TWO OR THREE times a month Wimbledon stadium at Plough Lane, south London, hosts stock car, hot rod and banger races. Here’s a recording of the first banger race of last Sunday evening:
After the bangers were done the stock car races began, a more orderly and serious-looking business. By now it was dark and a rain shower had spread the track with puddles. The people became quieter, some blinking at the floodlights then glancing downwards, thoughts left unsaid. The cold night-time air, the circling cars and the harsh tide of their engines were hypnotising.
As each race ended, the cars left the track through a gated passage out into the stadium’s car park. Here had sprouted a brief township of drivers, mechanics, camp followers and on-the-spot repair shops:
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The stadium has a bar and hot food, although to be honest there’s a reasonable alternative to the latter, known as hunger. The races are a fine spectacle though and that evening it was £12 for adults and £6 for kids.