Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 23rd October 2011

Unexpectedly dry conditions greeted the many racegoers to Smeatharpe stadium for the final meeting of the 2011 season - the weather may have not been exactly warm or cold but the racing was certainly sizzling !! The BriSCA F2 Stock Cars drew an excellent turnout of top-class drivers for the annual 'Ladies Trophy', the National Bangers provided some top-notch crashing in their 'Teamarama' tear-up - and top-marks for the youngsters in the Ministox who produced some excellent entertainment.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars - The Ladies Trophy

With track conditions almost perfect, seventeen cars emerged from the pits for heat one, including defending Ladies Trophy Champion 886 Chris Bradbury, 676 Neil Hooper and fellow 'Star' grader 276 Murray Jones. Visitor 135 Mark Lees and 252 Jamie Pepper led the field away from the white grade and indeed it was the Market Drayton man Lees who took the early lead. Already though 886 Bradbury was flying from the back of the field, with 676 Hooper and 276 Jones also hot on his heels. Another driver going well was 700 Adam Rubery from the blue grade. Lap 5 and 276 Jones gives 676 Hooper a bit of a 'hurry up' as the two enter turn three, with Hooper returning the compliment on the following lap! Meanwhile at the front it is still the white grader Lees, with 430 Simon Edwards and 830 Andrew Bennett following at half-distance. With 5 laps left to run 700 Rubery moves up into second with 835 Matt Westaway following him up to third, behind them the flying Bradbury - with Hooper and Jones continuing to swap bumper paint. With the two lap board out 700 Rubery cruises past Lees to take up the lead, which he just holds to the chequered flag - with the impressive 132 Lees holding on to second, 835 third and defending Champ' Bradbury finishing fourth. 276 Jones eventually getting the better of 676 Hooper to finish seventh and eighth.
 Seventeen cars lined up for heat two, with 'Star' men including 38 David Polley, 522 Chris Mikulla and local 'young gun' 24 Jon Palmer being joined at the back of the field by the legend-that-is current National Points Champion 7 Gordon Moodie - fresh from winning the previous night's final at Cowdenbeath !! On this form the only question was how far infront was Moodie going to be at the chequered flag (!) and indeed that is how it was as the No. 7 car had already cleared the 'Star' men by the end of the first lap and was up into eighth by lap 4, taking the lead by half-distance ! Following hard was 38 Polley but he was no match for the man from Fife who went on to win with ease with a 'master-class' of driving as always. A spirited drive from 126 Jamie Avery was rewarded with third place.
The consolation fielded sixteen starters which included late-arrival British and European Champion 401 Barry Goldin. Leading the field away it was white grader 596 Ritchie Mead who made the early running, the man from Chelmsford finding the Smeatharpe track to his liking as he impressed with some quality driving, followed by 14 Mike Priddle and 602 James Horwell, but it was the chequered roof car of 401 Goldin that all eyes were on. The ex-World Champion who won the title at Smeatharpe was certainly carving his way through the field, up into 5th by half-distance. As the lap boards came out it was always going to come down to whether or not Goldin would catch the flying Mead and on the last corner of the last lap he did ! And with the precision of a surgeon the front bumper went in just enough to push the 596 car wide allowing the Bolton showman through to an excellent win - with the hugely impressive Mead recovering for second and 14 Priddle home in third. 
 With so much good racing in the heats and such a quality field it was always going to be a spectacular final and as the twenty-nine cars came onto the raceway anticipation was sky-high - and with 135 Lees and 596 Mead making up the front row you just knew it was going to be good ! At the green flag it was Lees who took it up with Mead hot on his heels, yellow grader 430 Simon Edwards spins on the opening lap but fortunately the following pack manage to avoid him. By lap 4 Moody is already up to 12th. Local favourite 676 Hooper pulls onto the infield on lap 5 followed by 522 Mikulla a lap later. Lap 6 sees the unfortunate 992 spin on turn four, and is then collected by 126 Avery and 464 Matt Linfield - who takes a hard hit in the side which brings out the waved yellow flags. After a short delay the man from Billinghurst exits his car to applause from the crowd and the remaining 24 cars line up for the re-start in lead order: 135 from 596, with 797 Dan Moss behind him but a lap down, followed by third-place man 302 Dale Moon, 700 Rubery, the menacing 7 Moody and 38 Polley behind the Scot, and then defending champion Bradbury.  As the 135 car responds to the green flag at the front the unfortunate 797 comes out of turn four sideways and somehow gets caught up between Moody and Rubery which results in a spectacular roll with the 797 car coming to rest on its roof in the centre of the track with the following pack passing each side of the stricken car at speed, the result being another yellow flagged interval as the boy-from-Fowey exits his overturned car - to yet more applause from the crowd. Once again it is 135 and 596 that lead the re-start, followed by 302 Moon with 700 Rubery caught napping and almost collecting the fast starting Moody, but the Scot recovers and speeds away, followed by 38 Polley and 886 Bradbury. Two laps later though and the yellows are waved again after another coming together this time involving 438 Mike Rice and 14 Priddle. Now we are down to nineteen starters for the third time of asking and once again it is the 135 car of Mike Lees that leads them away but a sudden mechanical problem after a clash with Bradbury sees the 7 Moody car pull on to the infield, joined by 596 Ritchie Mead, leaving 886 and 38 Polley to chase down and pass the Market Drayton man. Halfway and it is 886 from 38, then 276 Jones and 401 Goldin, these four pulling away from the rest of the field. As Bradbury increases his lead as the lap boards come and go, 38 Polley is coming under increasing pressure from the Jones boy, and as the two 'star' men try and carve their way through the back markers, neck-and-neck down the back straight on the final lap, 38 gets on the wrong line through turn four and has a bumper full of the 430 Simon Edwards car allowing 276 to get his nose in front. So, at the finish it is Bradbury who retains the magnificent 'Ladies Trophy' for a third successive time, followed by 276 Jones, 38 Polley and 401 Goldin. Almost as exciting as the race itself, the trophy presentation is concluded with a shower of the best champagne Lidl's has to offer, with drivers, trophy girls and anybody else within range completely soaked in as good a celebration as any F1 Grand Prix - as is traditional at this event. Bradbury certainly a popular winner.
 The final race of the day for the F2's - indeed the final race of the 2011 season for them at Smeatharpe - was the Grand National/Allcomers with 28 starters making their way on to the raceway. With 886 Bradbury on a lap handicap, it was 135 Lees that lead the field away. A repaired Moody storming past all the red grade by lap 2 and looking a threat, however an incident involving 954 Jamie Beere which ended up with him stranded on a marker tyre on the exit of turn two brought out the waved yellows then red and a complete re-start. Joining the non-starters for this was 401 Goldin who had clashed with 24 Palmer damaging his steering. On the green flag it was once again 135 who makes the running but on lap 4 another incident, this time involving 830 Andrew Bennett and 438 Mike Rice, brings out the yellow flags once more. After a short delay to untangle the 830 and 438 cars that had ended up on top of eachother, 135 Lees once again led them away followed by 935, 835 and 700. The unfortunate Moody then pulled off with further mechanical problems as 700 Rubery worked his way up into the lead and as the final race of the season came to a close it was Rubery that held on to take the chequered, from a late charge by 676 Hooper with fellow 'star' man 276 Murray Jones finishing third - with handicap man Bradbury, helped no doubt by the stoppages, coming home in fourth to end an excellent days racing from the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars - and a super season. Roll on 2012 !!

