Morris justifies his tag of favourite

WITH 77 Bangers and 43 stock cars in the pits at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich on Saturday evening, a lively, evening's motorsport was pretty well guaranteed.

WITH 77 Bangers and 43 stock cars in the pits at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich on Saturday evening, a lively, evening's motorsport was pretty well guaranteed.

The Stock Car World Championship was the main event, this being the first time that the race had come to Foxhall for many years. Defending champion Aaron Morris had qualified in pole position, so he always looked the favourite, but having a fast car, and being a good driver, isn't always enough in Stock Car racing where pushing and shoving can dislodge even the best of them. As it was, he got away first from the off and had little trouble staying clear of the field in what was a fairly quiet race. Norwich youngster Daniel Wenn gave a gallant chase in second place, but could never quite close the gap, he in turn managing to stay ahead of a rather fiercer battle for third place, which saw the southern-based Aylward brothers turned out, while Woodbridge driver Simon Berry was also spun out fairly early on. In the end, another Woodbridge driver, Mark Bloss, came through from well down the grid to claim the remaining place on the podium.

Their other two races were altogether more lively with lady racer Vicky Brand from Brighton getting involved in a big crash in the first of them which ultimately led to a race stoppage, while their second one saw a lot of car damage and very few finishers, Wayne Smee from Clacton surviving it all to take a rare win.

The Bangers were here for the annual Darren Jones Benefit meeting, racing for the Fireball Trophy which was won by Eastbourne's Steve Anscombe last year. He was clearly intent on retaining the trophy as he bought three other drivers with him on his transporter, although the most impressive sight was provided by the HMS Wreckers team, who had 10 cars on one enormous transporter.

Darren, who was injured in a crash at a Yarmouth race meeting in 1999, was visibly pleased to see so many of his former team make such a good effort, and even then, there were four more of them who had arrived independently. All 14 cars were beautifully prepared, although, as always in the hurly-burly of banger racing, they looked rather less beautiful at the end of an action-packed evening.

Their main race, which featured 52 of the 77 cars (the rest having sustained irreparable damage in the heats) had a couple of stoppages for major pile-ups, the second of them necessitating a lengthy delay when Barry Whipps was injured, and the fire service had to be called to help him out of his car. He wasn't badly hurt, it was more a precaution than anything else and once they got racing again it was southern driver Tyrone Poulter who came through the mayhem to win, followed closely by the Claydon pair of Chris Bailey and Craig Yates. Felixstowe's Kelvin Banthorp and Mark Kerry, from Clacton had won the earlier heats, Anscombe won the All-comers race, while the Destruction Derby was stopped before the end with one of the Wreckers drivers in trouble, although again it was nothing too serious.

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Results round-up

Stock Cars World Championship: 1 Aaron Morris (Bracknell), 2 Daniel Wenn (Norwich), 3 Mark Bloss (Woodbridge). Heat One: 1 Sean Fiske (Welwyn Garden City), 2 Justin Bell (Eastbourne), 3 Steve O'Dell (Ampthill). Heat Two: 1 Wayne Smee (Clacton), 2 O'Dell, 3 Wenn.

Bangers. Heat One: 1 Kelvin Banthorp (Felixstowe), 2 Chris Whatling (Woodbridge), 3 Jamie Hadley (Ipswich). Heat Two: 1 Mark Kerry (Clacton), 2 Ken Denby (Clacton), 3 Wrecker 973 (Harwich). Final - Fireball Trophy: 1 Tyrone Poulter (Worthing), 2 Chris Bailey (Claydon), 3 Craig Yates (Claydon). All-comers: 1 Steve Anscombe (Eastbourne).

Destruction Derby: No result.