Among the experienced and star drivers of the bangers in the latest round of action at Arlington Raceway were a pair of friends from The Black Horse Inn at Byworth, near Petworth.
Landlord Jeff Paddock wanted to celebrate his birthday in style and, with regular Robin Francis, struck on the idea of going racing around the oval track. They spoke with Steve Anscombe from Cecil’s Rent a Rookie car hire company - and the rest is history.
Arriving at the pits, the pair were greeted by a couple of beautifully-turned-out Nissan Primeras. It is safe to say that neither stayed pristine for long, but the boys were there to have fun and fun they certainly had.
Whilst the friends listened to their safety briefing intently, it is not clear if anybody told them about the etiquette of racing.
Before the first race had even begun, Paddock received a ‘welcome to racing’ shunt on the back straight. On the fifth lap, he went crunching into the reigning track champion Rob Haines, who was far from impressed.
In the same race Francis was royally thumped in the safety barrier by another of the old hands.
Most rookies do one race then retire, but the intrepid duo went back out for more in the second race and the final.
Both were spun out, nudged, thumped and shunted, but each time they recovered and carried on. Champion Haines got his revenge with a thunderous return crash into Paddock on the straight.
They thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and thanked Anscombe for providing the cars and keeping them running all evening.