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World of Shale 2022 – Meeting Preview

The Bangers return to the Adrian Flux Arena after a top day of fun action and entertainment at the Crash for Cancer meeting on bank holiday Monday. The fun switches to a more serious approach tonight, however, as the biggest race for bangers on shale, the World of Shale takes centre stage, with an impressive 150 drivers booked in to compete. Expect Trackstar to put on a top show once again, as we look forward to see who lifts the trophy this year.

299 Tommy Callaghan claimed the World of Shale qualifying points (Unknown)

617 Jack Overy will be the man to beat. The defending champion has had a chokehold on the event. The Team Black veteran first won the title in 2001, and he had to wait until 2020 before doing the honour again; winning back to back. Can he make it a hattrick? It would certainly be difficult to look past him. Jack has become a bit of a specialist here in recent years lifting East Anglian Championship back to back in the same years, as well as the Nutcracker title at the tail end of last year. With 5 Predators drivers and 2 Bears being seeded directly into the main race, he will have to be on the top of his game. 

Can 617 Jack Overy make it three years on the trot as World of Shale champion

One driver to keep an eye on is 299 Tommy Callaghan. The man from South Yorkshire has had a standout season which has seen him take the World of Shale Qualifying Points, which is no mean feat given the level of competition here at the Norfolk shaleway. 209 Tom Waller has also had good form here this year, at what is now his local, taking the final win on March 12th. Spedeworth World Champion 217 Sid Madgwick is set to feature, and he’s used to winning big races here. 639 Tye Williams has been one of the standout drivers this year. He has already taken the Supreme Championship at Mildenhall this year, a track where he also claimed the RWD Series Points, and will be looking to guide his Toyota Supra to the top spot on the podium again this evening. Potentially a surprise package, but one not to be ruled out, is 334 Stephen Court, who lifted the East Anglian Championship at the Easter meeting. 267 Martin French was also in particularly good form that night, where 307 Martin Kent was also victorious in the White & Yellow Championship – Frenchy will have to come through the last chance races to get on the grid though.

639 Tye Williams has been one of the years’ top performers, already claiming a couple of titles (Jimbo’s Race Photos)

123 Kieran Gray will look to keep his recent momentum going. ‘Kezza’ took third place in the 2L Shale World Final here back at the end of July, before winning the Banger World Series Wildcard Final at Yarmouth in August, and he’ll certainly mount a challenge should he be at the top of his game; he does however, have to fight his way through the last chance races. 830 Lee White will be looking to reclaim a gold roof after losing his in July. He currently heads the Trackstar National Points and has been very consistent all year. Another driver that echoes the consistency is 673 Darren Fendley. He’s won six races in seven meetings, with the best average points of the Trackstar qualifiers, and he is more than experienced enough to be among the front runners come the end of the race. 459 Blake Platts took a surprise victory at the Mildenhall BWS round, and will hope he can go under the radar once again tonight. 

123 Kieran Gray has had some top results of recent with a third in the 2L Shale World Final, which he followed with a BWS Wildcard Final win at Yarmouth (TC Race Photos)

Among the visiting seeds is 114 ‘Lakey’ Liam Lake; a very popular driver indeed. He has previously had a taste of gold, winning the Autospeed World in 2021, but hasn’t been a regular guest at the Adrian Flux Arena so form isn’t something we can go on. Plenty would be happy to see him win though! 247 Lee Clarke is a precocious two time winner of the three gold stripes, can he make it a third tonight? He has no rivals in the main race, and can certainly pedal his way around the shaleway. 570 Jordan Cumming is the current 2L World Champion which he won at Northampton in May. He will be looking to add a major Unlimited title to that, and he has won big races around this oval previously. ‘Dino Jnr’ shall be hoping his race goes as well as things in his personal life, having just got engaged last Saturday to partner Chelsea. Congratulations to them! 388 Stevo McGrath has had another strong year, can he cap it off with a win tonight? 230 Scott Paterson nearly shocked the whole scene back in 2019 when he took second place in the event on very little shale experience. He is back tonight and will be looking to go one better and take the title North of the border for the first time in the title’s history – it’s come close with 474 Matty Threkeld taking the win back to Cumbria, but Aberdeenshire is some trek!

