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Spedeworth Bangers Champion of Champions – 17/02/2018 – Arlington

Eastbourne has long been the poster-child for Spedeworth Domestic Bangers. With a lot of big teams, and big names, living within easy distance of Arlington – there is always something on offer down at the south coast track.

Just under 60 cars turned up to a sunny and relatively warm Arlington Raceway on Saturday 17th February to contest their second ever Champion of Champions, with the inaugural running being held at London’s Wimbledon Stadium. The event follows the same sort of format as their elder brothers in the National Bangers with all the Champions of the year seeded straight through to the main event with all ‘non-champions’ going through the process of Last Chance Qualifier heat races. As an added instinctive, the Champion of Champions winner would also book his place in the World Final at Ipswich in November.  
Last Chance Heat 1

Heat 1 began with 307 Martin Kent getting pushed into the 250 Vauxhall Zafira of Dave Preston causing the 104 car to roll on its roof bringing out the red flags. The restart saw 678 Steven Lillywhite hit the armco barrier on the pit bend. Lillywhite then re-joined the race. Meanwhile, a terrific battle was ensuing for the race lead between 357 Jason Barrow and 321 Kieran Fry. Chatty, after a long period of leading the race, went wide letting Barrow through to take position. The experience of Chatty then showed, as going in front was probably the worst thing that could happen with 2 laps left, as going into turn 3 Kieron Fry made sure his challenger was put into the barrier, leaving him clear to take the race win. The race ended with 405 following in 413 Thomas Beckett on the pit bend.

Race Winner: 321 Kieran Fry

Last Chance Heat 2

The second Last Chance Qualifier began with 707 Brandon Crowhurst getting spun on turns’ one and two before getting a head on from the 99 machine. 512 was then followed in on the pit bend by 230 Liam Jordan who was then spun out. The 512 people carrier then backed out making the 17 car of Anthony Baldwinson go ploughing into the rear of the people carrier. The 512 car wasn’t done there as he backed out again this time taking out the 173 car of Harvey Stoner damaging the front left suspension of the Stoner car. The 512 car was still trying to cause havoc, just slowing down the 228 car of Robert Barnes as he squeezed through round the outside scrapping the barrier.

Race Winner: 536 Harry Barwell

2018 Champion of Champions

As the cars lined up for the Champion of Champions race, we realised that Tyrone’s paintjob wasn’t alone. Jack Ansell turned up in a black and gold DreamBuster livery. Jack later revealed to Caged that he did it after seeing the booking list to try and entice his old enemies out, because after all the Facebook and OvalChat back and forth, a war on the track is good for the drama of the sport.

The main race was up next and began in frantic style with a load of spins with cars having to go on the shale in avoiding action. 321 Kieran Fry followed in 305 Alfie Cornish on the pit bend. Cornish was then collected on the front left corner by the VW Beetle of 982 Steven Turner and was then t-bonned in the passenger doors by 121 Junior Messham. The red flags then came out because of a lose wheel on the raceway. The restart saw 522 ‘Weevil’ Tim James follow in 455 Micky Cornish who collected the stricken’ Alfie Cornish car on the pit bend. 876 Ronnie Hammond was then tapped into the Cornish car on turn four, meanwhile ‘Weevil’ then jacked up Micky Cornish on the entrance on turn one.

In a great piece of team racing, Former World Champion 894 Mark Almeida found that lapped driver 84 Jack Ansell was waiting on the entrance to turn three to give his team mate support, spinning him out letting Popey free, also letting 123 Steve Saw into second place. Team Trim driver 426 Mark Pope came home to win the Champion of Champions title and book his place on the World Final grid at Ipswich in November.

Mark Pope spoke to Caged after his win, he said how delighted he was to win, and that they didn’t plan the intervention from Peach, because in his own words ‘You can never predict what he will do’. He also said he didn’t realise he has his golden ticket to the final, only finding out from a pit marshal when leaving the track!

Race Winner: 426 Mark Pope, Second 123 Steve Saw, and Third 41 Dale Fairless.

All-comers

The all-comers began with a big push in the midfield heading into the pit bend. A big push then happened on the opposite bend on turns’ one and two resulting in some big hits going in. 307 Martin Kent got caught up with a parked car on the exit of turn two leaving him vulnerable to a jack up from 250 Dave Preston. Ipswich Track Champion 191 Kieran Greenway then hit the people carrier of 250 Preston as 152 then gave 307 Kent a very hard head on. Rook took a decent lead, with his team mates making sure they followed in formation. Very fast, tactical driving, as had been seen all night – and a very good example of what domestic Bangers are about.

Race Winner: 558 Rob Haines

Final

The last race of the night was the meeting final and began with Tim James ‘Weevil’ getting followed in on the pit bend by 310. 121 Junior Messham pushed 191 Kieran Greenway right across the shale on the pit bend in a race long war between Team Reem and the Much Bunch team. 444 Charlie Jackson was then jacked on the home straight by 876 Ronnie Hammond. The 310 car was then spun against the armco on the entrance to turn three and got a monumental T-bone from 678 Steven Lilywhite who was then jacked by 555 Aaron ‘Smiler’ Godfree. 84 Jack Ansell then followed in 474 Michael Kent who was subsequently jacked by the 500 car. Kent was then met with a head on by 121 Messham before getting jacked again by the 500 car. 121 Messham then came around to give Kent yet another head on before he was jacked by 191 Kieran Greenway. The red flags then came out to allow Michael Kent to exit his wrecked Ford Focus. The restart didn’t see much more action other than Jack Ansell and Greenway spinning each other out. Rob Haines came through to win his second race of the night.

Race winner: 558 Rob Haines

All in all, it was a terrific night down on the South Coast with plenty of good tactical racing and some hard hits going in too. We at Caged! have debated about where various Banger classes have their place in the sport, and tonight was an excellent example of domestic Bangers. The driving was very fast, with some big hits, and everyone will have gone home satisfied with what that have seen from this night!

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