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Unlimited World of Shale – Kings Lynn – 16/9/23 – Meeting Preview

The biggest banger race of the year on shale takes place this Saturday, with the Unlimited World of Shale rolling into the Adrian Flux Arena.

The best of the best will do battle for the prestigious three gold stripes. 828 Jordan Sharpe defends that honour this evening after a superb drive 12 months ago. Sharpey has been on fantastic form since then setting the Trackstar Entertainers League alight with top displays all season. His goal is to win that title this year, but will still have his sights set on reclaiming the World of Shale also. There is a bumper field set for action with plenty of drivers wanting to get their name on the trophy. 459 Blake Platts has had a brilliant 2023. He romped to the win of the Qualifying Points and will be a strong favourite to take his first major championship. 178 Kieran Bowman raced to his biggest win in front a packed home crowd when he lifted the 2L Shale World Final in July, and would be a strong candidate to do the double. 589 Simon Smith looks set to take the Trackstar National Points and has really been the man to beat this season, which is evident through his 330 point margin at the top of the table. Simon will be keen to secure the World of Shale title to add the icing to the cake. A surprise package this year has been 555 Harry Gelsthorp. Not only does he put in some top crashing performances, ‘Dirty Harry’ has been a consistent finisher among the points and has proved he can mix it at the top end. The array of talent that has qualified through the World of Shale race points boasts potential winners galore. 570 ‘Dino Jnr’ Jordan Cumming is an ex-2L Shale World Champion and current Trackstar Points Champion 830 Lee ‘Stretch’ White is another that’s no stranger to winner races here. Throw in 155 Sam Coote, 374 Sam Markham, 299 Tommy Callaghan, 549 Phil Smith and 673 Darren Fendley among others; that’s a serious crop of drivers.

A couple of ‘Wildcard’ winners that could really be a threat are 455 Ricki Finney and 267 Martin French. Ricki took his Wildcard with his Silver Boys winning the War of the Worlds team event earlier in the year. Ricki has been well among the positions all year and was runner up in this race last year; he will certainly be looking to go one better. ‘Frenchy’ is a driver that really does go under the radar for many, but he proved at the Life of Riley weekend that he can more than pedal a car around Kings Lynn taking the win in Heat 4 as well as the race entertainer and he will be one to keep an eye on.

Looking at the visiting promotions’ seeds, current Unlimited World Champion 388 Stevo McGrath heads the billing. He was across the water just a couple weekends ago as part of the Life of Riley weekend, where he piloted a Ford Scorpio to a heat win and second in the Final. That should have provided the perfect warm up to tonight and he’ll be hoping to add another major to his quickly growing impressive CV. 114 Liam Lake was third place in that final and can be rapid on any given day. Lakey is no stranger to winning big races; an ex-Autospeed World Champion, and that experience is something that could work in his favour. 133 Terry Hill just claimed that accolade after years of knocking on the door of a big title win. He didn’t have the best of luck in his Mk2 Granada at last year’s event and will be looking to put those woes well into the past. 158 Shane Davies adds some star power to the grid. He represents Skegness tonight and played his part in the Life of Riley weekend with that stunning Cadillac Calais, but is likely going to be tooled up with something more modern tonight. Whilst the remaining visiting seeds shouldn’t cause too much of a risk to challengers, Crimond’s 230 Scott Patterson shouldn’t be overlooked. ‘Flatty’ was runner up in the 2019 staging of the event and thus knows his way around the Norfolk shaleway.

There are several last chance hopefuls that will be looking to make their way on to the grid. 209 Tom Waller took third place in the standings and has had a solid year on the shale. He took the Unlimited East Anglian Championship back in April and will be looking to secure another title here, however he will need to get through the last chance first. 123 Kieran Gray was a heat winner across the Nutty Nige Testimonial weekend and has been on the podium in a big race here before, taking third in the 2L Shale World Final last year. He can be very quick on his day and will be looking to get his way onto the back of the grid. 577 Alfie Lee is a driver that has quietly gone about his business this year and grafted to some great results over at Spedeworth, including winning the Unlimited Southern Championship at Arlington. ‘Fonzo’ has been on top form on his visits here also, winning a last chance at the 2L Shale World Final before ending up fifth place in the main race and was piloting his Chrysler 300c around a fortnight ago, so he’ll be looking to continue that run of form. 450 Glyn Platts made a return to action at the recent Skegness Unlimited Old School session where he took a heat and final double and will be a strong contender to make it through the last chance. 634 Ben Green has had a standout season on the BWS scene and is another who will be near the business end, as will veteran racers 85 James Ellis, 129 Jono Brook, 150 Andrew Parrin, 390 David Gibson and 714 Paul Smaldon. 195 Reece Marsh will relish his white top starting point as he can be very quick when he puts his mind to it. The likes of 224 Lewis Canham, 312 Brad White, 400 Lee Kingsnorth, 466 Dalton Steele, 800 Jacob Rushton and 823 Jamie Murrell are a crop of young talent to keep an eye out for.

Although the next crop of drivers are more renowned for their crashing exploits, they still have the ability to win races. The likes of 51 James Licquorice, 129 Joe Skutela and 214 Connor Osborn have all visited victory lane this year, but if their opportunity arises to get stuck in, they’ll take it. 623 ‘Tricky’ Ricky Hutton and 100 ‘Cock’ Callum White exchanged blows at the recent Aldershot WQR and it will be interesting to see if that spills across to tonight. The support  races will likely kick off once all the seriousness is over and done with and I’m sure the stage is set for a top night of action, with the Junior Bangers also on the bill; the stars of the future will relish the opportunity to shine in front of a big crowd.

701 Riley Marsh heads the points and really is the one to beat at the moment. 10 Harry Andrews, 85 Jade Ellis, 455 Lexi Finney, 556 Lincoln Douglas and 750 Rhys Parrin are all standout drivers too, but it was 39 Lewis Baldry’s night last time taking a heat and final brace. 270 Shane-Lee Murkin and 515 Raegan Flatters were heat winners last time out, whilst 669 William Cartwright and 478 Morgan Bailey put in strong performances also.

It will be a fantastic night here at the Adrian Flux Arena once again, and we wish all competitors the best of luck. Who will be crowned the World of Shale Champion; time will tell!

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