Smeatharpe Stadium - Monday 4th May 2015

The Mayday Monday fixture produced some great race action at Smeatharpe, notably from the National Micro Bangers, as they contested their £1000 Mayday Micro Mayhem event.

National Micro Bangers

With a first prize of £100 on each race, and the DD, and with other bonuses for Entertainers, it was little surprise that the National Micro Bangers served up some wonderful action.  Four drivers also won cash bonuses in the Best Presented category – the self-styled effort from track debutant 23 Gus Atkinson being very worthy of mention.  The first heat saw a rollover for 842 Tom Perkins, and he was gallantly protected whilst upside down, by 45 Anthony Croshaw.  The race resumed, and this time 184 Ross Jones was thundered into the west bend wall by 133 Terry Hill, who rolled over in the process, before flipping back on to his wheels.  Out front, 333 Craig Partridge was overhauled by Croshaw, and a good run by 923 Ross Turley of the Roughnecks saw him land second place; a best result yet at Smeatharpe for the young Welsh visitor.  Turley, aka ‘Village Idiot’, then played a significant part in the outcome of heat two.  After 511 Dan Crosbie had led initially, 79 Adam Brocks took up the running.  He led and led, and was within a couple of laps of victory when Turley spun him aside on the back straight.  47 Marcus A’Lee picked up the pieces, and he went on to win from Partridge, Brocks and 888 Simon Brooks.  Fittingly, the final was a tremendous race.  Turley emerged as the early leader, whilst all manner of crashing took place in the west bend, and Turley could not resist the urge to join in, throwing away the lead to charge headlong into the pile-up.  Tom Perkins inherited the lead for a couple of laps and then Brocks took over at the front.  However, the race was halted when A’Lee rolled over on the back straight.  Croshaw had just taken the lead, but when the race resumed, he spun away his advantage.  Brocks looked set to hold claim the win, as he counted down the remaining laps, but Croshaw showed huge determination to make amends for the spin, and he reeled in Brocks on the last lap, to win.  Brocks took second, and Partridge was third, with just six finishers.  The day ended, eventually, after a very long and protracted DD.  Twelve started the event, and that number was whittled down to four, before Perkins and 655 Phil Harris had to withdraw.  That left A’Lee, whose car was in reasonable order, and 71 Scott Stevens, who had lost both rear tyres, and had notable rear end damage.  The two of them fought to the bitter end, with Stevens finally having to concede after the most gallant of efforts; A’Lee the winner.

Saloon Stock Cars

The previous day’s action at St Day had taken its toll on a couple of drivers, but with a fair number who had not made the trip to Cornwall, and a first outing of the season for 56 George Boult Jnr, so it was that a respectable showing of 19 cars contested the three races.  Amongst them was 239 Steve Carter – the National Banger star revelling at a shot in the loaned Eddie Darby car.  Pre-meeting practice revealed Carter to be very much at home, as he set the fastest lap time!  In the opening heat, Carter then turned his clear speed, into victory, as he won his first ever Saloon Stock Car race, whilst the highlight of the action came when 401 Steve Webster brilliantly potted 995 Ben Goddard and 259 Daz Purdy into a two-car spin.  With Carter at the back of the yellow grade, he found himself engulfed by the onrushing pack of blue tops early in heat one, and a tap from 891 Andrew Pridham spun him around on the back straight.  28 Ian Govier clobbered a marker tyre on the back straight, and the race was suspended for him to be aided from his car.  730 Deane Mayes got to the front, and despite a good chase by Webster and 186 Todd Jones, it was the East Anglian who won; a very fine race.  Goddard showed his best form of the weekend in the final, as he moved clear in the lead – seemingly faring well on a track that was now becoming very damp from the heavy drizzle.  However, his luck ran out when he encountered the spun 158 Shane Davies on the exit of the pits bend.  Looking to move out of the way, Davies inadvertently got in the way of Goddard, who lost his lead as a result.  Undeterred, Goddard battled back into contention, as he disputed the lead with Boult, Carter and 199 Phil Powell.  Webster then joined in, and he got ahead, but 698 Danny Colliver, opting to use a very wide line in search of some traction, edged into second place.  The closing stages of the race were slightly odd, with Webster on a more traditional line, and Colliver sweeping right out to the fence.  Colliver looked fast, but it was a treacherous route, and a slight mistake in the west bend robbed him of the chance to potentially line up a last bend charge.  So it was that Webster won again, and Mayes relieved Colliver of second on the last lap.

