In 1992, Terry Harris set the record for the most amount of meetings raced in a calendar year, competing in a total of 89 meetings at just four different tracks; Wimbledon, Aldershot, Arlington and Hednesford.
The record stood for 27-years until Joey Reynolds broke the record by racing in 91 various meetings throughout the 2019 season.
Reynolds visited a total 23 tracks throughout the year; racing in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Holland. The team 3-Litre man also raced Hot Rods in South Africa in January – racing at two tracks across three meetings which takes the total number of tracks raced at to 25.
The Guildford-based driver admitted that he didn’t set out to beat the record at the start of the season.
“I didn’t even think about it breaking the record,” said Reynolds. “I just kept looking at meetings and thinking; ‘I could do that,’ or ‘I could take that there.’ I also got my own truck this year, and so I was like a kid when they pass their test for the first time! The only difference was I wasn’t just going to sit in McDonald’s car parks!”
Throughout Harris’ record-breaking season in 1992, he raced a total of 31 fresh cars (it may be slightly more or slightly less but some of the records are missing). In comparison, Reynolds raced a total of 43 fresh cars throughout the course of his 91-meeting season.
Reynolds spoke about his year and how it compares to that of Harris’.
“For a start fair play to him, even if most were used cars, you’ve still got to do work to them,” explained Reynolds. “I have seen his list and he mostly raced at Wimbledon and Aldershot, which is still very good!
“I think I done more miles with going to Emmen, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Cars these days are a lot more work too, I mean you’ve got to put MK1 wheels on Bangers now, back in the day the car come with the right column. You’ve also got to do engine changes, big mounts, diffs, springs and loads more, so I’d say mine was a little bit busier in that way. I don’t know if he had many sponsors then or anything but if he didn’t, it still would have cost a fair bit back then.”
Racing in a total of 91 meetings throughout the year across five different countries, there are loads of memorable moments that Reynolds will remember.
“Highlights? Jesus, there’s so many!” beamed Reynolds. “For a start, any weekender with a social and racing is always a winner. One other would be the BMW E36 estate I had at the Northampton Back-to-Basic meeting which was brilliant fun. Northern Ireland for the weekender’s and then winning the Shamwreck, and defiantly the MK1 coupe I raced at the Standlake Trigger Memorial meeting. There’s so many I could list.
“The best part of it all is of course having good results, cool cars, and making friends! There isn’t really a worst part really, other than from all the boys falling asleep and leaving me to drive home on my own every time,” laughed Reynolds.
It shows how much Reynolds loves the sport that there isn’t a downside to all the travelling and the cost – in fact the team 3-Litre man said one of the worst parts was when he spent ‘a full £30 on the way home from Swaffham one day’ when putting diesel in his truck.
It also shows how much enjoyment he has for the sport, when his 2020 season got underway on New Year’s Day with a Back-to-Basic meeting at Ringwood. The Guildford-based racer is also booked in for Standlake’s annual Heavy Metal Classic meeting this coming Sunday – just one week after competing in his 91st meeting of 2019 by going all the way up to the Barford Raceway in the North East of England.
When speaking about his plans for the forthcoming year, Reynolds admits his just going to take it all as it comes.
“I’m at Standlake Sunday, and then going to South Africa again,” told Reynolds. “And after that, probably just whatever’s about at the time really, I’m not going to try and qualify for the World Final or anything, just take it as it comes. I’m definitely planning on going to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Emmen again for sure.”
Furthermore, unlike Harris’s record in 1992, Reynolds has raced across a wide variety of classes. From Back-to-Basics to Unlimited National Bangers – Reynolds enjoys them all and has won races across the wide variety of Banger classes he has competed in.
The Guildford-racer gives us his reasoning behind the enjoyment he gets from each of differing disciplines across Banger Racing – starting off with the Back-to-Basics.
“Do you mean pu*sy Bangers? I love them!” smiled Reynolds. “The amount of laughs in the Back-to-Basics I’ve had – it’s brilliant! You can build a car in three hours, smash it up and strip it after the meeting. The Domestic Bangers are good but are just too serious, even more so than the National Bangers, which are good – they’re a completely different buzz – the best buzz you’ll ever get is being a part of the Emmen Unlimited Teams Final, it’s just epic! All in all, I don’t really have a massive favourite. There all good, it’s just what you make out of them and what you want to get out of each one.”
You might wonder how one man can keep up this incredible pace and do the number of meetings that Reynolds has done in 2019 and plans to do in 2020. Well, just like any other form of Motorsport, sponsorship helps a lot and the Shamwreck Champion is thankful for everyone’s help over the last year.
“Garry Webb has helped me massively this year, and I couldn’t thank him enough for what he’s done with supplying me with pretty much the best all round kit all year,” said Reynolds. He helps endless amounts of people, in order to get them on the track. I think everyone needs sponsors these days considering how much it costs. It’s an absolute fortune, whether someone sponsors you, paint the cars or helps source the cars, everything helps.”
Considering the current climate in the world of Banger Racing, it will be interesting to see if Reynolds’ record is ever broken. Especially if you consider the increased costs of racing and the lack of tracks, meaning there is more travelling involved.
Despite this, Reynolds admits that he thinks his record will be broken in the future and targets Junior Banger driver Joey Holmes.
“I think the record will be broken,” admitted Reynolds. “The likes of Joey Holmes and his dad are very keen and also very good. I think they have the same frame of mind as me, race more and get better – track time is key. I would have to think it would have to be someone young like myself, with no mortgage, endless bills, or families to look after, but I can see someone beating it. Only time will tell, and who ever does, fair play to them!”
By Jordan Hollands.