Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 19th October 2014

Report by Steve Linfield

We reached the end of season 2014 at Smeatharpe Stadium and it was a fine Autumnal day, a busy pit area and busy programme of events with trophies galore for the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars and Autospeed Bangers.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

The Ladies Trophy is one of the most coveted of all in BriSCA F2, let alone in the southwest of the country with Autospeed.  However, clashing fixtures meant that that it was largely a home/local entry of cars present, save for regular travellers 55 Courtney Finnikin and 464 Matt Linfield.  The pair of heats went the way of 126 Jamie Avery and 783 James Rygor whilst the consolation was won by 954 Jamie Beere, in a race which saw 529 Paul Barker complete three separate spins in the same place.  The 29 car feature Final was typically fast and furious and the drama was added to when some of the favourites in Avery, Rygor and 676 Neil Hooper were early casualties.  Rygor across the track was the cause of a second yellow flag in the race.  745 Lee Morgan had been the leader at the time of both, but on the second restart he appeared to fail to see the green flag drop.  Those behind either didn’t go or just followed and the upshot was 352 Dave Sansom and 189 Paul Butcher did and they leapfrogged themselves several cars up the order to be first and second.  However, with some slow away and others fast it did trigger a chain reaction crash on turns three and four that ultimately brought out the yellow flags again a couple of laps later.  Sansom continued to lead after the restart, but couldn’t keep Butcher at bay and then was also passed by 315 Justin Fisher.  A further yellow flag, this time for 575 Tom Clark in the plating once again brought the pack closer together, and Fisher right with Butcher.  Fisher made his move a couple of laps into the restart, which was lap 14 and whilst Butcher did fight back, Fisher was able to open out a gap over the remaining laps to keep Butcher at bay.  Thus The Ladies Trophy had a new winner to be added to its list of names once again and Justin was duly given the traditional champagne soaking (and then some...) from Tim and Rob Farrell.  Butcher stayed clear for second and 254 Richard Beere made third, with 476 Ryan Wadling receiving the prize for fourth.  The Allcomers was for the annual Trackscene Trophy and was led for a long way, indeed all bar the last two laps, by Lee Morgan until he was passed by Hooper who went on to win.

Bangers

For the Bangers it was a double header of significant events, with two feature races; the annual Dave Weare Trophy and also the 2014 Devon Championship.  As per the norm for the Dave Weare Trophy day, the grades were dispensed with and the grid for the heats and the main race were formed via random draw.  The heats went to 735 Wayne Flint, returnee 991 Ben Hale and then 372 Jay Matthews.  There were several different leaders early on in the Final before 113 Chris Jeanes established himself at the front.  However, there was a yellow flag when 427 George Harris took several knocks on the home straight and required attention.  Jeanes continued to lead after the restart, despite some pressure from 612 Lee Pink.  A back straight pile-up delayed Pink, and that crash also left 134 Andrew Bond stranded and a yellow flag was called.  Jeanes had the cushion of backmarkers between himself and his nearest challengers for what was to be the last re-start and he duly went on to win.  Pink recovered for second and Hale was third.   It was back to graded order for the Devon Championship and 738 Barry Stroud opened out a good lead early on.  However, this was whittled to nothing as there was a yellow flag after 284 Leon Benjafield was on the receiving end of a disturbing hard hit, drivers side on, from 438 Dan Rice.  Stroud lost out to Wayne Flint soon after the restart and he went on to take the title with 941 Hannah Creed second and Jeanes third.  To keep with the theme and tradition of Dave Weare day, the last race was a fun race, run in an anti-clockwise direction and it featured two rollovers, firstly for 455 Shane Kennard and then one for 154 Barry Pike.  79 Brian Edmond went on to win by some distance.

Saloon Stock Cars

The Saloon Stock Car entry of 14 cars was thus not large, but almost double that of the corresponding meeting last year and more significantly it featured drivers all from either the southwest or southeast (i.e. all within the Autospeed “footprint”) and with interest looking very strong for 2015, this meeting was literally the platform for the interest to grow.  First up was the Autospeed White & Yellow grade Final which saw victory go to 717 Richard James ahead of 460 Cliff Friend and 259 Daz Purdy.  Heat one of the programme saw 158 Shane Davies take the victory, which was quite surprisingly his first in Saloon Stock Cars.  He very nearly made it two from two in heat two as a last bend lunge on James just failed to come off who in turn took his own career first Saloon Stock Car win.  The Final saw Purdy lead until the halfway stage when James took over and he then held sway, but, as the laps ticked off the gap between him and 698 Danny Colliver was coming down.   It looked like Colliver was too far back to attempt a last bend lunge, but he did and it was a huge one.  He only just failed to connect with James who therefore went on to take his third chequered flag of the day.  Davies nipped through for second as Colliver waywardly bounced out of the pits bend fence, and he had to settle for third, despite that audacious last bend charge.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 126 438 676 328 55 254 111 845 542 460
Heat 2 783 83 745 476 575 290 189 302 627 937
Consolation 954 315 797 734 352 517 740 920 529 nof
Final - The Ladies Trophy 315 189 254 476 126 676 352 83 954 302
Trackscene Trophy 676 745 797 783 476 83 189 254 328 542
Grade Awards W 745 Y 954 B 189 R 315
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
W&Y 717 460 259 264 995 891 314 nof
Heat 1 158 698 186 264 617 891 995 nof
Heat 2 717 158 891 264 677 995 460 698 199 314
Final 717 158 698 677 995 460 199 264 617 891
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 735 941 60 406 246 862 113 847 154 778
Heat 2 991 941 816 447 912 175 60 154 735 79
Heat 3 372 246 134 991 612 185 113 911 447 438
Dave Weare Trophy 113 612 991 902 246 862 416 154 284 624
Devon Championship 735 941 113 912 185 246 938 862 816 416
Fun Race 79 862 175 912 154 331 938 130 nof
Grade Awards W 624 Y 912, 816, 154 B 735, 862, 185 R 113, 246, 941
Best Presented 134 735 911
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