Rawlins Transport Big Van Championship
The Bank Holiday Monday Ministox meeting at Arena Essex, August 29, saw double success for the latest Whiteman to drive into short circuit motor racing, whilst Jamie McAngus saw final success at last.
It was in the heats that Deborah Whiteman got her victories, holding out ahead of Joe Simmons in the second race, then repeating the feat ahead of Rob Hull in the third heat as the heat of the late August day seemed to go to some drivers' heads, with more than a little contact around the circuit leading to a number of warnings. Ian Beaumont took the first heat in a close race with Jack Woodroffe, whilst Roy Laybourn repeated his win of a few meetings previous, beating Danny Morrow home. Woodroffe would also feature large in the final, but was unable to keep McAngus from the top spot as the pair ran together for the line, McAngus half a cars' length ahead at the finish. Sonny Gay won the consolation final by half a lap ahead of Jack Wearn, who had been challenging for the lead at one point.
Tubbs Butler was the final winner in the SuperBanger meeting of Monday, August 29 at Arena Essex, passing Lee Morrow to grab the victory. It was Butlers' best result of the day, only able to get to fourth in either of his other two appearances; the first race was an emphatic victory for Bob Sterling, and Sterling would feature again in the second race, finishing second to Roger Trickett.
August Bank Holiday Monday at Arena Essex traditionally means that the drivers get out the big vans, and this years' Rawlins Transport Big Van Championship was certainly the spectacle it was billed as with a number of excellent preparations - the prize for this had to go to the Asquith mock-up of Andy Reed - and more than a little action - again, Reed here springs to mind!
The trouble with wooden-backed vans is that they tend to come apart very easily when hit, and Reed wasn't just hit. He was rolled! The van looked exquisite in the pits and when it first came onto the track but, in two appearances, it failed to complete a single lap! However, its first appearance wasn't until the second heat, and the first heat was well attended too, including an ambulance from Jason McMahon that would eventually be forcibly dismantled, though not until later in the meeting. The first race was a win for Tony Abrehart, the race itself being fairly pedestrian though a few drivers were willing to put in some effort to wreck, notably the Keith Perren orange Transit which seemed to spend as much time clockwise as anti-clockwise. Then came the second race. Joining the wooden creation was a fair amount of good material including a graffiti V8 LDV from Group A veteran Simon Simmons which, whilst it didn't win anything official, it certainly won a few arguments with other vans. However, with the race barely started, the Asquith was toppled in traffic onto the safety area on the home straight, the back end burst as the van ended up on its roof. It wasn't the only rolled van either, Ian Phillips getting a one point roll inside turn one and two, though both Phillips and Reed walked away and, surprisingly enough, both managed to restore their vans for a last fling in the Rawlins 2000 heat later in the day! The race itself went to Del Waterman.
The forty-one van final of 2004 seemed like a tough goal to beat, but they did it, forty-seven vans taking the track for this years' final and, as is often the case with heavily attended finals, most of them ended up wrecked. In fact, only two vans officially made it across the line at the end; Billy King is this years' champion, with Gary Greenland the only other driver to make it to the line, whilst Jimmy Randall was given an unofficial third for almost making it home, and Jason McMahon received a special award for entertainer of the race in his disintigrating Ambulance, which had lost most of its top as a result of one too many hits , finally falling apart on the pit bend and providing the clean-up crew an interesting task when it was finally time to drag the ailing vans from the circuit! Simon Smith then managed to double the Rawlins qualifier, winning the race, then competing in a drawn out wrecking session that boiled down to a four way scrap that ended on the pit bend, Smith getting the win by way of getting his engine to fire up, even though he couldn't get the van to move off the final head-on.
|1. Ministox Heat 1||510 Ian Beaumont||555||503||500||548||572||596||556||516||561|
|2. Ministox Heat 2||571 Deborah Whiteman||515||594||514||527||557||550||577||509||580|
|3. SuperBangers Warm-up||43 Bob Sterling||29||145||41||8||483||243||77||23||25|
|4. Big Van Bangers Heat 1||214 Tony Abrehart||456||171||331||322||290||23||10||67||703|
|5. Ministox Heat 3||571 Deborah Whiteman||580||594||541||584||500||591||577||509||503|
|6. Ministox Heat 4||527 Roy Laybourn||540||517||514||545||515||531||572||599||548|
|7. Big Van Bangers Heat 2||36 Del Waterman||589||49||105||676||549||200||266||323||622|
|8. SuperBangers Sprint||145 Roger Trickett||43||40||41||25||29||77||247||8||441|
|9. Ministox Final||500 Jamie McAngus||555||591||580||541||517||510||509||531||514|
|10. Rawlins Transport Big Van Banger Final||49 Billy King||67||NOCR|
|11. Ministox Consolation Final||505 Sonny Gay||582||516||577||560||599||562||519||518||503|
|12. SuperBangers Final||41 Tubbs Butler||40||247||43||145||483||23||243||29||125|
|13. Big Van Bangers Destruction Derby||589 Simon Smith||49||174|
Last car: 589
|Pictures from Crashnet|
Click on photo to see full size
Also see Matthew Bull's website for more pictures from this meeting!
© 2005 Chris Johnson (Crashnet) / Promotasport Raceways