Smeatharpe Stadium - Monday 27th August 2012

Report by Steve Linfield

The last Bank Holiday before Christmas unfortunately brought yet more wet and even unseasonable weather, but at least consistency as this meant that each Bank Holiday  meeting at Smeatharpe this year  had seen rain.  As it turned out, the weather was not as bad as had been forecast but it still meant that a few drivers who were booked to attend appeared to opt to give the meeting a miss, especially in the BriSCA F2’s and unfortunately, although probably understandably as did many racer goers.

The BriSCA F2 Stock Cars also came at the tail end of a typically busy weekend and the shortfall of numbers meant that the format was re-jigged for all cars to run in all the races.  But, everything considered with the mixed weather and associated track conditions there was some good and competitive racing to be seen, and some battles started and settled too.  In the dry track conditions of heat one 676 Neil Hooper took the win and then with the track likewise dry in heat two 302 Dale Moon just held off 886 Chris Bradbury for the win.   The rain had arrived for the annual Club 21 Final and after 991 Ryan Hoskin had headed up the early stages, 990 Paul Rice broke clear of what was a well-populated blue grade to take over the lead and he went on to win.  Much of the action was over the minor places which finished up with several crashing in the closing stages.  254 Richard Beere made second and Hooper third.   The annual John Gregory Memorial Shield was on offer for the Grand National and it came down to a last bend move from Bradbury on Beere, but the latter was able to ride it out and hold on to win in a very close finish.

There were a couple of Saloon Stock Cars who failed to make it past Sunday at St Day but the rest were back for a second days racing, and thus a cosmopolitan entry of cars from all four corners of the country.  995 Ben Goddard picked up from where he left off in Cornwall by winning the first heat, which was the only dry race for the Saloons of the day.   The second heat in the dreaded half and half conditions saw 1 Eddie Darby force his way from the back to the front after 460 Cliff Friend had lead for much of the way, but 618 Stuart Shevill Jnr almost had the double World Champion within his grasp at the flag.   It was not to be two Finals over the two days for Goddard as he was an early spinner in the wet Final.   It developed into a great three car battle between 100 Ian Govier, 56 Georgie Boult and 199 Phil Powell.   The bumpers went in and places swapped and changed, but Govier just about had the edge and held on, especially as they came against back marking traffic.  The three car battle became four as Shevill joined in towards the closing stages, but Govier held on for the win, Boult second and Shevill beat Powell for third.

The Ministox numbers swelled from St Day on Sunday to 21 cars as this time they set out for their Devon Championship, a title that now dates back 25 years – and coincidentally was won back in that year of 1987 by Dave Sansom, who was racing in the F2 Stock Cars at this meeting.    The first heat saw several in trouble around the track early on that brought about a complete re-start.  When they did get going 946 Emily Hector looked set for the win, but had the back marking 118 Sadie Betts come back to challenge her on the last lap.  This sent Emily wide and 901 Cameron Lawrence duly nipped through on the inside to take the win.    The second heat was a stop-start affair with a complete re-start and then two further yellow flags with stranded cars after crashes and tangles.  987 Ethan Pope was the leader at the time of each of these, but has 121 Marcus Skeels on his tail at the last re-start and the East Anglian driver moved past and went on to take the victory.   The points from the heats determined the grid for the Devon Championship and after consistent scores 942 Steve Gilbert had pole position with Skeels alongside, and Lawrence and Hector on row two and 932 Sam Moore and 903 Adam Neville completing the first block of six.    They all got safely away to negotiate the first lap with Gilbert as the leader from Skeels, who was then spun on the back straight by Moore and this allowed a fast moving 143 Danny Hansford up to second.   There was then a yellow flag as Pope and 916 Keiren Brodie found themselves stranded across the track on the home straight.   The re-start saw Hansford challenge Gilbert whilst behind Skeels thundered Neville into the plating and then just as he did that, Hansford spun on the home straight in his battle for the lead and was then collected heavily in the side by Skeels.  With Hansford shaken the yellow flags once again were shown, and Skeels was disqualified for his part in the clash with Neville.   When they got going again Gilbert once again had it all covered and went on to make it a double of county titles over the weekend, to go with the Sussex title he already held.  986 Sophie Fasey made second, just as she did on Sunday and 932 Moore was third.

The National Micro Bangers had a disappointing entry, but it was boosted by a quartet of travellers from Southampton.   The Micro Bangers had been intended to encourage at least some of the plentiful  Autospeed/Rookie Banger drivers out into the National class for the day with the small cars being a great leveller, but this was clearly not to be with just two of them making it out on the track.  To prove that latter point though, 333 Craig Partridge took his first National Banger win in race one but found himself a bit of a target in race two, but did not go down without a fight whilst 100 Alec Jenner and the visiting drivers were well involved throughout.   The last race was designated a straight DD and went on to last a surprisingly long time with 47 Marcus A’Lee finding 341 Andrew Jones’ Ford KA a tough one to stop, whilst Jones appeared to be frustrated with the lack of hard hits coming in from the 47 car.  Earlier in the day there had been the intention to run the annual ‘Triples’ race but due to the lack of entries and interest, this was cancelled. 

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 676 991 476 886 126 685 783 254 526 352
Heat 2 302 886 605 676 783 991 126 124 476 315
Final 990 254 676 126 302 783 352 991 797 596
Grand National 254 886 124 605 783 126 302 189 990 352
Grade Awards W 991 Y 476 B 126
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 995 56 460 100 916 618 199 1 71 65
Heat 2 1 618 56 71 460 199 100 995 94 698
Final 100 56 618 199 71 916 65 1 460 103
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 901 946 951 143 942 932 955 121 910 903
Heat 2 121 942 903 932 989 977 986 946 901 935
Devon Championship 942 986 932 989 946 977 935 919 118 951
Grade Awards W 951 Y 946 B 989 R 942
National Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 333 133 100 341 47 190 nof
Heat 2 190 133 47 100 71 nof
DD 47
Best Presented 100 47
  • 100_0058
  • 100_0086
  • 100_0087
  • 100_0103
  • 100_0121
  • 100_0223
  • 100_0248
  • 100_0256
  • 100_0273
  • 100_0296
  • 27 August - Taunton

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