Back to Basics 100 Car Challenge – 07/07/2018 – Ipswich – Spedeweekend 2018
For the 2018 running of Ipswich Spedeweekend, the format for the Bangers saw the debut of Back to Basics. After their introduction to the Banger scene a couple of years ago – they have gone from strength to strength, providing some great entertainment around the Spedeworth tracks – specifically at Aldershot, Eastbourne and Great Yarmouth where they seem to be doing very well for themselves, often outshining their bigger brothers in the National Bangers. It’s been such a success that other tracks have dipped their toe into the water, most notably Autospeed at the Smeatharpe Stadium, Taunton where they were a success. However, not all tracks have had the same rate of success. At Arena Essex earlier in the season, just two Back to Basic Bangers turned up leaving the promotion no choice but to cancel the remaining fixtures for the rest of the season.
Obviously, all those tracks are quite small and technical and suit the style of racing Back to Basic brings. To try and fill the massive Foxhall Heath Raceway, the challenge was set to try and raise 100 cars – unfortunately, it fell just shy of that with around seventy cars turning up to a beautifully sunny and hot East Anglia. But with Ipswich not having as many Back to Basic meetings, it hasn’t really had the chance to develop the driver base like some of the other tracks. Despite this, the drivers that did turn up put on a fantastic show in front of a massive Spedeweekend crowd.
The format saw two heat races, a Final and a DD to finish off the day’s Banger action – with all events being open to all available cars. Race one of the day raised roughly seventy cars and saw cars being spun and pushed all over the place in a frantic first few laps. That included 771 Rob Farley spinning out 283 Louise Strudwick on turn’s three and four. A big scuffle on the home straight caused a high-speed spin onto the shale for 876 Ronnie Hammond with other cars darting out the way in dramatic fashion. 508 Harry Hunt gently tapped the turn three armco head on after getting pushed into the bend by a pack of cars. 188 ‘Porky’ Marc Grey was attacked on turn’s three and four by 982 Steven Turner, as 354 Josh Vowden pushed 546 Tony Leonard into the turn three and four armco before attempting to do the same to 13 Nigel Burcham just as the red flags came out.
Race Winner: 818 Thomas Tilley
The second heat saw a similar field of cars out and began with 522 ‘Weevil’ Tim James attacking 897 Gary Byrne and 13 Nigel Burcham. Heat one winner 818 Thomas Tilley caught 284 James Head on the entry to turn three and rolled on his side with 82 Reiss Caroll also getting involved leaving the front bonnet folded up. 522 ‘Weevil’ was also pushed into the stranded James Head car caving in the passenger side of his Ford Fiesta with 982 Steven Turner then clipping Tim James car too. The red flags subsequently came out to recover Thomas Tilley.
The restart saw 595 Drew Burdett get spun into the armco on the entry to turn three. 876 Ronnie Hammond clipped the front end of 246 Neil Reader – again on the entry to turn three sending Ronnie into a massive roll over going top over end almost landing on the Drew Burdett car. This brought out the red flags for a second time, but thankfully Ronnie Hammond got out of the car under his own steam, only looking a little bit shaken by the incident.
The second restart saw 354 Josh Vowden attack 760 Joey Reynolds on turn’s three and four with the two stopping in the middle of turn four leaving Vowden vulnerable to a jacking from 77 Samuel Owen. Vowden’s Triple C Racing teammate Lee Kingsnorth then jacked the Astra estate of Samuel Owen leaving it a bit shorter than it stated the meeting.
Race Winner: 591 Aaron Morris
Due to the second heat’s massive destruction, a smaller field of around fifty cars started the race. 385 Craig Thurlow was jacked on the exit of turn four by 411 Reece Legrice. He was then jacked by 85 Nathan Thurlow. The rest of the race was mainly spins and probably the quietest part of the day for the Bangers. It seemed the earlier action had taken its toll on the field.
Race Winner: 894 Mark Almeida
The destruction derby raised around fifteen cars and began with 760 Joey Reynolds following in 85 Nathan Thurlow on turn’s three and four. Meanwhile, 385 Craig Thurlow was spinning the 284 Fiesta of James Head on the exit of turn four. 385 Thurlow was then spun himself by 411 Reece Legrice on turn two. 28 Craig Cooper went in on a slow Nathan Thurlow on the entry to turn one. 380 ‘Leeful’ Lee Hopkins then t-boned Cooper on opposite on the exit of turn four, only for Cooper to retaliate and do the same thing on the shale. Craig Thurlow was then jacked by 621 Gareth Parker on turn three. 385 Thurlow then turned it around to give 621 Parker a head on. Parker was then jacked by 141 Jake Stewart before meeting Joey Reynolds slowly on the nose. 447 Nyall Hardingham then pushed 141 Stewart into the de-mobilised Parker car to win the DD.
DD Winner: 447 Nyall Hardingham
In summary, the Back to Basics provided some great entertainment on a track that isn’t really best suited to them. It was great to see them at a big event where hopefully people will watch and want to have a go themselves. I think this formula will only carry on going from strength to strength, reminding people of what Banger Racing used to be…