National Bangers - TEAMARAMA

With numbers down on previous years, twenty-one drivers representing nine teams contested the 2011 'TEAMARAMA' for the 2 litre National Bangers. Although teams were allowed to have up to four members only three teams managed to field the full amount - with the 'Ginger Prince' team and 'Team Toilet' only managing the one !  Favourites just had to be 'Team DWO' whose line up included 162 Brett Ellacott, 190 'Pikey' Steve Bailey, 239 Steve Carter and 714 Paul Smaldon !! With points awarded for 'best presented', 'early booking', 'non-Mondeo' as well as race finishes it was always going to be interesting ! The good old Ford Mondeo was the obvious tool of choice but among the non-Mondeo entries were a Ford Focus, Vauxhall Vectra, Toyota Carina and a well-used Rover P4 from 'Material Man' Ian Meeker ! Pick of the best turned out cars was surely the super-smart Mondeo of 382 Tommy Hutchings (TnT).
 21 starters for heat one which began with 246 Ryan Sparks (Team RJS) drawing the front row with 133 Terry Hill (TnT) with 246 taking the early lead, 278 Shaun Brokenshire (Team RJS) was an early casualty after a little help from 891 Darren Wade (Coathangers) with 719 Chris Storey (Coathangers) also involved. Lap 5 sees problems for leader Sparks, getting spun and then collected by half the field on the exit of turn four, the Focus of 241 Nick Thorne (Team DILLIGAF) heavily involved and finishing 714 Smaldon's race. 266 Meaker (Team Toilet) was hitting any stationery car he came across in the aged Rover, the battered old Aunty getting shorter and shorter with every encounter ! Meanwhile that man Steve Bailey (Team DWO) was stamping his authority at the front, taking time out to follow-in the unfortunate Vectra of 74 Adam Hitchcock (DILLIGAF) on his way to the win. Love him or hate him, 'Pikey' is no 'hot-rodder' and although he wins a few he also manages to bring equal measures of racing and wrecking into the mix. Following the 'Master of Destruction' (!) home was 383 Andre McLellan (Rebels) with 133 Terry Hill (TnT) in third. Despite the win, after the points were added up it was 'Team DILLIGAF' who led with 60 points, from 'DWO' with 35.
 Heat two fielded 15 starters with 133 Hill (TnT) the early leader, there was the usual big pile-up on the pit-bend on lap one which accounted for 176 Ben King (Team Trash) but most of the field managed to carry on with the rest of the race a little tame compared to heat one - with only 714 Smaldon burying himself in the back of the stationery 278 Shaun Brokenshire (Team RJS) car the only real action. 133 Terry Hill (TnT) came out on top in this one, followed home by 190 Bailey (DWO) and 162 Ellacott (DWO). Points then being: 'Team DILLIGAFF' 60 from 'DWO' with 56.
 15 cars again for heat three/final with the repaired Vectra of 74 Hitchcock (DILLIGAFF) leading them away but soon the rapid Mondeo of 246 Sparks (Team RJS) hit the front - but it wasn't to last as he took a big hit from 190, with 891 Wade (Coathangers) also piling into the stricken 246 car for good measure adding to the Team RJS's man's misery, and then a couple of laps later it was only the pit-bend wall he hit, and courtesy of that man 'Pikey' Steve Bailey (DWO) his race was ended with a huge coming together resulting in the waved yellows to attend to the shaken Sparks. 239 Steve Carter (DWO) won the re-start, from the wrecking-machine 190 Bailey (DWO) and 133 Hill (TnT) who had looked lively all day. So, final results were: 'Team RJS' 10 points, 'Ginger Prince' 11 points, 'Team Trash' 21 points, 'Coathangers' 23 points, 'Team Toilet' 30 points, 'Rebels' 40 points, 'TnT' 43 points, 'DILLIGAF' 60 points with the 2011 TEAMARAMA Champions 'DWO' 84 points. Congratulations to them. Surprisingly the DD managed to raise 10 starters and after some very heavy action - including a stonking head-on from 382 Hutchings on 278 Brokenshire - it was 190 Bailey who came out on top, just, from 714 Smaldon, the event finishing off in true sporting style by 'Pikey' being waved in by his team mate for a final boot-flattening hit on the crippled Mondeo. Excellent performance then from all the participating teams and drivers - well received as always by the crash happy crowd.

