This Saturday sees a new season of racing kick off at the Mildenhall Stadium with the 2019 Unlimited National Bangers Supreme Championship headlining the event with support form the fantastic Brisca Formula 2 Stock Cars and the National Saloon Stock Cars.
The entry list is headed by the 2018 World Champion 124 ‘Oris’ Carl Korszeuski who won the title on a rainy and cold night at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich last October. 2018 also saw the Incarace registered racer win the Unlimited National Bangers Heavy Metal Classic at the Standlake Arena. ‘Oris’ doesn’t very often race at Mildenhall so it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on this Saturday in the main race. He’s a great driver with plenty of experience in the big Championship races.
One man who came so close to winning the World Final last year, 617 Jack Overy is also booked in for action. Jack won the title last year, piloting his Ford Scorpio Estate to victory with a great drive. The former World Champion also won the BBA World Cup up at Cowdenbeath last April – a title he has now won three-times in a row. Last season, Jack also claimed victory in the Unlimited National Bangers Southern Championship at the Arlington Stadium, Eastbourne. With a driver of Jack’s pedigree, you’d be silly to count him out in retaining the title this Saturday night.
25 Joe Parsons will be looking to add another title to his CV with the Supreme Championship this Saturday. The young-gun had a great season last year, highlighted by the win at the Champion of Champions event in November at the Birmingham Wheels Raceway. However, Joe will be more known for getting followed in on turn one by 211 Jamie Pole just moments after taking the chequered flag. Joe also claimed the Great Northern title at the Barford Raceway in Scotland.
22 Dave Vincent is no stranger to the shale surface, being a previous winner of the World of Shale title – winning the qualifying series last year. Dave is also a former winner of the Supreme, winning it back at Mildenhall in 2015 with a Ford Granada MK2 – I expect him to be piloting one again this Saturday. After being around the scene for many years, he certainly stands a good chance of winning the title again Saturday night.
27 Dean Quinn is a former Mendips points Champion and is a very quick driver. He very rarely races on shale, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Mendips man gets on this Saturday when the green flag drops in the main race.
I think it’s fair to say that 78 Lee Macey is a driver who doesn’t always have the best of luck and that he will line up as an outsider for the main race Saturday. However, don’t count him out as on his day, Lee can be as quick as anyone, as proved when he won the Unlimited Shale Shifter event last February at Mildenhall.
The ‘Bad-Boy’ 162 Brett Ellacott is one of the longest-serving drivers in the country who still actively races to this day, mainly on his home tracks of St Day and the Smeatharpe Stadium in Taunton. However, Brett does still travel around the country to the big meetings. A former PRI World Champion and three-time Autospeed World Champion, Brett is no stranger to winning big Championships with many titles to his name. He’s already won a title this year after winning the 2LTR National Bangers Winter Open Championship at Smeatharpe.
Brett will be joined in the main race by his DWO teammate 190 ‘Pikey’ Steve Bailey. Steve, like his teammate Brett has won many titles over the years. He’s a two-time winner of the Autospeed World Final, a two-time 2LTR National Banger World Champion, and also a two-time Champion of Champions winner. More recently, ‘Pikey’ has been focusing more on wrecking but has still popped up with a win here and there. He claimed the Thunderbolt title at Mendips last year and also won the 2LTR National Banger Winter Open Championship.
247 ‘Bro’ Lee Clarke, known as the ‘People’s Champion’, is no stranger in taking on the big boys even if he’s outnumbered, causing havoc along the way. But Lee does have another side to him, one that likes to race. And when he races, he’s seriously quick! He has won the Trackstar World Final twice, both within the last two years, as well as winning the World of Shale last year. He’s also won the BBA English and back in 2011, the Supreme Championship when it was run to National rules. I’m sure he’ll be looking to reclaim the title this Saturday in the much bigger Unlimited division.
The one and only Scottish representative in the race this year is 222 Colin Riddell. Colin’s home track is Crimond where he has won a few races, including the 2014 Brian Jamieson Trophy back in 2014. In 2017, he won the Unlimited points Championship at his home track. Hopefully Colin can have a good race Saturday and maybe pick up a surprise win and take the title back North to Scotland.
242 Ricky Korpiela is probably better known for his crashing exploits at the Arena Essex Raceway that sadly closed its doors at the end of last season. Ricky is a fantastic entertainer so I’m sure he’ll be one to watch on Saturday as normally wherever he is, action is never far away!
Speaking of former PRI drivers, 267 James Steele is another who will be looking to take home the Supreme Championship title this Saturday. James won the Unlimited National Bangers Pre-90’ Roy Rawlins Testimonial Final last June via last car running after a massive wrecking train between his TMT teammates and the Midnight Runners. He also won the Micro National Bangers World Series Final.
He will be joined by a couple of his fellow TMT colleagues, one of which is 592 Mark Marchant who is no stranger to crashing. When him and his fellow TMT teammates are in a big Championship race, Marchant normally turns it round to take out the opposition in a hope one of his teammates will come through and take the win. He’s one to watch for Saturday!
623 ‘Tricky’ Ricky Hutton is another who likes a crash, but he is also more than capable of collecting a win in a big Championship race. He won the National Bangers Kent Championship at Dover back in 2017 before going on to win the Masters Championship at the back end of last year. It’s worth keeping your eye on the 623 car on Saturday night as he’ll either be up there and challenging for the race win or crashing into as many of the opposition as possible!
388 Terry Garrod will line-up in the main race Saturday night and is no stranger to the looser shale surface, being a three-time winner of the 1500cc National Bangers National Championship at King Lynn – winning them all between 2013 and 2015. In 2017, he also won the 2LTR National Bangers Commentators Cup, again at Kings Lynn.