114 Liam Lake will be looking to reclaim a gold roof again tonight (AC Photos)

Probably the driver that would be the most popular winner here tonight is 178 Kieran Bowman. ‘Slim’ puts the star in Trackstar. He and the Predators team have helped raise the promotions quality over the past few seasons both on and off track, and Slim has found himself as a fan favourite at his local promotion. He has just secured the BWS Entertainers League, and currently heads the Trackstar variant too, but he isn’t just a crasher and could string together his biggest victory today as long as he stays away from the black cars. 

178 Kieran Bowman would be a very popular winner (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

Looking towards the other scale of bangers; the entertainment factor and there are several candidates among the bookings that are typically reliable when it comes to spicing it up out on the shale. The World of Shale race itself features drivers that have claimed ‘entertainers wildcards.’ 121 Leo Riley impressed on his debut in ‘adult’ bangers here at Maai’s Testimonial meeting in July, and followed that up with a strong showing at Arlington’s Bears Bash. Leo will once again be looking to make a top impression alongside teammate 321 Kieron Fry who also had good night’s at the aforementioned meetings. Brothers 211 Jamie and 281 Aaron Pole have been among the most consistent entertainers over the past few years. The Barton Boys have really made a name for themselves, and tends to take on Alcomers, so anyone could be a target tonight. 747 Bradley Dee was another recipient of an entertainer Wildcard at the very lively Maai Testimonial meeting, and you can expect to see him feature once again. 224 James Burrows is usually somewhere in the mix also. 

121 Leo Riley made quite the debut at the Maai Testimonial (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

23 Sonny Parsons was the main man of the Crash for Cancer meeting, taking four entertainer awards on the day as well as the Van Banger Final. He’ll be joined by running mates 100 Callum White and 101 Cieran Harmer who will be looking to settle some scores out on track. 

23 Sonny Parsons was the star of the show at the Crash for Cancer meeting (LeeLee’s Race Pics)

Another top entertainer on the Trackstar scene is 51 James Licquorice. The last time out in Unlimiteds was the War of the Worlds event, which saw James get thoroughly involved in the action. He was also among the day’s top performers at the Crash for Cancer meeting which appeared to spark his enthusiasm once again, and hopefully he is on good form again tonight. 107 Taylor Pratchett has had a strong season which sees him second in the entertainer points, and he’ll likely be making a nuisance of himself to try and make movements towards Slim at the top of the table.

51 James Licquorice always with a smile on his face, and he puts smiles on a lot of young race fans faces too (TC Race Photos)

The talent on display tonight really is top level, and it will be difficult to try and pinpoint any individual to come through the last chance race on the night, but we shall take a look at some potential contenders. 148 Ian Redden is a previous World of Shale winner, and can still pilot an Unlimited as proved at last year’s World Final at Ipswich. 327 Micky Maskell Jnr raced to his biggest win of his career taking the 2019 Unlimited World, and has continued to cement his name among the sports’ elite since. 548 Alex Utting is an ex-English Champion, and has good form on the shale here too, he’ll be looking to qualify to get alongside running-mate 247 ‘Bro.’ 252 Gareth Griffiths and 232 Justin Pollard are race winners here already this season, so could do it once again tonight. They are joined by the likes of 67 Rickie Beasley, 362 Johnny James, 317 Callum and 817 Kurt Jacobs, 188 John Reeves, 224 Lewis Canham, 390 David Gibson and 751 Lawrence Wells, among others, who could all mount a challenge.

252 ’Blobby’ Gareth Griffiths was a race winner at the Unlimited Icebreaker (AC Photos)

622 Harvey Webb makes his debut Unlimited Banger appearance tonight having graduated from the Junior class where he was one of the top drivers here at Kings Lynn. It will be great to see how he performs tonight.

What a treat for all race fans tonight, and if you’re a casual spectator, welcome to banger racing. Tonight should hopefully showcase some of the best of the best. It’s immensely difficult to fathom who will come out on top, will we see 617 Jack Overy successfully defend his crown, or will there be a new champion? Time will tell.

The Predators are usually well involved in the action (PF Racing Media)

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