United Downs Raceway - Sunday 1st November 2015

The short oval racing season in Cornwall concluded in fine style at St Day, as the remaining outstanding issues were resolved during a day of good action, in pleasant late Autumn weather at the United Downs Raceway.

Stock Rods

There was a slightly improved showing, with fifteen Stock Rods present for their last meeting of the season; the entry boosted by 92 Adam Daniels on his first trip to Cornwall since the ORC Championship in May, and 68 Levi Robinson, on his first St Day outing of the season.  Up first was the Grand National Championship.  Having made the long trek, Daniels and Robinson were permitted special dispensation to grid, despite having no Grand National points.  However, they were to be removed from the result, regardless of their placing.  Daniels gridded at the rear of the pack, but Robinson had mechanical problems and remained in the pit area.  When the green flag flew, pole sitter 776 Simon Jones led the early stages, chased hard by 181 Lindsey Jones.  In short time, the two front row starters had charged clear of the chasing pack.  For large segments of the race, Jones and Jones appeared to be almost glued together; Simon unable to get clear of Lindsey, but Lindsey unable to mount a telling challenge on Simon.  The two stars, who had duelled earlier in the season at St Day for the Adam Ignaczak Trophy, raced very fairly with one another, and there was little to choose between them.  However, all of that was to change as the race moved into its final third.  A pack of backmarkers had been shown the blue flag to indicate Jones and Jones were approaching, but as the gaggle of drivers continued to race amongst themselves, it led to an untidy passage of the race.  The luck was not with Simon Jones and he was run wide by the pit gate.  He stuck to the outside line going into the turnstile bend.  Sensing his chance, Lindsey Jones dived to the kerb, right behind tailender 705 Dave Ham.  Navigating turns three and four, Ham drifted very wide.  Simon Jones was hindered, and the door was left wide open for Lindsey Jones to assume command.  It then became clear that Simon Jones also had a puncture on the front driver’s side.  As Lindsey Jones extended his lead, it was as much as Simon Jones could do to nurse his car home for second, despite 909 Justin Washer closing rapidly in the last couple of laps.  Fourth went to 49 Kev Lock, with 555 Greg Radmore fifth and Ham took sixth, despite the attentions of 87 Paul Lawer, who was a flurry of hand signals and gestures as he tried, unsuccessfully, to pass Ham.  The first of two Allcomers races produced a thrilling conclusion.  26 Alan Furse had defiantly hogged the inside line for much of the race, and one by one, other drivers had failed to make a passing move stick.  Eventually, as a host of drivers queued up behind Furse, Lock found himself on the outside of him, and as he challenged for the lead, Furse clipped the kerb on the back straight.  Lock edged clear to go on to win, and with sighs of relief all around the circuit, Furse gathered it all up just in time, when a multi-car shunt looked probable.  In Allcomers 2, it was 836 Adam Oldham who made the running from the front of the grid.  Driving neatly and swiftly, the newcomer looked set to win for the first time.  The laps ticked away, but Radmore was hunting him down, and in the final quarter of the race, he drew right up to the back bumper of Oldham.  Entering the final lap, Oldham overshot the pits bend, and Radmore grabbed the inside line, briefly.  However, the two cars then got into a wayward tangle on the back straight, but order was restored by the time they entered turns three and four.  Oldham was on the inside line, Radmore on the outside, and the latter’s run gave him stronger drive to the flag.

