THE banger racing fraternity will honour one of its favourite sons at Smeatharpe Stadium on the Blackdown Hills on Sunday (July 15) when the circuit plays host to the Ian 'Ringo' Starr memorial event.

The former banger driver died in December 2006 aged just 31.

It was the wish of his family and friends to stage a memorial event in his honour at Smeatharpe, where he did most of his racing, and Sunday's meeting will be that occasion.

It features a number of drivers from the Taunton area and in addition to the bangers, there will be supporting race action for Hot Rods, Stock Rods and the youngsters in the Ministox.

When Ian was in his pomp, he was the figurehead of The Farm Boyz - a collection of young drivers from Dunkeswell, Stapley and Churchstanton.

The lads, all local to the Smeatharpe circuit, often worked on their cars at the Starrs' Hooked Rise Farm, hence their collective name.

A number of The Farm Boyz are due to come out of retirement for a one-off appearance at Sunday's meeting.

Jay Berry, of Dunkeswell, said: "Myself, Ringo's brother Ollie, Dave England and Julian Hellier are all going to make a one-off comeback.

"We will be in the red/white/green Farm Boyz colours and are all looking forward to having some fun as a reminder of the great times we had racing with Ringo."

Other drivers set to make a rare outing in a banger include Paul May and Adie Brown, of Taunton, Tom White, of Honiton, and Pete Hollis, of Dunkeswell.

There are Best Presented awards and Oldest/Rarest car awards at stake, and renowned banger racing artist 'Autorex' has been commissioned to make some special prizes for the day.

After a period of decline, the Hot Rods have seen their fixtures reduced to almost nothing in the past couple of seasons.

However, with the Smeatharpe circuit having been remodelled during the winter, there was a groundswell of opinion that the changes to the track's layout would make it much more favourable for the powerful Hot Rods.

Consequently, the West Country's drivers have rallied themselves in a bid to muster a good showing of drivers for this one-off meeting.

Cornish star Mark Sear said: "This is an excellent chance for the Hot Rods to show there is a future for them in the South-West. If they support the meeting, then it gives some justification for asking for more racing next season."

Ian Dowrick, of Bradninch, Plymouth's Dave Tossell, Derek Palmer, of Exeter, and Ralph Sanders, of Blackborough, are all expected on the grid.

The non-contact Stock Rods contest their West of England Championship, and a most impressive field of cars is expected to assemble.

Andrew Giles, of Poole, was last year's winner of the title but the pick of this season's racers has been Cornish star Mike Hibberd.

Teenager Billy Mayle, of Plymouth, is hoping to make only his second ever appearance and his father, Barry Mayle, is due to journey west from his new base in Lincoln.

After suffering damage at the last meeting at St Day in June, Matt Phillips, of Bishop Lydeard, has been working hard to repair his car in time for this latest home track outing.

After a lengthy period of inactivity, the youngsters in the Ministox will have three races on Sunday afternoon, including a debut outing for Cornish 11-year-old Ryan Hoskin.

The meeting starts at 1pm.