27 February 2022


Conditions couldn’t have been more different between the first and second meetings of the 2022 season at Standlake Arena. The last Sunday of February brought beautiful sunny weather to greet a packed arena. If the first meeting had seen an impressive crowd on the freezing and soaking day, this time the spectator banks seemed to be filled almost to capacity.


The first outing of the year for the OUTLAW F2 STOX attracted a 23 car entry, and with one late entry, two non-arrivals and an unlucky Liam Cornish not making it out of the pits, 21 cars actually raced. The first heat was also missing Martin Chard, with fuel pump problems, but the 20-car field was headed away by Patrick Somerton, who pulled well clear before getting hauled in by blue graded Jim Muckian, with Jim going through in the final stages to take the first win of the season, chased by gold roofed Paul Webb. Patrick’s impressive third was unfortunately the last we’d see of him due to clutch problems, while the top ten were completed by Louis Williams, rapid white top Tyler Newman, Gary Webb, Pete Webb, Phil Trigg, Keith Richens and Rob Dobie, while Harry Heffer and Prod A graduate James Watts, making his F2 debut, headed the lapped runners.


Second time out Martin Chard joined the field, and was well in contention in the early stages, but from the front of the field Tyler Newman made a break for it and, in a most impressive drive, nobody got near him. James Watts came home with a promising second place ahead of Louis Williams, Paul Webb and James Trigg, while Martin Chard spun out of a top six place on the last lap. Josh Cornish survived a tangle with Keith Richens, which saw Keith in the fence after looking good for second place at least, and Josh then suffered a spectacular blow-up as he crossed the line in sixth. Gary Webb was the last one unlapped by the flying Tyler and Jim Muckian. Pete Webb and Phil Trigg completed the top ten ahead of a slowing Andy Webb, Harry and Charlie Heffer, Rob Dobie, Maisie Emms, Joshua Heffer and Kyle Broadway. With the Webb family making up 25% of the grid, Jess was the only one out of the points, falling foul of the infield tyres.


19 cars made the final and, after a couple of place swaps with Martin Chard, James Watts established himself in the lead, with a misfiring engine not slowing him much until the red flags came out, following a heavy coming together between Maisie Emms and Kyle Broadway. Both James and Tyler Newman were slow away from the restart and Paul Webb shot through to take it up and complete the 18 laps in front. Louis Williams dropped out in the closing stages as Gary Webb came through to a close second and Jim Muckian snatched third on the line from Andy Webb. Harry Heffer took fifth from the battling Jess Webb, Tyler Newman, Keith Richens and Martin Chard – so we’d not been far from seeing a Webb 1-2-3-4! It will happen one day! Charlie Heffer took tenth as Pete Webb recovered from a last corner spin to cross the line in front of Rob Dobie and Joshua Heffer.


The day was completed by a 15 car Grand National, with Paul and Gary Webb starting from the lap handicap position. Up front though, Tyler Newman again quickly hit the front to take his second runaway win of the day. James Trigg took second with Jess Webb just fending off Louis Williams for third. Paul Webb made it into fifth from his handicap, just beating Andy Webb, while Keith Richens and James Watts were the last unlapped runners. Pete Webb, Rob Dobie, Martin Chant, Charlie Heffer and Kyle Broadway completed the finishers.


This being one of the headline fixtures of the year for the Bangers (the “A1 Open”) there were just two other non-Banger classes on the bill. PRODUCTION A fielded 20 cars, with the white graded Corsa of Jason Keitch leading all the way in the first heat. The action was much closer in the battle for second, finally taken by Kelvin Passey’s Nova from Thomas Connors’ K10 Micra and the Saxo of Ash Cousins, which fended off most of the field and gained fourth when Terry Iles’ Nova picked up a crossed flag. Lee Maslen’s Mini was in the thick of this battle before going sick in the closing stages.


