Before I go into the meeting report, I must apologise unreservedly to all drivers who raced this evening in the 2 Litre World Final meeting.
This was not up to the high standards of previous championship meetings, and for it to be this dysfunctional in the biggest meeting of all was truly disheartening. I shouldn't have stuck so stubbornly to the meeting schedule considering the circumstances but on reflection I should have took the drivers' thoughts into account with a bit more flexibility.
Onto the meeting itself and an excellent 15 drivers took to the iconic Arena Essex oval for the 11th running of LFS Bangers' most prestigious honour: the 2 Litre World Final. The biggest surprise of all was the return of an LFS Bangers veteran: Idiots member 427 Mook raced in the league for the first time in FOUR YEARS! We also had another appearance from the extremely talented Junior Banger driver 90 Joey, who hasn't got to grips with LFS just yet.
There were only two absentees from the original 12-car grid which meant that initially a Last Chance Qualifier was held with 386 Lukey, Mook, 2012 & 2014 champion 573 Shane and 786 Brett competing for one spot on the 10-car grid. The result was as follows:
Last Chance Qualifier: Brett, Lukey, Shane, Mook
However, following drivers' concerns that 10 cars would have been a bit boring, it was then changed to an all-in 15 car 2 Litre World Final, which was as follows (reigning champion denoted by the italic C in gold brackets next to their name):
961 Pepino - - - - - - - - - - - 27 Cap (C)
997 RIk - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 616 Jam
606 Jon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 66 Colin
669 Mr. Perfect Jr. - - - - - - 385 Jonesy
786 Brett - - - - - - - - - - - - - 815 Daz
573 Shane - - - - - - - - - - - - 386 Lukey
217 Tilson - - - - - - - - - - - - - 427 Mook
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 90 Joey
A phenomenal battle between four drivers that lasted all race eventually resulted in only the second non-British LFS Bangers 2 Litre World Champion...
2018 2 LITRE WORLD FINAL
Other finishers: Tilson, Mr. Perfect Jr., Shane
With reigning champion Cap taken out on the first lap owing to a few jump starters, it became a battle between 2 time British champion Rik, 2011 champion Daz, current British champ and 2016 winner Pepino and the ever-impressive Jonesy. 961 was the first to exit the quartet, attempting to take out 385 on lap 15 but spun himself instead. 815 overtook 997 on lap 16 after Tilson took out the Dutchman, who then tried to take his revenge on Daz but fell all the way down to 5th with ex-European champion Jam also coming into contention at the front. Rik fought his way up to 3rd with just 5 laps left as 815 led Jonesy, but the latter then got hit on oppo by his own brother Lukey to allow 997 into 3rd and then got into 1st thanks to Mr. Perfect Jr. taking out 815 on oppo and 385 being done head-on by Shane. It looked as if Rik had sacrificed his win after going in hard on Mook, but 616 ran wide into Daz and Jonesy, getting flipped over the barrier for his troubles. 385 took the led for 2 bends on the penultimate lap after 217 held up 815, but 427 caught him on oppo to allow 997 through as the leader on the final lap. 669 did Daz with a solid head-on and with Jonesy getting caught up in it, it was plain sailing for Rik to take his first ever 2 Litre World title. 385 came through in second after rescuing his car from going over with some two wheel driving, with Colin finishing third after 815 was blasted out of the track by Tilson; it could have been a Dutch 1-2 had 66 not caught a reversing Joey on the front straight. As always, commiserations to those who completed the 22 lap race but got nothing for it.
The 2018 2 Litre World Final replay can be found here: https://www.sendspace.com/file/hcu6cm
Here are the results from the other races that took place tonight, which were all non-points. Well done to all the winners:
Heat 1: Shane, Pepino, Cap, Brett
Heat 2: Cap, Shane, Jam
Heat 3: Cap, Tilson, Shane
Heat 4: Shane, Jam, Cap
Heat 5: Jam, Jon, Cap, Shane, Tilson
Heat 6: Jam, Cap, Pepino, Brett
Allcomers: Brett, Pepino, Jon, Cap
During the post-World Final races, it was announced by Pepino that he will retire from LFS Bangers after next week's meeting due to a change in life's priorities. Pepino has always been a positive racer on LFS Bangers, taking everything in his stride and being quite underrated as a driver until he claimed the World Final title 2 years ago and this year's British title. Everyone at LFS Bangers wishes him the best for the future.
So, to conclude:
CONGRATULATIONS TO 997 RIK - 2018 2 LITRE WORLD CHAMPION!
The top 3 in the 2018 2 Litre World Final (from L-R: Jonesy (2nd), Rik (1st), Colin (3rd)).
The eleventh and fourth complete season under the running of Jon#606.
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