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1500 Bangers Icebreaker Teams – Meeting Preview

The 1500 Bangers have firmly cemented themselves as a must watch banger formula at the Adrian Flux Arena, and it doesn’t come much bigger than their turn of the Icebreaker event.

Hopefully there’s plenty of big hits throughout the afternoon!

Another mammoth booking list of 138 bangers spread across 37 teams will certainly set the tone for a superb follow up to the impressive display put on by the Unlimited cousins just a fortnight ago. 

It was the Ellis Crew who took the victory in 2022; with 608 Lenny Murkin almost single-handedly guiding the team to the titles, and although the Ellis Crew aren’t booked in to defend their honour, Lenny has assembled a very capable looking TKC team featuring some of the very best 1500 shale pilots. 757 Callum Gill is a highly decorated driver here at Kings Lynn; a previous Trackstar National Points Champion alongside 1500 National Championship, Unlimited East Anglian, and other accomplishments, so he will really add some star power to the team; not that Lenny requires it. Completing the quartet are 77 Russell Gill and 622 Harvey Webb who are both natural race winners also; it would be hard-pressed to find a team that would stop these.

Having more or less single-handedly secured the titles for the Ellis Factory last year, 608 Lenny Murkin will be hoping to lead his TKC team to glory (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

A team that will be looking to try, however, will be THP7. They have two teams booked in today, which consist of 4 drivers from the winning Dover Boys team from the Good Friday team meeting at Mildenhall last year. The A team features National Saloon Stock Car superstar 730 Deane Mayes and step-son 930 Brandon, who both tasted victory at the aforementioned event. They are joined by 257 Timmy Aldridge and National Saloon Stock Car World Champion 349 Michael Allard in another strong looking line up. The B team boasts the ever entertaining 51 James Licquorice, and the very experienced 337 Ashley Garrod, who, alongside the Mayes’ were part of that Dover Boys line up on Good Friday. 566 ‘Zippy’ Tony Pallett is another driver that knows how to win races here at the Adrian Flux Arena, and 57 Lewis Garrod could also pick up some points, so the B team could also mount a challenge in what is a pair of strong line ups.

THP7 traded several blows with BFG at last years event

THP7 did come up against the attentions BFG last year, as the ongoing stock car feuds boiled over into the bangers. That feud is since squashed slightly, but it will be interesting to see whether that reignites today. BFG also bring two teams for the day’s actions in a ‘who’s who’ of stock car talent. One of the most coveted drivers to grace the stock car ovals, 116 Diggy Smith, makes a welcomed rare banger appearance alongside son 161 Billy, who is now a regular among the 1500/1600 class around the raceways. They are joined by 921 Jack Aldridge, which will be interesting to see whether he has to come up against brother 257 Waterboy, and ex-Saloon World Champion 131 Timmy Barnes; a name which sparks a bit of excitement given his relative lack of banger meetings. The B team sees Smith brothers 301 Luke and 302 Jack head the running. The pair are no strangers to getting in the thick of the action in the 1300 Stock Cars, and it’s likely that will be the case again here today. They are joined by 380 Lewis Hopkin and 389 Ryan Santry in another strong looking line up.

It will be great to see 116 Diggy Smith back in a banger (Jimbo’s Race Photos)

Focusing our attention back to the more ‘known’ banger teams, STB should be among the early favourites for the titles. Although a noticeable absence from recently crowned National Champion, 26 Paul Lovick, the team have recruited a strong guest to replace him in the form of 1300 Stock Car star 149 Todd Payne. The remaining trio of 10 Chris Wick, 12 Troy Cobbett and 621 Jamie Barrett have a string of race wins here in the 1500 class, so could well put together some strong results.

12 Troy Cobbett and STB will be hoping that this is the polar opposite of what happens this Sunday, can they take the silverware home? (Trackstar)

TFB will also be hoping to go for glory after their recent dominance at the Micro Team meeting, where their B team took the victory by 40 points. The quartet of 510 Dan Newman, 556 Matt Tillow, 624 Cameron Hubbard and 717 Lewis Ivatt had a plethora of wins here last season, and with no Gladiators threat, could mount a serious challenge again today. They took second place in the runnings last year, and will be looking to go one better.

TFB are always strong contenders at these meetings, whilst 248 Jamie Blything has his own team this year (Jimbo’s Race Photos)

Team Jackpot only feature as a trio, however, with the trio being 7 Dan Bitson, 315 Nathan Webb and 339 Jack Garrod, you wouldn’t be questioned for thinking that they could pose a threat to the silverware.

