National Unlimited Banger World Series Round 1 – 24/03/2018 – Ipswich
Normally the first round of the Banger World Series would take place at Wimbledon Stadium, but for obvious reasons, the Plough Lane venue could not host the event this or any year again. For the 2018 Series, round one was held at Ipswich’s Foxhall Stadium where just under 90 cars turned up on a thankfully dry and rather warm evening, given how the original date was snowed off just three weeks prior.
In a field mainly dominated by your normal Unlimiteds, three-time World Champion 331 ‘Boxer Jack’ Jason Jackson dared to be slightly different, turning out a beautifully prepared Jaguar, something which I must admit I was pleasantly surprised about. This was because I expected him to have the Ford Scorpio Estate that he used at the Shakedown meeting a week before, that guided him to the win in the Final and the car looked good after the meeting. ‘Boxer’ later admitted that he just fancied “something different” on Saturday. It certainly turned loads of people’s head’s when it rolled into the pits.
196 Joey Palmer, 53 Luke Needs, 45 Anthony Crowshaw and 43 Luke Maynard all turned out some nicely painted Mercedes Estate’s. Meanwhile, 664 Ryan Sutcliffe piloted a smart saloon version, as did 94 Jack Anscombe. 229 Dean Jarvis had a neatly painted Ford Scorpio Estate whilst 396 Callum Roberts turned out a neatly presented saloon. We’d also like to thank Callum for sporting ‘Caged!’ on his car.
Around half the field turned out for Heat one of the night and began with 53 Luke Needs getting turned around on the exit of turn four spinning in a full 360, getting a small hit on the rear by 548 Alex Utting. Former World Champion 27 Dale Hughes then spun 247 Lee ‘Bro’ Clarke on the home straight. In trying to catch on of the Damage Inc cars, 341 Andrew Jones spun all by himself on turn’s one and two and got met with a head on by 699 Stacey Holdsworth. 595 Jamie Ling then turned it around on turn’s three and four and got hit on the front right corner by 396 Callum Roberts as he aimed for DWO man 341 Andrew Jones. Realising this, Andrew turned it round and went into the rear of the 595 Ling car. Jones reversed out and went in again pushing the Damage Inc car further into the traffic. The DWO star then went around the right way and hit Jamie over the rear left corner.
Race Winner: 455 Ricki Finney
The second heat of the night began in similar circumstances with cars spinning and pushing each other out of the way. 232 Justin Pollard of the Bears damaged his front left suspension on the back straight leaving him vulnerable to a jack up on the entrance to turn three. 932 Rhys Reed obliged putting in a storming hit before getting jacked hard by 41 Paul Pentecost leaving the Reed Mercedes a big wreck.
Race Winner: 570 Jordan Cumming
A big field of just over seventy cars gathered for the Final which saw a big push in the midfield go in on turn’s three and four, resulting in a load of spins. 17 Kyle Overy got tangled up on turn’s one and two in the opening laps, resulting in a few cars pushing their way through creating a small pile up on the exit of turn two for a few seconds. 348 Sonny Sherwood, 114 Liam Lake and 33 Gary Madgwick all falling victim to it. 45 Anthony Crowshaw then got met with a head on by 201 Phil Milner right on the start/finish line only for Milner to receive a massive shot from 278 Sean Brokenshire. This brought out the red flags. On the restart, 583 Dan Weeks was spun out on turn’s three and four leaving race leader 570 Jordan Cumming with no where to go other than into the Weeks car, meeting it on the nose. Cumming was then hit over the rear left corner by 673 Darren Fendley. DWO man 341 Andrew Jones then followed in the Bear, 43 Luke Maynard over on turn’s three and four with 114 Liam Lake also pilling in on the Maynard Mercedes Estate, pushing the demobilised Dan Weeks car into the traffic making it hit the left-hand side of the 169 car of James Rushton. Luke Maynard then tried to get onto the shale but was pounced on by 341 Andrew Jones and hit over the right rear wheel. Luke was then hit over the rear left by 122 Mark Cooper Jnr who could do very little to avoid him. Luke was then hit over the rear right wheel again, this time by 617 Jack Overy. 331 ‘Boxer Jack’ Jason Jackson was the last to deliver a shot to Luke Maynard, this time on the rear left corner. The red flags were subsequently brought out to check on Luke’s well fare with his Mercedes Estate left in a big mess.
Race Winner and through to the 2018 World Final: 673 Darren Fendley who said, “I don’t think I’ve ever finished an Unlimited (race) around Ipswich before this!”
The showdown saw roughly forty cars return to the track. 416 Josh Spokes of The Bears turned it around on turn two and took out 196 Joey Palmer with a hit over the rear left wheel. Spokes was then clipped over the rear right wheel and got met with a head on by 114 Liam Lake. Wildcard winner 673 Darren Fendley then clipped the Palmer car and the Liam Lake car briefly lifting up the rear end, only to be spun out by 72 Billy Bond. 341 Andrew Jones was then followed in by 221 Justin Riley of The Bears.
Race Winner: 699 Stacey Holdsworth
All in all, it was a good night of racing with some great crashing and plenty of fast, close racing and with some very nice cars on show too. Well done to all drivers who raced, but a special well done to 673 Darren Fendley on winning the Wildcard. Can he go on to win the ‘big one’ at Ipswich in October?
Round two of the 2018 Banger World Series takes place at the Northampton International Raceway this Monday with a 1:30pm start time.