Once again, the 2019 running of the Bears Big Bash at the Arlington stadium attracted a capacity booking list with drivers from all over the UK and mainland Europe descending on the south coast to raise even more money for the Rockinghorse Children’s Charity in Brighton.
The first heat race of the night was led away – quite fittingly – by the leader of the Bears 421 Nigel ‘Nutty Nige’ Riley. 41 Paul Pentecost then attacked the Real Steel Taxi of 747 Bradley Crandon going into turn three with 195 David Forrest shoving the other Taxi of 182 Michael Maggs into the Crandon car before going head on into the armco.
751 Laurence Wells was spun by the smart Rover P5 of 372 Lee Evans going into turn three with Dan Pullen of Team Little Charlie’s joining the fray in his beautifully prepared Rolls Royce, jacking 372 Evans.
416 Josh Spokes then delivered a stiff T-Bone to 195 Forrest. 521 ‘Ace-Ash’ Ashley Riley then piled in on Sewell’s Rolls Royce. Spokes jacked the stranded Maggs car as 284 Justin Roff jacked ‘Ace-Ash’. 737 ‘Crash’ Ian Crandon then jacked Roff’s smart Daimler DS420 Limousine.
78 Lee Macey delivered a shot over the rear left wheel to Spokes Taxi with the red flags coming out for a fire on one of the cars involved in that pile-up on turn three.
The restart saw 751 Wells manage to get his DS420 Limousine going again before reversing out on turn four getting T-Boned by 403 George Tickner in his gorgeous 1964 Galaxie Estate.
Over on turn two, Tickner then met 521 ‘Ace-Ash’ with a head on as 421 ‘Nutty Nige’ went in on 751 Wells again. Tickner then came in and delivered a hit to the rear of Well’s DS420 Limousine to finish it off.
583 Dan Weeks was spun on the back straight by 421 ‘Nutty Nige’ as 467 Sheldon Grimes took victory.
The second heat race of the night started with 318 Darrell Page spinning the Roughneck Toyota Previa of 917 Andrew Tew on turn three. 500 Scott Mullady pushed 556 ‘Flip’ Phil Hampton into turn three with the Dreamer driver unfortunately making heavy contact over the front right wheel of the 133 car driven by Mark Hawkins.
962 Josh Pidgley delivered a hard shot to Hampton with 831 ‘Wally’ Shane Fry jacking Pidgley hard. 42 Alan Roach then went in on Pidgley and Fry, separating the pair who had been joined together after the initial hit moments earlier.
The red flags were instantly brought out to check on the well-being of Hawkins, whom after a few minutes, thankfully managed to climb out of the car.
The restart saw 500 Mullady latch onto the back of 998 Mark Caisley heading down the back straight before spinning him into the stationary cars on turn three.
917 Tew was caught up in the action again when he was pushed into the pit gate on turn three by 757 Tom Farren. 36 PJ Fagan then got pushed into the Toyota Previa of Tew by 229 Dean Jarvis at high-speed.
15 Matt Rixon was spun on the home straight by 508 Steven Ashby who then received a head on from 522 ‘Weevil’ Tim James. ‘Weevil’ then went in on the back of 998 Caisley down the back straight before spinning him out.
Meanwhile, 36 Fagan had got clear of the turn three pile-up and re-joined the race only to be shoved into the turn one armco by 230 Keirren Genge who then jacked Fagan on the next lap leaving his Volvo 240 Saloon in a big wreck.
508 Ashby came through to win on his first visit to the Arlington stadium, making it a very memorable debut.
The third heat saw 623 ‘Tricky’ Ricky Hutton pile in on 900 Kieran Langley on turn two with 739 Andy Swift pilling in on The Money Team driver. 950 Jack Turnbull then went in on 739 Swift with the ‘Warton Bear’ 712 Alex Hatcliffe delivering a hit over the rear right wheel of 950 Turbull’s Toyota Previa.
