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PRI/ORCi National Banger World Championship 2020 – 13/09/2020 – Mendips Raceway

The 50th annual ORCi PRI National Banger Championship of the World once again took place at the Mendips Raceway on Sunday 13th September.

It was a fantastic effort from the promoter to even stage the meeting after the Coronavirus pandemic brought a Nationwide halt to proceedings between March and late-July.
The booking list reflected everyone’s hard work with 120 cars entered. A few drivers booking-out late and a couple of no-shows meant around 100 cars made the journey South-West – still the best entry the meeting has seen in a fair few years.

As has become the norm, it was a Ford Mondeo dominated entry with a few drivers piloting Ford Focus’s and a couple of Ford Cougar’s and MK5 Vauxhall Astra’s to add a bit of diversity to the grid. 262 ‘Roona’ Rob Bugler also racing a fresh Vauxhall Insignia Estate – the second ever to be raced. 
Probably turning the most heads however, was 720 Kenny-Joe Gabriel, who turned out a beautifully prepared MK3 Ford Mondeo Limousine, gifting him the best prepared car award for the second year running after he turned out a gorgeous MK1 Ford Mondeo Saloon in 2019.

With such a fantastic booking list, three last chance qualifiers were ordered with the top four from each booking their spots on the World Final grid, along with the 28 seeds giving us a 40-car Championship of the World Final.

LCQ 1:
The first last chance qualifier of the afternoon saw a big push going into turn three with 93 Dylan Goodman getting turned fence wards by 799 Tom Pearce. 720 Leon Bates and 209 Scott Wagstaff were also caught up as well as 2017 World Champion, 74 ‘Scratchy’ Adam Hitchcock, 157 Dominic Hall and 01 Gary Moule. Everyone apart from ‘Scratchy’ managed to get going again with 83 Ben Styles lunging 122 Mark Cooper Jnr into the stranded car ‘Scratchy’ on turn three, with the impact pushing him around to turn four.
Styles and Cooper Jnr managed to carry on with little damage picked up for either driver.
190 Steve Bailey ‘Pikey’ was the next to lunge at 122 Cooper Jnr going into turn three, with the DWO star going on two wheels momentarily on impact. Looking for revenge, Cooper Jnr turned it around and met 83 Styles with a head-on on turn four. 01 Moule then piled in on Styles with a great shot as 93 Goodman was jacked on the back straight by 160 Jamie Warr. Race leader 264 Shane Jennings wasn’t afraid to put the bumper in or hold back despite his sizeable lead as he went in on 160 Warr as well. As Goodman was spun, he was hit over the rear left wheel by 595 Ben Wall. Meanwhile, Jennings was pushing Warr around turns three and four, going head-on into the armco on the exit of the bend forcing him into retirement and forcing the race wide-open. 190 ‘Pikey’ then picked up 160 Warr and punted him into the turn three armco leaving him vulnerable to a jacking from 595 Wall. As he re-joined through, he was jacked by 01 Moule who was then met on the nose by Gladiator 669 Cal Curtis. 961 Brad Deeprose jacked Moule who was then jacked by 313 Callum Harris as 190 ‘Pikey’ also went in, forcing his way through the turn four wreckage. It would be 190 ‘Pikey’ though who would hang on to secure the first race win of the afternoon and book his spot on the World Final grid.
Race winner: 190 Steve Bailey ‘Pikey’

LCQ 2:
The second last chance qualifier of the afternoon saw 208 PJ Collins spin 838 Jamie Peters on turn one with 414 Jimmy Craig clipping the front left wheel of Peters Ford Mondeo. Meanwhile, 107 Michael Seex pushed out 732 Archie Cullum going into turn three to take the race lead as 208 Collins pushed 150 Ben Elliott into a stranded car on the exit of turn two before he pushed 186 Billy Slaymaker into the turn three armco. 132 Chris Cullum t-boned 929 Sam Baker on turns three and four before 448 Alfie Critt went in on the Scrapyard Screamer. 107 Michael Seex took the race win in a much quieter heat race than the first.
Race winner: 107 Michael Seex

