Rain adds excitement to banger meeting

Another big crowd turned out for the Annual Darren Jones Banger meeting at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich on Saturday evening. Darren, who was badly injured in a racing accident at Yarmouth in 1999, has been making slow but steady progress since then, although he is still only able to walk with a frame, and is still slower than he was with speech and concentration.

Another big crowd turned out for the Annual Darren Jones Banger meeting at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich on Saturday evening.

Darren, who was badly injured in a racing accident at Yarmouth in 1999, has been making slow but steady progress since then, although he is still only able to walk with a frame, and is still slower than he was with speech and concentration. Nevertheless he has kept smiling through it all, and is gradually rebuilding his life, this annual meeting being part fund raiser and part rehabilitation as all his old team mates come out to race for trophies which he presents on the night.

As has become customary at the meeting, which always includes a big firework display as well, racing was for two sorts of bangers, the big unlimited cc national class and the 1600 cc Rookie Bangers. In the Nationals, around 30 drivers turned out including World Champion Willie Skoyles who won both heat two and the final but neither he nor any of the others, could get anywhere Woodbridge's Ali Warren in the opening heats which he led all the way.

Over 60 Rookie Bangers raced and while there isn't as many big names in these as there is in the National class, the number of cars out there on the track guarantees plenty of lively action. There was even more of it that usual this week as a heavy downpour shortly after the start made the track very slippery, although the conditions seemed to suit Yarmouth's David Holmes whose Escort never put a wheel out of place on the way to winning both his heats.

Ipswich Robbie Nicholls won both his as well, which was probably more difficult in a Sierra, but both them crashed out at various times in the final leaving Colchester's Robin Denby to take the win. He had driven well all evening, but this was particularly impressive as only six cars, out of 50 that started, managed to survive the action and get through to the end of the race.

The evening concluded with two Destruction Derby's the ever popular event where the last car left standing is the winner. It was all over quite quickly in the National class where Sonny Sherwood took a comfortable win despite a gallant effort by Mark Anderson, but the Rookie Bangers proved rather longer lasting.

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Manningtree driver Darren Frost was the undoubted star of it, his little Fiesta giving and taking some very heavy punishment before it finally gave up, leaving the remaining two of Andrew Hadley and Tony Burch to have one final coming together. That finished off both cars, so a tie was declared to round off an entertaining evening that even the weather failed to spoil.

Results:

National Bangers Heat One: 1 Ali Warren (Woodbridge) 2 Sonny Sherwood (Thurrock), 3 Willis Skoyles (Heacham),

Heat Two: 1 Skoyles 2 Sherwood 3 Warren.

Final: Skoyles, 2 Sherwood, 3 Dave Canham (Ipswich).

Destruction Derby: 1 Sherwood 2 Mark Anderson (North Walsham).

Rookie Bangers: Heat One: 1 David Holmes (Yarmouth) 2 Robin Denby (Colchester) 3 David Lay (Needham Market).

Heat Two: 1 Robbie Nicholls (Ipswich) 2 Stephen Hewitt (Norwich), 3 Trevor Airey (Kesgrave).

Heat Three: 1 Holmes, 2 Chris Watling (Woodbridge), 3 Lee James (Harwich).

Heat Four: 1 Nicholls, 2 Robin Denby, 3 Ken Denby (Clacton).

Final: Robin Denby, 2 Roy Brown (Braintree) 3 Carl Witmore (Ipswich).

Destruction Derby: Tie between Andrew Hadley (Saxmundham) and Tony Burch (Ipswich).

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