Jackpot have the ability to challenge for the titles

With three teams entered into the fray, Crunchers Crew could certainly be crowned champions come the end of the day. Their strongest hopes rest with the A team which features veteran racer 119 David Cox. ‘Cruncher’ himself showed his experience here at the National Championship, where he took third place in the event some 14 years after last winning it, proving that experience does help. He is joined by son 9 Ben, and 910 Jack Rookard who can both be quick when they set their mind to it. Normally they are more worried about what Team Mates are up to, but with them not appearing on the booking list, they can focus on letting the racing do the talking. 420 Matthew Jode is more likely to let his crashing do the talking, however. ‘Maff’ is one of the most consistent entertainers in the class and I’d be surprised if he’s not out to try and kill another Ford Escort.

Cruncher’s Crew have the capacity to fare strongly in both the race and entertainer points (Jimbo’s Race Photos)

SBS boast a strong looking line up. The Caged! Rookie Banger Team of the Year are more known for their exploits on the rookie scene at Skegness, but 20 Josh Machlin proved he can mix in the Nationals too with his display at the Civil War. In fact, youngsters 444 Harvey Law and 920 Kaelan Blakeman certainly proved their worth on that day too, and will be ones to watch not just today, but over the course of the year too. 888 Lloyd Stark adds a bit of experience to a young team, but collectively all could come together to win the titles.

Team Sharpe Boyz could through a wildcard into the mix. You’d expect them to be looking at their crashing exploits more so, but with World of Shale Champion 828 Jordan Sharpe heading the team, it could go either way. With 257 Ben Waddingham and 830 Jay Sharpe in the team, they could also be strong contenders for the entertainers.

That’s right, it’s not just the race points that the teams will be going for. Blue & Black are back to defend their titles, and we shall look at some teams that have the opportunity to emerge and put their claim to the titles. 

As mentioned, last year’s entertainer winners Blue & Black are booked in with 551 Brett Jackson, 550 Phil Jackson and 702 Jordan Eagle set to compete. The trio are no strangers to getting stuck in and will likely be gunning to get stuck in to the action and retain those titles.

550 Phil Jackson likes to get stuck in – expect Blue & Black to go for the Entertainers League once again (Jimbo’s Race Photos)

The Wild Boyz have three teams booked in. Should they use their heads wisely, there is no reason why they couldn’t go for the race points, but it’s likely that most of the team’s focus will be on the crashing front. The likes of 197 Glen Woodward, 190 Ben Germany, 205 Mac Bull, 249 Mitchell Bailey and Silver Boys guests 118 Kane Shaw and 199 Shaydy Gough will all be looking to get themselves involved on the entertainment front. The team were one of the standouts of last year, with performances here at meetings such as the 1500 East Anglian Team meeting highlighting just how good they can be when they work together. That night saw them cross paths with Blue & Black, who are spread across several teams today, so it will be intriguing to see if that kicks off once again.

Wild Boyz are never one’s to shy away from a crash (Jimbo’s Race Photos)

The Scrapyard Screamers are always great value for money. Brothers 24 Jaiden and 50 Aiden Gamble are fresh off a strong showing in the Light Brigade at the Civil War, and will be itching to get into the action straight away. 132 Archie Cullum is always great value for money too.

Keep an eye on the Scrapyard Screamers (Jimbo’s Race Photos)

The likes of Back Door Benders, CrashZone, Screw Loose and TPG will be ones to watch when it comes to the crashing front. Other individual drivers to look out for include 265 Karl Gant, 460 Luke Tongue, 68 Kyle Gill, 93 Lewis Godfrey, 83 David Loakes and 182 Ryan Knight, who will surely earn valuable points in the entertainer standings for their respective teams.

540 Samuel Hayward and 709 Ben Kaleta will be making their national banger debuts here this afternoon, with both sporting the more affectionate nickname of ‘Chunk’. 540 Hayward has become a more frequent face on the East Anglian Back to Basics scene, and takes the plunge into the deep end with a hard-hitting meeting which is unlikely to put him off. 709 Kaleta rose through the ranks in the Junior Bangers before graduating in September, where he has since done a handful of meetings at Skegness in the Rookie Bangers. I spoke with Ben a couple of weeks ago about today, and he is looking forward to getting into it.

We hope the day is a hard-hitting spectacle, and fingers crossed the drivers put on a great display for all.

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