Smeatharpe Stadium - Saturday 20th June 2015

The first day of the Smeatharpe summer Speedweekend for the British Championship double header featuring the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars and Saloon Stock Cars saw the stadium in sunshine as the qualifying heat process commenced to determine the grid line ups for the feature races on the second day.  The programme also featured a trio of races from the BriSCA Micro F2’s.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

There was a grand total of 61 BriSCA F2’s which was good on the one hand, but also slightly disappointing on the other and the decision was made to run seven heats for the British Championship with each driver racing in three of them.  The entry did feature all four corners of Britain represented including a quartet from Northern Ireland, six from Scotland and all across England.  Before the British qualifying got underway there was the 2015 running of the Young Guns Championship, the Autospeed instigated title open to drivers aged 16-19 years at the start of the racing season.  Frustratingly it only saw eight from 27 eligible drivers attend, but it was one of quality with all bar one being star graded.  Front row starters 16 Craig Wallace and 846 Ashley England managed to trip over each other at the drop of the green flag and this allowed 542 Steven Gilbert into a lead he never lost.  NI935 Dean McCory was second on his track debut and 3 Liam Rennie third.  The first heat got off to a highly spectacular start with a big rollover on the pits bend for 302 Dale Moon which also involved several others.  A complete re-run was ordered and it was 528 Shane Hector who got into the lead early on and went on to hold on to win.  The second heat got off to a disastrous start for two of the title favourites as World Champion 1 George MacMillan and 101 Kelvyn Marshall hooked up on the opening lap and ended up on the racing line to bring about a caution.  Unfortunately for them both, as prime cause of the yellow flag they were not permitted to re-start.  430 Simon Edwards moved into the lead after the resumption and although he was reeled in by teenagers England, Gilbert and 527 James Riggall, when the track went slippery Edwards pulled away again and went on to win - a victory he celebrated wildly with air punching that lasted a full lap.  The third heat saw another win for Hector, as he survived a last bend move from 700 Adam Rubery and his two results alone would already be enough to place him well towards the front of the grid.  There was battles going on all the way down the grid in heat four, but the star men were holding up each other’s progress to a large extent and it allowed 189 Paul Butcher to get away and hold on to win.  There were more battles in heat five, including a spectacular one between MacMillan, Rennie and 676 Neil Hooper, but again there wasn’t to be a star grade victor as 476 Ryan Wadling took the win.  Heat six saw another win for Butcher and this was enough to confirm him as the top points scorer, irrespective of heat seven’s outcome and thus the pole sitter for the British Championship.  For this he received a £100 cash bonus from RS Motorsports.  The seventh and last heat was far and away the most spectacular of the evening, not that the six that preceded it had been quiet.  Maybe it was the twilight coming?  It featured no less than four yellow flags, perhaps with desperate times for some leading to desperate measures.  After 519 John Scorse had led, he lost out after the third yellow flag to Rennie who went on to win, almost serenely whilst it was anything but behind him.  The young Scot was the only star graded winner of the evening and at the end of it, the scores produced an all yellow grade front row for the British Championship with Hector joining Butcher, and several star and even superstar graded drivers missing out….

Saloon Stock Cars

40 Saloon Stock Cars, and all four corners of mainland Britain represented including defending title holder 618 Stuart Shevill Jnr who reversed his decision not to make the journey from Scotland, which was pleasing to see.  The story of the Saloon Stock Cars for the evening, and indeed ultimately all weekend was one of under-graded former star men and even champions which made it tough work for those starting further back in five qualifying heats, in which each driver raced in three.  One of these was 428 Lee Sampson, as the East Anglian who was British Champion as little as two years ago took his two meeting old car to the win in heat one.  After 276 Ben King had led heat two he was caught and passed by another fallen star off blue, 186 Todd Jones who went on to win and then in heat three it came down to a battle between Todd and brother 176 Murray, who was on his first (Saloon Stock Car) appearance of the season.  Murray held sway and although Todd was in a position to strike on the last bend, with the end game in mind he opted to ride shotgun to the flag.  Heat four saw 158 Shane Davies take the victory, therefore another non-star grade win.  The last heat featured a huge crash on the pits bend, as the bumpers charged in and 891 Andy Pridham and especially 401 Steve Webster went thundering into the plating.  Webster’s battered car was then carried by the traffic and finished up on the home straight.  It took some time for Steve to exit his car, where he was later diagnosed with a shoulder injury amongst others and unfortunately will see him out of racing for the time being.  Todd Jones went on to take his second win of the evening which was enough for him to secure the pole position.  He would have Davies alongside with 349 Michael Allard and 677 Eddie Darby the highest placed star men behind.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Young Guns 542 NI935 3 979 747 16 nof
Heat 1 528 189 783 768 647 700 519 76 905 328
Heat 2 430 846 542 527 828 341 476 NI935 572 652
Heat 3 528 700 522 184 676 647 NI312 126 111 3
Heat 4 189 315 560 846 783 126 627 768 519 101
Heat 5 476 979 542 527 184 24 430 647 700 572
Heat 6 189 315 NI935 676 768 828 979 627 1 NI944
Heat 7 3 NI312 24 341 16 527 92 823 488 460
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 428 158 610 6 891 220 618 306 570 698
Heat 2 186 641 349 717 199 401 677 276 730 475
Heat 3 176 186 158 401 619 717 618 499 507 217
Heat 4 158 677 730 6 641 349 304 149 276 306
Heat 5 186 428 677 641 176 217 349 199 460 84
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