Spedeworth fare better but Arena are top

MOTOR SPORT: Foxhall Stadium played host to another very big crowd and more than 130 drivers from all parts of the country for the annual ORC Championships for bangers and stock cars.

MOTOR SPORT

FOXHALL Stadium played host to another very big crowd and more than 130 drivers from all parts of the country for the annual ORC Championships for bangers and stock cars.

The inter-promotional banger team event featured eight-man teams from all of the UK's leading promotions, including Spedeworth, who have been the promoters at Ipswich since the stadium re-opened for racing back in 1961.

Despite home advantage, Spedeworth's last win in the event was many years ago, but they fared rather better this time, being just three points behind Arena Essex after four very lively heats.

The final was an amazing race – despite all the action in the heats, almost all of the teams managed to field a near full line-up, 68 cars coming out to race for one of the biggest race line-ups of recent years.

Gradually, the Spedeworth and Arena drivers fell by the wayside, although Spedeworth still had one left and Arena still had two when the race was stopped four laps from the end because an Arena driver was driving the wrong way.

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He was disqualified from the restart, leaving one driver each and only around 20 others.

The Spedeworth driver crashed out almost immediately but the Arena driver, Tony Wade, kept it going to finish fourth, which scored seven points, thereby increasing their lead to ten.

However, they were docked ten points for the driver who went the wrong way so, for the first time ever, the event was a tie, the verdict going to Arena by virtue of having the higher placed driver in the final.

Scotland, who failed to score last year and are the traditional wooden spoonists, finished joint third, thanks largely to the efforts of Brisca F1 star Rob Speak, who scored almost all their points.

The RDC promotion at Mildenhall were joint third with the Scots.

There were plenty of other Scotsmen about on the day as well, 18 of their top stock car drivers making the long journey for their last meeting of the season.

All the leading East Anglians and most of the big-name West Country drivers were here as well, for an event that dates back to 1986.

Forty four cars made it through to the final where, as with the bangers, there was so much action that it was a job to keep up with it all.

The stoppage to rescue an injured driver just before the end of the race didn't help two of the front runners at the time – defending champion Gordon Alexander from Scotland, who was third at that moment but retired with damaged steering at the restart, and Devon's Shane Brown, whose big lead had been cut back to nothing by David Aldous and Andrew Parrin.

Both quickly got past Brown on the restart, and although Parrin almost took Aldous on the last lap, he held on to take the flag, and although Aldous, Parrin and Brown were presented with the trophy, it was on the understanding that this was only a provisional result.

Videos of the race will be studied over the next day or two in an attempt to confirm just who did win the race.

Results

Stock cars

Heat One: 1 Andy Lomas (Devon), 2 Mark Whybra (Norwich), 3 Steve Santry (Cambridge).

Heat Two: 1 Ada Haddon (Wisbech), 2 Gordon Alexander (Scotland), 3 Barry Jones (Scotland).

Heat Three: 1 David Aldous (Diss), 2 Andy Mews (Wisbech), 3 Mark Gilbert (King's Lynn).

Final: 1 Aldous, 2 Andrew Parrin (Wisbech), 3 Shane Brown (Devon).

Bangers

Heat One: 1 Rob Speak (Scotland), 2 Phil Stevens (Arena Essex), 3 Sonny Sherwood (Spedeworth).

Heat Two: 1 Mike Webber (Ringwood), 2 Dave Vincent (Mildenhall), 3 Sherwood.

Heat Three: 1 Mark Simmonds (Spedeworth), 2 Speak, 3 Jason Jackson (Arena Essex).

Heat Four: 1 Graham Heywood (Buxton), 2 Tony Wade (Arena Essex), 3 Daz Owen (Birmingham).

Final: 1 Heywood, 2 Speak, 3 Scott Weldon (Ringwood).

Destruction Derby: Phil Stevens (Arena Essex) tied with Daniel Sharman (Trackstar).

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