Norfolk teenager gets stock cars season off to flying start
06:30 06 March 2014
Marham’s teenage talent Jake Banwell scored the biggest victory of his fledgling career at the Norfolk Arena, King’s Lynn.
The young driver powered his Saloon Stock Car to victory in the Clive Grief Memorial Trophy at the 2014 season-opener.
On an action-packed night, Banwell triumphed over a host of more experienced racers, beating defending champion Daniel Parker (Norwich) into second. Having won an earlier heat, Peterborough-born Luke Grief, now based in Scotland, poignantly completed the top three in the race held in memory of his late father. The category’s other race winners were Karl Petters (Newmarket) and reigning track champion David Aldous (Diss).
King’s Lynn driver Willie Skoyles Jr, currently ranked one in the world, got his season off to a solid start. He took his sublime-looking re-panelled car to second in a heat race and was challenging in the leading pack during the final, before tangling with a rival. He eventually recovered to fifth place at the chequered flag.
Hometown man Wes Freestone was victorious in the smaller 1300cc Stock Car category which was also contesting its version of the Clive Grief Memorial. He survived a mid-race scare when his bonnet flew off to safely bring the car home and claim the title.
Norwich driver Ross Fisher, defending the 1300cc Stock Cars’ version of the same title, could only manage fifth from the back of the grid.
Backing that result up with second in the all-comers race means Freestone heads the early-season standings in the track championship. Wisbech racer Lee Green, a former champion on the comeback trail, was also a race winner on the night.
Completing the action on a night which saw almost 150 cars crammed into the pits, was Europe’s largest stock car category, BriSCA F2. Leicestershire’s Dave Harley won the final in the formula’s first world qualifying round of the year.