Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 29th December 2013

A large crowd gathered at Smeatharpe for the Christmas/New Year holiday period Banger Bonanza fixture, as sponsored by City Camper Hire.  There was an air of considerable expectancy surrounding the day, with particular regard to how the Old Skool races would pan out.  By the end of the meeting, which ran without any rain to spoil the occasion, there was near enough universal approval of the events of the day.

Old Skool Unlimited cc National Bangers

Over 20 drivers assembled in the unlimited cc class, and essentially they were the day’s show-stealers.   The grid was a mix of stalwart/veteran drivers; some first timers in the unlimited cc class; and a sprinkling of current day racers too.  891 Darren Wade and 120 Mark Ashley each had a Triumph, there was a Jag for 148 Reece Frayne, 715 Chris Langmaid and 06 Anthony Bradshaw were both in Mk 2 Grandas, with 113 Aaron Brown and 282 Steve Hunt in the estate version.  However, it was the Jensen Interceptor of 303 Nic Saintey which topped the bill.  The first heat saw Saloon Stock Car driver 46 Cliff Friend storm to a flag to flag victory, and heat two brought a win for Steve Hunt, as he came out on top in a thrilling three-way battle with 114 Nick Courtier and late arrival 82 Danny Hunt.  If that was good, then the final was even better, as Steve Hunt and Courtier duelled with 186 Leon Fasey – a real case of old school drivers racing in an Old Skool style.  Big, heavy, rwd cars on a damp, slippery circuit calls for a lot of skill and control, and Fasey, Hunt and Courtier exuded those qualities, as they filled the top three places.

National Micro Bangers

Numbers were disappointing in the National Micro Bangers, with several no-shows from the original entry list.  However, the small number of drivers present did enjoy themselves, and there were certainly some highlights.  Victory in the opening heat went to 249 Darren Brock, but only after a rollover on the home straight for track debutant 284 James Head, which ended his day rather early.  In the second heat, 284 Leon Benjafield bundled 71 Scott Stevens into the pits bend wall, whereupon Benjafield was then forcefully clobbered by Brock.  Out front, 196 Phil Chapman led the way, but he was being reeled in by 716 Jon Marshall.  When the two of them battled for the lead, they managed to hold up one another, and Brock was able to overhaul them both, and he went on to claim a second win, with 270 Shaun Baker the runner-up.  The laps were reduced for a short sprint final, and Chapman came out on top in his contest with Marshall.  Former Ministox and Stock Rod racer Chapman, now a current day F2 driver, went on to take the chequered flag, punching the air in celebration as he did.  However, Chapman then mysteriously pulled to the infield as the DD began.  The crashing came down to a head-to-head showdown between Stevens and 874 Lewis Ballard, with the former getting the verdict.

Old Skool 2-litre National Bangers

Over 20 drivers contested two heats and a final for the Old Skool 2-litre National Bangers, underlining the expected popularity of this class for 2014.  133 Terry Hill was swiftly into the lead in the first race, and he held on to win despite 438 Dan Rice charging through in the closing stages for second.  522 Chris Orchard got loaded up for a hit on a stationary car.  The second heat came down to a last lap scrap between long time leader 97 Craig Deer and 272 Shaun Ross, with the latter just claiming victory in the scramble to the line.  Another good race followed, in the final.  Deer again led, this time until two laps from home, when 83 Ben Styles grabbed the lead, and then the win, with 881 Gary Emery close behind as the runner-up, and Hill in third place.

Bangers

In excess of 40 drivers raced in the Autospeed Bangers, and deploying a two from three format, with all-in Final, numbers were always plentiful.  Heat one was led from start to finish by 612 Lee Pink.  In heat two, 134 Jarret Bond hit the front on lap four, and went on to win convincingly.  There was a win for 91 Ian Blight in heat three, as 182 Nathan James finished second again, repeating his feat from the first heat.  The early pace was set by 935 James Flint in the final, and whilst James closed in on him in the latter stages, 929 Sam Baker then got past James for second place.  This held up both experienced racers, and sixteen year old Flint made it a debut to remember, as he took the chequered.

FORDS Care Mechanics Championship Grand Final

With a true spirit of ‘The Show Must Go On’, the FORDS Care Mechanics Championship Grand Final was beset with assorted problems, but most of these were overcome in time for ten drivers to grid in the Newnham Car Spares sponsored event.  From pole position, 27 Ty McLaughlin led until the midway point.  A good drive by 938 Derrick Rice saw him move into contention.  He moved ahead of 17 Gareth Austin to challenge for the lead, only for Rice and McLaughlin to tangle.  Austin briefly grabbed the lead himself, but he could not hold off 438 Harry von Sommeren, who duly followed up his victory in the Smeatharpe qualifying round, to win the overall title.  Austin was second, and third went to McLaughlin, who received a bonus award as the leading fund raiser in the series.

FORDS Care Mechanics 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Championship 538 17 27 938 888 91 nof
Old Skool 2 Litre 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 133 438 272 242 83 129 556 131 6 27
Heat 2 272 97 938 83 242 881 333 438 556 27
Final 83 881 133 27 438 97 912 242 333 556
Old Skool Unlimited cc 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 46 186 282 988 114 113 293 619 108 265
Heat 2 282 82 988 293 734 619 120 246 891 270
Final 186 282 114 619 988 891 734 702 120 72
National Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 249 284 196 874 270 nof
Heat 2 249 270 196 874 nof
Final 196 716 270 874 nof
DD 71
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 612 182 738 247 5 133 383 8 70 929
Heat 2 134 677 475 247 131 912 744 133 194 985
Heat 3 91 182 131 677 134 778 188 154 129 70
Final 935 929 182 247 738 242 485 281 131 133
Grade Awards W 935, 738, 612 Y 91, 912 B 182, 131, 134 R 247, 929, 475
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