348 Sonny Sherwood is another driver who has been around the National Banger circus for many years and has many titles to his name. ‘Mushy’ is a former winner of the Figure of Eight World Final and also the 2LTR National Banger World Final. He has also won many big races at the Mildenhall Stadium too, including three British Championships’ and is a former winner of the Supreme Championship. A bit like 617 Jack Overy, ‘Mushy’ is a good bet to reclaim the title this Saturday – which he last won in 2006 with a Vauxhall Cavalier.
384 John Golden will line-up in the main race this Saturday and is another driver to keep your eyes on. John is more renowned for his crashing side rather than the racing and can normally be found in a classic bit of machinery rather than the more modern-day machinery like the Ford Scorpio’s and Mercedes.
456 Nathan Roberts is a seriously quick driver but doesn’t always have the luck in the big Championship races. The 2012 Aldershot Open being his biggest Championship win. He’s won loads of races before all over the country though, but can he add another title to his name? He’s proved himself in the PRI 2LTR Stock Cars and has recently stepped his toe into the water of the mighty Brisca Formula 1 Stock Cars.
548 Alex Utting is the current BBA English Champion after he won the title at the Skegness Stadium last year in the much smaller Micro division. However, don’t rule out Alex when it comes to the bigger cars either as he’s a very capable driver and one that is more than capable of winning the big race come Saturday night.
570 Jordan Cumming is still only a young man despite his wealth of experience, having already qualified for numerous World Finals in his short career so far. He’s picked up loads of race wins and is as quick as anyone wherever he goes. Jordan is yet to win a major title, but if he were to win this Saturday, it could spring board him to more silver ware in the big title races in the near future.
Team Bash’s 673 Darren Fendley won the Trackstar World Final back in 2015 and the British Championship at Mildenhall Stadium in 2010. Other Championship wins have gone his way including the 2011 2LTR National Bangers Commentators Cup. He’s also no stranger to winning in the Unlimited National Bangers after taking the 2017 Banger World Series Final at Mildenhall. Expect to see Darren there or there abouts come the chequered flag Saturday night.
One man who stands a very good chance of taking the title is 717 Jack Tuffen. Jack started his racing career at the Arena Essex Raceway, winning the points Championship back in 2014 before becoming Incarace registered a couple of years ago. Since then, he has won Incarace World Qualifying Series twice in a row against some top-quality drivers in the Midlands. He also claimed victory at the Ringwood UK Open in 2017 against a very good calibre of drivers. Jack will be one to watch in the main race Saturday night.
Former National Bangers British Champion, 830 Lee White lines-up in the main race and is no stranger to winning Championships. In 2017, he won the 1500cc National Bangers National Championship at Kings Lynn and also the King of the Fens title too a year earlier. Lee is also more than capable of winning in the big Unlimited cars too as a former winner of the Nutcracker Championship. As a shale-specialist, expect Lee to finish well in the main race Saturday.
Completing the line-up is 960 Ross Winsor who is very quick on the loose surface. As a relation to 160 Shayn, racing is in his blood. Coming from a family who’ve won titles before, expect Ross to add one to his National Banger CV soon.
Last Chance Qualifiers
There are another 70-odd drivers ready and waiting to secure their spot in the main race through the last chance qualifiers with some very quick drivers booked in. Last Chance races are like smaller main events with only the top three or so making the back of the grid for the Supreme Championship, so expect some fast and frantic action from those races.
Brisca Formula 2 Stock Cars
After what seems like a very long-time, the Brisca Formula 2 Stock Cars make their first Mildenhall appearance of the 2019 season. With just over 40 cars booked in, there’s sure to be some fireworks.
This will be the F2s second shale meeting of the season having raced at the Adrian Flux Arena, Kings Lynn at the start of the month, where nearly 60 cars put on a fantastic display of stock car racing – kicking off the 2019 shale season in style.
On that night, heat wins went the way of 981 Ian Bailey who we’ll see in action this Saturday and Dan Ford whilst the consolation went the way of 606 Andrew Palmer on his return to full-time racing. Ford won the Grand Final with 905 Rob Mitchell taking the Grand National.
Ford will be looking for another race win at Mildenhall this Saturday as will 981 Ian Bailey. 606 Andrew Palmer will be looking to carry on the momentum gained from that consolation win the other week as he tries to get use to the formula again.
National Saloon Stock Cars
The National Saloon Stock Cars make their eagerly anticipated return to the Suffolk-shale venue this Saturday after a long Winter off.
It will see the Saloon Stock Cars race in their second shale meeting of the 2019 season after the Clive Grief Memorial at the Adrian Flux Arena on the 2nd March. Just under 40 cars contested the meeting with 219 Luke Grief winning a bruising main event, with the allcomers wins going to 131 Timmy Barnes who debuted his new car and 428 Lee Sampson.
Timmy is booked in and ready for action again this Saturday and will be one to keep your eye on!
We also have the reigning European Champion 116 Andrew ‘Diggy’ Smith booked in, who is always putting the bumper in. He was involved in a spectacular crash with National Hot Rod World and National Champion 305 Billy Wood at the Arlington Stadium, Eastbourne in late December. He’ll be hoping for less of that on Saturday, but knowing ‘Diggy’ that’s highly unlikely.
Local racer 730 Deane Mayes is another booked in for action. Deane often goes well at Mildenhall, in fact he won the British Championship at the track last season.
Meetings at the Mildenhall Stadium from now will prove to be pivotal as drivers look to build a head of steam before their 2019 National Championship weekend on the 15th and 16th June.
It’s going to be a fantastic meeting this Saturday as the 2019 season at Mildenhall roars into life with an all-action, all-contact extravaganza!
Header image by http://www.ac-photos.net/ (Alex Catley)
By Jordan Hollands.