As we approach the business end of Spedeworth’s Winter Banger League at Wimbledon stadium, the competition has been rocked by the immediate suspension of title contender Rob Barnes.

The experienced driver from Brighton, who was neck and neck with the capital’s Reece Priestly at the top of the table, was cited for his ungentlemanly conduct when he saw red in the final race of the meeting in early February.

The usually composed and softly spoken Barnes, who had previously led the championship, took umbrage to the team tactics employed by The Dreamers team against him to prevent his progress.

Fully within the rules and spirit of the sport, The Dreamers were ably assisting team mate Priestly in his endeavour to win his first championship in his new team’s colours.

Croydon Guardian:

Leader: Reece Priestly is now the hot favourite for the Winter Banger League crown

After reviewing the incident, in line with their strict disciplinary code, the promoters acted swiftly in handing down a mandatory six-month suspension.

Having to sit on the side lines until early August, takes him out of contention for the title, leaving Priestly, known as the Hobbit, in the box seat and now odds on favourite.

The adjudication has blown the race to win this season’s contest wide open, giving encouragement to others such as Leatherhead’s Steve Penfold, Cheam’s Dan Bramwell and Mitcham’s Colin Jones, to push on in the final weeks of the league.

No doubt buoyed by the news of Barnes, in the latest round of the league at Plough Lane, another solid performance from Priestly has him leading the contest with now a fair advantage ahead of the chasing pack.

Meanwhile, Wimbledon stadium welcomes the return of the national bangers this afternooon, in another of their speciality meetings.

Competing for their London Championship, the drivers will be restricted in choice of car by a limit on the engine size of just 1800cc.

Traditionally an event that encourages plenty of collision action between the star names, the night’s entertainment will be enhanced by the rare sight of a ramp rollover contest with a valuable cash prize at stake.

Completing the card is the debut of another formula around the capital’s last remaining oval track. The suitably named Oval Track Legends are a non-contact formula that has been imported from the US.

Racing starts at 5.30pm with turnstiles open at 4.30pm.

Croydon Guardian:

Classics: The Oval Track Legends make their debut at Plough Lane this evening