Here’s something a bit different from all those relationship posts you’ve been craving. I’ll try to make it interesting and informative as you might assume I know nothing about cars. You assumed right. I don’t know anything about cars, let alone bashed up banger cars but a day of banger car racing doesn’t mean you have to be an expert at all things cars or even have much of an interest in them. That’s why each event attracts so many people and it is still as popular today as it was 10 years ago. I doubt much has changed either; no fancy screens or huge stadiums, just stone steps to sit on, surrounding a dirt track cordoned off by tyres and a metal fence.
I wasn’t that enthusiastic when the idea of bank holiday banger racing was suggested and could think of many other things I’d rather be doing. Cars were at the bottom of the list. Dismissed as a men’s day out, I’d never given banger racing another thought and didn’t think I’d like the noise or the dust. In fact, cars racing round a track sounded very boring to me even if they were going to crash into each other.
Nevertheless, a group of my friends were going and not wanting to be left out I tagged along for my first experience of banger racing. Surprisingly enough for me, they had all been before and knew all about what was about to happen. I, on the other hand was actually getting quite excited after hearing the powerful engines revving up and seeing glimpses of the muddy track through the fence. Once inside, we found a good space close to the front and set up a few picnic blankets and chairs. Note to anyone who is thinking of going after reading this very informative post; you will want to bring something to sit on even if it’s a bag like me. The steps are really hard and uncomfortable, even sitting on a rug makes you get a numb bum after a while. Snacks are essential too as the day really is a day of 4 hours of racing. We stayed for just over 3 which was about enough.
There were two types of races that happened at the Arlington arena. Banger cars and rally, stock cars. The banger cars were by far more interesting as they were smaller and crashed into each other more frequently. The day started with these and alternated between banger then rally. It was exciting to watch the cars tearing around the track and skidding round the corners only to crash into another car. The cars are made to be banged up by others hence the name banger cars. When they first started racing, they were already fairly battered up and I noticed the wing mirrors and lights had been removed probably because they are more likely to be torn off round the track. The paintwork on each of the cars was colourful with pictures and they all had names and numbers so you could bet on which ones you wanted to win. None of the ones I chose won 🙁
At one point, there was 62 banger cars on the track! Almost immediately after the flag had been waved though, there was a pile up of about 8 cars which postponed the race and brought out the recovery vans to tow away any cars not fit to carry on. Up and running once again, it was amazing to see about 50 cars speeding round the track and crashing into one another. Exhaust pipes flying and wheels knocked out of shape. The weird thing was, that these drivers still carried on as if nothing had happened. A crash is minor to them as the cars are built to withstand the impact and the person driving it is safe. Many of the cars ended up smoking and even the recovery van did which was ironic since it was meant to be recovering the cars, not the other way round!
Next up was the rally cars who were more powerful than the banger cars and a lot bigger too. There were less of them and they went about 10mph faster too. Although not as interesting, there was a few crashes and it was easier to determine a winner in those races.
It’s a great day out and don’t dismiss it as a male activity either. There were lots of families there and refreshments including a bar too. Just remember to bring a rug and sunglasses to keep the dust out of your eyes!