Firework fever at Foxhall meeting

A DRY night, and the promise of one of the best banger entries for years, meant that an even bigger crowd than normal managed to squeeze into a packed Foxhall Stadium on Saturday for the annual fireworks gala night.

A DRY night, and the promise of one of the best banger entries for years, meant that an even bigger crowd than normal managed to squeeze into a packed Foxhall Stadium on Saturday for the annual fireworks gala night.

The meeting followed the tried and tested combination of National Bangers and 1600 Bangers, backed up by a Mega Stunt and a £5,000 firework spectacular, with the National Bangers stealing the show after a season when they haven't always been at their best.

This time, though, the 62-car entry was a magnificent effort, but it wasn't just the numbers that were important, it was what they bought with them.

Granadas and Jaguars are the favoured choice in this class, and of course there were plenty of them, but these were overshadowed by an impressive array of American cars and some big British material.

Ten Yanks featured everything from Lincoln Town cars to Cadillac Fleetwoods, Ford Thunderbirds and a Pontiac Firebird, while stretched Granada Limos and a couple of Daimler DS 420 hearses added to the spectacle.

As usual, such cars were obviously targets, so they were in the thick of the action all evening, but these are so big and strong that it's hard work actually finishing them off, and the Ipswich pairing of Chris Smith and Duane Collings managed to keep their Cadillac's running virtually all evening.

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Winning was of secondary importance to the action, but for the record, Ritchie Ahern from Romford powered his Granada to a couple of wins, with Mildenhall driver Joe Mullarkey taking the other race.

The 1600cc bangers also featured some impressive cars, amongst the entry of 75, with Chris Watling fielding a Hillman Super Minx Estate and Alistair Warren bringing out a 1966 Morris Minor.

He rolled in his first heat, but it was quickly back on all fours and rejoined the race to great applause, and was another car that, surprisingly, went on to survive the evening - and could well make another appearance at one of the remaining meetings here this year.

Guildford driver Pip Brookes was the most successful in this class, with two heat wins and a fourth place in the final, that final falling to Chris Wilcock who was making his first appearance in many years. To win the final, on a night like this, was quite some comeback.

Start marshall Michael Bulldeath, who doubles as a stuntman for the night, attempted to drive through 10 exploding caravans, parked nose to tail, in his Reliant Robin.

The number of caravans has gradually increased over the years, and 10 would have been a new record but despite a valiant effort, and a huge amount of support form the crowd the Robin stopped in the middle of caravan number nine.

Michael got out safely, obviously disappointed but vowed that he would do the full 10 next year.

Results round-up

1600 Bangers

Heat One: 1 Scott Taylor (Yarmouth), 2 John Parker (Felixstowe), 3 Ken Denby (Clacton).

Heat Two: 1 Pip Brookes (Guildford), 2 Martin Clements (Ipswich), 3 Mark Kerry (Clacton).

Heat Three: 1 Chris Medler (Cawston), 2 Denby, 3 Danielle Hewitt (Brundle).

Heat Four: 1 Brookes, 2 Sean Lavender (Bradbourne), 3 Paul Chittendon (Hadleigh).

Final: 1 Chris Wilcock (Harwich), 2 Kerry, 3 Robert Spall (Dallinghoo).

National Bangers

Heat One: 1 Ritchie Ahern (Romford), 2 David Shipp (Bury St Edmunds), 3 Sonny Sherwood (Thurrock).

Heat Two: 1 Joe Mullarkey (Mildenhall), 2 James Ellis (Bury St Edmunds), 3 Annette Nicholls (Norwich).

Final: 1 Ahern, 2 Steve Hale (Mildenhall), 3 Shipp.

Destruction Derby

Winner: Carl Picton (Norwich).

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