Stock Rods

Euro Rods

Junior Hot Rods

Street Stox

Ninja Sprints

Mini Super Twos

Rolling Thunder Show
9 APRIL 2016

As usual when the SEGTO Championship comes to Arena Essex we were effectively treated to two meetings for the price of one, with only the Outlaw Hot Rods being dropped from the regular Rolling Thunder Show programme (logically due to the overlap with the SEGTO Super Saloons), which meant that a very long and busy night looked in store, with potentially up to 44 races on the programme! Amalgamation of some SEGTO classes, and putting the big field of Euro Rods all out in one heat, reduced this to 36 races and despite one or two incidents along the way, the meeting flowed quickly from a 5.45 pm start, to getting the last race under way on the dot of 10.30. The chilly, but dry, conditions were a welcome respite from the monsoon of the Easter meeting!

Among the regular RTS classes at this SEGTO meeting, the EURO RODS provided the most entertainment, with 28 cars lining up for the first heat. After a few incidents, including two cars getting upside down, 22 of them survived for the final. Lee Hedger was setting the pace in his immaculate Peugeot from the white grade, although we’re not sure how he got from the back to the front of the nine white graders in half a lap in the first heat! Anthony Woodhams’ Corsa beat Lee after a late restart in the first race and then came second in the second heat and final as Lee tried to keep a safe distance in front of the hectic traffic. Terry Emberson came third in the final ahead of newcomer Grant Jones, Rob West, George Morris, Jay Goddard and Chris Smith.


The JUNIOR HOT RODS had their biggest field for a while with a few stoppages for minor incidents and one or two penalties thrown in. Bailey Austin’s AX, after showing ever increasing speed in recent weeks, won the two heats, managing to fend off Corben Lord after a late restart in the first race. For the final Bailey was regraded to yellow, but still came through to take the win, holding off Ben MacGregor, Brian Stanney and Corben Lord – however, Bailey got dropped two places in the final result, meaning that the Lakeside Cup went to Ben MacGregor, his first major win. Albert Webster’s C2 and Sid Burton were early casualties, points leader Steven Chandler got spun out and Harvey Hendy was excluded from the restart leaving the other places in the final to Grayci-Lou Burbridge, Jack Simmons, Austen Hayes, Lily-May Burbridge, and the two Micras of Reece and Bradley Peters, who started from the back all night.

The STREET STOX got livelier as the night went on and ended with the unusual sight of the final winner being excluded for contact in a contact formula! The way Dan Rowson disposed of second place Dave Measday going into the last lap was judged to be over the top, but Dan could see ahead that race long leader Mitchell Cummins was getting bogged down trying to lap one of the hire cars, and Dan went on to sweep past both cars to take what he thought was the win. In fact the win was awarded, after an impressive debut, to Mitchell Cummins from Steve Austen and Shane Sandy, who both pitched right into the battle on the last lap.


The STOCK RODS also had their share of action, although Ian Heffernan, making a rare appearance in his RWD Starlet, took all three races. In the first race Maison Waugh caught Ian but a lunge up the inside saw Maison use the kerb to launch himself onto his side before flipping back on his wheels. The next two races saw Ian pull far enough away  not to tempt anyone else to make a move on him, although for the last half of the final he was  impressively held off by newcomer Georgie Biggs, who’d started at the back. Best of the FWD brigade in the final was Justin Winfield, beating Maison Waugh, Dan Phillips, Les Hatch, Georgie Biggs and John Hatch.


A ten car field of SUPERSTOX saw a heat and final win for Andrew Enright, chased home in the final by brother John, Chris Langridge and Dan Roots, although in the second heat the Enright brothers couldn’t catch part-time Class 8 racer Bill Edwards, whose experimental Duratec cleared itself after misfiring from the start. Bill dropped out of the final though, and the other places went to Billy Banwell, Vince Foley and Aaron Smart, with Neil Moss and Sarah Nash not starting.


The NINJA SPRINTS, with a field of 14, had an incident packed night with at least one red flag in every race and the final going to the maximum allowed four starts. Tommy Haines and Ben Witherall were setting a good pace from the front of the grid, while fellow novice grader George Harrison was attracting plenty of attention with his immaculate Pennzoil-liveried kart.  Jack Bailey and Billy Sandford came through to win the heats but the final featured a heavy pile-up that took out virtually the whole field behind the three leaders. The strength of the Ninjas was proved when all but one of them was lined up for the restart, the unlucky one being Billy Sandford, while the other stoppages eliminated Ashley Shaw and Alec Constanduros. After the final restart Alfie Witherall took over in front to take a well-deserved first win for his new Oakwood Fabrications kart, followed by Adam Langridge, Riley Marsh, Charlie Haines, Max Eaton, Jack Bailey, Tate Allington, Jack Collins, Ben Witherall and Tommy Haines.


Last but not least the MINI SUPER TWOs paid another visit with an 8-car grid of the entertaining 420cc Stock Cars.  They were all back on track after a heavy shunt for newcomer Steve Jordan and Courtney Smith in the first heat. Matthew Clayton won that race from the back but Paul Sweeney got quicker and quicker to lead heat two and the final all the way, chased home in the final by Craig Driscoll, Matthew Clayton, Mark Sanders, John Smith, Courtney Smith, Dan Boys and Steve Jordan.


The next Rolling Thunder Show event, on Saturday 23 April, sees the welcome return of the Sprint Cars to Arena Essex, with the Outlaw Hot Rods back on the programme as well as all the other regular classes.