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Kings Lynn – Saturday 11th March – Meeting Preview

Trackstar officially kick off the 2023 season with a tasty treat of Unlimited Bangers, 2L Bangers and Junior Bangers in a banger banquet after a meaty couple of Icebreaker sessions.

Action is the attraction at Kings Lynn (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

The Unlimited Bangers headline the event for a World of Shale qualifying round, with drivers on the hunt for those valuable race and entertainer points – the top 15 Trackstar registered drivers from both charts will find themselves on the grid for the main race on September 16th. 828 Jordan Sharpe won that event last year, and has since displayed the twin gold stripes with pride. ‘Sharpey’ has had a strong start to the year with very lively appearances at both Icebreaker events, and is a sure bet to continue that form today. We are yet to have seen Trackstar National Points Champion 830 Lee White out on track here this year, but that is set to change tonight as he is on double duties, and will be looking to make a strong case to defending the silver roof tonight.
Currently leading the Unlimited World of Shale race points is 459 Blake Platts. He ended the season strongly taking the 25 & Under Championship of GB back in October, and then helped guide his Silver Boys team to the Unlimited Icebreaker titles in January. Blake has a narrow lead over 350 Liam Webster, who is another driver that ended last season strongly, taking the King of the Fens title in October and has certainly impressed since taking the step up from Rookie Bangers. Blake’s teammates have also had top displays of recent – 455 Ricki Finney took a second place in the Alcomers at the Nutcracker event, before winning the meeting final and DD at the Icebreaker, whilst 374 Sam Markham came runner-up to Blake in that title, and has gone on to get a heat win at both the Nutcracker and Icebreaker since. 549 Phil Smith sits third in the points standings, and will be one to keep an eye on as he is always quick here at Kings Lynn and showcased that with a brace of victories at the Icebreaker. It was 673 Darren Fendley that lifted the Nutcracker title, and he was the man to be in the Unlimited Bangers here last season, taking the most race victories of any driver on the Norfolk shale. He has already opened his campaign with a win, and will be looking for more of the same tonight. 299 Tommy Callaghan was the man that secured the Unlimited WoS Qualifying Points title last season, and proved that to be no fluke, following Fendley home for a second place in the Nutcracker; don’t rule him out this evening. 229 Harry Cobb looks to be a driver breaking through the ranks this year. He was on top form at the last event of 2022, the Micro Banger teams meeting in December, and then followed that up with a victory at the Icebreaker. Harry will certainly be one to pay attention to throughout the course of the year.

459 Blake Platts leads the way in the Unlimited WoS QF (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

As mentioned, it’s not just the race points where driver’s can book their spot on September’s grid, with entertainer points up for grabs also. 51 James Licquorice is always reliable for a crash, and currently heads the entertainer points in the Unlimited Bangers. He’ll more than likely be out in a Jaguar S Type, putting it to good use with his trademark duck mascot mounted on his roof. Three things guaranteed with James are a well presented car, some top crashing, and some silly facial expressions. Gladiators pairing 214 Connor Osborne and 107 Taylor Pratchett are in hot pursuit. Connor is booked in tonight and will no doubt be looking to get involved in the action wherever he can. 129 Joe Skutela is also high among the points and is never shy of putting the bumper in, so expect the Predators man to be at the forefront of the action. 178 Kieran Bowman, 555 Harry Gelsthorp and 100 Callum White will all be looking to make an impact to work their way up the pecking order.

51 James Licquorice heads the Unlimited Entertainer Points (Lee Lee’s Race Pics)

The 2L Bangers also feature in a World Qualifying session for their major race which is set to take place on 29th July. Much like their Unlimited bretherins, the 2 Litres have adopted the same qualifying format for this season which should no doubt provide the goods. They have had a slight hiatus, with the last outing for them coming back in October where 317 Bradley Cushion was the final winner, and it is he that has the lead in the race points at this stage. Hot on his heels is 69 Brad Bartram. Brado had a superb season last year, really cementing his name on to the scene, which saw him take the Driver of the Year accolade at the Trackstar Awards after finishing second in the National Points and fourth in the Entertainers League. He’ll be looking for some top results tonight to keep the pressure on. 128 Andrew Shipp was a heat winner last time out which has aided him in sitting third place in the standings. He will certainly relish his yellow grade starting position, as he has proved he is capable of winning races from further down the grid and will be one to watch tonight. 2L Shale World Champion 57 Max Stott always goes well, and will looking to string together some strong results from the back of the field. The bookings boast some of the biggest names in 2L Bangers, with the likes of 2L World Champion 570 ‘Dino Jnr’ Jordan Cummings, 552 Karl ‘Blacknuts’ Douglas, 337 Ashley Garrod and 116 Nat Cohn booked in. Rawlins brothers 214 Shane and 314 Luke are too very talented drivers that are improving every time out on track – Luke was a heat winner on October 15th.

317 Bradley Cushion has the early lead in the 2L WQ Points (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

69 Brado leads the entertainer standings, and was a DD winner last time out. The usual suspects of 178 Slim and 51 Licquorice round off the top three, and you can expect all three drivers to be at the business end of the crashing. The bookings see plenty of renowned entertainers booked in, with strong numbers of Scrapyard Screamers, Gladiators, Outsiders, Gravediggers, TYB and the like booked in, it’s inevitable that the 2 Litres will be action packed.

69 Brad Bartram and 178 Kieran Bowman currently set the early running in the 2L Entertainer Points (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

The youngsters in the Junior Bangers are back to start their 2023 points campaign. Last year’s battle went down to the wire in what was a superb scrap between 291 Liam Waterfall, 609 Levi Murkin, 10 Harry Andrews and 701 Riley Marsh. It was Waterfall that took the honours, and he couldn’t ask for much better of a meeting for his first time with the silver roof, finishing in the top 10 off the back in every race in January, with 8th place his lowest finish. 23 George Childs, 707 Alfie Nottingham and 869 Jamie Steele were all heat winners at that meeting, with the latter two being impressive all afternoon. They certainly left a strong impression and look the ones to beat going forward. It was a white grade dominance in the final with 78 Lee Macey Jnr winning from 669 William Cartwright and 420 Curtis Murkin, which should hopefully act as a confidence boost for all three to continue their momentum.

291 Liam Waterfall enjoyed a strong set of results with his first meeting off of the back of the grid as he displayed the silver roof for the first time back in January (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

Race fans are definitely in for a treat tonight, where action is certainly the attraction!

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