The 50th annual ORCi PRI National Banger Championship of the World once again took place at the Mendips Raceway on Sunday 13th September.
It was a fantastic effort from the promoter to even stage the meeting after the Coronavirus pandemic brought a Nationwide halt to proceedings between March and late-July.
The booking list reflected everyone’s hard work with 120 cars entered. A few drivers booking-out late and a couple of no-shows meant around 100 cars made the journey South-West – still the best entry the meeting has seen in a fair few years.
As has become the norm, it was a Ford Mondeo dominated entry with a few drivers piloting Ford Focus’s and a couple of Ford Cougar’s and MK5 Vauxhall Astra’s to add a bit of diversity to the grid. 262 ‘Roona’ Rob Bugler also had a sport’s first, by racing a fresh Vauxhall Insignia Estate.
Probably turning the most heads however, was 720 Kenny-Joe Gabriel who turned out a beautifully prepared MK3 Ford Mondeo Limousine, gifting him the best prepared car award for the second year running after he turned out a gorgeous MK1 Ford Mondeo Saloon in 2019.
With such a fantastic booking list, three last chance qualifiers were ordered with the top four from each booking their spots on the World Final grid, along with the 28 seeds giving us a 40-car Championship of the World Final.
The first last chance qualifier of the afternoon saw a big push going into turn three with 93 Dylan Goodman getting turned fence wards by 799 Tom Pearce. 720 Leon Bates and 209 Scott Wagstaff were also caught up as well as 2017 World Champion, 74 ‘Scratchy’ Adam Hitchcock, 157 Dominic Hall and 01 Gary Moule.
Everyone apart from ‘Scratchy’ managed to get going again with 83 Ben Styles lunging 122 Mark Cooper Jnr into the stranded car ‘Scratchy’ on turn three, with the impact pushing him around to turn four.
Styles and Cooper Jnr managed to carry on with little damage picked up for either driver.
190 Steve Bailey ‘Pikey’ was the next to lunge at 122 Cooper Jnr going into turn three, with the DWO star going on two wheels momentarily on impact.
Looking for revenge, Cooper Jnr turned it around and met 83 Styles with a head-on on turn four. 01 Moule then piled in on Styles with a great shot as 93 Goodman was jacked on the back straight by 160 Jamie Warr.
Race leader 264 Shane Jennings wasn’t afraid to put the bumper in or hold back despite his sizeable lead as he went in on 160 Warr as well. As Goodman was spun, he was hit over the rear left wheel by 595 Ben Wall.
Meanwhile, Jennings was pushing Warr around turns three and four, going head-on into the armco on the exit of the bend forcing him into retirement and forcing the race wide-open.
190 ‘Pikey’ then picked up 160 Warr and punted him into the turn three armco leaving him vulnerable to a jacking from 595 Wall. As he re-joined through, he was jacked by 01 Moule who was then met on the nose by Gladiator 669 Cal Curtis.
961 Brad Deeprose jacked Moule who was then jacked by 313 Callum Harris as 190 ‘Pikey’ also went in, forcing his way through the turn four wreckage.
It would be 190 ‘Pikey’ though who would hang on to secure the first race win of the afternoon and book his spot on the World Final grid.
Race winner: 190 Steve Bailey ‘Pikey’
The second last chance qualifier of the afternoon saw 208 PJ Collins spin 838 Jamie Peters on turn one with 414 Jimmy Craig clipping the front left wheel of Peters Ford Mondeo.
Meanwhile, 107 Michael Seex pushed out 732 Archie Cullum going into turn three to take the race lead as 208 Collins pushed 150 Ben Elliott into a stranded car on the exit of turn two before he pushed 186 Billy Slaymaker into the turn three armco.
132 Chris Cullum t-boned 929 Sam Baker on turns three and four before 448 Alfie Critt went in on the Scrapyard Screamer.
107 Michael Seex took the race win in a much quieter heat race than the first.
Race winner: 107 Michael Seex
The third and final last chance qualifier saw 962 Josh Pidgley come under attack from 727 Keiron Ritson and 22 Ash Ridges on turn two as 624 Liam Hide was spun on turn three before getting a head-on delivered to him by 962 Pidgley.
788 then jacked the SP Transport & Recycling sponsored Ford Focus on turn three with the latter catching fire, bringing out the red flags.
The restart saw 176 Ben King push 367 into the 788 MK5 Vauxhall Astra as 22 Ridges followed in 727 Ritson. Thankfully though, all managed to get going again.
457 Nathaniel Wheeler then pushed 727 Ritson into 176 King as the trio went crashing into the armco on turns one and two, subsequently also dragging 161 Charlie Hutson into the mix.
526 Jak Denikiewicz survived a late engine issue to take the race win, all while being chased down by 376 Steve Hill. Unfortunately, that issue kept 526 ‘Jak D’ out of the World Final race.
Race winner: 526 Jak Denikiewicz
There was heartbreak even before the green flag flew of the 2020 ORCi PRI National Banger World Final, as Trackstar representative 178 Kieran Bowman pulled off onto the centre green on the rolling lap.
It was such a shame for the Predator who turned out a beautifully prepared Ford Mondeo Estate for the occasion. Hopefully, he visits the track again soon and has more luck!
Anyway, once the green flag finally dropped, there was another big push from the mid-pack going into turn three which included local hopes 333 Charlie Randell and Mendips Wildcard winner 92 Liam Bartlett.
Randell retired from the race after his heavy brush with the armco on turn three as the number 2 car of Jack Hodges was jacked on the back straight by 741 Alex Waterman – getting revenge for an earlier scuffle in the opening exchanges of the race.
With Hodges seeming to have suffered a slight knock to his ankle, the red flags were brought out after a fast and frenetic start.
On the resumption, Gladiator star 201 ‘Turkish’ Phil Milner attacked Spedeworth representative 400 Lee Kingsnorth on the exit of turn four with 376 Hill also getting caught up in the shenanigans as 592 Mark Marchant went up on two wheels before getting spun out of contention by his TMT teammate 313 Harris just by the start-finish line.
743 Jake Bond was then pitted into the front of 400 Kingsnorth’s car who was then t-boned by 107 Seex when the momentum pushed him into his path.
The melee also brought an end to defending World Champion, 337 Ashley Garrod’s defence.
743 Bond was battling away with 114 ‘Lakey’ Liam Lake as he went head-to-head with 201 ‘Turkish’ before he met 92 Bartlett on the nose.
720 Gabriel went steaming in on Bartlett’s Focus which blocked the pathway through leaving nowhere to go for 742 Morgan Galley and Barton Boy 211 Jamie Pole.
Race leader 542 Craig Oliver tried to navigate his way around the outside but was met by his Gladiator teammate ‘Turkish.’ 313 Harris went in on Gabriel’s Limo with 743 Bond also pilling in as 440 ‘Big-Mac’ Macauley Mills tried to fight his way through on a narrow inside line.
He got through, but the next time around, the track was completely blocked as 99 Shaydy Gough went on the offensive, jacking 799 Pearce in the process.
299 Dale Locker and 107 Seex tried desperately to push 440 ‘Big-Mac’ through but it was to no avail as 542 Oliver punted 743 Bond into the turn three armco, eager to make up for the time he lost in the pile-up earlier on.
400 Kingsnorth had got going again but was once again stopped, this time by 623 ‘Tricky’ Ricky Hutton on opposite with 107 Seex also joining in. He was then jacked by 211 Pole with a roof-bending shot.
400 Kingsnorth then turned it around to dish out a revenge shot to 623 ‘Tricky’ as race leader ‘Big-Mac’ tried to find a route through the turn four wreckage yet again, this time jacking 299 Locker.
741 Charlie Daniels was making quiet progress through the field and met 400 Kingsnorth on the nose before also giving a little bump to ‘Big-Mac.’
The race was red flagged yet again with 741 Daniels jacking 341 Andrew ‘Jonesey’ Jones as 131 Sam Hill went in on him.
‘Jonesey’ was then hit over the rear right wheel by 440 ‘Big-Mac’ before he got stopped by 190 ‘Pikey’ on the nose. This finished off ‘Big-Mac’s title challenge as his gearbox went.
131 Hill then jacked 741 Daniels in what was becoming a race of nutrition rather than laps completed, as he was then jacked himself by 349 ‘Noddy’ Lewis Price, who was in the lead of the race. However, this broke his steering and forced him into retirement as well.
131 Hill (who was at this point under scrutiny from the race stewards for being inactive too long) met 741 Daniels with a head-on on turn four as 133 Terry Hill puled off the centre green to T-Bone Daniels as well.
This cleared a pathway through for the 131 car as 133 once again pulled off onto the centre green with a lot of drivers seemingly unhappy with his actions in what was a very tense and well fought World Final race.
