Banger Racing: Jonny crowned world champion

Jonny Atkins on the roof of his car with chequered flag after winning the World Final
Jonny Atkins on the roof of his car with chequered flag after winning the World Final

The 19-year-old former Robert Manning College pupil also entered the record books as being the youngest ever World Champion in the 25 year history of the event.

Jonny said: “It’s the first time I’ve done that race and I won it. I knew there were some people in it that have got quite good names and I just went in it and won it.”

Jonny made a good start to the race which had more than 40 cars and was soon battling in the top six.

At half distance Jonny had established himself as a clear second place in the race although the experienced Jason Jackson (London) was looking assured up front.

Shortly after half distance the race was suspended to allow Mark Earnshaw (Oldham) to be safely extracted from his car after sustaining a nasty arm injury and Jackson had the luxury of three back-markers between himself and Atkins.

Soon after the restart defending champion Steve Bailey retired from the race as Atkins started to close on the leading Jackson.

When the leader fell foul of a couple of back-markers Atkins was in the right place to pounce and with two laps to go he moved ahead into a lead he would hold until the chequered flag fell.

Atkins said: “I just came up on the inside and kept me toe down.”

The driver, who works for Bourne Skip Hire, received a fantastic reception from the thousands of fans watching the event and although he would not have entered the race on many people’s shortlist for winning the World, his impeccable performance in the big race was exceptional.

Following his victory Jonny, who has been racing since he was 13, is now entitled to paint his race gold until the 2013 World Final is staged.

Several other members of the Bourne Mad Hatters were also in action on Saturday but Jonny was the only driver to record a result.

Local drivers including Atkins also raced in the 1500cc Bangers at King’s Lynn on Sunday. Unfortunately Atkins was unable to force his way into the top results.

The best performing local driver was David Gibson, of Bourne, who finished in eighth place in the final and then went on to win the destruction Derby.

David’s brother Ben also won an Entertainer Award in the first heat while Pete Annells, of Bourne, was also amon the top places.