Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 21st June 2015

Day two of the Summer Speedweekend at Smeatharpe saw its own piece of Stock Car history as the British Championships for the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars and Saloon Stock Cars were staged on the same track on the same day for the first time in history.  An impressive feat considering the F2 version dates to 1964 and the Saloons to 1968. As well as these two feature races, a full programme of racing followed thereafter and the meeting also saw action from the unlimited cc Old Skool National Bangers.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

The seven heats on the Saturday evening for the BriSCA F2’s had seen only one star graded winner and produced an all yellow grade front row with 189 Paul Butcher on pole position, joined by 528 Shane Hector whilst row two had 527 James Riggall as the highest star and 315 Justin Fisher, and row three 846 Ashley England and 700 Adam Rubery.  In contrast World Champion 1 George MacMillan was the penultimate driver on the grid of 34 and some other star men failed to qualify for the race at all.  In bright sunshine it was a good rolling lap and clean start and Butcher, whose vast experience belies his yellow roof grade, converted his pole start into the early lead.  The whole field safely negotiated the first lap and at the end of it, it was Butcher leading from Riggall and 542 Steven Gilbert.  Hector had found himself trapped on the outside line and fell down the order.  The race quickly settled down at a fast pace, which was against the prediction of many and Riggall, tracked by Gilbert caught and passed Butcher to lead.  Therefore it was a pair of teenage drivers battling for the lead in this prestigious race.  Rubery moved through to third but there was drama to come for Gilbert.  16 Craig Wallace, NI312 Christopher Kincaid and 488 Liam Bentham all came together on the pits bend.  It looked for a short time as if they may not get going and a caution flag would be required. They did get going however, but as Wallace did so, Kincaid was collected by Gilbert and the damage the 542 car sustained was enough to force him out a lap later.  This left it to Riggall and Rubery to battle it out.  768 Tom Adcroft moved through to third albeit some way adrift, but equally clear of the rest.  As the laps ticked off, Rubery moved ever closer to Riggall and when the 527 car lost time in back marking traffic Rubery was able to pounce a lap later.  It was one move, and he made it stick.  Riggall returned to being within striking distance again, but as the race entered its final five laps the gap opened out again and Rubery was able to hold on and take his career first F2 title.  Riggall showed what a great prospect he is fast becoming with second and Adcroft was happy with third.  The remainder of the top six were Fisher, England and Butcher.  In addition to the regular prizes, Rubery won a new race wing from Premier Motorsports, and there was a brand new wheel from RCE for Riggall and for Adcroft.

The format that followed was three heats qualifying for the Dave Wilson Memorial Trophy Final.  The first went to 676 Neil Hooper and the second doubled up as the Teen Sensations Championship, for the drivers aged 16-19 at the start of the racing season, following on from the Young Guns on Saturday.  It was to be 3 Liam Rennie who took the victory from Gilbert and Wallace.  There were prizes galore from generous sponsors (see separate news item), and as overall victor from both races Gilbert won the F2 exhaust system from Simpson Race Exhausts.  Heat three looked like going the way of 572 James Lindsay until a yellow flag for the spun car of 890 Paul Rice.  This triggered off another incident as 352 Dave Sansom collected Butcher and 560 Luke Wrench as the yellow flags were shown.  Clearly unimpressed at this Wrench showed it by speeding on the track under the yellow flags (presumably) in his efforts to find the 352 car, which saw him disqualified and Sansom too was disqualified.  At the re-start 184 Aaron Vaight went too early and although he went on to take the chequered flag, the Steward decreed it was a jump start and it was 905 Rob Mitchell who recorded a rare non-shale win.  The consolation saw a nasty crash for 915 Jacklyn Ellis, which resulted in her throttle sticking open after a clash into the turn four plating and then careered into 823 Sam Wagner’s car on the centre.  After being given time to exit her car, Jacklyn was able to do so of her own accord.  Hector went on to take his third win of the weekend.  The 32 car Final featured no less than 20 star graded drivers and it was fast and furious.  As the lone white graded driver Lindsay led the pack until he was caught and passed by Hector.  However a yellow flag on lap six after Wallace found himself stranded across the track brought out the yellow flags.  Fisher relieved Hector of the lead after the re-start, but there was trouble ahead for many as a significant oil spillage from Vaight’s car smothered turns three and four in oil and resulted in several crashing to necessitate another yellow flag.  This was lap nine and Fisher continued to lead at the re-start but it was newly crowned British Champion Rubery who was the danger man again, and he caught and passed Fisher to round out a highly memorable afternoon for himself.  Fisher held on for second and England made third.  Despite the meeting running behind schedule, there were still 23 cars for the Grand National and it featured a superb scrap for second place with bumpers going in and no less than seven or even eight cars scrapping over the place.  All of which was behind the winner, 101 Kelvyn Marshall.