With 741 Daniels once again blocking the route through, 131 Hill jacked the TMT driver once again before he was stopped himself.
With no cars left running and 741 Daniels still moving in the turn four wreckage, the red and chequered flags were shown to signify the end of the first ever National Banger World Final to have finished via last car running with Daniels being crowned as the new World Champion.
Due to being inactive for too long, 131 Hill was not classified in the result despite his fantastic display, meaning 349 ‘Noddy’ was second with 440 ‘Big-Mac’ in third for the second year in a row.
50th ORCi PRI National Banger World Champion: 741 Charlie Daniels
Second place: 349 ‘Noddy’ Lewis Price
Third place: 440 ‘Big-Mac’ Macauley Mills
The first allcomers race of the afternoon saw 720 Bates go on opposite and sideswipe 517 Scott Weldon on turn four, breaking the former’s front left steering arm.
788 also went on opposite and met 22 Ridges on the nose and 176 King also went in on him. This slowed 337 Garrod as 161 Hutson gave a head-on to Bates as 330 Ben Key and 208 Collins also went into the pile-up that was starting to form, once again on turn four.
74 ‘Scratchy’ once again rattled the turn three armco before gently going into 727 Ritson as 340 Wes Freestone went in on the nose of 720 Bates, whilst 160 Warr did what Bates couldn’t do and take out 517 Weldon.
99 Gough jacked 74 ‘Scratchy’ with an awesome shot which also got some decent airtime as 01 Moule bumped into Bates – who was seemingly taking a bit of battering.
160 Warr jacked Moule as 448 Critt subsequently jacked the 160 car. The red flags were then brought out.
The restart saw 788 go on opposite once again, t-boning 799 Pearce as he was sent into a half-spin by 330 Key and 327 Syd Sherman. 99 Gough, 208 Collins and 122 Cooper Jnr were also caught up in the wreckage, as were 337 Garrod and 176 King.
961 Deeprose jacked 176 King’s Ford Cougar with a stiff shot before 122 Cooper Jnr subsequently jacked him.
799 Pearce jacked 122 Cooper Jnr before 448 Critt continued in his lively spirits by attacking him.
330 Key jacked 448 Critt with a hard and fast hit, also collecting the stranded ‘Scratchy’ car as 99 Gough went in on 122 Cooper Jnr.
Cooper Jnr retaliated by going in over the rear right wheel of 799 Pearce the next time around, just before 99 Gough jacked Pearce as well.
208 Collins jacked race leader 77 Aaron Charles who managed to escape the carnage.
77 Charles then jacked 327 Sherman on turn two to win the first allcomers race of the afternoon via last car running.
Race winner: 77 Aaron Charles
The final race of what had been a brilliant afternoon thus far started with 181 Grant Doe getting followed in by 868 Stuart Parish on turn three, with both managing to continue.
349 ‘Noddy’ was the next to feel the force of 868 Parish as 139 Thomas Dimascio was spun towards the turn three armco by 720 Gabriel. Dimascio was then hit over his rear left wheel by 201 ‘Turkish’ as 962 Pidgley followed in 252 Nemo Llewellyn.
201 ‘Turkish’ then went in on 962 Pidgley as 186 Slaymaker and 122 Cooper Jnr also joined the fray.
592 Marchant then jacked 186 Slaymaker with a hard hit with 911 Rhys Burgess-Sebourne then jacking the TMT driver too.
911 Burgess-Sebourne was then hit by 720 Gabriel as carnage ensued over on turn three with some monster shots going in!
838 Peters went steaming in as 190 ‘Pikey’ jacked the new World Champion 741 Daniels whilst 313 Harris jacked 838 Peters.
114 ‘Lakey’ jacked 313 Harris as 211 Pole went in on 349 ‘Noddy.’
129 Jonathan Brook jacked 400 Kingsnorth as 262 ‘Ronna’ went in on 741 Daniels at low speed.
157 Dominic Hall came storming down the back straight before slamming on the brakes when he realised there wasn’t a suitable hit on – showing great control and awareness. He pin-balled off a few cars before 211 Pole jacked 262 ‘Roona.’
As 262 ‘Roona’ backed 211 Pole into the traffic, 160 Warr jacked the Barton Boy as 157 Hall met ‘Roona’ on the nose.
With the track completely blocked, the decision was taken to red flag the race and clear some cars from the turn three pile-up, allowing some of them to join in the Destruction Derby.
