Arena Essex starts with a bang

Karl Douglas with wreckage from the weekend

Last corner pressure at Arena Essex

First published in Sport

MOTORSPORT: BANGER racer Karl Douglas won a dramatic 2.0Litre National Banger Shakedown final at Thurrock’s Arena Essex on Sunday, spinning out Dale Hughes on the dash to the finish line. Hughes slammed his car into reverse and took Ricky Hutton into the wall. It had been a pretty dramatic day already for Douglas who had, earlier ripped off a wheel and suspension leg in the process. Paul Whiteman and Dave Palmer won the heats before a long winded Destruction Derby went to Nathan Roberts.

In the Unlimited Banger class Lee Evans bravely took on Paul Korpielas Pontiac in the final, but he came out second best, mainly due to intervention from Tony Hutton. Jack Tuffen won the race, continuing his fine start to the season, which also included winning the Birmingham staged Heartbreaker.

The big Rover of Ritchie Jarrod dished out a lot of damage throughout the afternoon, not least to a succession of red Volvos, including John Bhead and Dan Matthews. After a head on in the early stages of the Destruction Derby between Bhead and Jamie Batchelor, which snapped the latters seatbelt and caused a brief stoppage to allow him to escape safely, the event came down to a head to head between Jarrod, Dave Bull and eventual winner Joey Palmer. The Junior Mini Stox had a lively start to the year with the day most memorable for the incredible rollover of first time racer, Luke Dorling, who barrel rolled four times as he and Megan Petherick clashed. Dorling was able to return to the track for the last race of the day. Track Championship favourites, Dan Newman and Harry Steward duelled throughout the day. Their battling allowed West Country visitor, Cameron Lawrence to win three out of four races, the one race he missed out on was the Final, where Tony Elbourn beat him into second place. Lauren Nicholls was third. The next action at Arena Essex will be on March 23 when the National Bangers are joined, for the first time, by the Junior Bangers. Several Mini Stox regulars are expected to step into the class and visitors are expected, including fast lady, Louise Strudwick. Stock Rods and Lightning Rods will also race. For the full story see Thursday's THURROCK GAZETTE

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