The Banger Racing world gathered at Lynn’s Adrian Flux Arena on Saturday night to bid a fond farewell to one of East Anglia’s greatest ever racers, Alan ‘Speedy’ Read.
The meeting, dubbed ‘A Speedy Exit’, featured well over 100 pre-1975 cars.
Among the stunning array of classic machinery were five examples of the Austin A135 Princess, two of which were hearses, and several American limousines, including a huge 1960s Cadillac Fleetwood in the hands of Surrey-based Taylor Sowter.
Arguably, the cars of the meeting were the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud of Pete Winter (Hull) and the 1931 Standard 12 of Simon Fixter (Boston).
Read himself piloted three cars on the day, one in each of the Unlimited and Under-two-litre classes, plus another for the final destruction derby.
His day started well with victory in a Mk1 Triumph 2000 in his opening heat.
The former Thetford-based farmer who now lives and works on the Cambridgeshire/Essex border, was delighted to prove he could still compete with the best.
“You couldn’t ask for any more, could you?” he said. “I’ve done what I wanted to do – have a good race. I can enjoy myself now.”
Enjoy himself he certainly did as drivers from all over the country – plus several from Holland – put on a show for the packed crowd.
The finals in each category were won by Ely’s Kyle Overy (Unlimited) and Worksop-based Tom Foster (two-litre), but the night was more about enjoying the racing and cars that harked back to the 1990s era when Read was at his peak.
On a day of celebration, ‘Pistol’ Pete Winter was among the stars of the show.
He marked the announcement of his own farewell meeting – ‘One Last Shot’, to be held on 3 June 2017 – with an all-action display, deservedly earning himself an entertainer’s award in the Unlimited final.
But this was Read’s night and it was fitting that he should outlast the opposition to claim success in the curtain-closing destruction derby in his Rover P5.