Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 28th September 2014

Report by Steve Linfield

It didn’t really feel like it was nearing the end of the national racing season, with the penultimate meeting at Smeatharpe enjoying a warm and sunny afternoon, but that is what it is.  As if to prove the point that we are at that stage of the game in 2014, the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars contested their White & Yellow grade final as well as a whole host of other trophies (see below).  The Saloon Stock Cars saw an encouraging entry, the Stock Rods made their final Smeatharpe appearance of the season with the West of England Championship as the top honours and the busy programme was rounded out by the 2 litre National Bangers, in the latest round of the ‘Old Skool’ series.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

There were 39 BriSCA F2’s in attendance, and with 21 qualifiers present for the White & Yellow grade Final this was sufficient for it to double up as heat one in the full format.  55 Courtney Finnikin was the early leader until a yellow flag brought 575 Tom Clark to her back bumper and he passed her soon after the re-start.  A second yellow flag, also for stranded cars, saw 302 Dale Moon make a very quick getaway (too quick as it turned out) which looked like it may bring him into contention but Clark and Finnikin remained where they were and it was 517 Richard James who came through for third, with a timely last bend nudge on Moon.  There were two yellow flags in heat two as well, one for a small fire under the bonnet of 783 James Rygor, who had been unceremoniously spun by 676 Neil Hooper.  Having overhauled 83 Sy Harraway, 886 Chris Bradbury went on to win.  Rygor bounced back to win the consolation – his first win in the gold TLF.  The Final was for both the annual Steve Rich Trophy and the Dave Wilson Trophy and saw a very early yellow flag after a tangle between 979 Paul Moss and 937 Matt Issacs which left the latter stranded.  With the order good, the re-start was from the caution and 828 Julian Coombes soon lost his lead to 954 Jamie Beere.   However, a further tangle up behind left 83 Sy Harraway stranded to bring about another yellow flag.  All of which aided the charge of the star grade nicely and Bradbury relinquished Beere of his lead on the eighth lap and from then on never really looked back.  Rygor came through to second and kept a safe distance from a big battle for third, which featured as many as six cars at one point but was ultimately resolved in favour of 935 Nathan Maidment.   If the Final had been spectacular, the Grand National was something else!  437 Danny Withers opened out a big lead but behind it was ferocious with bumpers flying in and places swapping and changing.  There was a big coming together on turns three and four between long term foes Maidment and 127 Matt Stoneman and soon after a crash on the back straight left 476 Ryan Wadling requiring attention and the yellow flags were called.  During the caution, there was a further escalation of events between Maidment and Stoneman.  Once calm had been restored, and Wadling able to climb unaided from his car Withers headed off the re-start but in all this, Bradbury had made his way up to fourth from the lap handicap and took the lead soon after and went on to complete a 50 point maximum score.  The St John Ambulance Shield for the best white grade driver on the day ended up as a tie between Finnikin and Withers.  Quite a day for the F2’s…

Saloon Stock Cars

It is fair to say that 16 Saloon Stock Cars was better than had been expected at one point and with it including a trio of track debutants and two returnees it shows that the green shoots of recovery for the formula in the southwest really are beginning to show and look set to continue into 2015 where there is now real optimism.  677 Eddie Darby came through to win heat one whilst heat two saw 730 Dean Mayes take the win.  84 Carl Boswell was the leader in the Final for much of the way whilst Darby’s progress was held up in a battle with 460 Cliff Friend.   Mayes took over from Boswell with four laps to run and then opened out a safe gap to hold on for the win, and notable as the first Final victory for a 2 litre Zetec powered car.  Second was decided on the last corner with a huge lunge from Darby which shifted Boswell aside, but the white grade driver was able to hold on for the other trophy position.

Stock Rods

19 Stock Rods for their first appearance at the track since the British Championship back in July, and it was a title event again, this time the West of England which meant that the heats were via drawn and then reversed grids and the points from these determining the starting line-up for the Final.  British Champion 9 Chris Drake effectively picked up from where he left off just over two months previous by making the most of his good draw to win the first heat and then in the second, newly crowned English Champion 306 Neil Truran took the victory.  However, with a second and third place it was 148 Wayne Shackleford who secured pole position with Truran alongside with 776 Simon Jones, Drake, 49 Kevin Lock and 909 Justin Washer occupying the next grid slots.   Shackleford was able to convert his pole start into the lead on the first corner, despite Truran’s big attempt from the outside line.  Truran found himself under pressure from Jones and then Drake in doing this though and it allowed south east star Shackleford to break clear for a few laps.  However, those behind caught him back up and it became a four car battle for the lead.  It was to conclude in controversy though, as contact was made on turn one towards the closing stages and Shackleford was sent spinning.   Truran crossed the line first ahead of Drake and Jones, but the official result was suspended, pending an inquiry.
The outcome of the inquiry saw Truran disqualified, Drake docked and 181 Lindsey Jones docked.  Consequently, Simon Jones was awarded the win and the title.  Click here for further info.

2 Litre Old Skool National Bangers

There was a bit of a dip in the numbers for the National Bangers, but still enough for a good grid.   162 Brett Ellacott got the better of a race long battle with 190 Steve Bailey to win heat one.  133 Terry Hill was the leader in heat two until he encountered 176 Ben King, who held him up and this allowed Bailey into the lead and victory.  The Final saw a stoppage after 97 Craig Deer was hit hard, T-bone style, by 131 Sam Hill.  Terry Hill continued to lead after the re-start and just held off Bailey for the win, with Ellacott third.  Bailey then rounded out the day with another win in the Allcomers, which again saw Deer on the wrong end of the action, again involving the Hill brothers, this time at the other end of the track, although pleasingly, it did all end in handshakes.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 575 55 517 437 627 438 734 828 572 302
Heat 2 886 676 83 315 126 476 756 111 156 935
Consolation 783 464 954 19 937 14 740 979 920 529
Final 886 783 935 476 126 315 464 302 437 517
Grand National 886 676 55 464 437 189 627 828 517 740
Grade Awards W 437 Y 464 B 476
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 677 995 158 199 84 314 617 891 460 67
Heat 2 730 67 199 460 84 158 67 617 717 891
Final 30 667 84 995 158 199 460 717 nof
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 9 148 909 776 306 151 49 437 22 12
Heat 2 306 776 148 3 49 9 7 181 12 22
West of England 776 909 9 437 7 181 3 12 40 222
2L National Bangers Old Skool 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 162 190 235 929 133 131 97 910 333 47
Heat 2 190 133 162 246 929 910 74 912 333 176
Final 133 190 162 910 74 47 246 235 131 56
Allcomers 190 162 929 74 131 133 176 47 97 nof
Best Presented 94 333
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