Spedeworth Banger World Championship 2018 – 17/11/2018 – Ipswich
Just over a month after their elder brothers contested their 2018 Championship of the World, the U1600cc Bangers contested their 2018 Championship of the World on a mild and dry night at the Foxhall Heath Stadium, Ipswich.
It’s been an up and down year for the under 1600cc Bangers around Spedeworth and Incarace tracks, with some very good meetings with loads of cars and some not so good. However, just over 200 cars arrived upon Foxhall Heath to battle it out and see who will become the 2018 World Champion.
It was the 2017 World Champion 295 Ashley Wallace who dominated a gruelling and challenging World Qualifying Series, beating 385 Craig Thurlow by 214 points. Of course, some drivers also qualified via the Gold Rush Series too which follows a similar pattern to the National Banger World Series with the winner of the final getting an entry to the World Final race.
There were some beautifully presented cars in attendance to with many drivers going for the more traditional cars you see in the under 1600cc division such as Ford Focus’ and Honda Civics’. However, ‘Team Trim’ member 131 Peter Hanmer dared to be slightly different, piloting a Ford Sierra.
Before the World Final race begun, there were three Last Chance Qualifier’s for those drivers who failed to make it onto the World Final grid, with the top two from each going through onto the back of the World Final grid.
Last Chance Qualifier 1:
The first of these three last chance qualifiers saw 114 Shaun Turnage slide head on into the turn three armco. 949 Michael Smith was picked up on the back straight by 248 Jamie Blything and shoved into Turnage’s Ford Focus, caving in the passenger side of Smith’s Vauxhall Astra and bringing out the red flags. The restart was fairly tame but saw some great banger racing with every driver making contact with a car before passing it.
Race Winner: 297 Aston Leathers
2nd Place: 104 Dom Perkins
Last Chance Qualifier 2:
The second last chance qualifier started with a big push on turn four causing a few spins. 380 ‘Leeful’ Lee Hopkins was the first driver of the night to turn it around within the zones in his well-presented Nissan Serena people carrier. He t-boned 173 Harvey Stoner through the passenger doors hard on opposite. ‘Leeful’ then met 525 Nick Andrews on the nose on the exit of turn four before making contact with Cornishman 931 Jack Manhire finishing off his car. The red flags were brought out for a bit of debris on track. The restart saw some great and very fast racing on a dry but very slippery track with no real action to note.
Race Winner: 364 Bradley Lee
2nd Place: 81 Bradley Quinsee
Last Chance Qualifier 3:
The third and final last chance qualifier started with 936 Ryan Vincent following in 248 Charlie Taylor on turn three and four in a frantic start with the red flags coming out to check on a driver. The restart saw 2014 World Final winner 113 Chris Jeanes get shoved into the dead car of Taylor by 104 Paul Brown and 447 Nyall Hardingham. After this, 113 Jeanes went on one hell of a wrecking mission, first following in 577 Danny Taylor on turn’s three and four at high speed before getting hit with a head on by the start/finish line after he was spun, causing his car to go up in flames in spectacular fashion. Thankfully, the fire quickly extinguished itself, however the red flags were brought out very swiftly to attend to the car. This meant there was just two laps left at the second restart which included a small scuffle on turn’s one and two, but nothing else really major of note as everyone fought to get their spot in the 2018 World Final.
Race Winner: 76 Stuart Aldridge
2nd Place: 551 Ben Warner
2018 Bangers Championship of the World:
As usual with Banger World Finals, a grid draw occurred to help determine the grid for the 2018 Championship of the World. World Final debutant 85 Nathan Thurlow drew out pole position which he himself admitted afterwards “added to the nerves” but also commented on the “buzz” he got from lining up on the World Final grid. He shared the front row with 2015 World Champion 894 Mark Almeida. 400 Lee Kingsnorth lined up third. In 2018, Lee has concentrated more on the National Bangers, managing to qualify for their World Final to at the first time of trying. Defending Champion, 295 ‘Ash-Dash’ Ashley Wallace faced a difficult challenge picking out grid position 43 to make it a 60-car World Final.