LCQ 3:
The third and final last chance qualifier saw 962 Josh Pidgley come under attack from 727 Keiron Ritson and 02 Ash Reynolds on turn two as 624 Liam Hide was spun on turn three before getting a head-on delivered to him by 962 Pidgley. 788 then jacked the SP Transport & Recycling sponsored Ford Focus on turn three with the latter catching fire, bringing out the red flags. The restart saw 176 Ben King push 367 Keep into the 788 MK5 Vauxhall Astra as 02 Reynolds followed in 727 Ritson. Thankfully though, all managed to get going again. 457 Nathaniel Wheeler then pushed 727 Ritson into 176 King as the trio went crashing into the armco on turns one and two, subsequently also dragging 161 Charlie Hutson into the mix.
526 Jak Denikiewicz survived a late engine issue to take the race win, all while being chased down by 376 Steve Hill. Unfortunately, that issue kept 526 ‘Jak D’ out of the World Final race.
Race winner: 526 Jak Denikiewicz

50th ORCi PRI National Banger Championship of the World:
There was heartbreak even before the green flag flew of the 2020 ORCi PRI National Banger World Final, as Trackstar representative 178 Kieran Bowman pulled off onto the centre green on the rolling lap.
It was such a shame for the Predator who turned out a beautifully prepared Ford Mondeo Estate for the occasion. Hopefully, he visits the track again soon and has more luck!
Anyway, once the green flag finally dropped, there was another big push from the mid-pack going into turn three which included local hopes 333 Charlie Randell and Mendips Wildcard winner 92 Liam Bartlett. Randell retired from the race after his heavy brush with the armco on turn three as the number 2 car of Jack Hodges was jacked on the back straight by 741 Alex Waterman – getting revenge for an earlier scuffle in the opening exchanges of the race. With Hodges seeming to have suffered a slight knock to his ankle, the red flags were brought out after a fast and frenetic start. On the resumption, Gladiator star 201 ‘Turkish’ Phil Milner attacked Spedeworth representative 400 Lee Kingsnorth on the exit of turn four with 376 Hill also getting caught up in the shenanigans as 592 Mark Marchant went up on two wheels before getting spun out of contention by his TMT teammate 313 Harris just by the start-finish line. 743 Jake Bond was then pitted into the front of 400 Kingsnorth’s car who was then t-boned by 107 Seex when the momentum pushed him into his path. The melee also brought an end to defending World Champion, 337 Ashley Garrod’s defence.
743 Bond was battling away with 114 ‘Lakey’ Liam Lake as he went head-to-head with 201 ‘Turkish’ before he met 92 Bartlett on the nose. 720 Gabriel went steaming in on Bartlett’s Focus which blocked the pathway through leaving nowhere to go for 742 Morgan Galley and Barton Boy 211 Jamie Pole.
Race leader 542 Craig Oliver tried to navigate his way around the outside but was met by his Gladiator teammate ‘Turkish.’ 313 Harris went in on Gabriel’s Limo with 743 Bond also pilling in as 440 ‘Big-Mac’ Macauley Mills tried to fight his way through on a narrow inside line.
He got through, but the next time around, the track was completely blocked as 99 Shaydy Gough went on the offensive, jacking 799 Pearce in the process. 299 Dale Locker and 107 Seex tried desperately to push 440 ‘Big-Mac’ through but it was to no avail as 542 Oliver punted 743 Bond into the turn three armco, eager to make up for the time he lost in the pile-up earlier on. 400 Kingsnorth had got going again but was once again stopped, this time by 623 ‘Tricky’ Ricky Hutton on opposite with 107 Seex also joining in. He was then jacked by 211 Pole with a roof-bending shot.
400 Kingsnorth then turned it around to dish out a revenge shot to 623 ‘Tricky’ as race leader ‘Big-Mac’ tried to find a route through the turn four wreckage yet again, this time jacking 299 Locker. 741 Charlie Daniels was making quiet progress through the field and met 400 Kingsnorth on the nose before also giving a little bump to ‘Big-Mac.’ The race was red flagged yet again with 741 Daniels jacking 341 Andrew ‘Jonesey’ Jones as 131 Sam Hill went in on him. ‘Jonesey’ was then hit over the rear right wheel by 440 ‘Big-Mac’ before he got stopped by 190 ‘Pikey’ on the nose. This finished off ‘Big-Mac’s title challenge as his gearbox went. 131 Hill then jacked 741 Daniels in what was becoming a race of nutrition rather than laps completed, as he was then jacked himself by 349 ‘Noddy’ Lewis Price, who was in the lead of the race. However, this broke his steering and forced him into retirement as well. 131 Hill (who was at this point under scrutiny from the race stewards for being inactive too long) met 741 Daniels with a head-on on turn four as 133 Terry Hill puled off the centre green to T-Bone Daniels as well. This cleared a pathway through for the 131 car as 133 once again pulled off onto the centre green with a lot of drivers seemingly unhappy with his actions in what was a very tense and well fought World Final race.
With 741 Daniels once again blocking the route through, 131 Hill jacked the TMT driver once again before he was stopped himself.
With no cars left running and 741 Daniels still moving in the turn four wreckage, the red and chequered flags were shown to signify the end of the first ever National Banger World Final to have finished via last car running with Daniels being crowned as the new World Champion. Due to being inactive for too long, 131 Hill was not classified in the result despite his fantastic display, meaning 349 ‘Noddy’ was second with 440 ‘Big-Mac’ in third for the second year in a row.

