In front of another massive Bank Holiday crowd at Arlington Stadium, Polegate’s ‘Dangerous’ Dean Archer excelled in a classic David and Goliath epic battle.
It was literally standing room only as thirty three vans of various shapes and sizes from the ‘Big Vans’ of the National Bangers., entertained the crowd basking in the unbridled sunshine.
The usual Ford Transits have become the smallest vans on the track, as many drivers seek to raise the bar with more unusual or larger vehicles. Amongst the minibuses and former builder’s vans were an ambulance that must have appeared in Heartbeat it was that old, and a somewhat decrepit horsebox.
In addition to Archer, Arlington was represented by young stock car driver Brandon Osborne in the ambulance, fellow Bears team member Keiron Fry in a 1970’s postal van, Jack Brann and Tim James in almost normal workhorses.
Masters of this style of banger racing are the travelling team from London, The Surrey Street Squad, or The Spots as they are known. These days the team specialise in such novelty events and always present with at least four impressive charges.
The opening races soon descended into the promised carnage, with The Spots playing their part in the hard hitting action that saw various vans upended, rolled over or simply smashed to pieces.
With so many fearsome big beasts circling around Arlington’s tight bends, it was the smaller vans such as Archer in his Boxer that were able to dodge in-between to great effect.
As he continued to evade his hunters, the Polegate driver picked his way through the chaos to be victorious.
In many ways the best was yet to come. The ‘Big Van Destruction Derby’, where the last ‘running’ van would be deemed the winner, concluded the meeting.
Like gladiators in a coliseum, an impressive sixteen ‘dishevelled’ vans mustered to set about reducing each other to a pile of debris. After twenty minutes of thunderous blows, great ‘knockabout’ action and decimating the opposition, Jason Blossom was declared the winner.
“I think it is safe to say that the crowd was royally entertained this afternoon”, said Deane Wood, Spedeworth promoter. “Each year this event gets bigger and better, with today being the best ever!”
For those motor sport fans who fancy something a little different, Arlington’s next Bank Holiday Spectacular is 26th May, and features the stars of the National Bangers in a team event as well as two other thrilling formulas!