Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 19th July 2015

Glorious summer sunshine, and a general air of summer fun helped to balance the slight disappointment at the relatively low car counts in each of the day’s four formulas.

Stock Rods

An entry of 23 cars proved to be the best so far at Smeatharpe this season, but with only a sprinkling of visiting interest, this was still below what should have been the case for the National Championship.  Even so, those present did serve up some spectacular action.  Drivers took part in a random draw to determine their starting positions in a two from three format.  In heat one, 169 Tony Perfect turned his pole position into a win on his track debut, after there had been a first lap incident involving 26 Alan Furse and 3 Matt Peters, amongst others.  Heat two featured a chaotic drive by 555 Greg Radmore, who really did adopt a ‘Thou Shalt Not Pass’ approach.  That, however, was further down the order, and from near the front of the grid, 437 Lewis Trickey swept to his first win of the season.  The action stepped up several notches in heat three, which began with a rollover for 151 Simon Vincent on the opening lap.  On the re-run, 776 Simon Jones stormed past early leader 315 Trevor Ashworth, whist 626 Richard Edmonds earned himself a black flag and then a load up, after he clashed with 9 Chris Drake, Ashworth and 40 Rick Cornell in three separate incidents.  European Champion 172 Derek Conner was also docked two places, after a nudge on 87 Paul Lawer.  Jones won by some distance, from 22 Wayne Belcher.  Autospeed Points Champion Simon Jones thus earned pole for the title race, with 181 Lindsey Jones alongside.  The silver top blasted into the distance, and had a lead of nearly three seconds, when, on lap eleven, the race was suspended, after Perfect had run aground on the back straight.  That brought 51 Luke Oliver right up to the bumper of race leader Jones, and when the race resumed, the battle raged between the lead pair.  Jones was really pressured by Oliver, but into the latter stages, the Cornish star edged away, and duly deservedly won his first major international title – a fact he celebrated with almost a whole lap of air punching.  Oliver was second and Scotsman Conner completed the top three.

2 Litre National Bangers

Yet again, drivers on the entry list failed to honour their booking, which left numbers far lower than anticipated, with just 17 drivers in attendance.  The luck of the draw placed 372 Jay Matthews on pole for the Wreckfest 2 event, and from there, he built up a good lead.  190 Steve Bailey worked his way into second, but a spinning backmarker late on hindered his run, and Matthews ran out something of a surprise winner on an all-too-rare National Banger appearance.  Third went to 452 Anthony Sleeman.  202 Matt Butlin won the Entertainer trophy, for his burial of 333 Craig Partridge.  In the first Allcomers race, late arrival 455 Shane Kennard was followed in by Matthews, and 341 Andrew Jones sent 11 Matt Parsons flying into the pits bend wall.  However, the crash of the race saw Bailey destroy Butlin in the west bend.  In a dramatic finish, 74 Adam Hitchcock just pipped long time leader 131 Sam Hill to the flag.  Allcomers 2 was very dull, save for a last bend dive by 133 Terry Hill, which just failed to dislodge Sleeman and Bailey; the latter hanging on for victory.  Only Bailey and 62 Pat Dorrington appeared for the DD.  They sportingly took in turns to blast one another, before Bailey finished off his game rival, and the two drivers received a wonderful ovation for a fine contest.

Saloon Stock Cars

Assorted and widespread reasons conspired to leave a low car count in the Saloon Stock Cars, although 416 Ben Borthwick had a debut outing in the Lee Pink car, and 901 Mike Hale made his debut, at the wheel of the ex-Shane Brown car.  First up was the Devon Championship, which saw Borthwick and Hale in lively conflict.  Whilst the star grade quartet fought amongst themselves, 199 Phil Powell scooted clear, and he ran out a convincing winner from 730 Deane Mayes and 698 Danny Colliver.  The first Allcomers race had a fantastic finish.  Powell tracked the lead pair of 460 Cliff Friend and Colliver.  Into the last bend, Colliver dived at Friend, and both slid very wide.  That not only opened the door for Powell, but for 158 Shane Davies too, as he stole second place in the scramble to the line.  Powell was some way clear in Allcomers 2, but still there was a dramatic conclusion.  Again, Colliver dived into the last bend, aiming at Mayes, but he saw it coming and went in ludicrously deep himself.  The two tangled, and half-spun.  Colliver got going, and grabbed second, whilst Friend nipped by for third.

Reliant Robins

Although not quite as many Plastic Pigs as expected, there were still plenty enough to make for some thrilling fun.  Heat one saw 437 Cliff Worthington make a lightning start, as he swept from the rear of the grid to the front in double quick time.  There, he battled with 3 Dan Tytheridge for the lead.  Eventually Worthington broke free, whilst 99 Steve Chappell rolled late on, but righted himself back on to his wheels.  Chappell inverted much more heavily in heat two, to bring about an early stoppage.  Late on there was another big rollover, this time for 16 Darren Russell.  Worthington won again, but only after a lively battle with 304 Tim Weare.  In the final, 17 Peter Hurd took to his roof early on.  That forced a red flag and complete re-run.  Again, it was Worthington to the fore, as he, Weare and Tytheridge tussled for the honours, finishing in that order.  The day’s fun for the Robins ended with the Caravan race.  90 Joe Cambridge and 26 Russell Gillingham towed caravans, whilst two more caravans were strategically placed as targets.  The performance of Tim Weare was astonishing, as he repeatedly launched himself through the caravan on the back straight, and then destroyed the home straight caravan with a huge blitz.  Just when it looked like Weare had the race won, he rolled spectacularly in the pits bend.  266 Micky Ford then assumed first place, but with less than half a lap to go, he rolled after clobbering the remains of the back straight caravan.  445 Niki Loader thus inherited the lead, and having taken the chequered flag, he also performed a rollover, to the delight of the home straight crowd.  The Reliant Robins did themselves proud, with a fabulous ending to a most entertaining day.

Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 169 172 909 776 51 40 87 705 626 555
Heat 2 437 181 51 9 151 315 555 22 705 909
Heat 3 776 22 181 26 172 87 54 197 40 315
National Ch. 776 51 172 909 40 181 22 49 9 197
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Devon Ch. 199 730 698 460 158 901 416 475 nof
Allcomers 1 199 158 698 460 901 416 475 995 nof
Allcomers 2 199 698 460 158 730 416 276 901 475 nof
Reliant Robins 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 437 3 58 26 445 304 90 333 266 16
Heat 2 437 304 333 58 90 455 3 266 26 17
Final 437 304 3 58 445 266 333 331 26 90
Caravan Chaos 445
National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Westcountry Wreckfest 372 190 452 133 74 45 131 341 714 648
Allcomers 1 74 131 45 133 141 372 333 47 62 648
Allcomers 2 190 133 45 372 131 74 452 62 341 648
DD 190
Best Presented 372 47 455
Entertainer 202 190 62
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