However, 440 ‘Big-Mac’ would appeal the decision in the week after the meeting with the ORCi stating that because no one was told the World Final would be decided via last car running, should it come down to it, the race should be awarded by who completed the most laps.  With ‘Big-Mac’ completing the most laps, he was deemed as the race winner and the 2020 ORCi PRI National Banger World Champion. 

50th ORCi PRI National Banger World Champion: 440 ‘Big-Mac’ Macauley Mills 
Second place: 349 ‘Noddy’ Lewis Price
Third place: n/a 

Alcomers 1:
The first allcomers race of the afternoon saw 720 Bates go on opposite and sideswipe 517 Scott Weldon on turn four, breaking the former’s front left steering arm. 788 also went on opposite and met 22 Ridges on the nose and 176 King also went in on him. This slowed 337 Garrod as 161 Hutson gave a head-on to Bates as 330 Ben Key and 208 Collins also went into the pile-up that was starting to form, once again on turn four. 74 ‘Scratchy’ once again rattled the turn three armco before gently going into 727 Ritson as 340 Wes Freestone went in on the nose of 720 Bates, whilst 160 Warr did what Bates couldn’t do and take out 517 Weldon. 99 Gough jacked 74 ‘Scratchy’ with an awesome shot which also got some decent airtime as 01 Moule bumped into Bates – who was seemingly taking a bit of battering. 160 Warr jacked Moule as 448 Critt subsequently jacked the 160 car. The red flags were then brought out. The restart saw 788 go on opposite once again, t-boning 799 Pearce as he was sent into a half-spin by 330 Key and 327 Syd Sherman. 99 Gough, 208 Collins and 122 Cooper Jnr were also caught up in the wreckage, as were 337 Garrod and 176 King.
961 Deeprose jacked 176 King’s Ford Cougar with a stiff shot before 122 Cooper Jnr subsequently jacked him. 799 Pearce jacked 122 Cooper Jnr before 448 Critt continued in his lively spirits by attacking him. 330 Key jacked 448 Critt with a hard and fast hit, also collecting the stranded ‘Scratchy’ car as 99 Gough went in on 122 Cooper Jnr. Cooper Jnr retaliated by going in over the rear right wheel of 799 Pearce the next time around, just before 99 Gough jacked Pearce as well.
208 Collins jacked race leader 77 Aaron Charles who managed to escape the carnage.
77 Charles then jacked 327 Sherman on turn two to win the first allcomers race of the afternoon via last car running.
Race winner: 77 Aaron Charles

