Royal Wedding Day saw one of the best meetings for the Mini Stox at Incarace in a long time, with a good entry of cars, some incredible battles in all three races and an unexpected Midland Championship win for 210 Tristan Claydon.
The entry included visitors from Spedeworth, RDC, GMP and Autospeed, and amid a highly charged atmosphere heat one wasn’t even a straight old before a three-way collision put front row starters Claydon and 124 Oli Skeels out of the race and left 155 Sid Madgwick to lead all the way with 212 Ben Bate coming out on top of a big battle for second and 120 Casey Englestone third.
If the first heat had been good, the second heat was nothing short of incredible. Madgwick and Claydon were early spinners as 156 George Boult led off, but by the second lap there was a solid scrub of at least five cars squabbling for the lead. The bumpers hammered in with more big hits than a Saloon Stock Car World Final, with Boult dropping to fifth at one point before fighting back into the lead and enjoying a stunning one-on-one scrap with 128 Craig Banwell with the pair side by side for several laps. These two took first and second at the flag with Boult winning as behind a massive scrap continued all race long with cars being pushed and shoved everywhere, Bate somehow coming through the chaos for third and Claydon making it back up to seventh.
The latter was on pole for the main event with Banwell alongside, Claydon only 14th. The race exploded into action with the leaders at one point five-wide (!) down the back straight, 942 Steve Gilbert making a kamikaze lunge at turn three to briefly lead with Madgwick and Bate among the scrum at the front along with Englestone, 205 Courtney Finnikin and Boult. The seething mass of metal pushed and shoved its way frantically through the early laps, but Claydon made an amazing start and was up to fourth only three laps into the race after a couple of lucky and well-timed breaks in the midfield draft. Madgwick and Bate duelled for the lead as they cut through the backmarker traffic but their progress was checked by a caution when 136 Ryan Polley spun into the back straight wall.
The atmosphere reached fever pitch with Bate, Madgwick, Claydon, Gilbert and 264 Dan Whorton-Eales all line-astern and the big push came on the restart from the silver top with Bate on the front end and he ran out wide to drop down the order. Claydon hung on in front for the last five laps to win his last ever race in a Mini at Wheels and take probably the most unexpected title win of his long career, Madgwick and Whorton-Eales his placemen in a truly incredible race.
Well done to every driver involved on a memorable evening for the formula.
It was a superb evening overall at Wheels on Royal Day with the BriSCA F2’s, the very entertaining Reliant Robins and the headline formula of the night – ‘Bride & Groom Bangers’
Never have we seen such shocked, mesmerised and mentally tortured ‘Grooms’ after just one heat of the fun event. One very experienced driver (an ex-World Banger Champion at that!), simply refused to race for the rest of the event as a passenger – ‘One of the most frightening things I have ever done’ he commented, ‘and not one that I wish to repeat’. Every one of the couples took a great part and it did get a lot more serious than ever planned – Congratulations to all of the Brides (and Grooms) of course, but extra congrats to the winners on the night – Kelly & Shaun Starr who took the honours in Race 1, the very popular and bubbly Tasmine Evans partnered by son Danny and the Final (driven this time by the Grooms) was a victory for Kelly & Shaun, with Luke and Holly Etheridge coming home second, followed in third by Jemma and Anthony Kerr. Once again well done and thanks to all of the couples that entered.
The F2’s were in fine form too and it was a night of the Young guns stealing the limelight, with 921 Jack Aldridge (heading for Superstar in the May grading), taking Heat 1, returnee Lee Dimmick (59) Heat 2 and then Bob Griffin (866) the Final. Bod was followed home by James Thackra (324) and Dimmick. The Grand National cemented yet another good night for the BriSCA F2’s and Jack Aldridge with yet another victory in one of the best starts of the season by any driver in F2 history.
The Robins were entertaining as ever, and it was F2 star Allen Cooper that took the first heat in the midst of numerous roll overs – excellent stuff! The star of the Robins however was 709 Ben Hollis, who followed Allen home in heat 1, but was never to be headed after that to win both Heat 2 and the Final. Thanks to all the drivers for putting on a great show – George Turiccki will be returning to his now more familiar National Hot Rod drive on Monday at Hednesford Hills after really enjoying himself in some classic Robin action.