Fast and Fearless: Britain's Banger Racers Episode 1
1/2 Thirteen-year-old Alfie enters the Essex 'Mini Stocks' Championships.
Episode 1 of 2 (9pm BBC2 Sunday 9/3/14....after Top Gear)
Duration: 59 minutes
Two-part documentary about the petrol-soaked, testosterone-fuelled world of banger racing, a motor sport that allows contact and where scrap domestic cars are stripped out and fortified for a final lease of life on a racetrack.
Thirteen-year-old Alfie is fourth in the junior championship table. This follows him taking on his rivals on the track in a bid to win the Essex 'Mini Stocks' Championships. Racing veteran brothers, Paul and Ricky, are working on a Pontiac in preparation for the Firecracker, an unlimited race where competitors can drive any of type of car: from stretch limos to Reliant Robins. Rather than being 'rodders', who are the fastest drivers on the track, the brothers are 'wreckers' who compete because of their love of crashing.
Fast And Fearless: Britain's Banger Racers is a documentary series for BBC Science about the petrol-soaked, testosterone-fuelled world of banger racing.
This 2x60-minute series will follow the passionate drivers of the Arena Essex Raceway both on and off the track as they compete in the 2013 season: elevating cheerless Granadas and ageing Mondeos to racing car status for a final burst of heavy driving before they head to the scrap heap.
Along the way, we'll find out about the mechanics involved in this transformation - the driving skills that have to be honed and the engineering secrets that give some drivers the edge.
The rules are simple: be the first to get round the track 15 times. No hits allowed to drivers’ doors, but other than that, anything goes!
United by their quest for glory and their love for the sport, this series will feature an array of banger enthusiasts, from retired world champions on the comeback trail to kids as young as 10 who compete in their own Mini Cooper league, each hoping to achieve champion status.
In episode one, with a passion for banger car racing in their blood, racing veterans, brothers Paul and Ricky, work on a Pontiac in preparation for the Firecracker showdown at Arena Essex Raceway. Rather than being ‘rodders’, who are the fastest drivers on the track, the brothers are ‘wreckers’ who love nothing more than hearing the audience cheer when they spectacularly wreck their opponents cars on the way round. They have a self-confessed chequered past but their love of the sport is helping to keep them on the ‘straight and narrow’. The Firecracker is an ‘unlimited meeting’ in which there is no restriction as to the size and model of vehicle. Drivers compete in anything from stretched limos to robin reliants. There is even the occasional hearse!
Two-time world champion Bill gives an insight into how you go about converting domestic cars so that they’re ready to take to the banger track. Since he’s become more successful, Bill has gone from working on the cars himself to paying others to do the necessary work for him.
Darren, who has broken nearly every bone in his body during his career of racing, plans to retire in style at the legendary ‘Firecracker’ race. Darren’s 26-year-old son, Tommy, one of the sport's rising stars, is by his side helping with preparation as race-day looms. But will his modified 1970s Daimler limousine steer him to success one last time?
The majority of drivers start early and inherit their interest in the sport from their fathers and uncles. Thirteen-year-old Alfie is fourth in the junior championship table. Having contended with bullies at school, Alfie takes on his junior competitors on the track in a bid to win the Essex ‘Mini Stocks’ Championships. With coaching from his parents, can Alfie triumph over his rivals on the track?
Voiceover is provided by Phil Davis