Picture Gallery: Classic Ford Cortinas and Capris do battle at Swaffham Raceway

The All Cortina & Capri Banger Meeting at Swaffham Raceway. Picture: Ian Burt

The All Cortina & Capri Banger Meeting at Swaffham Raceway. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

They might be modern motoring classics – but that didn't stop a collection of vintage Ford Cortinas and Capris getting smashed to pieces for the enjoyment of frenzied fans at Swaffham Raceway this weekend.

The full-contact banger-racing event on Sunday featured more than 100 of the battered cars, which were thrashed around the circuit by expert drivers from across Britain and Europe.

It was the biggest day of the season for the venue, where hundreds of race fans delighted in each bone-shuddering shunt as the cars were given the chance for a final blaze of glory – or a tow to the scrap-heap.

The rival Cortinas and Capris raced in four brutal heats before the best cars were pitched against each other in a grand final which left the arena strewn with spilt oil and twisted bodywork.

The specialised race day was first staged last year to celebrate the Ford Cortina's 50th anniversary.

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And while some car enthusiasts may feel this high-octane fun lacks respect for the heritage of the marque, promoter Shawn Mason said he believed it was a fitting tribute to the popular model and its counterpart, the Capri.

'A lot of classic car enthusiasts are not too impressed but, the thing is, the Ford Cortina is actually an iconic car in banger racing,' he said.

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'The Cortina was a simplistic car in many ways – it was an easy car to work on so it became very popular with banger drivers.

'At the time they were readily available, but they are classic cars now, so they can go for good sums of money.

'We get quite a lot of detractors saying that we are smashing up these classic cars, but the truth is a lot of them are beyond economic repair.

'This is our best crowd of the season, and that's because the race is unique. It is the only event of its kind in the country.

'The first one last year was all Ford Cortinas and this year we've had Capris as well – next year we will do it again with Sierras. We have got a thing about Fords here.'

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