Saloon Stock Cars

The Saloon Stock Cars started off with a last chance qualifier for those who failed to score enough to make the British Championship grid from Saturday’s heats, where a further six would go through to the main event.  There were some big name starters, and fallers, notably current National Points leader 698 Danny Colliver and it was 995 Ben Goddard who took the win.  The grid from the points scored in the heats saw an all blue grade front row with 186 Todd Jones on pole positon with 158 Shane Davies alongside and then 641 Willie Skoyles, 677 Eddie Darby, 428 Lee Sampson and 349 Michael Allard.  Thus a potent looking front group on the 31 car grid, despite four of the six currently being graded blue.  It was a good clean start with Jones getting away with Allard slotting into second and Sampson third, as Darby and Davies found themselves stuck on the outside line and lost out.  However, there was an early yellow flag when 276 Ben King found himself stranded on the racing line and this bunched the pack up.  Jones continued to lead at the re-start but Sampson seized the opportunity and shunted Allard into the 186 car to lead and from that point on started to open out a gap on those chasing.  The main focus turned on the battle for second between Darby, Allard and Jones with the places between the three changing on several occasions, until a clash between Darby and Allard saw the latter scrape the plating and lose a lot of time.  As the laps ticked off, Sampson remained clear and at times was in a sea of back marking traffic, which could have proved to be an issue, but wasn’t.  The gap likewise remained constant between Darby and Jones in second and third and that is how they remained to the flag.  Therefore a second British title in three years for Sampson, and his first major non-shale track victory.  The decision was made to run one Allcomers heat rather than the planned two, and this meant a 30 car grid which, suffice to say was a highly charged and spectacular affair with it being the case of not knowing which way to look for action.  There was a caution flag for debris on the track and then a further yellow flag when the long-running feud between 28 Ian Govier and 56 Georgie Boult once again came to a head with a large coming together by the pit gate, which has left both facing disciplinary action.  176 Murray Jones was the leader at the time of the yellow flag and continued to do so at the re-start on his way to his second win of the weekend.  The Final saw fewer cars and was quieter in comparison and after 800 Scott Greenslade had held sway in the lead during the first part of the race, it was Todd Jones who moved ahead and went on to take another win.  Davies made second and Greenslade just held on for third after being spun across the line by Murray Jones.

Unlimited cc Old Skool National Bangers

There were not as many National Bangers as booked, with the 23 car total being some 10 shy of that, but nevertheless good enough and they served up a trio of interesting races in between the Stock Car events and were enjoyed by the large crowd.  266 Ian ‘Tiggy’ Meaker returned his DS420 Limousine from the Crasharama meeting three weeks prior, but it met its end (we think!) in heat one with a hit from 262 Buddy James, as Meaker meandered down the back straight.  At the front 282 Steve Hunt held off son 382 Danny for the victory whilst in heat two 28 Steve Linly made the running until passed by Danny Hunt who went on to win.  The Final had Linly as the early leader again, until he was passed by the unusual (in Banger racing sense) Mazda RX8 of 120 Mark Ashley.  He started to pull clear whilst Steve Hunt’s charge was stopped by 74 Adam Hitchcock.  Ashley went on to win whilst the rest of the trophy places ended up being a scramble across the line with 247 Richard Sparks taking second place backwards and 492 Josh Hutchings made third.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
British 700 527 768 315 846 189 676 1 905 126
Heat 1 676 700 101 476 315 1 522 111 92 464
Heat 2 (Teen Sensations) 3 542 16 979 846 527 747 NI935 First 4 to final
Heat 3 905 24 184 627 NI944 581 572 797 652 578
Consolation 528 NI312 846 647 890 527 488 747 first 8 to final
Final 700 315 846 647 979 1 522 542 101 111
Grand National 101 1 647 979 890 527 652 542 700 676
Grade Awards W 572 Y 979 B 315
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
LCQ 995 56 591 360 84 475 first 6 to British
British 428 677 186 499 730 641 158 220 360 56
Allcomers 176 641 730 186 570 428 6 84 217 304
Final 186 158 800 176 677 475 428 570 306 217
Old Skool National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 282 382 120 278 185 28 165 383 121 148
Heat 2 382 120 278 247 492 362 165 383 nof
Final 120 247 492 278 382 28 362 121 282 265
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