‘Baptism of fire’ for Bangers curtain raisers

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Arlington Stadium opened its doors for the first weekly meeting of the season on Wednesday evening, with Bangers, 1300cc stock cars and 2 litre Hot Rods all racing around the oval track.

A packed grid of forty cars ensured that the evening would be a war of attrition.

The 14 drivers making their debut among the seasoned campaigners were welcomed to the formula with very little hospitality, as they were quickly nudged, spun and shoved all over the place.

One of those to have a ‘baptism of fire’ was local young driver Craig Crowther.

Having previously had some experience with karts, after a chance meeting with National Banger star Steve Anscombe, Crowther decided to give the ‘noble art’ of Bangers a go.

In an evening that saw two roll overs and a third car upended, compared with the other ‘new blood’ Crowther was relatively unscathed.

He will no doubt be a little sore but he did well to fend off the many and varied ‘attacks’ he received from his competitors.

Only a broken drive shaft on his Nissan Primera halted what was a very solid first foray that hopefully, will serve as a stepping stone for him to build upon.

Defending champion Rob Haines began the season with a workmanlike performance in his bid to retain the South Coast Hydraulics ‘Banger’ title.

In the 1300cc stock cars, some ferocious action took place that at times rivalled the Bangers.

A coming together by Lee Pearce and Ian Beaumont on the pit bend saw the latter have some ‘air time’ as he bounced off the Armco.

A thunderous last lap lunge by Paul Anscombe saw him take out two of his rivals to take the final win.

Local drivers, including Mark Constable, Chris Harvey and Damon Wellman, were prominent in the 2litre Hot Rod action.

Despite being a non-contact class, it appeared though that the warm weather had several drivers forgetting the rules, and thus receiving penalties.

Visiting driver Billy Clarke took advantage to seal the top spot.

The season continues at Arlington Stadium, with three formulas being showcased every Wednesday evening through to the end of September.

This Wednesday’s event (June 19) will see local drivers Tyler Collison and Tristan Jackson looking to enhance their reputations in the Stock Rods.

Rookie Rods complete the card, with the first race starting at 7:30pm.

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) the National Bangers return to action with an ‘All Volvo’