Hot Rods

Stock Rods

Euro Rods

Junior Hot Rods


Street Stox

Ninja Sprints

Rolling Thunder Show

This meeting provided a lesson – never assume that you’re going to have an uneventful night at a Rolling Thunder Show meeting! At the beginning it seemed that the only problem was going to be the regular one of getting anywhere near Arena Essex on a Bank Holiday weekend – the M25 is a surprisingly popular holiday destination! Waiting for the ambulance to escape the traffic caused a slightly late start but once under way the heats were rattled through in record time. With only seven formulae on the programme (there should have been eight but we’re still waiting for the Thunder Rods to get up and running) the only problems were a major shunt for Steven Jeffery in the Stock Rods and a couple of last lap tangles when the Junior racing got too close.

It all went wrong in the finals though. Major pile-ups in the Juniors and Stock Rods resulted in a lot of damage for some blameless drivers, while the latest simmering rivalry in the Superstox came to a head in the most unnecessary way.

The NINJA SPRINTS had the headline race this time, contesting their Lakeside Cup, and a 23-strong field was split up with a separate trophy race for the white graders. After a heavy practice crash for Jay Jones, there were only four white tops racing and Charlie Soane took the final after battling all day with Robinsons Garage supported Luke Syrett-Barsby.  Among the graded drivers Billy Sandford took last lap wins in both heats but was narrowly beaten to the trophy by Lewis Smith in the final, with Jack Collins, Reuben Dodson, Zac Pears, Adam Langridge, Devon visitor Kasey Jones, Harry Wickens, Clayton Worthington and George Harrison completing the top ten.

The EURO RODS had the next biggest field, 16 cars, of which 14 finished the final. Unlucky were newcomer Jack Webb and Michael Hall, who looked set to continue his winning ways from the white grade until his engine exploded in a big way in the closing stages of the first heat. Out of the smokescreen emerged Brian Stanney, to take the first win for the Micra in Euro Rods, in a three-way photo finish with the Corsas of Terry Emberson and Dan Leatham. The second heat saw Terry and Dan in front, battling with Matt Payne. The final saw new Invicta Class 1 Autograss racer Craig Stansfield in his pink-bumpered Tigra leading the way for a while, battling with Joe Allen’s Nova, but in the end Terry Emberson got away to take another win from Dan Leatham, Matt Payne, Dan Spinner, in the Warren Constable Corsa, and Joe Allen, while Craig Stansfield crossed the line in sixth, just as his engine blew up.

A 14-car STOCK ROD field promised good racing but delivered loads of damage. As has been the pattern recently there were lots of lower grade drivers with quick cars starting up front, meaning that points champ Georgie Biggs was looking a bit lonely at the back of the field, but this time she was no doubt happy to watch the carnage develop in front. In the first heat Steven Jeffery’s Nova got turned on the back straight and sent head-on into the armco.  After a few other incidents a second red flag ended the race with John Seex having been in front all the way. John and Mick Seex got away from the pack to take first and second in heat two. Newcomer Martyn Paget’s Fiesta looked promising before collecting the inside kerb and retiring. The final saw Mick Seex black flagged out of the lead for a noisy exhaust and Wes Porter’s Peugeot emerged in front before Pete Stoneham’s Saxo was clipped and sent fenceward, bouncing into the middle of the pack, with Michael Benstead being the unfortunate one left with nowhere to go.  8 cars survived for the final restart and Lee Hedger’s Peugeot took over the lead and won chased by John Seex, Wes Porter and Andy Ireland, with Georgie Biggs making it up to fifth ahead of Jody Hawkins, Ash Braim and Mark Shirley.

With 12 cars on track the JUNIOR HOT RODS provided close racing, sometimes too close. Grayci-Lou Burbridge, upgraded after last time’s heat and final win, looked really impressive as she came through from the blue grade to lead the first heat, only to get spun out on the last lap; new leaders Alfie Jeakins and Reece Peters also tangled on the last corner and Aaron Blake dodged it all to win from Steven Chandler. The second heat was led all the way by novice Harvey Newman, while the challenging Austen Hayes and Murray Austen tangled on the last corner. In the final Harry Newman led until he was helped into the infield on the back straight; the nine leaders emerged from the dust cloud all together, but William Deeley then clipped the kerb and was launched across the track with Alfie Jeakins, Bradley Peters and the Burbridge sisters all ending up in the fence. The result was then taken from the last completed lap with Harvey Newman getting another deserved win from Austen Hayes, Aaron Blake, Grayci-Lou Burbridge, Steven Chandler, Reece Peters and Lily-May Burbridge.

After the excellent turnout for their Lakeside Cup earlier in the month, the SUPERSTOX were down to 11 cars, with none of the white graders turning up.  Ray Holloway set the pace in both heats, being caught and passed by Nick Smith in the first race, but holding off Andy Enright and Nick to win the second. Ray was then building a good lead in the final when it all kicked off behind him with Nick and both Enright brothers cannoning into the pits bend fence, followed by some further action that didn’t bode well for the future careers of those involved. When racing finally resumed, Ray Holloway held off Ryan Cunningham all the way to the flag, chased by Vince Foley, Wayne Dyer, Paul Allen, Aaron Smart and Sarah Rash.

The STREET STOX, despite being down to an 8 car grid, were on their best behaviour, with just the right amount of subtle contact getting Dave Measday through for two heat wins. Dan Amos topped the field for the number of laps led in both heats and the final, but it was Chris Smith who came through to win the final, just fending off Steve Austen’s challenge, with Dave Measday taking third from Dan Amos, Steve Smith, Tracey Gilbert, Nathan Capel and Chloe McDonald.

The smallest field came from the FWD HOT RODS, with a few absent regulars reducing them to a 6 car grid, but in terms of car preparation and enthusiastic but respectful driving, they were the stars of the meeting! Luke Retchless’ beautifully turned out Lotus-liveried Saxo won both heats, but the Swaffham Champion had to settle for third in the final, behind Dan Wild in the ex-Charlie Sayers Civic and Dean Fuller’s unique Seat Ibiza. Doug Constable’s smoky Corsa survived to take forth ahead of Wes Graves Zetec-powered Fiesta and top Stanstead racer Jason Cox, trying out the tarmac in his tidy 1600 Saxo.