Haywards Heath driver Tim James was star of the show at Spedeworth’s annual Big Van national bangers meeting at Aldershot on Sunday.
James won both the final and Destruction Derby, and gave his usual entertaining show, which has made him one of the most popular drivers on the national circuit, writes Michael Burnage.
For spectators, the ‘snarl up’ of vans and buses was welcomed with excitement and anticipation.
They had turned up in quite large numbers, eagerly awaiting the eventual demise of so many ‘nuisances’ on the road - and they were not disappointed.
Almost 20 vehicles were in the pits ready to race at start time. As well as the usual Ford Transits, there was a full range of different minibuses, and even a show-stealing Dodge ambulance.
There were some interesting developments, as joining the fun and games was a bus. And this was no ordinary bus as the single decker Bristol LH had an interesting past.
In recent times it had been used as a mobile library. Suffice to say that the former librarians would have been appalled at the noise in the reading room as James hammered into the back of it at every opportunity.
As usual the local man was there to wreck the opposition the best he could and entertain the crowd. If he was placed at all, then that was a bonus.
The opening races soon descended into the promised carnage, with James playing his part in the hard-hitting action that saw various vans upended, rolled over or simply smashed to pieces.
After coming home fifth in the heats James was asked how he thought he was doing. Typically he answered: “The sun is shining, and I am here to cause some pandemonium!”
The final saw a classic recreation of the David and Goliath story, as the smaller vans, such as James’ LDV Pilot, outpaced the much larger vans and buses.
Ably dodging in between the chaos caused by the others around the bends, James’ orange and purple van avoided some large hits with the grace of a ballerina, to come home first and take the win.
The ‘Big Van Destruction Derby’, where the last ‘running’ van would be deemed the winner, concluded the meeting.
Like gladiators in a coliseum, the ‘dishevelled’ vans set about reducing each other to a pile of debris.
Incredibly, the much smaller LDV was thumped with some thunderous blows and yet still managed to keep going…just about.
After20 minutes of great knockabout action, James was declared the winner in the small class and picked up his second trophy of the day.