The DD started with 201 ‘Turkish’ meeting 262 ‘Roona’ on the nose which allowed 161 Hutson to pile in as 962 Pidgley collected the stranded Ford Cougar of 129 ‘Jono’ Brook.
Hutson backed out of the crash which allowed 160 Warr to jack him, who was in turn jacked by 114 ‘Lakey.’
333 Randell hit 114 ‘Lakey’ over the rear right wheel before 176 King hit ‘Lakey’ over the rear left wheel just as the red flags were brought out.
The resumption saw 333 Randell meet 190 ‘Pikey’ on the nose on the exit of turn four.
742 Galley jacked 341 ‘Jonesey’ as 720 Gabriel and 93 Goodman also piled in. Scrapyard Screamer 181 Doe also went in as did 724 Jamie Alexander.
333 Randell then went on opposite again and met DWO hard-hitter 341 ‘Jonesey’ on the nose.
After dealing with ‘Chaz’, 341 ‘Jonesey’ then jacked the dead car of 669 Curtis on the back straight leaving him susceptible to a hit from 93 Goodman.
Continuing his one-man wrecking mission, 341 ‘Jonesey’ then t-boned 160 Warr as 724 Alexander met ‘Noddy’ on the nose with a crunching head-on. ‘Jonesey’ also went in on the Gladiator driver as 93 Goodman jacked the DWO man.
838 Peters attacked 93 Goodman with a solid shot, but that wasn’t enough to stop the Gladiator as he claimed victory in the Destruction Derby.
The National Bangers were absolutely brilliant all day long with some beautifully prepared cars and some awesome hits and pit-work to boot.
Special mention to 122 Cooper Jnr who kept pulling out his Ford Mondeo all day long before putting in some brutal hits and getting well wrecked himself.
Congratulations to 741 Daniels on a well-deserved World Championship victory in what has to be the most destructive World Final race in National Banger history.
Well-done to all drivers who raced and a massive thank-you for all your efforts throughout the course of the afternoon, and also in the build-up to the meeting as well.
The BriSCA Formula 2 Stock Cars made their second and final appearance of the season at Mendips. With Kings Lynn and Northampton being the weekend favoured by many, 21 cars made the pilgrimage South-West.
With the drivers wanting as many races as possible, the decision was taken to run a 2/3rds format with an all-in Final and Grand National.
53 Phil Mann took a convincing victory in the first heat race from yellow grade whilst 581 Daniel Fallows won heat two before 522 Chris Mikulla took his second victory of the season at Mendips with a race win in heat three.
After a fast-fought Final, it was that man again, 581 Fallows who came through to claim victory whilst Harrison Bryant took a well-deserved victory in the Grand National after a rather barren spell.
The F2s are back in action again this weekend, this time at the Smeatharpe Stadium, Taunton for what should be two excellent days of action. They have been exceptional there this season with plenty of bumper-work and close finishes.
That wraps up the F2 season for us here at Mendips though, let’s hope the 2021 season is much more fruitful and we can enjoy Europe’s finest Short Circuit open wheel formula a lot more.
By Jordan Hollands.
Heat 1 – Phil Mann 53, 581, 522, 890, 542, 783, 184, 895, 325, 24
Heat 2 – Dan Fallows 581, 184, 976, 53, 895, 539, 920, 291, 736, 91
Heat 3 - Chris Mikulla 522, 783, 890, 24, 736, 91, 920, 229. 660, 10
Final – Dan Fallows 581, 522, 890, 24, 184, 91, 542, 783, 895, 539
GN- Harrison Bryant 91, 522, 542, 783, 24, 184, 890, 895, 976, 539
LCQ 1 – Steve Bailey 190, 577, 313, 799
LCQ 2 – Michael Seex 107, 741, 340, 129
LCQ 3 – Jack Denikiewiz 526, 376, 775, 475, 77, 367
World Championship – Macauley Mills 440, 741, 341
A/C 1 - Aaron Charles 77
A/C 2 – Jamie Peters 838, 190, 313, 349, 114, 400, 211, 129, 262, 157
DD – Dylan Goodman 93
It was a warm and dry afternoon with dry track conditions for the P.R.I. National Banger World Championship supported by the Brisca F2’s.
90 Bangers turned up with 28 driver’s seeded straight in to the World Championship, with the rest of the drivers split in to 3 Last chance Qualifier Race’s with the top 4 from each Race, going into the World Championship. 527 Will Darch had a very smart Mondeo Estate, and 720 Kenny Gabriel Junior had a very smart MK3 Mondeo Limousine (home built).
