Smeatharpe Stadium - Monday 31st August 2015

August Bank Holiday Monday at Smeatharpe Stadium started grey, damp and anything but summer like for the last public holiday ahead of Christmas, but just as forecast, the skies ultimately brightened and the crowd on hand were treated to an afternoon of racing that got better as it went on from the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars, Banger Teams and also a trio of races from the Micro F2’s.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

Coming at the end of a long weekend is always precarious with regard to what the entry may be for the F2’s, but in the event, many simply saved themselves for the Monday on this occasion and the 31 cars that raced was pleasing enough.  In the slippery track conditions in the heats 315 Justin Fisher won the first comfortably, and then the second was a runaway victory for 890 Paul Rice.  The drying track in the consolation saw a first home track win for the current Novice of the Year leader 468 Sam Weston.  The annual Club 21 Final on what was now a dry track saw an early yellow flag after 476 Ryan Wadling had a hefty crash on the pits bend, when 352 Dave Sansom was launched up and over him.  Rice took up the running soon after the re-start and held sway until the three quarter distance, when 522 Chris Mikulla went through but he himself was under pressure from 542 Steven Gilbert and 676 Neil Hooper.  The battle between the latter two allowed Mikulla to get away and he went on to take the win.  This was his first Final win at Smeatharpe and also his second Final win in as many days, having won at Bristol the previous afternoon.  The battle for second went right to the wire, with Rice also coming back with a last bend attack on both Gilbert and Hooper.  It didn’t pay off though and Hooper made second with Gilbert third; Rice careering into 745 Lee Morgan, and rendering himself a non-finisher.  The Grand National required a complete re-run after 528 Shane Hector crashed hard on the pits bend, amidst a gaggle of cars which got out of shape at the end of the home straight.  The resumption didn’t go too much further either, as Weston was stranded on the Honiton bend.  Gilbert had already made his way to the front though, but transgressed by going too early for the re-start.  This earnt him a black cross and although he went on to cross the line first he was subsequently docked two places and it was Sansom who took a very rare win, and with it the John Gregory Memorial Shield.

Saloon Stock Cars

Just two days after the Saloon Stock Car World Championship at Mildenhall, and again a few of the more locally based drivers AWOL, the entry was frustratingly low.  But, once again there were plenty of entertaining moments in the trio of races.  None more so than the outrageous last bend lunge from 677 Eddie Darby on 199 Phil Powell in an attempt to win heat one.  It didn’t pay off, both gyrated and 619 Ross Thomas nipped through to take the win.  It was more straightforward for Powell in heat two as he got into the lead and whilst 698 Danny Colliver had him in his sights, he didn’t attempt a lunge.  The Final was headed by 995 Ben Goddard until a coming together on the home straight between Darby and 891 Andrew Pridham left the latter stranded on the racing line to bring out the yellow flags.  Powell relieved Goddard of the lead after the re-start but he himself then made way for Colliver who went on to take the win.  Powell held on for second and 158 Shane Davies was third.

Bangers

11 teams of (mainly) four arrived for the annual Banger Team Championship including two quartets from the south-east – ‘Team Trim’ who were all on their Smeatharpe track debuts.  Ahead of the team racing though, firstly was the FORDS charity mechanics race which came down to a great battle between Kelly Bradford and Sam Rees, with the former getting the better of it.

Then it was the 2015 Devon Championship, which was only open to drivers who met the stated criteria.  Some drivers present elected not to take part, and the race was also very quiet, with it evident that drivers were saving their cars for the Team Championship segment of the day.  45 Mike Reed got into the lead and looked like holding on until he slowed in the second half and 447 Adam Hicks went on to win, for his biggest victory to date.  Reed held on for second and 372 Jay Matthews was third.

With 42 cars on track for the first heat of the Team event, the track was always going to be busy with lots going on.  Despite there being lots of incidents, the race went all the way without a stoppage and it was Reed who picked his way through the carnage to take the points for ‘Ella and Cock’ whilst ‘Team Trim’ took the early lead.  The second heat again saw lots going on and it was 467 Sheldon Grimes from ‘Team Trim’ who took the win, and a great win it was too, a demonstration on how to win a Banger race by spinning and turning almost every car he encountered.  His win kept his team in the lead.  The third heat was a good and close race at the front and 835 Matt Westaway nipped up the inside of 320 Dan Abbot to take the win, but consistent scoring from 558 Rob Haines, 426 Mark Pope and Grimes kept ‘Team Trim’ in the lead heading into the Final.  ‘Men in Black’ and ‘Team Dave Weare’ were also in contention and the story of what was another good Banger race was that ‘Team DW’ and ‘Team Trim’ appeared to pre-occupy each other by trying to stop the other and it allowed ‘Men in Black’ to sneak through.  246 Ryan Sparks for ‘Team Tango’d’ won the race but Abbot’s second place and 912 Simon Rees in fifth were enough for them to win the overall event – along with their team mates 185 Richard Coaker and 847 Andy Whatley (who were not even in the race!) by one point, on 68, from ‘Team Trim’ on 67 and ‘Team Dave Weare’ on 53.   This was a vastly improved team meeting after the silliness at the event in 2014.

Banger Team Championship : Results

Men In Black 68
Team Trim 67
Dave Weare 53
Team Lambrini 43
The Tango'd 43
Ella & Cock 35
Team 47 23
Team Tekkers 23
Team Trim 2 21
2 In The Pink 20
Green & Blacks 20
Grid 14
BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 315 126 979 575 845 189 544 740 first 8 to final
Heat 2 890 352 476 689 676 111 302 745 first 8 to final
Consolation 468 522 542 254 528 24 828 328 83 460
Final 522 676 542 468 315 189 254 575 528 111
Grand National 352 890 542 676 189 575 111 979 254 315
Grade Awards W 689 Y 468 B 52
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 619 158 995 612 460 698 199 677 nof
Heat 2 199 698 18 677 995 619 460 612 475 891
Final 698 199 158 612 460 995 677 475 nof
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
FORDS Care Mechanics 246 912 133 331 455 372 999 nof
Devon Championship 447 45 372 320 246 113 331 929 185 28
Heat 1 45 558 426 246 467 131 320 835 847 60
Heat 2 467 60 320 558 246 131 997 929 366 372
Heat 3 835 320 28 558 60 447 426 467 246 929
Final 246 320 447 194 912 929 131 558 555 366
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