Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 12th April 2015

It was the fourth meeting in nine days for Autospeed, and Smeatharpe Stadium boasted a four formula 15 race programme, headlined by the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars for the annual meeting that remembers Roger Willcock #95, joined by the Stock Rods, Ministox and 2 litre National Bangers in the latest round of the ‘Old Skool Series’.   The weather was never going to be like we enjoyed six days previous on Easter Monday, but was a largely dry Spring day nevertheless – we are still only in April!

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

Considering it was an all too rare totally solus date for the BriSCA F2’s and the only hard surface meeting in England over the entire weekend, the 37 car total present was perhaps slightly disappointing, but, coming so soon after Easter and with a World Championship qualifying round double header the following weekend, equally understanding.  Nonetheless it did have a smattering of visitors including two from Scotland at each end of the grid with 1 George MacMillan on his first track appearance since winning the Gold last September and 172 Trevor Harris, back for the second time in a week.  The first heat was concluded with a dramatic last lap dash re-start which saw the previously likely winner 745 Lee Morgan lose out and 83 Sy Harraway gain by taking the win.  The second heat featured two yellow flags, but 528 Shane Hector maintained his lead after the re-starts to debut his new car in the best possible way.   575 Tom Clark held off a last bend move from 290 Jay Tomkins to win the consolation.  The full entry of 30 cars took the start in the Final and was headed off by Morgan and there were several early tangles and casualties in the early laps.  One was 476 Ryan Wadling, whose car shed a wheel and this brought out a yellow flag on the second lap.  Suffice to say this closed up all the gaps but Morgan continued to lead until passed by Clark.  The two star men on the move through were MacMillan and 676 Neil Hooper, but all the while some way off the leaders and as the laps ticked off, 935 Nathan Maidment looked the most likely to challenge Clark at the front.  The gap came down, just as it did from 1 and 676 to 935 but they all simply ran out of laps and Clark had enough of a cushion for Maidment not to be close enough to land a last bend blow.  Thus Clark won the magnificent ‘Remembering Rog’ trophy, to rise him back to blue grade a little earlier than otherwise would have been the case.  Maidment, whose return was just a one off for now at the wheel of 38 Dave Polley’s car was a good second and MacMillan fended off Hooper all the way to third.   The Grand National was another rumbustious race and saw a win for 302 Dale Moon to complete the total yellow grade domination of the meeting.

2 Litre Old Skool National Bangers

The National Bangers produced some interesting moments in their races during the course of the afternoon, but did lack the numbers hoped for with several no shows from those booked which is a recurring theme with the Bangers it would seem.  246 Ryan Sparks won the first heat whilst the second one featured a good race between 239 Keirren Bradford (who was using a Steve Carter car for the day, and assumed the number usually associated with the Autospeed World Champion), 372 Jay Matthews and 246 Sparks.  When Bradford came back at Matthews it was enough for Sparks to break clear and take his second win.  A pile up on the opening lap of the Final accounted 31 Liam Shipway, 720 James Warren and 219 Ryan Lamb-Cooper who gave the thumbs down signal.  This brought out the red flags for a complete re-start and the question was, could Sparks make it a hat-trick.  The answer was, ‘No’ as he was first spun by 910 Katie Dawe and then stopped by 133 Terry Hill.  All the while Bradford was clear at the front and went on to record his first Banger victory ahead of Matthews and 912 Simon Rees.  The Allcomers – to ‘full’ National rules – saw a small but entertaining field.  Sparks was well and truly stopped and battered by Hill, who also fought off challenges from Rees and 74 Adam Hitchcock but there was no stopping Bradford on his way to win number two.

Stock Rods

The Stock Rod numbers continue to be frustrating with several drivers still on the sidelines for various reasons it would seem.  One of this year’s newcomers however in former Banger (and briefly Saloon Stock Car) driver 87 Paul Lawer was challenged throughout the heat race by 151 Simon Vincent, who was at the wheel of the car of the late Adam Ignaczak car.  The pair had many laps side by side, and in doing so the fast finishing 909 Justin Washer almost caught them both but Vincent was able to find a way around the outside by passing his off-track pal, to seal the win.  The Final was more straight-forward as Lawer led from flag to flag to take his first Stock Rod victory, nicely clear of 776 Simon Jones who did make a late charge in the closing laps and Washer made third.  The Grand National was led by 740 Nigel Stuart for the early part until Vincent got ahead and went on to take his second win of the day.

Ministox

The Ministox entry was swelled by the visiting silver tops of 219 Harry Steward and 517 Lauren Overy from eastern regions, but despite their presence it was an afternoon dominated by the rapid yellow grade drivers. 677 Warren Darby took heat one and then in heat two it looked for much of the way that 902 Brad Compton-Sage would hold on for his first win. As the race drew toward its conclusion he was caught by Darby and 667 Tommy Farrell. The latter spun ‘Junior Buster’ on turn one who collected a marker tyre and this allowed Darby clear to take his second victory. Sage was the early leader in the Final until passed by Farrell who managed to maintain the gap between himself and Darby all the way to the flag, to record the win and thwart Darby’s hat-trick. Still an excellent day for Darby though and 987 Ethan Pope was third.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 83 1 676 745 468 797 476 627 111 172
Heat 2 528 315 352 578 890 464 827 935 302 254
Consolation 575 290 783 734 542 605 126 328 189 740
Final 575 935 1 676 83 783 745 605 578 189
Grand National 302 745 935 290 1 676 126 542 605 111
Grade Awards W 745 Y 575 B 935 R 1
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 151 87 909 740 222 776 181 9 3 705
Final 87 776 909 740 222 705 181 151 3 9
Grand National 151 740 705 181 909 776 9 918 87 3
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 677 219 517 907 902 931 987 943 911 980
Heat 2 677 219 517 667 907 987 902 911 943 931
Final 667 677 987 911 219 907 902 517 988 980
2L Old Skool National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 246 133 239 372 406 75 912 47 97 720
Heat 2 246 372 239 74 133 47 97 720 908 219
Final 239 372 912 133 47 97 74 246 nof
Allcomers 239 133 47 nof
  • 12 April - Taunton
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