I’ve wanted to go see the banger racing for as long as I can remember. Well, technically, since Joff’s cancelled stag do. (I should probably set the record straight at this point: it’s not that his good lady wife-to-be called the whole shebang off, but an inopportune moment of ill-health on Joff’s part. The actual stag do involved everybody wearing antlers while driving dodgems in The Trocadero. Anyway, that’s quite enough about Joff.) The point is this: since then, I’ve always wanted to go.
So, along with Katie, Ewan, Roz and Shorts, I rocked up on a Sunday evening. The event at Wimbledon is run by the good people at Spedeworth. For the princely sum of £13, we were able to enjoy ten races and a superb fifteen minute display by everybody’s good friends from Paine’s Fireworks. “How can you be sure Paine’s Fireworks are everybody’s good friends?”, I hear you ask. Well, the gentleman broadcasting to the stadium on the PA system (who looked uncannily like Sven Goran Eriksson) told us so. About thirty times. If an unlikely set of circumstances somehow required it, I like to think he’s the kind of guy I’d get to MC at a Bah Mitzvah.
nsj, Katie, Shorts, Rozzy
Those ten races, then. We saw Stock Rods, we saw Historic Stock Cars and we saw the Bangers. The stock rods are the closest thing to road cars. Entry level, small engines, designed for those who wanted a foot in the door. The historic stock cars step the pace up and introduce an element of contact, but the bangers races are where it’s at. Full on smashes, pile-ups, roll-overs. Just mayhem, really. And top marks to the enterprising lads who turned up with estate cars. The practical man deep inside everybody salutes you.
Top tips if you’re going: soft drinks are cheaper at the food bar than the bar bar; the food is crap, expensive and best avoided; it’s loud at the trackside – take earplugs; get there early to bag a parking spot. We’ve vowed to go back.