Grandson Josh, 16, makes it a family affair for Bears National Banger team

Debutant Josh letting his driving do the talking (pic Oliver Morris)
Debutant Josh letting his driving do the talking (pic Oliver Morris)
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“The Bears” National Banger team came out of hibernation last weekend, and went hunting in packs for prey up at the Norfolk Arena in Kings Lynn.

Team captain Nigel Riley, had assembled a thirteen man squad to invade the Norfolk Fens, including not only an overseas guest driver, but also his Grandson Josh, making his eagerly awaited debut.

Sixteen year old Josh Spokes debuted for The Bears

Sixteen year old Josh Spokes debuted for The Bears

Sixteen year old Josh Spokes, had been chomping at the bit to join his illustrious Grandfather and Uncles on track for months, ever since he had come of age.

Occasionally Josh had successfully raced in Bear colours in the Junior Bangers, but a Nissan Micra never quite had the same appeal for the youngster as one of the large cars, known as ‘Unlimiteds’.

“Josh has been desperate to get out and join us all out on the raceway, but his introduction had to be measured,” said Captain Nigel. “We knew that in his first meeting he would be singled out for attention by our rivals.

“He could have very easily made his debut in any car, and in any colour, but for Josh, it had to be Bear colours or not at all.

Josh's Roller getting running repairs (pic Tom Moat)

Josh's Roller getting running repairs (pic Tom Moat)

“With that in mind, we had to pick the right meeting for him, the right circumstances, and also the right car. One of the team (Roland Denby) had a Rolls Royce left over from The Bears Big Bash charity meeting in the summer.

“Very kindly, he allowed young Josh to take it out on Saturday night. In such a big, strong car, he had every chance for a good night. Coming up here mob handed, meant that he would always be surrounded by team mates.”

Another team member of interest was Dutchman Maarten Steenbekkers, who was guesting for The Bears. ‘Maai’ as he is commonly known, had a run out with the guys back in the summer. Having enjoyed himself so much, he fancied making the long trip over again for another chance to join Europe’s largest and most feared team.

So how did our marauding drivers get on? It has to be said that with a thick fog rolling in off the East coast, conditions were far from perfect. That never stopped The Bears though, as they launched attack after attack, on their rivals.

Josh's Rolls Royce is slighter shorter after a couple of races (pic Tom Moat)

Josh's Rolls Royce is slighter shorter after a couple of races (pic Tom Moat)

Debutant Josh was asked later if he had enjoyed the experience. “Yes, it was good” he replied. Man of few words is Josh, preferring to let his driving do the talking…Just like his Grandfather!

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