Saturday, 14 July 2012

Banger Racing at Sunnyvale Garden, Hipperholm (circa 1978-1981)

All you do is go to your local scrap yard,pick up an old banger, take it to a track and race it...........actually it is not as simple as that,a few jobs need to be done first.

Initially all the trim (inside & out) and the passenger seats are removed, the radiator and battery are re-sited inside the car, a roll cage is fitted using scaffolding poles, the doors are welded up and a two gallon petrol tank is fitted (the original is punctured to ensure that no fumes remain during racing, or filled with water to give the car some ballast). Sometimes all the wiring is taken out and only the ignition and charging circuits are replaced. Some drivers do away with the charging system, they run on a fully charged battery the few extra bhp obtained is supposed to give them the edge. Luxury items such as electric fans are fitted, to prevent the car from boiling up whist stood on the starting grid.
At Sunnyvale no amour, is allowed on banger cars (or bomber cars as they are called), the exception being a small distributor guard on transverse englned cars- imagine what a small bump on the front of a mini can do. A special license is required to drive, this costs £ 1 per year, it acts as insurance for any injuries received.

On race day the competitors begin to arrive about noon and their cars are lined up in the pits. As only twenty-four cars are allowed in one race, then the first in line are in heat one, the rest in heat two, with the  numbers being made up to twenty-four with cars still running after heat one. Once on the track the cars are arranged according to roof colour, ie,white at the front,
blue next with red at the back, the gold top (last seasons champion) is placed at the very back. The colours indicate how many points the drivers have won at previous race meetings.

After the the usual half a lap rolling start the racing begins. The idea is to win with money and championship points as the rewards, but on the way to the finish line, cars, breakdown, boil up, have punctures, roll over, become written-off and burst into flames. when off the track all the drivers are mates, but when on....well....anything goes, but if the spectators enjoy the entertainment then they may cone again. 

This is taken direct from a magazine article written in 1982

1 comment:

  1. More photos and comments on my Sunnyvale Facebook