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Matchams Park, Ringwood - Easter Monday 12 April 2004
Special Rods - Rookie Bangers - Ministox

Pictures and Report by Mark Baulch from Ringwood Raceway

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Matchams Park, Ringwood - Easter Monday 12 April 2004
Special Rods - Ringwood Rookies - Ministox

Pictures and Report by Mark Baulch from Ringwood Raceway

The pits were absolutely heaving with cars on a glorious Bank Holiday Monday afternoon at Ringwood Raceway on 12 April, which meant that we were in for some fantastic entertainment.

The Ministox were the first to race, with 18 cars in attendance including the by now accustomed presence of plenty of drivers from Spedeworth. In fact it was one of these drivers that won the first heat, Damon Wright 114, and he was followed home by two of his associates, Scott Bourne 199 and Ryan Cummingham 136. These two were involved in some final bend action in the next heat, as Scott lunged at Ryan to try to take second position away from him, only to spin himself out and end up facing the inner Armco! He managed to recover to take fifth, but his third place was gained by Damon Wright 114, behind the relieved Ryan Cummingham 136 who had managed to fend off the attentions of his fellow driver. Meanwhile, another Spedeworth driver, Vicky Brand 106 had disappeared off in to a lead which she was to convert into a win. Furthermore, she repeated this feat in the final, with Scott Bourne 199 in second once again and the first bit of silverware for a Ringwood driver in the shape of Danny Colliver 748 in third.

Results
Heat 1    114, 199, 136, 719, 110, 167, 125, 344
Heat 2    106, 136, 114, 748, 199, 749, 719, 110
Final    106, 199, 748, 719, 749, 334, 125, 114

The Special Rods were on fine form, 21 of them taking to the circuit for the first race, including Colin Moss 7, returning to the formula for the first time after a short break. This was a frantic race, with lots of spinning cars, a red flag and some unlucky damage for several drivers. Paul Faralewski 84 found himself caught up in one bit of action, collecting some body damage to his new car on its first outing. The hapless Paul just seems to attract accidents sometimes! Another victim was Barry Staples 23, second in the points Championship at the beginning of the evening, who suffered extensive front end damage and was unable to race for the rest of the evening. Colin Moss 7 celebrated his return with the first win of the evening. However, in the second heat, he was to be involved in a racing accident, as a car spun on the pit bend, right in front of the main chasing pack! Several cars found that they had nowhere to go, including Colin Moss 7, who ended up T-boning the spinner and retiring from the race. Luckily, his damage was more superficial, and he was able to return for the final. This second heat was won by the current points leader, Carl Wheeler 317. The final was one of the best we have had with the Special Rods, the top three crossing the line in the blink of an eye after a race long battle that had us catching our breath. Colin Moss 7 managed to bring his repaired car home in third, behind Carl Wheeler 317. But neither of them could find a way around the leading car, despite crawling all over his back bumper, as well as each other. They piled the pressure on, but he drove one of the best and most mature races that I have ever seen him drive, making his Sierra as wide as possible, to claim an extremely
well-deserved victory. Congratulations to David Fishlock 73.

Results
Heat 1    7, 73, 181, 302, 161, 79, 302, 60
Heat 2    317, 33, 6, 308, 181, 630, 73, 161
Final    73, 317, 7, 33, 151, 630, 181, 308

There were 80 Rookies to contend the UK Championship, with plenty of contenders for the title amongst the entry list. Split into two groups, they had two heats in which to qualify for the final, the top eight in each race taking a place on the grid. The first race for Group 1 saw a red flag within 2 laps, which was not a surprise with so many drivers on the track fighting for this prestigious title. After the restart, Willie Irvine 515 came through for the first win of the afternoon. 29 cars reappeared for the second heat, qualifiers not needing to race again. More madness and mayhem, with plenty of retirements, ended in a win for Paul Penton 601, in an unusually large car for him, as he is renowned for using little cars!

Results
Heat 1    515, 299, 8, 68, 80, 155, 272, 40
Heat 2    601, 216, 15, 222, 520, 12, 123, 138

Group 2 also saw an early red flag, as Rory Harfield 191 ended up on his side at the end of the start straight! Jamie Guest 607 then stormed to victory after the second green flag of the heat. 27 cars returned in this group and there was plenty of metal bending and spinning once again, as Scott Weldon 517 threaded through the scrap yard for victory.

Results
Heat 1    607, 78, 600, 228, 602, 292, 703, 19
Heat 2    517, 452, 5, 199, 13, 657, 129, 215

There was a different kind of racing on the track after the Rookies heats, as we held the Easter Egg Fun Runs on the rack whilst they prepared themselves for the Last Chance race. Five different age groups ran various lengths of the circuit for the reward of some chocolate, all the children that ran receiving a small egg. There were then larger eggs for the top three in each category. We had some real gazelles out there! The adults got off lightly this year, only having to run around half the track, but everyone seemed to have some fun!

Then it was back to the serious stuff, as we had four remaining places in the final to award to the top finishers in the Last Chance Ringwood Rookies race. Some surprising non-qualifiers had to line up amongst the 29 cars involved in this race, including the reigning UK Champion, Pete Giles 465. Another car on its roof brought proceedings to a halt for a while, as Jay Wyatt 198 tried running his car with the wheels pointing into the air. This was a really hard fought affair, with all the drivers desperately wanting to qualify. Eventually, Matt Kirkham 426 crossed the line to receive the chequered flag, with Pete Giles 465, Steve Randell 333 and Paul Cooper 605 qualifying behind him.

Results

L/C    426, 465, 333, 605, 147, 270, 214, 477

The grid positions in the Final were decided in a rather more technological way than the usual out of the hat draw. Using the new computerised lap system, we were able to find the fastest lap time of each of the 36 qualifiers, and lined them up in order of these times. This gave Adam Eyles 452 pole position, with a lap time of 18.010 seconds. Very Formula 1! Scott Weldon 517 lined up alongside him with Steve Holmes 215 and Matt Kirkham 426 on the second row. Jamie Wyatt 199, Darryl Loveridge 657 and Mark Kelly 5 were next, with the defending Champion Pete Giles 465 down in eighth place. An extremely fast race with plenty of spinning action had us all biting our nails, as Minky Chant 600 crossed the line in third place, behind runner-up Paul Baggett (Spider) 8. But, the winner never really looked in peril, although he had a few heart-stopping moments as back markers spun out in front of him. Any person foolish enough to try and step in his way was quickly and cleanly dispatched as he powered his way to the crown. Our new Ringwood Rookies UK Champion is Adam Eyles 452, after a flag to flag victory.

Results

Final    452, 8, 600, 123, 15, 216, 515, 333

On 24 April, we have the Superstox and Hot Rods here to show off their speed and agility once again, together with the Ringwood Rookies. Again, gates open at 5.00pm with racing at 7.30pm. See you then!

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