Ministox

The youngsters in the Ministox put on another excellent showing to bring down the curtain on what has been a superb season. Numbers swelled by a host of visiting drivers, each race featured some good action and excellent skill from the junior brigade. Heat one had twenty cars out on track and after the green flag dropped it was the talented young Sophie Fasey in the 986 car that made an excellent start from the yellow grade, up into second on the first lap, by lap four she had moved past 994 Toby Johnson into the lead before clipping the inside curb on the entry to turn three, damaging her steering and ending up sideways across the track where she was hit hard by the 936 Alfie Whitelegg car, unintentionally, but hard enough to bring out the yellow flags in the interests of safety. With only damage to the car, thankfully, the re-start saw 936 Whitelegg lead the field away, with 910 Tom Cadby and visitor 137 closely behind - with 'star' man 942 Steven Gilbert already up into 5th. After only one more lap a further stoppage was needed for a stricken 166 Emily Hector, and once again the re-start was led by 936, this time followed by 137 and 942 Gilbert. 936 Whitelegg eventually fell foul of the bumper of 137, spinning out of contention and losing the lead to 903 Adam Neville, the Helston man hung on to take the win, from 137, with the impressive 942 Gilbert home in third. Heat two saw seventeen youngsters grace the Smeatharpe raceway and was a fast and almost an incident-free race. Once again it was 936 Whitelegg that made the early running, from 910 cadby and the visiting 137 and it was these three young drivers that dominated proceedings up until the lap boards came out, with that man Gilbert again making excellent progress from the back of the pack. All was well up until the last bend on the final lap when a large group of cars came around together, almost side-by-side and nose-to-tail, something had to give and sure enough it did with the leading four cars bouncing off the wall, each other and several back-markers it was a sideways Gilbert that somehow managed to keep control as the tangled mass crossed the finishing line, but was narrowly beaten into second place by the 989 car of Joe Marquand. 108 Mark Cooper Jnr, from Ferndown, was deemed to have finished third with the unlucky 936 Alfie Whitelegg managing to scrape home in fourth. Spectacular stuff !! Heat three had 17 starters and 935 James Flint was the early leader in this one before a stoppage for the stranded 997 Frankie Radmore car that had come to a stop in an unsafe position. The re-start saw 936 Whitelegg once again take up the running, pulling away in style from 137 and 108 Cooper who were having a battle for second and third, with Ministox points Champion 991 Ryan Hoskin, who up until now had had a reatively quiet afternoon, storming up to fourth. With two laps to go the order was 936, 991, 108, 137 and this is how the order remained until the chequered flag, with young Ryan Hoskin trying everything he could to get on terms with the flying Whitelegg but to no avail. Once again a superb and classy showing from the youngsters - a few future champions here in the making for sure.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 700 135 835 886 76 830 276 676 167 315
Heat 2 7 38 126 954 522 783 935 24 302 992
Consolation 401 596 14 430 990 254 438 464 605 797
Final 886 276 38 401 24 700 302 315 167 135
Grand National 700 676 276 886 24 315 990 126 935 254
Grade Awards W 135 Y 302 B 700 R 886
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 903 137 942 932 212 143 945 989 991 907
Heat 2 989 942 108 936 910 991 137 903 143 212
Final 936 991 108 137 942 989 935 903 932 907
National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 190 383 133 451 891 239 nof
Heat 2 133 190 162 451 47 275 714 382 nof
Final 239 190 133 451 162 47 382 714 275 908
DD 190
Teamarama DWO
Best Presented DILLIGAF
Furthest Travelled Coathangers
  • 23 October - Taunton
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