Stock Rods

With the five-strong contingent of Scots keen for more racing, and with new cars for both 40 Rick Cornell and 41 James Horwell, numbers were good for the non-contact Stock Rods.  Heat one saw 87 Paul Lawer, final winner at the previous Smeatharpe meeting, again show his liking for the track, as he stormed into the lead.  However, 24 James Matson, enjoying a far better time than he endured the day before in Cornwall, made good progress, and as the race moved into the second half, he passed Lawer around the outside, before sealing victory.  The final again saw Lawer out front from the start, and he looked to have done enough, when the race was suspended very late on, after 9 Chris Drake spun on the start-finish line, and was collected by 437 Barry Trickey.  With Drake stranded, the yellows were introduced, and that allowed 172 Derek Conner to close right up on race leader Lawer.  However, just two laps remained, and the Scottish star was unable to build any momentum to attempt a pass, and thus Lawer held on for a second successive Smeatharpe feature race win, with 776 Simon Jones completing the top three.  Despite the damage sustained in the final, Drake was back out for the Grand National, but fared no better than ninth.  Up front, it was the classy Scot, Conner, who landed the chequered, after a close battle with 740 Nigel Stuart and 49 Kev Lock.

Ministox

With only a fairly meagre showing of visiting drivers, numbers were a little under what had been expected for the return of the Devon Championship for the Ministox, but they youngsters again showed some splendid driving skills.  The traditional format saw two graded heats; with the points from them then determining the closed grid for the title race.  677 Warren Darby picked up where he left off at the previous Smeatharpe meeting, by storming to victory in the opening heat.  By flag fall, he was chased home by 987 Ethan Pope and 907 Cameron Lawrence, the last winner of the Devon, in 2013.  Heat two was a similar story, although 902 Junior Buster did spend a longer time amongst the front runners, before dropping back to fifth at the finish; Darby again winning from Pope and Lawrence.  Thus, Darby and Pope shared the front row for the Devon title race, but Lawrence was sat, poised, on the preferred inside second row grid.  At the drop of the green, Darby got away well, but Lawrence swiftly moved into second, and on the second lap he stole the inside line from Darby to take the lead.  Darby responded well, but could not quite shift Lawrence, who then managed to edge a little further clear with each passing lap.  As the race neared the midway point, 931 Jack Manhire and Junior Buster tangled amongst a gaggle of cars on the back straight, and shortly after, Lawrence had his run baulked by backmarkers.  As he lost momentum, Darby closed the gap on him again, but was still just too far out of range to affect the running order.  Lawrence was then able to break free again, and he duly saw out the remaining laps to clinch his second Devon title.  Darby was good value for second, third went to 911 Harrison Bryant, and with the Ministox races early on the programme, the long distance travellers were able to get on their way in good time.

Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 239 401 178 186 698 158 344 199 28 891
Heat 2 730 401 186 891 259 460 698 239 158 199
West of England 401 730 698 199 619 460 239 186 995 158
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 677 987 907 268 304 911 667 902 980 931
Heat 2 677 987 907 304 902 667 268 911 931 980
Devon Ch. 907 677 911 297 980 987 667 931 943 268
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 24 151 909 181 776 740 9 83 918 705
Final 87 172 776 740 181 151 3 40 272 24
Grand National 172 740 49 776 83 555 181 151 9 24
National Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 45 923 333 921 47 185 269 930 nof
Heat 2 47 333 79 888 923 nof
Final 45 79 333 141 842 655 nof
DD 47
Best Presented 45 47 23 923
Entertainers 23 71 284 923
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