Hatcliffe was then jacked by 186 Billy Slaymaker with 714 ‘No-Show’ Paul Smaldon also joining in the action on turn two by jacking Slaymaker.
400 ‘Chip’ George Kelly followed in 32 Andy Newton on turn one at slow speed with 577 Alfie Lee jacking Newton after he took the chequered flag because of a front left puncture.
The Grand Final saw a big push on turn four with 286 Scott Jarvis getting turned around before getting met on the nose by 998 Caisley with 831 ‘Wally’ also involved. 321 Keiron Fry ‘Chatty-Man’ then came steaming in along with 982 Steven Turner in his Vauxhall Omega Limousine.
917 Tew was involved in the action yet again as he went pilling in only to receive a massive hit from 521 ‘Ace-Ash’. The red flags were brought out straight away with Tew hitting the steering wheel with his legs. Thankfully though, he climbed out all ok with help from ‘Ace-Ash.’
The restart saw ‘Chatty-Man’ get jacked by 747 Crandon on turn two with 467 Grimes jacking Crandon before spinning him onto the shale.
Grimes then delivered a textbook following in to 41 Pentecost on turn three.
632 Callum Reed came through to take victory with 500 Mullady and 421 ‘Nutty Nige’ the only two remaining finishers in a brutal Grand Final.
The first of two allcomers races on the night saw 259 Mark Dunne follow in 195 Forrest on turn one with 400 ‘Chip’ going head on into the armco after launching an attack on 712 Hatcliffe.
737 Crandon then picked-up the slow-moving Toyota Previa of 400 ‘Chip’ before pushing him around the armco for two full laps before finally letting the Surrey Street Squad driver go.
757 Farren claimed victory.
The second allcomers began with 757 Farren spinning 982 Turner’s Vauxhall Omega Limousine on turn one. Turner was then jacked by 648 Jamie Beasley who was in turn hit by 42 Roach over his rear left wheel.
Roach then jacked 321 ‘Chatty-Man’s’ Mercedes Ambulance on turn four with the red flags coming out to check on 648 Beasley.
The restart saw 321 ‘Chatty-Man’ park his big Ambulance up on turn four where he was jacked by 757 Farren and then 467 Grimes, completely wrecking the Mercedes Ambulance.
131 Peter Hanmer came through to win in his lovely Jaguar.
The final event of the night was the customary Destruction Derby which raised a good field of around 30 cars.
400 ‘Chip’ pushed 962 Pidgley into 521 ‘Ace-Ash’ as they went into turn one with 917 Tew also getting caught up in the action as well.
500 Mullady then went in on ‘Chip’s’ Toyota Previa with 712 Hatcliffe going in on Mullady. 286 Jarvis pushed 982 Turner into the pile-up that was now forming on turn one and collected Hatcliffe as well as 737 Crandon.
41 Pentecost then jacked 286 Jarvis just as 372 Evans was picked up by 232 Justin Pollard, 900 Langley and 28 Craig Cooper before all four went into the turn three armco.
232 Pollard was then jacked by 195 Forrest as he joined the pile-up on turn one. Cooper then jacked Forrest with 747 Crandon jacking him as 372 Evans T-Bonned Forrest.
416 Spokes then came in with a massive hit over the rear right wheel of Tew with 42 Roach also piling in.
500 Mullady tried attacking the slow moving 421 ‘Nutty Nige’ on turn three but mis-judged it and put himself into the turn three armco. Mullady didn’t make the same mistake when he latched onto the back of Roach on turn two and pushed him into the armco.
Mullady then went in on ‘Nutty Nige’ again – this time making contact before 900 Langley met Nige with a head on.
Nige got his revenge by hitting Langley over his rear left wheel, killing both cars.
This left Roach and Mullady to finish each other off with Mullady being declared as the last car running after a few small hits between the pair.
A massive well done to all of the Bears for organising yet another fantastic meeting for a very worthwhile cause, and to all the other drivers who raced and entertained us all evening. I’m sure another impressive tally will have been raised – roll on next year!
By Jordan Hollands