FEATURE: Welcome to the crazy world of caravan banger racing
Competition for pitches can sometimes get a little heated
Tuesday, 07, Jan 2014 02:46
by Jake Polden
Caravans often get bad press for being painfully slow, visibility restricting annoyances on the road.
We here at CaravanTimes however, beg to differ, and to that end we bring you an insight into the frenetic world of caravan banger racing - a sporting event that completely turns the cliche on its head - to prove the doubters wrong.
What is caravan banger racing?
We're glad you asked.
It's quite literally the obvious addition of caravans to the original sport of banger racing, where a large number of cars line up alongside each other to race around a track and crash into one another.
Differing from the American demolition derby, where the only objective is to immobilise other vehicles, banger racing involves racing to a chequered flag, as well as smashing others' vehicles up.
Lining up on tarmac or dirt tracks that are normally oval-shaped or a figure of eight, competitors consist of 'rodders', those who intend to race hard to the finish, and 'wreckers', those who wish to reap as much carnage as is physically possible to reap with, all of which with a caravan in tow.
A whole lot of history
Surprisingly the sport of banger racing is older than you'd probably think, with disputed claims of it originating in the 19th century, when disused locomotives were used to purposefully crash into each other head on.
Stemming from spectators' enjoyment in witnessing crashes in general motor racing, banger racing only inducted caravans relatively recently, as a bizarre addition that ultimately serves to create further carnage.
With each event presenting a range of prizes to the rarest, best and strangest vehicles on show, there is far much more to consider than just how hard you can clout others with your beefy caravan.
Why, oh why?
Well, why ever not?
Yes it's completely ridiculous and yes we are sure there are some of you out there who will wince at the sight of a defenceless caravan buckling under the impact of a heavy Ford ploughing into the side of it, but we assure you it's okay.
As you'd expect, even with the lure of enticing prizes to be won for best in show, most competitors drive barely drivable cars and tow caravans that had their day in 1949.
What's more there is no disdain for caravans amongst spectators, despite the sport appearing to do nothing more than evoke further masochistic tendencies towards them.
Au contraire - if anything caravans go up in the books of those in attendance as they only add to the carnage and excitement - exactly what everyone's looking for.
So don't be afraid to nudge the person next to you at an event, point and announce, "I've got one of them" as the remains of a Bailey Discovery begin a gravitational descent back down towards earth.
Well after reading all that, why wouldn't you be?
Okay in hindsight, maybe we didn't sell it to you too well. But seriously, where else can you go and watch a sport event and witness a caravan, or bits of a caravan, flying past you?
If you are interested in finding out more, check out the Spedeworth website where you can investigate further and book tickets to watch caravan banger racing events around the UK.
And for those of you who cannot wait until then, click on the video below for a taster: