Smeatharpe Stadium - Tuesday 27th December 2016

There were over 100 drivers in action at Banger Bonanza 4, with some of them having fought their way through some particularly difficult traffic conditions to get to Smeatharpe, which contributed to quite a number of late arrivals.  A number of drivers were actually on ‘double duty’ – racing in two classes, whilst the efforts of 74 Adam Hitchcock were truly outstanding, as he raced in all three classes, competing in nine of the afternoon’s eleven races.

National Micro Bangers

Yet again, the National Micro Bangers were in terrific form at Smeatharpe, serving up a whole load of action from the small cars.  All told, nearly 40 drivers were present, and six of them were honoured with Best Presented awards – 27 Dean Quinn, 102 Paul Tew, 114 Luke Niles (Mr Blobby), 160 Jamie Warr, 689 Sam Quarterman and 881 Gary Emery.  The opening heat began with Mr Blobby leading away 77 Aaron Charles.  Yet, barely a lap into the race and red flags were called, when 642 Nigel Thomas needed some assistance, after a hefty hit in the passenger side.  At the second attempt, it was 199 Tom Pearce who made the early running, but amidst spins and crashes just about everywhere, 162 Brett Ellacott stormed into the lead.  The former World Champion opened up a sizeable lead, and had lapped all bar three other drivers by the time of a second stoppage when 838 Jamie Peters suffered a safety harness and fuel leak problem.  Ellacott went on to win, lapping every other driver in the process, whilst 341 Andrew Jones comprehensively buried and annihilated Warr in the west bend with a stonking follow-in which flat packed the yellow/black 160 car.  Heat two was probably the race of the afternoon, and it featured another huge follow-in in the west bend from Jones; this time 210 Lewy Hart was on the receiving end.  74 Adam Hitchcock and late arrival 45 Anthony Croshaw swapped the lead several times, with Croshaw eventually landing the chequered at the end of a race which saw only five finishers, and a monumental jacking train in the pits bend to conclude the action; involving 720 Kenny Gabriel Jnr, Jones, 7 Jamie Charles, Pearce, Peters, Quinn, 114 Liam Lake and 113 Jack Gill.  Numbers were significantly depleted by the time of the Cellarserve sponsored Banger Bonanza 4 final.  511 Dan Crosbie and 452 Anthony Sleeman set the early pace, but they could not prevent Ellacott taking the lead again.  Ellacott thus took his second victory of the day, with Sleeman second and Crosbie third.  Seven battered cars limped on to track for the DD, and that soon became four, with Lake, Jones, Sleeman and Croshaw setting about one another.  Ultimately, Lake and Croshaw were the last two running, and after a series of head-ons and attacks, Croshaw’s Micra expired amidst steam and smoke, leaving Lake the winner, just as he had been two years ago in the corresponding event of 2014.

2 Litre Old Skool Bangers

Just shy of 50 drivers were present for the Supreme Championship fixture, which began with the Last Chance qualifier.  That was led for much of the way by 176 Ben King, but he was delayed late on, which opened the door for 131 Stephen Cock to pounce and grab his place on the back of the grid for the Supreme.  The title race saw 133 Terry Hill and 74 Adam Hitchcock lead them away, and Hill swiftly built up a good lead.  The race was temporarily halted when 11 Matt Parsons experienced a safety harness issue.  That brought Hill back to the chasing pack, but at the drop of the green, he was away and gone once more.  Hill extended his lead to a huge margin, the longer the race progressed, leaving the focus of the race as the battle for second.  The contest between Hitchcock, 246 Ryan Sparks, 83 Ben Styles, 938 Ash Rice and 100 Alec Jenner was compelling, as they traded hits and swapped places.  Eventually it was Jenner who broke free of the scrap, to secure second, but Hill was a long, long way down the road, and a very comfortable winner.  Styles rounded out the top three.  The all-in Final which followed featured a very heavily populated grid.  Jenner relieved 383 Brad Hutchings of the lead in the early stages, and from that point onwards, there was little doubt about the winner, as Jenner cruised to an impressive victory.  At the flag, he headed home Hitchcock, and Hill, who had done very well to progress from last on the grid to third at the finish.  The Allcomers event (to National Banger rules) raised a fine grid of eighteen, and began in spectacular fashion when Hill thundered 847 Andy Whatley into the pits bend wall.  On the re-run, Hitchcock edged past 382 Tommy Hutchings, and looked set for a routine win.  However, having spun aside 721 Carley Gabriel, he then had to find a way past her again as she appeared to lie in wait, in the closing stages.  This he eventually did manage, and Hitchcock duly won from 275 Tony Woodside.  Ahead of the Lap of Honour, race winner Hitchcock was asked how his very busy afternoon had been, to which he responded, “I am just having fun!”

Old Skool unlimited cc Bangers

The much maligned Old Skool unlimited cc Bangers responded well to the late season criticism which had threatened their very existence, by appearing in very good numbers; and as a consequence, their races were entertaining and exciting, with plenty of action.  The opening heat saw 28 cars grid, and whilst a fair amount of mayhem evolved around them, it was 382 Danny Hunt and 185 Richard Coaker who led the way.  The gap between them ebbed and flowed, until the closing stages when Coaker managed to edge in front.  However, within moments of Coaker taking the lead, he became caught up with backmarkers on the start/finish line, and was taken on a wayward trip to the infield.  Hunt regained the lead, and led home 148 Reece Frayne.  Heat two was similarly chaotic; not least by the old pit gate, where 802 Liam Duncanson found himself to be something of a damage magnet.  After 710 Ross Gould, Coaker and 282 Steve Hunt had taken turns in the lead, it was 278 Shaun Brokenshire who really put his stamp on proceedings.  Taking over at the front of lap five, Brokenshire went on to win convincingly, from 246 Ryan Sparks.  In the final, 954 Jamie Beere turned his front of the grid starting position, into a good early lead.  Behind him, Sparks and Supreme Champion 362 Johnny James were his main pursuers.  They eventually caught Beere in the final third of the race, with James victorious, Sparks the runner-up and Beere completing the top three.

National Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 162 341 511 87 114 77 27 nof
Heat 2 45 74 162 133 77 nof
Final 162 511 133 45 452 199 330 nof
DD 114
Best Presented 27 102 114 160 689 881
Old Skool Unlimited Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 382 148 246 954 254 372 362 622 282 383
Heat 2 278 246 362 282 787 622 114 254 179 333
Final 362 246 954 912 278 787 622 710 228 372
2L Old Skool Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Last Chance 131 515 961 650 382 176 275 145 721 nof
Supreme 133 100 83 246 938 74 847 372 383 131
Final 100 74 133 383 938 847 83 275 366 384
Allcomers 74 275 133 961 384 382 nof
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