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Arena Essex Raceway - Meeting 98/31 
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Post Arena Essex Raceway - Meeting 98/31
Meeting No. 31, Sunday, 6th. September 1998
National Bangers PRI vs. Ringwood Challenge Round 2
BriSCA F2 Stock Cars Rose Cassidy Memorial

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars
Better weather and more cars showed up at Arena Essex for the Rose Cassidy Memorial on September 6 after rain problems at the previous showing. The first race saw a good start for Barry Parker off the front, a trend that would be repeated through the meeting but, to back up his sensational performances in the wet at the last outing, Paul Poulter led the reds through the field to grab the win toward the end of the race in a bloodless coup as Glen Gregory, who had taken the lead from Parker at the halfway point, shifted wide to let the bigger guns through. John Mickel, Nick Smith and Chris Roots followed Poulter home, another motif for the day, though Roots thoroughly chewed Smith's bumper across the line. However, the red tope were not to get it all their own way as the second heat saw Poulter struggle and Mickel, Smith and Roots becoming preoccupied with getting one up on each other to catch Parker at the front, finishing first ahead of Lee Guinchard by three lengths with Gregory behind them before Mickel came home. The memorial race itself saw close racing at the beginning, Mickel pressing Smith hard but the Arena is Smith's home track and he has won on it as both an F2 and a National Superstox driver. His knowledge of the track kept him ahead of Mickel and Roots, pulling ahead as the race proceded and the track cleared. Mickel had other problems too, since Roots was an old Arena hand too and almost had Mickel out with a couple of punt attempts toward the end, but the racing between all three was close all afternoon and Mickel had enough road and grip to keep the line to take second behind Smith. With that, however, Mickel decided to show his own skill and sliced through the field in the Grand National qualifier, the last race of the day, Roots unable to match pace this time and Smith starting a lap down, though he managed to get to fourth behind Steve Broomfield by the end. The achievement awards for the day went to Parker for a string of excellent drives in white grade, Glen Gregory for yellows and Guinchard for blues.

National Bangers
With one round gone, the PRI vs. Ringwood challenge moved to Arena Essex on September 6. Round one had gone to the PRI team in one of the biggest wrecking displays outside the Unlimited meetings this year after two last car efforts and a win each in the heats followed by a wipeout for Ringwood as Alan Trickett led the PRI survivors home in the final. However, it was a changed and underpowered Ringwood team that showed up at Purfleet on this particular Sunday afternoon and the tactics were a little woolly too as only 13 cars showed for each of the first two heats. Heat one saw Andy Burrough start as a runner as turn four became a scrapyard inside the first lap, John Harding eventually taking on the job of shunting the rubbish around. Not that the hits were all dished out by PRI; Phil Hudson had his side rearranged by John Swanborough, a late addition to the Ringwood team, though he was taken out soon after when he was top'n'tailed by Lee Witherington and Harding on the home straight. The runner had changed by this time to Don Anderson who had the honour of being the only driver to win a heat at both meetings. With Ringwood understrength, however, the chance of a last car result was unlikely as Anderson led rubber man Steve Davies, old spice Roy Rawlins and early leader Burrough home, Burrough taking time out before the finish to join Mark Deacon and Roger Trickett in battering the final Ringwood runner, Glen White, into the turn four armco despite a worthy struggle. The second heat was stopped early was knocked senseless after a hit sideways by Phil Stevens. With Jim Dixon conking out on the start, things were, if anything, even more dire for Ringwood in this heat though Jack Overy sportingly dropped out too. Craig Rose also dropped from sight early on, mostly as a result of an attempt on Sean Collin that went wrong but the hit of the race had to be the back straight five way shunt, Mark Kelly into Alan Trickett into Mike Webber into Brian McGuiness into John Broad which left many a tail in the air. Stevens had been trapped by Mark Weldon who had jacked Stevens into Rose's car, but Trickett sniffed Weldon out before his meeting on the back straight and that left Stevens free to do what he could. This turned out to be Holmes who had taken to speedway hopping on the home straight before Stevens steamed him from the side off turn four. And that was it. Although the race had laps to go, no Ringwood cars were left going so the race was declared at that point, the win going to Colin Everett, Scott Weldon picking up Ringwoods' only points of the afternoon in fifth place. Holmes finally managed to get out but was very groggy as he came away from his wreck.