In the 1st Last Chance Race 122 Mark Cooper Jnr was the 1st to turn it around and give someone a Head on, with a lot of big hits going on mostly on the Turnstile Bend, then there was a stoppage, 190 Steve Bailey led the re-start from, 313 Callum Harris. Bailey survived the action to take the win from, 577 Alfie Lee, then 799 Tom Pearce, then Harris. Amongst the action in the 2nd last chance race which also had a lot of big hits 838 Jamie Peters turned it around and gave 186 Lewis Fasey a head on, and there was a pile up on the turnstile bend, then there was a stoppage 107 Michael Seex led the re-start, and went onto win from, 741 Alex Waterman, 340 Wes Freestone, then 129 Jonathan Brook the only finisher’s!! The 3rd race had slightly less action but there was still a lot of big hits going in, with 2 stoppages required, the 1st re-start was led by 161 Charlie Hutson then 526 Jack Denikiewiz, and the second re-start was led by Denikiewiz, then 77 Aaron Charles, Denikiewiz went on to take the win from 376 Steve Hill, then 775 Ben Wall, then 457 Nathaniel Wheeler.
40 cars came out for the P.R.I. Banger World With the grid determined by a Public Draw. 178 Kieran Bowman retired before the Race started, and 400 Lee Kingsnorth took the early lead from 3rd on the grid, then 201 Phil Milner turned it around and gave Kingsnorth a Head-On on the Turnstile Bend triggering a lot of action, then there was a stoppage, 542 Craig Oliver led the re-start from Harris then 440 Macauley Mills. Then Milner turned it around again and the race then turned into a D/D with a lot of big hits going in and there was a massive pile up on the turnstile bend, then a car caught fire leading to a stoppage, Mills led the re-start, then Bailey decided to turn it around and hit Mills Head on triggering more action, and there was another pile up on the turnstile bend and the race again tuned into a D/D with a lot of heavy hits and in the end the race Following an ORCi protest, 440 Macauley Mills was declared the Winner based on laps completed.
26 Cars came out for the 1st Banger’s All-comers Race which was more like a D/D which had a stoppage Charles led the re-start and in the end they was no cars left running!! So, Charles was declared the winner. 32 cars came out for the 2nd All-comers Race, with 7 cars waiting for the official D/D!! There was a big Jacking Train on the Turnstile Bend leading to another pile up and the race turned into another unofficial D/D!! Then the race was stopped and declared, and then started the official D/D which ended with a Head-On Between Price(Noddy) and 93 Dylan Goodman (both Gladiators), with Goodman’s car the only on left running.
22 F2’s turned up and they ran a 2/3rds Format. Sam Weston also turned up but didn’t get past practice, and 736 Josh Weare is already up to the blue Grade after graduating from the Junior Rods. In the 1st Heat 53 Phil Mann was quick from 3rd to take the early lead with a gap from 229 Jon Kind in 2nd, then 581 Dan Fallows was quick up to 3rd and passed Kind for 2nd, 53 Phil Mann went on to win from Fallows, then 522 Chris Mikulla. In the 2nd Heat 660 Becky Pearce took the early lead from 291 Dan Baker and just before the ½ way mark 976 Dan Kent bumped past Baker for 2nd, then Fallows bumped past Kent for 2nd, then with two laps left Pearce spun out of the lead, Fallows went on to take the win from 184 Aaron Vaight, then Kent. In the 3rd Heat Pearce led for a while, and 91 Harrison Bryant spun out, and Mikulla was quick up to 2nd, then Mikulla found a way past Pearce to take the lead, further back 542 Steve Gilbert retired in a cloud of smoke, Mikulla went on to take the win from 783 James Rygor, then 890 Paul Rice, then 24 Jon Palmer. 19 cars came out for the Final with four cars going into the fence on the 1st lap, and the bumpers was going in, and later on Weare was left broadside of the racing line, Pearce led for a long while before spinning out giving Bryant the lead, Mikulla was quick up to 2nd, then Fallows bumped Mikulla wide to retake 2nd, then Fallows bumped Bryant to take the lead. Fallows went on to win from, Mikulla, then Rice, then Palmer. 16 cars came out for the Grand National Bryant made it up from 4th to take the lead, and built up a gap from Kent, then Mikulla, Mikulla then found a way past Kent for 2nd, Bryant went on to take the win from Mikulla, then Gilbert (whose car was smoking again in the last few laps).