REPORT: 28 June 2015 Old School


The second day of the summer weekend featured one of the highlights of the season, with the Graham Salter Tribute for the unlimited National Bangers, in Old Skool format.  

Unfortunately after the sunshine on Saturday, the weather was anything like summer on Sunday morning with drizzle and low cloud.  However, this did not dampen spirits and it had cleared by start time and replaced by sunshine by mid-afternoon.  

The pits were packed to (literally) over-flowing with impressive Bangers galore and they were backed up on the programme by the Junior Rods and the annual outing for the Heritage F1 Stock Cars at Mendips.

A grand total of 111 National Bangers arrived for battle, which made it the most for this meeting and the most number of Bangers in modern history at Mendips Raceway.  A mightily impressive total of cars, and full credit to Rob Mills and Jon Ayles for their behind the scenes organisation, in getting the drivers to get the cars and in many cases make lengthy journeys to attend.  

It was not just about quantity in numbers, it was quality too with superb cars, superb presentation and drivers from the current and in several cases the past – which included several former World and big title holders – all for the day.   

It was to be long, but highly memorable in the honour of Graham Salter whose memory was done proud, again, by his friends in the Banger community.   The heats were split into three ways with the ‘other’ and/or ‘National Bangers’ in heat one, all the Granada’s present in heat two and the old/classic/material in heat three.  

It was not an exact science in terms of numbers but it gave a chance to differentiate and see who was who and what was what.  It also led to a very crowded Mendips track!  

This was especially the case in the first heat which featured 46 starters and despite the Old Skool format, it was almost impossible for the drivers not to plough in and there were track blockages, but, equally in the spirit of Old Skool, the race was kept going and did go all the way without the need for a stoppage.  197 Peter Dodge took the win.  

33 Granada’s for heat two of various degrees and once again it ended up in a track blockage, this time on the bottom bend and unlike heat one a red flag was necessary to clear the track.  Only 10 cars were fit to re-start and after 308 Mark Cooper had held sway for much of the way, his car expired and this left 262 Buddy James to take the win.  

The third heat really was one for the Banger aficionados with ‘material’ galore, the sights, sounds and smells of Banger racing for many well before their actual time!  Understandably for much of the way the drivers in this one really were putting the laps in until another pile up on the exit of turn four brought about the red flags and the race declared at that point with 120 Mark Ashley the winner.   

With nearly 70 cars for the consolation, suffice to say it was necessary to run two.  The first saw 58 Martin Dalton removed from the lead by 54 Tom Davey and it was 439 Danny Sutton who came through to win, whilst the second ended in another big pile up on the top bend and at the time of the red flag 282 Steve Hunt was the only car left running and thus he was the winner with the remainder of the result coming on a countback.   

Therefore it was qualifiers only for the Final, which was a good race for the day’s main prizes.   After 2 Shaun Fisher had led early on 190 Dominic Gumbleton took over and he opened out a sizeable lead.  However, 382 Danny Hunt hunted him down, and reeled him in as the raced moved into the second half and he moved into the lead in the closing stages.  He went on to win with ‘Bubblegum’ second and 282 Hunt (snr) third.   

Despite the day running on, there were no less than 44 cars for the Allcomers, which very quickly turned into action everywhere, with ‘train jacking’ going on until a red flag was thrown with the track being blocked.  At this point it was decided to go straight into the DD, not a satisfactory conclusion but given the circumstances of time it was the only logical way of keeping what left of the meeting flowing.   
It came down to a battle between 311 Danny Allen and 523 John Swanborough with the latter just outlasting the former.   

A good 24 car entry of Junior Rods ran to a two from three heat format.  34 Cameron McColm took both heats one and two, fending off 30 Joe Capel in the first and 224 Jordan Edwards in the second.  Capel was never headed in heat three with the main battle being for second between 956 Harry Thompson and 66 Becky Pearce.   

The Final was headed off by 88 Charlie Pearce until 911 Rhys Burgess took over.  However, a yellow flag for the stranded 225 Joe Edwards changed the outcome of the race in more ways than one as several drivers failed to heed the caution flags.  The Steward considered that McColm and 224 Edwards were the perpetrators of this and were disqualified.   

Burgess continued to lead at the re-start but was passed by Capel.  He then opened out a gap and whilst 66 Pearce did reel him in over the closing laps she wasn’t able to mount a challenge and it was to be Capel’s second win of the day.   Pearce could well be a challenger for the overall points at her current rate and whilst third place finisher 300 Charlie Ayles had a quiet day by his standards, he never the less consolidated his lead nicely throughout the day.

On a day of impressive sights and sounds, the Heritage Cars fitted the bill nicely with a mix of cars from the 1950’s and 1960’s.  439 Andy Tunnah was the winner of heat one after 146 Roy Clarke tangled with another car late on whilst 113 Mike Shirley took heat two.  The Final saw the 1960’s Jim Esau replica car of 244 Martin Makin come through to reel in Shirley and take the win, with Tunnah second.


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RESULTS - 28.06.15

Junior Rods:-

Heat 1 - Cameron McColm 34,30,956,700,376,285,644,108,281,88
Heat 2 - Cameron McColm 34,224,66,285,300,190,281,376,36,911
Heat 3 - Joe Capel 30,956,700,190,66,300,108,911,644,99
Final - Joe Capel 30,66,300,700,956,108,376,190,285,281


Heat 1 - Peter Dodge 197,382,190,440,797,702,258,311
Heat 2 - Buddy James 262,714,2,404,614,150,371
Heat 3 - Mark Ashley 120,206,710,25,517,924,917,83,4,14
Cons (1) - Danny Sutton 439,67,69,127,262,54,272,142
Cons (2) - Steve Hunt 282,396,184,700,701,201,231,266,215,523
Final - Danny Hunt 382,190,282,714,404,120,440,710,311,206
A/C - Sam Trim 363
DD - John Swanborough 523

Heritage Stock Cars:-

Heat 1 - Andy Tunnah 439,21,113,144,244,161,135,274
Heat 2 - Arry Brown 113,274,439,244,144,161,135,21
Final - Martin Makin 244,439,113,274,161,21,135

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