The third race was declared as a sprint heat and not included as part of the challenge as seven cars, all PRI, were all that took the track for it. An unremarkable race which saw Wayne Prayle almost win out until his car gave out, Harding passing him on the last lap to win, followed by Mark Want. Prayle followed home in third and Gary Deacon was the only other finisher as Kevin Prayle and Roger Trickett pulled off and Buster Woods conked out at the start.

There was some confusion at the start of the final race as over twenty cars showed for PRI in a twenty car race. Overy volunteered while John Harris protested about an early bath before Collin finally settled it by taking his doubtful runner off, followed by Bernie Allcock as Rawlins came on late, Webber making up the twentieth car for Ringwood in the most even race of the day. With that, the green flag dropped and 1997 Euro Champion Dave Barwick went ballistic, taking two cars into the first turn to get the pile up started. Glen White wasn't forgotten, having made some impression in the frst race, Barwick creating a red banana from the White car, Gary Deacon, Rawlins and Burrough joining in. However the first turn was the big problem now as it was clogged by dead cars, mostly red ones though Scott Bagett was trying to roll through. Overy and Stuart Adcock were also there trying to make a through path, finally managing to do it but not before Bagett finally gave out. Overy was given the win with Wayne Prayle and Gary Deacon the only other legitimate cars left, Burrough and Barwick being loaded up for going a little astray and Adcock dying much as Bagett had. the overall result was a crushing victory for PRI, but one cannot help but ask if the early team tactics were sensible. PRI also took the overall challenge title with two legs to Ringwoods' zip.

However that was not the last we were to see of Ringwood's drivers as Mark Kelly, Reuben Symonds and Simon Byrne among others dragged their cars out for a large blast in a twenty-one car start for the free Rawlins 2000 qualifier. John Broad had also come back on but was soon out of it, his trashing on turn four a painful sight as the race was stalled. Harding stuck Webber on the sleepers on the restart as Webber tried speedway driving while Dean Bateman missed Kelly only for Everett and Mark Deacon to hit Kelly on the home straight, a jacking from Adcock being all that Kelly could handle from there. With the Ringwood drivers dropping fast, it was business as usual as Tony Wade, fresh from his British Championship drive, took hits from Al Trickett, McGuiness and Hudson who finished it with a jacking for Wade on turn four. Allcock managed to fade inside Steve Witherington to take the win, but with only two cars left by the end, Bateman and McGuiness having taken care of each other, the end was quick in coming, starting with a feeble nut on the pit bend before Witherington got enough run up to jack Allcock out of it to take the last car running award.

Meeting note: The planned meeting, which included "All Red Car day" for National Bangers and PRI Hot Rods was changed. All Red Car day was cancelled infavour of the PRI/Ringwood challenge, while the PRI Hot Rod meeting was moved to allow for the time this meeting would take up. You can next see the PRI Hot Rods on September 27.


Event                 1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  7th  8th  9th  10th 11th 12th
1  Grand Parade
2  Banger 1            15   77  555  429  NOCR
3  BriSCA 1           174    4  151  677   75  553  641   16   67  839
4  Banger 2           419  101  448   72  517  418   74  574
5  BriSCA 2           641  183   75    4  151  677  174  553   16   67
6  Banger 3 (sprint)  160  116   74  101  NOCR
7  BriSCA FINAL       151    4  677  174  553   16  183  641   67  825
8  Banger FINAL        17   74  101  NOCR
9  Presentation event
10 BriSCA GNQ           4  677  553  151  641  183   75   16  825   52
11 R2000 q/r           73   28  NOCR LCR = 28
All results subject to confirmation by promotion.

Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:27 pm
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