2nd: South 241 - Liam Cracknekk
- 3rd: South 625 - Josh Gooch
- 4th: South 333 - Carlie Randell
Scores after the Heat of the Battle: North 400 - South 1100
In between the heats and the finals, Hednesford Hills fell silent for the minutes silence for ‘Lost It’ Lloyd Isherwood. The Granada Hearse had been on the west bend all day, and it was presented with a tribute for #84. Following the minutes silence, there was an emotional and incredible round of applause. An amazingly fitting tribute to a man who became the stuff of National Banger legend at a civil war.
Race 7: Light Brigade Final - National Micro Bangers - 15 Laps
The start to the Light Brigade final was incredibly hard fought, as going into turn 3 for the start #303 Scott Dale put #271 James Vockins in very hard, followed by another huge hit from #338 Terry Garrod on #821 Jamie Rogers.
Reds came out for #271 who left the arena in the ambulance, and hopefully the driver is on his way to speedy recovery.
The packs were mainly separated for the rest of the race, apart from one lone North driver putting #242 Rick Korpiela round on the back straight and #136 Jamie Batchelor giving a full hit on the back of a Northern driver on the exit of turn 2.
- 1st: South 921 - Jack Aldridge
- 2nd: South 326 - Edward Kennett
- 3rd: South 597 - Shane Lines
- 4th: North 21 - Gav Robinson
Race 8: Infantry Final - National Bangers - 15 Laps
The Infantry final started in familiar hard hitting fashion - going into the first corner as Northern #16 went in hard on #275 Jonny Tomilson. He was then followed in hard by #341 Jonesey, bring the Red flags out for a full restart.
From the restart, the Southern drivers were heavily outnumbered, #451 Nigel Belfield taking a couple on the back straight, and northern driver #129 Jono Brooke rolling over the victory ramp.
The first real white wash of the evening, closing the scores. If the North have a good tank final, they could be well in it come the DDs...
- 1st: North 382 - Jack Foster Jnr
- 2nd: North 366 - Nathan Wren
- 3rd: North 73 - Dean Cruickshank
- 4th: North 299 - Dale Locker
Race 9: Tanks Final - National Unlimited Bangers - 15 Laps
Multiple time world champion #331 Boxer made it back out for the final after hours on the hiab, and as the race started 3 Northern cars collected each other on the start/finish line. Going into turn 3, #478 Chris Spiers collected #246 Aston Burt, but was taken out straight away by another Southern driver acting as rear gunner. #883 Jack Filmer gives him another to put him out of action, but not before Aston gets a revenge shot on the rear end leaving him dead on the inside of the West bend.
The Northern resistance ends here, as the Southern drivers come home in formation, #331 Jason Jackson making up for lost time with the race win.
- 1st: South 331 - Jason Jackson
- 2nd: South 625 - Josh Gooch
- 3rd: South 114 - Liam Lake
- 4th: South 760 - Joey Reynolds
Scores after the Coup de Gras: North 950 - South 1950 (South docked 100 points for an infield attack, #612 Dan Loads loaded up)
Race 10: Tanks DD - National Unlimited Bangers
The tanks DD started with no running northern cars, and all but 3 of the Southern cars pull to the middle. Aside from everything else, this must surely point to the expense of Unlimited Nationals and the reluctance of drivers to take even used cars out for the DD in one of the biggest National Banger events of the year.
The drivers who did go out, however, did give it their all, #440 Macauley Mills taking the win from Gladiator #349 ‘Noddy the Squaddy’ Lewis Price.
- 1st: South 440 - Macauley Mills
- 2nd: South 349 - Lewis Price
Race 11: Light Brigade DD - National Micro Bangers
The pick of the DDs, and a lot of Pizza jokes from Dave Goddard in the commentary box, the Micros turned out in numbers.
#198 Ozzie Jnr took one just in front of the pit gate from #169 James Rushton, and after a brief stoppage #400 George Kelly and the Northern #211 took a huge head-on in the West Bend.
After getting caught up in a Northern sandwich, it was Ozzie who broke free, given some big shots to the limping Northern Micras, finally finishing off #04 Michael Croft.
- 1st: South 198 - Brandon Osborne
- 2nd: North 04 - Michael Croft
Race 12: Infantry DD - National Bangers
Decent turnout again for the Mondeos for the final DD, with nothing to play for but pride for the Northern Army, as their Captain Dale Locker took them out for the final race of the evening.
His opposing captain, #74 Scratchy finally finished off his car in a two sided assault on the exit of turn 4, but the end of the evening was marked with just Northern cars left. As James Sheard waved the blue flag to hurry-up the end of the evening, #275 Dale Locker can walk away with a lot of pride in his own, and his teams performance.
- 1st: North 299 - Dale Locker
- 2nd: North 129 - Jono Brooke
Final score: North: 1200 - South: 2450
My Personal Awards...
- Driver of the Day (North) - Dale Locker
- Driver of the Day (South) - 'Black Nuts' Karl Douglas
- Performance of the day - Brandon Osborne’s DD performance
All in all, it was an excellent Civil War. It is a shame that the scores drifted so much in the middle of the meeting, this can only be attributed to the dominant show by the Southern Tanks in an otherwise close encounter. Both sides showed a lot of amazing racing, and it was a pleasure to be there to see!