Bangers

Fittingly, the Supreme Championship attracted the largest car count of the season for the Bangers at St Day, with 55 drivers present; several of whom had fresh cars for the event.  Thus, a large grid assembled for the Last Chance qualifier, but on the opening lap there was a succession of heavy hits and crashes on the home straight, with the unfortunate 717 Donna Cottrell right in the middle of most of them.  Understandably, she was shaken up in the melee and red flags were quickly instigated.  Incredibly, eleven of the original grid were missing for the re-run, but still the action came thick and fast.  Front row starters 53 Chris James and 194 Alistair Buchan disputed the lead.  They were then joined by 206 Matt Brewer and 354 Mark Sear; the star driver having stormed up the order from row seven on the reformed grid.  A heavy move in the turnstile bend by Brewer brought about the demise of Buchan, but as the lead quartet were all delayed, 246 Ryan Sparks pounced.  He took over at the front, and led through to the second half of the race.  Sear assumed second, and Brewer third – so all were going to progress comfortably to the Supreme, until Brewer then blasted Sear into the turn one plating on the final lap.  Sear’s crippled car ground to a halt on the back straight, and Brewer was disqualified from the result and loaded up for the day.  Sparks won, and just eight cars went the distance.  The Supreme Championship has a rich history of producing great contests, but this year’s contest was relatively routine.  Front row starters 622 Jason Spry and 929 Sam Baker made the early running, but once they swapped the lead; Baker edging past Spry on lap two, that pretty much was that.  Baker was never totally at ease as he swooped through backmarkers, but equally Spry was effectively tailing him at a distance, rather than from a position where he could attack.  835 Matt Westaway ran a little way behind in third until the last segment of the race, whereby a strong battle developed between 912 Simon Rees and 938 Ashley Rice.  Baker clinched the win, and a second title for the season, to add to the Cornish.  He celebrated wildly with a prolonged bout of air punching.  Spry was second, and in a knockabout last bend, Rice stole third.  Pleasingly, after last year’s post-race scrutineering dramas, all of the top five passed without problem.  The consolation brought a first win in quite some time for occasional racer 43 Marcus Lean, and then BriSCA F2 racer 797 Dan Moss scored an emphatic victory in the meeting final, which had been suspended after Rees was inadvertently collected heavily in the driver’s door by 447 Adam Hicks.  Seventh place for Spry put him nine clear in the Autospeed Points Championship, and when Baker failed to grid for the Allcomers, Spry was assured of the silver roof.  Indeed, Spry just needed a top ten place in the last event to secure the St Day Track Championship too, and he did so with a fifth place.  The race was also halted part way through when 911 James Chapman took a heavy pounding in the pits bend.  Westaway won the race, after a close battle with Dan Moss.  The win saw Westaway punching the air in jubilation, whilst the day’s scores by Moss earned him a promotion to the star grade.

Ministox

Such was the plentiful entry of Ministox (including a fine effort by 284 Tom Grensinger, and a remarkable effort from young Scot 629 Euan Millar), that a two from three heat format was deployed, but on the eve of the very first Ministox race, 276 Chey Bridger withdrew from the meeting, and 987 Ethan Pope found himself sidelined by gearbox issues.  Accordingly, the heats were sparse, and were relatively uneventful, but they did produce a trio of different winners.  Heat one went to 943 Hannah Esau, who duly won at St Day for the first time this year.  In heat two, 951 Aiden Vincent shot clear at the start.  He was chased for the whole race by 917 Gemma Robbins, but that was how they finished, and thus it was a fourth successive St Day race win for Vincent.  The star graders made a better impression in the final, and 907 Cameron Lawrence sped home ahead of 922 Joe Parker, who was making his return from over two months’ absence through injury.  Vincent was quick to hit the front in the final, and Parker also moved into contention, but there was to be no stopping Lawrence, who claimed his second win of the afternoon.

Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 A&B 943 980 667 931 248 677 988 946 911 972
Heat 2 B&C 951 917 922 907 988 911 902 629 677 248
Heat 3 C&A 907 922 980 667 629 931 943 902 917 951
Final 907 951 922 911 931 629 943 917 248 999
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Grand National 181 776 909 49 555 705 87 54 740 836
Allcomers 1 49 909 92 26 555 87 437 705 836 nof
Allcomers 2 555 836 87 705 437 49 909 9 776 92
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Last Chance 246 196 768 53 194 254 57 952 nof
Supreme Ch. 929 622 938 912 847 185 320 79 131 246
Consolation 43 797 13 366 242 416 911 447 231 304
Final 797 320 185 246 131 938 622 952 768 nof
Allcomers 835 797 999 938 622 847 246 17 416 366
Best Presented 207 208 254
Grade Awards W 768, 43, 952 Y 797, 196, 366 B 938, 185, 847 R 622, 246, 320
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