Local drivers beat all-comers to pick up Championship titles at Arlington

John Smith being presented with the Southern Championship trophy
John Smith being presented with the Southern Championship trophy

The Rookie Rods have been in heated action at Arlington, with two of our local drivers beating all-comers to win one Championship each.

John Smith from Crowborough was the first big winner at the Southern Championship, where he dominated all evening. Crowborough was also well represented by Matt Farren and Dave Crouch.

Lee Woolgar from Lewes completed the quartet.

The first heat was a lively affair with Smith and Crouch both laying down markers that they were there to win. A close battle ensued between the pair, which saw Crouch edge into second, whilst Smith had to be content with third.

Farren was a little further back, in fifth, with Woolgar coming home seventh.

Smith began to show his class in the second race, powering to the front to take the win. Woolgar was the next of our group across the line, in fourth, whereas Crouch struggled a little and had to make do with sixth position. Farren had retired from the race.

In the final, Smith’s experience showed as he again charged through the grid to the front – a position he held until the drop of the chequered flag, taking the win and title of Southern Champion.

Crouch bounced back to finish second again, Woolgar was a consistent fourth, and Farren completed an unusually quiet night for him in sixth.

Maybe because of the poor showing by his high standards in the Southern, Farren returned for the Sussex Championship last week in a determined mood. A fifth driver, Steven Turner, from Uckfield, added some extra local involvement for Sussex Express readers.

Only three of our racers, Woolgar, Farren and Crouch completed the first heat, Woolgar in fourth, Crouch third and Farren in second. The next race again saw just three finish in the top 10. Smith, the new Southern Champion was sixth, Turner drove well for fifth, while Farren was beginning to get into a groove, finishing third.

Farren drove like a man possessed in the final, holding off the strong challenge of multi-champion Becca Dance to take the chequered flag.

Woolgar, consistent as always, finished just behind Dance in third. Smith took seventh and Crouch eighth.

With two local winners of the two championships, the future looks very bright in this formula for Sussex drivers.

Pictured: John Smith is presented with the Southern Championship trophy.