THE National Bangers got off to an explosive start at Arena Essex on Bank Holiday Monday.

Louis Farnell’s car failed on the grid and before he could move to safety an unsighted Alfie Lee ploughed into him, setting off a high speed chain of collisions, which culminated with Jason Jackson launching Jack Tuffen into an airborne crash. As the dazed drivers involved pulled to the infield to try to piece together what had just happened, Bill Crittenden followed Liam Read heavily into the fence.

Heat two saw a mid race rollover for Joey Palmer. Palmer landed back on his wheels but couldn’t restart his car, so he remained as an obstacle on the pit bend. Damian Wright, a visitor from Ipswich, was destroyed by Crittenden in the final, an otherwise quiet event, once again won by Jackson.

An entertaining spinners special race, won by Nathan Roberts, preceded a great destruction derby in which Jackson overcame the Cream Team duo of Jamie Harding and Danny Allen.

New National champion, Will Morphey, was amongst the Junior Mini Stox entry. But it was Harry Steward and Aaron Totham who won the heats. Totham’s success came after a titanic battle for the lead with Ryley Freestone which ended with Freestone being spun off. Steward once again took up the lead with a great battle between Ryan Polley and Lauren Overy being resolved in the formers favour. A welcome extra few cars enlivened the Lightning Rods even though a couple of them seemed to have been fitted with a self destruct button! Steve Norman and Dan Guidotti shared the heats before Anthony Lawrence bagged a win too.

The Stock Rods also provided three winners throughout the afternoon, Jamie Akehurst and Jamie Lee Callis won the heats before former Spedeworth racer, Andy Owen, dominated the final once he had deposed Daniel Imber of the lead. Arena Essex powers back into action on Sunday May 11 with a big entry of the mighty two-Litre Saloon Stock Cars looking likely to give the barriers a stern test. A World Qualifying round for the Brisca F2 Stock Cars, their only visit of 2014, as well as a good grid of Rookie Bangers will feature. Start time is at 1pm.

For banger racing see the THURROCK GAZETTE every Thursday