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After a two month summer break it was time to get back to Arena Essex for the 4th round of King of the Ring.
We’ve had an exceptionally hot summer here in the UK which, whilst pleasant, makes keeping the track at Arena wet exceptionally difficult and I think we need to extend a special thanks to the Arena Essex staff who worked exceptionally hard all day to keep the track wet and slippery. They had two big bowser units on the go. The normal one, which is a trailer pulled around the track by a tractor, and a secondary unit mounted onto an old Ford lorry. Ron and Clive McPherson of Essex Transit Specialists had also rigged up two tanks onto the back of their recovery truck as support.
I normally try to get to Arena about mid afternoon to catch a bit of the practise.
Christopher Monkhouse was looking strong all afternoon.
Here we have Peter Spinks in the Skid Row E36 Touring. He had a little run in with the wall on this session but was able to get the car back up and running in time for qualifying.
As you can see he was chasing MAPT Motorsport’s Jon Hudd
Tony Morgan was back out in his three series. Sporting some new stickers I believe, I don’t remember the sparkly blue bits!
This left hand driven E36 was quite an unusual one. It had the rear lights from an E46!
Finally in this session were MAPT drivers Paul Parnell and Jamie Stanton.
I even took a bit of video footage from this session!
I had a quick wander round the pits but only got a couple of photos of the drift cars.
This one I’ve not seen down there before:
This belonged to one of the Zefslide drivers. Zefslide had brought three cars out to play today. We’ll be seeing more of them later!
I got talking to the chaps from Hakitota. I’ve photographed their cars several times on the show and shine area but have never actually had the pleasure of meeting them. Lewis’ mum does a lot for people in residential mental health care which is awesome!
Pwitty engine bay!
After a short driver’s briefing we were onto qualifying.
Mark Lappage and Steve Evans would be commentating with Danny Grundy, Darrel Smith and Kris Morris judging. The lovely Jodie Rasburn would be sending the cars away from the line. Today, as you will see in the photos. She had found herself a deck chair.
The cars would do two qualifying runs and each run consisted of a lap and a half of the track. This video from the KOTR team explains what the judges were looking for perfectly. Excuse the cheesy dubstep.
The chaps at Zefslide qualified quite early on. All three cars were looking smart! I especially liked the orange compact although I believe the black car was running motorsportformentalhealth.com stickers in his rear quarter windows. If he was then gets 10 additional internet points.
Hollie was back out in the 300ZX. She is running my stickers and so definitely gets an additional 10 internet points.
The 300ZX was once again having issues this time with it’s battery. It died in the queue so I ran down with Paul Parnell to push it out of the way. I normally wear my camera on a lanyard and I took it off when pushing the car as I didn’t want it to swing into the car and damage the car’s paint. That car used to belong to Tony Morgan. It’s been going around Arena Essex for as long as I’ve been going and doesn’t have a straight panel on it. I’m sure my camera wouldn’t have hurt it!
James Wilkins in the trusty E46
Nerijus and his yellow R33 Skyline. I love this car as you can probably tell since it always gets photographed haha! I don’t actually think I’ve had the pleasure of meeting it’s owner yet.
Finally for the photographs we have Tony Morgan!
I thought I’d do a video for the MAPT Motorsport qualifying runs. We have both runs from Jon Hudd, Paul Parnell (who demonstrates the fastest way to remove an E46 rear lens), Jamie Stanton and Mark Chapman.
After qualifying their was a short break before the battles. I took this opportunity to go and have a wander around the show and shine. The show and shine is normally organised by Dirtee South. I’m not sure it was today though as Dan was at USC. There were a few cars sporting Dirtee South stickers though so I’ll give them a mention!
The first car was a Renault Sport Megane with flip paint and green accents.
Beside that was a VW Scirocco. Even in its’ standard form I think that this generation Scirocco is the best looking car VW have produced since the 90s. The additonal aero parts really suit it.
Final Form were of course present and doing their thing! Luke was DJing and was supported by a second DJ named Lewis. Warren’s car was the only one on display today though.
On the other side of the Final Form stand was this cool VW on air.
Stealthy BMW estate! I like the number plate!
I’m not normally a fan of BMW Minis but this one was really cool and in my opinion was the best car in the show!
How amazing are these wheels though?
Here we have a track look Civic.
Lupos are one of those little cars that only need a few bits doing to them to make them look really good!
This one had been painted a lovely jade colour. The camera really doesn’t do it justice.
the last car I could get to on the outskirts of the track was a Chaser. A rare car on these shores.
Down at the main gates were some more show cars. Three generations of Honda Civic!
This Max Power era Fiesta is a regular at King of the Ring. I know that these cars divide opinion and a few years ago I too would have been like “nope, don’t like it”. But now 15-20 years have passed since this style of modification was the fashion I think it’s nice to see some of the cars of this era restored. It is a flamboyant style the cars of this era were all pretty unique and interesting. With the passage of time I think that cars like this have become an interesting talking point.
These two Caterham 7’s were pulling in quite a crowd. I think these are superb both in kit form and as pre-built cars. The power to weight ratio you can get from them is obscene!
Look home lovely and simple they are inside! This particular one was 6 speed too. Not sure what running gear may be in it.
Around the corner, parked all by itself, was this S13. It was a shame it was tucked away but it gave me a good opportunity to get some half decent photos of it.
The Propper Droppers area had quite a few show and shine worthy cars too! Another nice range of cars!
This Mercedes van’s stereo packed quite the punch!
In the competition it was MAPT Motorsport’s Jon Hudd, Mark Chapman and Jamie Stanton who took the podium spot! A 1, 2, 3 finish for MAPT! They must be pleased!
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By Richard Francis