Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 16th August 2015

It was “Caravan Chaos” day at Smeatharpe Stadium, this season staged a little later in the summer than has been the norm in past years and the day was greeted with mild and dry weather, a good crowd and a packed programme featuring four formulae with racing from the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars, 2 litre National Bangers Old Skool and the 11-16 year olds in the Ministox.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

For the BriSCA F2s, it was a return to Smeatharpe for the first time since the World qualifying round in early July, and with the fact that the list of possible attendees who were not present, the 33 car entry was thus pleasing enough and included no less than three F2 debutants.  For one of them, 406 Alex Wills, there was drama in heat one as he found himself stranded across the home straight after a crash, and he was heavily collected by 578 Mark Gibbs.  783 James Rygor, on his first outing since the British Championship two months previously, went on to return with the win whilst 464 Matt Linfield won by a comfortable margin in heat two.  The consolation came down to a last bend attack from Gibbs on 979 Paul Moss, who then had something of a double whammy as he took a heavy hit and trip into the plating courtesy of 111 Lewis Geach after the chequered flag.  The annual Roy Goodman Perpetual Challenge Trophy was led off by 689 Joe Marquand but the yellow flags were soon out after a tangle on the back straight left 476 Ryan Wadling stranded, after 189 Paul Butcher had clambered over the top of him.  Marquand lost the lead to 468 Sam Weston soon after the resumption but just as the current Novice of the Year points leader started to break away at the front, there was another caution, this time with 828 Julian Coombes spun across the Honiton bend, and the car showing signs of fire.  Weston continued to lead at this point, which was only lap five, but the pair of early yellow flags had brought Rygor well into contention and he took over the lead just after the halfway stage.  From then on he pulled clear and went on to win the trophy for the second year in succession.  315 Justin Fisher came through for second and 542 Steven Gilbert third.   522 Chris Mikulla won the Grand National, a race which as ever, saw plenty going on all around the Smeatharpe oval.

Saloon Stock Cars

The Saloon Stock Cars appear to be having a little bit of the “summertime blues” when it comes to entries at this point in time.  There appear to be varying underlying reasons for it and it is disappointing when the start of 2015 was filled with so much promise.  But all that said, there is still great scope for 2016 and indeed the remaining part of this season too.  The 13 drivers that did appear put on a typical hard charging display that was well received by the large crowd and top marks too for the travelling efforts once again of National Points chasers 698 Danny Colliver (who raced at Cowdenbeath the previous evening) and 730 Dean Mayes as well as 158 Shane Davies (both of whom raced at Coventry on Saturday) whilst it was good to see a return of 176 Murray Jones, even if perhaps temporarily.   The first heat saw 475 Ben Sealy record his maiden Saloon Stock Car win and then the second heat saw him chased down by 199 Phil Powell.  Fresh from his Devon and Cornish Championship victories, Powell went for a last bend dive on Sealy which was just enough to tip the 475 car into spin and Powell nipped in for the win, with Sealy recovering for fourth backwards across the line.  In the Final though, once again there was no stopping Sealy who went on to take his second win, and thus career first Final.  Powell made second and Mayes was the first of the star men.

2 litre Old Skool National Bangers

Surprisingly in many ways, this was the first Smeatharpe appearance for the 2 litre Old Skool National Bangers since April.  There was a total of 26 cars with one or two non-Ford Mondeos too and it was one of them, the BMW of 246 Ryan Sparks who took heat one after leader 133 Terry Hill threw away the lead to attack 185 Richard Coaker.  The second heat saw 27 Kieren Bradford get the luck of the draw to lead from the front, and he did just that, all the way to the flag whilst the main battle was for second place which was resolved in favour if Hill.  Much the same applied in the Final, with the battle for second behind a runaway leader.  That leader was 131 Sam Hill who went on to win by almost half a lap whilst the big battle for second saw Sparks take that ahead of Bradford and 910 Katie Dawe, who just missed out on a trophy position.  There were eight cars for the Allcomers (which is run to ‘full’ National rules in 2 litres) and 75 Paul Fisher was the one who took the most damage.  But at the front, there was another who simply got away and it was 100 Alec Jenner.   Seven participants for the annual Caravan Chaos, including 88 Tim Wood and 888 Simon Brooks who attended the meeting just for the event.  Amid the usual high entertainment, Wood rolled over when his Caravan also went over to bring about a temporary halt.  47 Marcus A’Lee was the leader at the time, and he still had a full caravan too and against all odds as the laps ticked off, he still had a full caravan, even as he took the last lap board.  Could he do the unthinkable and win still towing a full caravan?  “No” was the answer as he was stopped by 74 Adam Hitchcock as he rounded the last corner.  But, as A’Lee scrambled free and took the victory he still had far more of a caravan attached to the chassis than many seasoned onlookers could remember happening on any other occasion.

Ministox

There were 18 Ministox and it included a trio of welcome visitors from the Midlands.  902 Brad Compton-Sage was the long time leader in heat one, until passed in the closing stages by 907 Cameron Lawrence who’d charged through from the back of the grid.  Heat two had three attempts to get going after false starts, but when it did, 943 Hannah Esau pulled well clear on her way to victory.  It was a titanic battle for second though that ultimately saw Lawrence get the better of 987 Ethan Pope.  The annual Reg Thomas Memorial Shield initially saw a good lead for 917 Gemma Robbins, but she lost momentum when lapping back-marking traffic and this allowed Esau to catch and pass.  From then on, Hannah went on to pull clear again and went on to win by a distance, duly retaining the shield for a second year.  Lawrence made it up to second once again and 931 Jack Manhire was third.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 783 126 575 189 797 254 627 740 first 8 to final
Heat 2 464 522 83 476 315 542 468 845 first 8 to final
Consolation 578 979 111 745 828 689 367 572 404 460
Final 783 315 542 83 468 578 111 464 575 189
Grand National 522 315 783 575 111 476 126 578 254 979
Grade Awards W 689 Y 468 B 542
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 475 199 677 158 995 612 698 314 730 176
Heat 2 199 995 730 475 698 176 612 158 460 314
Final 475 199 730 698 612 158 314 717 677 176
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 907 902 911 980 987 931 951 922 943 667
Heat 2 943 907 987 911 931 902 677 667 922 980
Final 943 907 931 911 987 980 917 667 902 982
2L Old Skool National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 246 83 27 903 910 131 372 333 999 714
Heat 2 27 133 246 372 131 333 74 910 718 387
Final 131 246 27 910 333 83 912 133 74 714
Allcomers 100 131 74 714 133 nof
Caravan Chaos 47 888 74 905 nof
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