It was a chaotic start with 85 Thurlow leading from the front in his first World Final whilst 894 Almeida and 400 Kingsnorth piled the pressure on. As you would expect with 60 cars out on track, the start was fairly chaotic with cars going all over the show. A small pile up formed on turn’s three and four which took out pre-race favourite and 2018 Champion of Champions winner 426 Mark Pope. Incarace representative 29 Jamie Locker followed in 815 Tom Castle hard on turn’s three and four with Castle’s car grinding to a halt right in the middle of the track on the exit of turn four. 246 Dylan Ward was spun on turn three as Team 3-Litre member 760 Joey Reynolds shoved Irish contender 57 Stephan Murray into his car. Also getting caught up was last chance qualifier three winner 76 Stuart Aldridge who was nailed over his rear left wheel by 794 Luke Harvey. 295 Wallace was spun into the small pile up that had formed on the outside of turn four, denting his hopes of becoming the only driver to retain the crown. Meanwhile, a pack of cars collected the stationary Castle car with some heavy hits going in. The red flags were brought out to check on Tom’s well-being with around half the race gone.
The restart saw 590 Michael Galloway turn it around on turn four and deliver a solid head on to 141 Jake Stewart who was subsequently jacked by 794 Harvey. 760 Reynolds then followed in 936 Ryan Vincent on turn three getting caught on the 57 Murray car again – who quite comically, Reynolds had un-attached himself from in the stoppage. With just a few laps to go, 98 ‘Shandy’ Niki Jarvis lunged at the race leader Almeida handing the lead to 70 Julian Beaumont. In a spectacular turn of events, Almeida managed to chase down Beaumont enough to execute a perfect last-bend lunge and take to the 2018 Bangers Championship of the World – becoming the only driver to win it twice in a fantastic World Final race.
2018 Champion of the World: 894 Mark Almeida
2nd Place: 70 Julian Beaumont
3rd Place: 400 Lee Kingsnorth
Allcomers Heat 1:
With the World Final over and done with for another year, the drivers had the chance to let their hair down with some all available car heat races. The first one saw a massive grid of around 70 cars take to the Foxhall bowl and started with a big push in the mid-pack going into turn three creating an impressive high-speed crash. The inaugural Bangers World Champion, 309 Michael Lane went into the turn three armco very hard at high speed with around ten other cars going in with him including 380 Lee Hopkins ‘Leeful’. 525 Nick Andrews jacked the 599 Nissan Primera of John Hendy Jnr. Andrews was subsequently jacked hard by Cornishman 621 Scott Kendall. The red flags came out to check on the drivers involved in that massive pile up with yet more cars getting spun into it as they came out.
The restart saw 621 Kendall follow in 599 Hendy Jnr into the dead car of 309 Lane. 595 Jamie Ling was hit over his rear left wheel by 132 Shane Sutton before getting t-boned by another car who had no where to go. The red flags were brought out again for a second time.
The second restart saw 129 Joe Skutela push 305 Alfie Cornish into 595 Ling’s dead car. Cornish then received a massive shot from 753 Jack Hastings over his rear left wheel as Hendy Jnr jacked 129 Skutela on opposite. 305 Cornish then turned his car back around and gave 753 Hastings a hard revenge shot. Cornish was then jacked by 760 Joey Reynolds who went in at massive speed. Meanwhile, Hendy Jnr met 231 David Broughton head on with 141 Garry Lee also going in. 23 Maty Fayers followed in 739 Iain Knight hard on turn three.
Race Winner: 191 Kieran Greenway
Allcomers Heat 2:
The second allcomers saw another impressive field of cars out on track. 283 Luke Robinson turned it around on turn four and met 62 ‘Nudgers’ with a head on. He was then jacked by 138 Jason Smy who was also jacked by 321 Kieran Fry. The red flags came out to check on a driver. The restart saw 768 Tyler Cook get lunged into the turn three armco by 786 Martin Cole. 135 Jamie Batchelor then picked up 23 Maty Fayers and delivered a textbook following in to him snapping his Nissan Primera. The red flags were brought out again as Maty’s steering wheel was very close to his chest. The restart saw 28 Craig ‘Super Cooper’ put 585 Kevin Giles into the turn three armco.
Race Winner: 521 Jack Coveney
The destruction derby raised just over ten cars and so it was decided that it would take place on turn’s three and four only. It was a decent DD to finish off the night’s proceedings with some good hits going in. 266 Daniel Smith would win the DD with a great display of wrecking whilst keeping his car going.
Destruction Derby Winner: 266 Daniel Smith
All in all, it was another fantastic night of racing and crashing at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich with some beautifully presented cars and all the usual tension and drama that a World Final should produce!
I would also like to thank all drivers for supporting ‘Caged!’ on their cars for the meeting. We are all very thankful in what has been another brilliant year for us, from having nearly 8,000 likes on our Facebook page to running our own meeting at Standlake Arena.