Jason Keitch took another win second time out, but it was Ash Cousins’ Saxo that led most of the way before a brief three-abreast battle with Jason and Kian Williams’ Micra. The Saxo eventually went out after tangling with Lee Maslen’s Mini, while Chris Lawrence’s Corsa slid along the fence after apparently already breaking a front strut. Kelvin Passey came through to second ahead of Terry Iles, Lee Maslen’s ever-quicker Mini, Andy Passey and Geoff Davis, whose Mini just beat Ricky Jenkins’ Corsa, with Michael Gaut also getting his Mini into the top ten.


There were 17 cars left for the final, with Katy and Harry Kerbey missing as well as Chris Lawrence. Bradley Stratford’s Nova led away from the front with Lee Maslen in hot pursuit and they headed the field until last before half distance, Kelvin Passey arrived, having made short work of all the traffic, and Kevin went on to win, although Bradley Stratford held on well in second. Lee Maslen finished third but Ash Cousins was black flagged, promoting Andy Passey to fourth from Terry Iles, and Thomas Connors. Geoff Davis ended up seventh ahead of Terry Kerbey and Kian Williams, while Mike Gault, despite a sick sounding engine, managed to stay on the lead lap for tenth. Lapped at the end were the Novas Steve Goldup’s Corsa and the Novas of Tongham visitor Rory Bennetts and Kev Goldup. There was a bit of chaos in the early laps with double heat winner Jason Keitch hitting the fence, Ricky Jenkins picking up a black flag and Kev Goldup getting spun out and unfortunately collecting Laura Connors’ parked Micra on the infield, leaving Laura rather shaken up.


The DRIFT RODS often start the season low on numbers and pick up as the year progresses; this time there were fourteen cars of which eleven survived to the final. Daniel Buckett’s tidy BMW won the first heat as David Wilson’s Jaguar had a good run to hold off Chris Deverick’s BMW Z3 and Gary Godsmark’s BMW. Daniel Buckett won again in the second race, this time with David Wilson closing right up on him, while Morgan Gardiner’s Mazda led most of the way before ending up at the front of an eight car battle for third, in which Tracey Green was sent spinning out of fourth place on the last corner.


By the final we’d lost Steven Hart, Marcus Cross and Michael Lee. Early leader Kai Armitage Gardiner’s Lexus ended up on the infield as Daniel Buckett quickly emerged in front to take another runaway win. David Wilson came through to his third second place of the day, ahead of Rikki Talboys, Kev Hardie, Aaron Rowland, Gary Godsmark and Morgan Gardiner. Chris Deverick, Kai Armitage Gardiner, Tracey Green and Riley O’Sullivan completed the finishers.


The rest of the programme was filled with big fields of Bangers, including 31 juniors in the TEEN STREETS, racing in split heats and an all-in final. Billy Jarvis, Kyle Rainer, Lancashire visitor Thomas Rawsthorne and Tyler Rayner won the four heats, while 28 cars survived to the final, with another of the Lancashire lads, Zac Pears, winning from Billy Jarvis and Thomas Rawsthorne. A couple of drivers found themselves loaded up after the action in that race, but there were still 24 starters in the closing Dash, won by Kyle Rayner.


The 2 LITRE NATIONAL BANGERS started with 24 cars and still had 20 running by the last race. Heat winners were Callum Woods, just beating Aaron Charles in a dash for the line, and Jordan Eagle. The final went to Bradley Deeprose ahead of Adam Wickson and Anthony Croshaw. The Dash provided the finish of the day as Bradley Deeprose just beat Aaron Charles, Anthony Croshaw and Jordan Eagle, while the DD was over fairly quickly with Aaron Charles seeing off the three other hopefuls.


The UNLIMITED BANGERS were as usual the focus of many of the crowd, with the star of the day being a car that didn’t make it onto the track until the final, and then only managed a couple of laps – Brent Shaw in an early 1970s Daimler DS420 Limo. With 30 cars on track in the first two heats, Sam Bartlett in a big Jag and Josh Gooch in a Scorpio won the two heats, and then the final provided another close race to the finish with Jack Reynolds’ Scorpio getting the verdict ahead of Stacey Holdsworth’s E Class Estate and Josh Gooch. Aaron Charles’ Lexus won the Dash which ran straight into a 6-car DD, in which Josh Gooch and Joey Reynolds were declared joint winners.