Alcomers 2:
The final race of what had been a brilliant afternoon thus far started with 181 Grant Doe getting followed in by 868 Stuart Parish on turn three, with both managing to continue.
349 ‘Noddy’ was the next to feel the force of 868 Parish as 139 Thomas Dimascio was spun towards the turn three armco by 720 Gabriel. Dimascio was then hit over his rear left wheel by 201 ‘Turkish’ as 962 Pidgley followed in 252 Nemo Llewellyn. 201 ‘Turkish’ then went in on 962 Pidgley as 186 Slaymaker and 122 Cooper Jnr also joined the fray. 592 Marchant then jacked 186 Slaymaker with a hard hit with 911 Rhys Burgess-Sebourne then jacking the TMT driver too. 911 Burgess-Sebourne was then hit by 720 Gabriel as carnage ensued over on turn three with some monster shots going in!
838 Peters went steaming in as 190 ‘Pikey’ jacked 741 Daniels whilst 313 Harris jacked 838 Peters. 114 ‘Lakey’ jacked 313 Harris as 211 Pole went in on 349 ‘Noddy.’ 129 Jonathan Brook jacked 400 Kingsnorth as 262 ‘Ronna’ went in on 741 Daniels at low speed. 157 Dominic Hall came storming down the back straight before slamming on the brakes when he realised there wasn’t a suitable hit on – showing great control and awareness. He pin-balled off a few cars before 211 Pole jacked 262 ‘Roona.’
As 262 ‘Roona’ backed 211 Pole into the traffic, 160 Warr jacked the Barton Boy as 157 Hall met ‘Roona’ on the nose. With the track completely blocked, the decision was taken to red flag the race and clear some cars from the turn three pile-up, allowing some of them to join in the Destruction Derby.

Destruction Derby:
The DD started with 201 ‘Turkish’ meeting 262 ‘Roona’ on the nose which allowed 161 Hutson to pile in as 962 Pidgley collected the stranded Ford Cougar of 129 ‘Jono’ Brook. Hutson backed out of the crash which allowed 160 Warr to jack him, who was in turn jacked by 114 ‘Lakey.’ 333 Randell hit 114 ‘Lakey’ over the rear right wheel before 176 King hit ‘Lakey’ over the rear left wheel just as the red flags were brought out. The resumption saw 333 Randell meet 190 ‘Pikey’ on the nose on the exit of turn four. 742 Galley jacked 341 ‘Jonesey’ as 720 Gabriel and 93 Goodman also piled in. Scrapyard Screamer 181 Doe also went in as did 724 Jamie Alexander. 333 Randell then went on opposite again and met DWO hard-hitter 341 ‘Jonesey’ on the nose. After dealing with ‘Chaz’, 341 ‘Jonesey’ then jacked the dead car of 669 Curtis on the back straight leaving him susceptible to a hit from 93 Goodman. Continuing his one-man wrecking mission, 341 ‘Jonesey’ then t-boned 160 Warr as 724 Alexander met ‘Noddy’ on the nose with a crunching head-on. ‘Jonesey’ also went in on the Gladiator driver as 93 Goodman jacked the DWO man. 838 Peters attacked 93 Goodman with a solid shot, but that wasn’t enough to stop the Gladiator as he claimed victory in the Destruction Derby.
DD winner: 93 Dylan Goodman

The National Bangers were absolutely brilliant all day long with some beautifully prepared cars and some awesome hits and pit-work to boot; special mention to 122 Cooper Jnr who kept pulling out his Ford Mondeo all day long before putting in some brutal hits and getting well wrecked himself.

Congratulations to 440 ‘Big-Mac’ on a well-deserved World Championship victory in what has to be the most destructive World Final race in National Banger history.

Well-done to all drivers who raced and a massive thank-you for all your efforts throughout the course of the afternoon, and also in the build-up to the meeting as well.

BriSCA Formula 2 Stock Cars

The BriSCA Formula 2 Stock Cars made their second and final appearance of the season at Mendips. With Kings Lynn and Northampton being the weekend favoured by many, 21 cars made the pilgrimage South-West.
With the drivers wanting as many races as possible, the decision was taken to run a 2/3rds format with an all-in Final and Grand National.

53 Phil Mann took a convincing victory in the first heat race from yellow grade whilst 581 Daniel Fallows won heat two before 522 Chris Mikulla took his second victory of the season at Mendips with a race win in heat three.

After a fast-fought Final, it was that man again, 581 Fallows who came through to claim victory whilst Harrison Bryant took a well-deserved victory in the Grand National after a rather barren spell.
The F2s are back in action again this weekend, this time at the Smeatharpe Stadium, Taunton for what should be two excellent days of action. They have been exceptional there this season with plenty of bumper-work and close finishes.

That wraps up the F2 season for us here at Mendips though, let’s hope the 2021 season is much more fruitful and we can enjoy Europe’s finest Short Circuit open wheel formula a lot more.

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