MOTORSPORT: A DOUBLE figure entry from the Gladiators Banger Team looked likely to cause trouble for many of the track championship protagonists at Arena Essex on Sunday.
The team had not been seen at the track for nine months – and promised to get stuck in. And so it proved, with Lewis Price turning around and hooking out Nathan Roberts in the early stages.
Jamie Harding put up a staunch defence until Jamie Avery and Danny Oliver dished out heavy hits.
Roberts battled on and was trying to rejoin the action when Phil Smith attacked him in the passenger side and the car folded in an unusual way due to the damage inflicted in the earlier rollover.
Roberts was carefully removed and whisked to hospital with the news surfacing later in the meeting that he had suffered no broken bones in the incident.
With T-Bone hits against the armco outlawed, Smith was disqualified and faces a ban, as does Dave Johnson for an alleged ‘off the ball’ incident in the aftermath.
Harding was bravely back for another go in the second race but after a hit to Sam Keep he was knocked out following a hit from Oliver. Thankfully he was able to climb out unaided once he came to. Scott Cornish had a great battle with heat one winner, James Steel in the early stages of the restart, but pulled clear for the win.
The destruction derby was a great end to the day with Steel putting in a ferocious hit on Sonny Sherwood.
They all managed to part from each other and embarked on some high speed tours of the track, joined by Joey Palmer.
Palmer scored with a huge hit to Steel, Hutton again following up and destroying the car of Palmer.
After much tyre smoke and dust, they all managed to part from each other again, front wheel drive proving handy in cars where the rear wheels are well clear of the floor. After several more big hits, Hutton was awarded the win.
Tempers flared in the Lightning Rods with heat two seeing an overly ambitious move from the first heat winner Richard Norman, shovelling Jack Deacon out of first position.
Deacon rejoined to block the leading car, Norman retaliating by spinning Deacon into the home straight armco.
Dave Imber took the win and looked set for the final.
Anthony Lawrence's patience all afternoon paid off with a win which takes him ahead of Chris Reeve in the points chase.
A racer with engine troubles was Mini Stox track championship leader, Lauren Overy. With a blown engine in practice, her spare car was used.
She missed her first heat but came fourth in the second heat and then, in a superb finish, bumpered Will Morphey wide on the last corner of the final, only failing to take the win by 100th of a second.
Heat winner Joe Rollings claimed third place in the final with the other heat taken by the impressive Marcus Reeve.
Finally the Stock Rods provided some close action with Jamie Akehurst not putting a wheel wrong in the final.
He took the win from a fiesty Wayne Shackleford, who outfoxed Andy Owen in the final laps. Akehurst was unlucky not to win heat two, his pass of Daniel Imber seeing him spun up the kerbs and losing the place to Ben Grant.
The winner of the first heat, Andy Owen, earned a black flag in this one for remonstrating with Ricky Walker.