When you have won everything there is to win at your level in sport, it is often difficult to find new challenges.
Arlington Domestic Banger stalwarts, Rob Haines and Mark Pope are two such sportsmen facing that dilemma.
Having won the Arlington championship over several years both drivers have travelled to Aldershot, Wimbledon and Ipswich, dominated the racing, and become multi-champions.
In their scenario, what were they to do? Go north of course….to Scotland!
Inspired by The Bears’ recent trip to Ireland, the two rivals and friends, made plans for what was to become a very special weekend, with an assault on The Scottish Championship at the Lochgelly Raceway.
With their cars maintained by mechanic Phill Haines, and receiving new paint livery to mark their journey from Chloe Francis, the pair were set.
To say the lads are not dedicated misses the point.
These days whatever level of sport you are at requires financial investment, dedication and commitment.
The pair are well used to travelling the motorways each week to maintain their high standards, but this road trip was something else.
Whilst the two drivers are very well respected for their continued success, nobody including themselves was expecting what happened at the Fife oval.
Over 40 cars arrived to do battle including a large number from Crimond in the north of Scotland, north-east England, central Scotland and our two heroes from way down south in Sussex!
The pre-race hot favourite appeared to be local driver Paul Cuthbert, but as is often the way, banger racing is no respecter of reputation.
With all available cars on track, action was guaranteed. The drivers desperate for a good start immediately set about removing their opposition, which caused a couple of dramatic moments early on.
Pope nearly fell victim to his own enthusiasm, going up on two wheels, but landing safely and carrying on, whilst in the meantime Haines had been spun out of contention on turn three.
Then, a moment of fortune changed the night’s events. A red flag saw a restart for the grid, with both Sussex drivers now elevated through the pack. Furthermore, the depleted field was perfect for the two speedsters.
From the restart, both quickly got into their stride, spinning out rivals as they went. Working hard in the closing stages, the pair relied upon their vast experience for Haines to claim the title, and Pope to take second place.
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