Under New Management: CCORC All Granadas

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The Chelmsford Carpet Oval Race Club (or CCORC to it’s friends) has recently changed ownership and the new management’s first event would be an all Granada banger meet supported by 1300 Stock Cars.

I was only racing bangers on the evening. My 1300 needs some work and due to other commitments I just hadn’t had the time to get it sorted. Kelly and the kind folks at Chelmsford said that they would help out which was great of them, but I was in such a rush to get out I’d completely forgotten it!  This would be my weapon for evening: A Mk2 Granada estate produced by Kamtec Models.

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I’m not going to make any direct comparisons between the old and new admin team as it wouldn’t be fair or accurate. I’d only done one meet at CCORC prior to this one which was Ladageddon (You can read about that meet here: Ladageddon) so I’m going to write about this meet as if I were going into a whole new club rather than comparing this meet to that.

CCORC is in Hatfield Peveral’s village hall which is used for a number of purposes by the local village. If you stand at the entrance there is a large stage to the right and the floor is marked out to be a sports court of some description. There’s a small kitchen to the left  and a storage room that houses the hall’s tables and chairs. Across the hall there are two sets of double doors; the left leads outside and the right leads to a nice looking bar area.

Standing at the same entrance on race night the track, made of carpet with a wooden outer wall sits about a meter ahead of you, running left to right. There’s a walkway heading to the left and right with plenty of room for two people to pass or for someone to walk up with a large pitbag. To the left and on the other side of the halls are tables that serve as the pits. The tables are all turned inwards so wherever you decide to sit you can get a good view of the track and you can meet and talk to at least three other people on your table. The stage houses another small pitting area and race control; where you book in and where all the races are run from.

As I walked in Gill Goldstone (who writes all of Brentwood’s official reports, which you can read here: Brentwood Reports) beckoned me over to pit with her husband Kerry (who built the stunning Mk1 Lotus Cortina which I photographed at Brentwood. Fingers crossed this link straight to the picture works! Lotus Cortina) along with her Grandson Marc.

Before the racing there would be the judging for the Smart Car Award. Having the cars lined up on track like this gives me a great opportunity to get some photos!

Here we have Shaye’s Granada Windsor Estate. Shaye is half my age and consistently doubles my laps around the track. Really nice kid and he has a good racing future ahead of him.

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Kerry Goldstone, Lee Vockins, Big Dave, Ginge, Divvy and Koonta also had Windsor estates. You’d think these stretched estates would be quite rare and well preserved considering they were a very limited run built for the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday.

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There were a couple of hearses too!

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Along with plenty of normal estates, saloons and coupes:

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There were a few of Samantha Townsend’s shells at the meet. These always stand out at the smart car. I mean, to get that kind of finish with an airbrush and paint brush is just incredible!

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It was Daniel Jordan’s “Under New Management” shell that too the smart car award though. That shell was the inspiration for the title of this blog post haha!

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The Chelmsford track is long and narrow. It’s perfect for the fast, small field races like stock cars (and rods) but it gets a little manic with the bigger field of bangers. Since it’s narrow it’s quite hard for me to pick and choose my contacts like I can at Brentwood and if four or five cars get stacked up on the track you can’t go around them you just have to try to go through them. That’s not a criticism it’s just different. In time I hope to be able to pick my lines through the carnage as I sometimes can at Brentwood.

The carnage is a lot of fun though and there were some really good hits throughout the evening!

In my heats I finished 13th out of 16 all three times. I’m not paying too much attention that though as some dipstick (me) had mounted my transponder in back to front and I don’t think it was reading every time I crossed the line (that’s my excuse anyway!!)

In the final I got around about three times before taking a big hit which moved the motor forward, disconnecting drive to the rear wheels and putting me out of the race. Never mind!

After the finals were the trophies! Awards were handed out for first second and third in both the banger final and stock car ‘A’ final. There was also an award for smart car. Something I thought was nice was that all the juniors got a bag of sweets.

I stayed to watch the DD which was crazy! My two favourite cars to watch were a purple and orange hearse and a blue hearse. The blue hearse actually won it and there was barely anything left. The whole drivers side and back had been torn off. The purple and orange car didn’t fare much better. Both the passenger and drivers side rear panels had been ripped off and the roof, which was only held on by one body pin, was flapping about as the car went along. Might have to give it a go next time!

All in all it was a really really good night with a lot of laughs, some good racing and some great crashing. Thanks Kelly, Shel and Graeme for a really fun night and I wish you all the best with the club! I’m sure it’s going to be amazing and I look forward to coming back soon!

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By Richard Francis

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