Smeatharpe Stadium - Easter Monday 6th April 2015

The busy Easter weekend culminated at Smeatharpe on Monday, where the day was blessed with almost summer-like weather of clear blue skies and warm sunshine and the large crowd were treated to a fantastic show from the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars and the Unlimited National Bangers in ‘Old Skool’ format, finishing in the annual Pairs Race.  There were also three races for the Micro F2’s for the young drivers aged 7-11 and these saw the greatest number of participants yet, with nine cars in attendance.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

With it being the end of the weekend for the BriSCA F2’s where drivers were in their third, fourth or even fifth meeting over the holiday period, Easter Monday always has the potential to suffer any consequences of what went before, but there were 37 cars in the pits and it included plenty of fine travelling efforts.   The two heats were relatively straight forward and saw victories for 83 Sy Harraway and 745 Lee Morgan before 522 Chris Mikulla executed a perfectly timed last bend attack on 290 Jay Tomkins to win the consolation.  29 cars were on track for the final, which boasted the Autospeed Rosebowl in memory of Paul Oakley, as the big prize on offer.  Following a complete re-run after 734 Glenn Sanders and 740 Neil Langworthy tripped over each other it was 468 Sam Weston who set the pace ahead of Lee Morgan and 575 Tom Clark.  Such was Weston’s pace he was still there at the halfway stage with those doing the chasing only making small inroads into his lead.  This changed when Weston tangled momentarily with backmarker 519 John Scorse and it allowed Clark to close and pounce.  However, they were both deep in tail end traffic and Clark then encountered trouble with 111 Lewis Geach.  All of this allowed Morgan to get back in and 797 Dan Moss, 605 Liam Rowe and 676 Neil Hooper to catch up.  It set up a ferocious last quarter of the race where there were four lead changes but when Hooper relieved Moss of the front running place with two to go he was able to hold on for the win, with Moss keeping Rowe at bay for the podium places.  This was an emotional win for Hooper, with Paul Oakley having had a long association with his dad ex-686 Garry who was on hand to firstly pay tribute to Paul on the PA at the presentation, and then present son Neil with the trophy.  Unlike the Final which did not feature a yellow flag, the Grand National saw two of them with the last setting up a three lap dash re-start.  As it was it didn’t change the outcome with regards to the winner with former World Champion 783 James Rygor taking his first chequered flag of the year.

Saloon Stock Cars

A very fine showing of 24 Saloon Stock Cars assembled with drivers from far and wide continuing the theme from the other Easter meetings with Autospeed.  The entry included five from Scotland with the Shevill brothers of 661 Greame and 618 Stuart on their regular visit joined by the Aberdeenshire duo  50 Keith and 70 Scott Mitchell, who made such an impression at St Day the previous day.  The action came thick and fast in the opening heat as 661 Shevill thundered 677 Eddie Darby into the pits bend plating and then in a combined attack with 618 Stuart,  401Steve Webster was cannoned into the plating on turns one and two and the incident continued down the back straight where the latter’s car was left across the track, to bring out the yellow flags.  The damage sustained to the 401 car was enough to end Webster’s day and for his part in proceedings Graeme Shevill was disqualified from the remainder of the meeting, with possible further punishment to follow.  The re-start saw 28 Ian Govier admirably fight back against 344 Ross Fisher, 698 Danny Colliver and 264 Nathan Olden, who all passed him at one point, to take the win.  The second heat once again saw plenty of action, although a little less brutal this time with several spinners.  Govier opened out a good lead, but it was eroded when Keith Mitchell required assistance on turn one.  Darby caught and passed Govier after the re-start and went on to take the win.  The Final saw 178 Mike Davies lead initially until passed by Olden but the proverbial fly in the ointment came in the form of Colliver who recovered from a spin and re-joined at the front of the pack and made life difficult for the front runners.  He spun Olden which allowed 460 Cliff Friend to take over and then ‘played’ with Darby, which essentially allowed Friend clear to take the win.  Stuart Shevill made second and 730 Dean Mayes was third.

Unlimited cc Old Skool National Bangers

The first Unlimited cc National Banger ‘old skool’ meeting at Smeatharpe for 2015 and the first time that the bigger Bangers had appeared at this fixture for a number of years saw a 34 car entry, which was very pleasing and included a vast array of cars and drivers, some of whom had not raced at Smeatharpe before or not been for a long while.  The pick of the cars were without doubt the matching London Taxis of 387 Ben Bishop and 775 Dave High.   With so many big cars on the small track, it was always going to be hectic and it was difficult to know which way to look for action in heat one yet there was nothing untoward or heavy.  Yes folks, this was proper Banger racing…. 282 Steve Hunt and 247 Richard Sparks disputed the lead for many laps until Hunt crashed with Bishop’s Taxi.  Sparks was then challenged by 120 Mark Ashley but spun him aside to seal the win on the last lap.  Heat two saw a track blockage at one point on turns one and two, but in proper fashion, a way clear was forged and the race was able to continue.  492 Josh Hutchings was the winner this time.   The Easter Hop Trophy was led by 185 Richard Coaker until 246 Ryan Sparks hit the front just before halfway and then forged ahead to take the win.  Hunt made second and 362 Johnny James third, and Gus Garret was on hand to present the annual trophy.   The last event of the day was the Pairs Race, the first time that this had been staged for National Bangers in a long time.   However, whilst still a great fun event for the large crowd, a few of the Pairs appeared to overlook that it was still to the format of the meeting with regard to Banger rules and instead opted to settle personal/old scores.  There were no troubles for the winners though as father and son duo 252 Lib and 362 Johnny James won by no less than five laps!

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 83 605 468 783 476 797 315 768 116 627
Heat 2 745 575 676 734 542 126 352 700 460 302
Consolation 522 290 189 845 828 519 172 111 740 367
Final 676 797 605 745 315 468 83 126 476 783
Grand National 783 605 352 676 700 126 468 828 740 189
Grade Awards W 745 Y 797 B 605
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 28 460 186 158 199 730 620 698 264 178
Heat 2 677 698 28 618 730 460 158 84 235 178
Final 460 618 730 677 158 199 344 186 84 235
Old Skool Unlimited National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 247 492 760 120 252 165 185 479 246 715
Heat 2 492 252 362 185 311 228 148 396 247 947
Easter Hop Trophy 246 282 362 252 121 165 383 702 311 197
Chained Pairs 252/362 88/878 nof
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