Skegness Stadium - Sunday 23rd August 2015

It was history in the making for both Autospeed and Skegness Stadium, with it being the first time at the venue for ourselves and also the first time that the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars World Championship meeting was run at the venue dubbed “The Fun Coast”.  On a day when much of the rest of the country was blighted by heavy rain, the east coast of England was bathed in warm sunshine for much of the afternoon, and entry of F2’s of 72 matched that of the UK Speedweekend the previous month, with drivers from all four corners of the Mainland UK.   Support came from the Saloon Stock Cars and Micro F2’s, which saw a cosmopolitan entry of their own for the 7-11 year olds with drivers too from all over the country, including Scotland.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

Prior to the two World Semi Finals, there was a supporting car heat and after a spirited drive from 26 Gary Ford, it was locally based blue grade driver (and surprise non-Semi Finalist in many ways) 199 Jak Marshall who took the win; the race ending in an explosive crash on the start line when 679 Kieran Howie ground to a halt.  For the first Semi Final, there were no less than five qualifiers not present owing to either current racing suspensions, or simply no shows.  Their places were taken by reserves.  Those absent didn’t affect the front of the grid too much, other than 154 Michael Green, who would have surely played a part in proceedings.  He was missing due to currently being suspended.   Defending World Champion 1 George MacMillan led the field from pole position, but it was to be immaterial at the first attempt as 597 Barry Clow spun mid-grid and had a wheel taken from his car, which was collected by 854 Robbie Dawson.  As a racing lap had not been completed a complete re-run was called.  MacMillan headed them into turn one for the second time of asking, and went very deep, but 676 Neil Hooper in third place went in with the bumper on second placed 606 Andrew Palmer who sent the #1 car into a half spin and then over the top of the front of the car.  Whilst both were swiftly back in, MacMillan received front end damage that would hamper him for the remainder of the race.  It was Hooper who therefore led the first lap but under pressure from 647 Chris Burgoyne.  Whilst there was lot of places chopping and changing further back and various skirmishes, the race settled down relatively quickly and there was a real battle at the front between Hooper and Burgoyne, and they were then joined by 968 Micky Brennan.  The two times World Champion had come from 15th on the grid.  However, once Burgoyne established himself at the front he simply pulled clear and as the lap boards were ticked off he had a comfortable lead and the cushion of several back markers between himself and second place.  That was a battle between Brennan and Hooper, which was resolved in favour of the former.  Burgoyne was extremely pleased with his victory, as he looks for his second World Championship next month, following on from his first, now as long as 13 years ago.  606 Palmer was unlucky to retire with a broken drive train just two laps from home whilst running fourth.  The remaining qualifiers were 604 Jamie Conway, 768 Tom Adcroft, 315 Justin Fisher, 571 Darren Clarke, MacMillan – who limped with a severely knobbled car, 464 Matt Linfield and 652 Stevie Forster.

 If the first Semi looked interesting, with the current and former World Champions, the second Semi Final (which followed straight afterwards) looked intriguing with 38 Dave Polley on pole position with former eight times World Champion 218 Rob Speak alongside where he would meet on track 7 Gordon Moodie for the first time since last year’s World Championship at Cowdenbeath.  Throw in the reigning European Champion 101 Kelvyn Marshall and British Champion 700 Adam Rubery amongst others and you can see what we mean…  There were two no shows for this one, and reserves took their place.   At the green flag Polley got a far better start than Speak and was able to open out a two to three car length lead within the opening lap.  However, once again there was mid-pack drama.  This time it was on the exit of turn two as 83 Sy Harraway spun and was then collected by 783 James Rygor.  With the two southwest drivers hooked together in mid track, the yellow flags were called.  As there was a workable race order, it remained under yellow.  For the re-start Speak was right with Polley and then pair opened out on Marshall and 761 Rich Bowyer and then Moodie behind them.   Marshall reeled in the leading duo, and just as he did, Polley dropped out with a seat belt issue as the race moved into its second half and this placed Speak into the lead, albeit under pressure from Marshall and the two were being rapidly caught by Moodie.  Marshall pushed Speak aside which left him into the clutches of Moodie, the battle was on to the delight of both sets of the respective drivers’ supporters.  Moodie waded in with a big hit on turns one and two which sent the 218 car wide.  It looked to be wide and far enough for Speak not to contemplate a retaliatory hit.  However, he did, and in what could be well described as an extravagant lunge he stormed in on Moodie, glanced off the inside rear of the #7 car and took himself backwards, heavily into the Armco.  With Speak shaken up, the yellow flags were ordered.  Thankfully Rob exited the car, shaken and perhaps left to reflect on what was not his finest moment.   What this yellow flag on lap 15 did set up though, was a fantastic battle after the re-start.  There were a pair of back markers between Marshall and Moodie, but when the clutch on the 101 car slipped at the drop of the flag, Moodie utilised it nicely and was right on terms as they headed into turn one.  Not only that but they had Bowyer and an inspired 488 Liam Bentham for company too and the quartet engaged in a fantastic hard scrap, which, over the last two laps was joined by Rubery.  Moodie gained the lead and lost it back to Marshall, and even fell to fourth and then back up to second.  The top five went into the last bend together and it was Marshall who took it from Moodie, Bowyer, Rubery and Bentham.   The other qualifiers were 618 Ben Lockwood, 476 Ryan Wadling, 126 Jamie Avery, 823 Sam Wagner and 59 Lee Dimmick.

The 35 car consolation saw victory for 817 Tim Bailey, after a last bend move on 801 Jack Cave.  The feature Final saw the World Championship Finalist’s cars decked with either a Pirate Flag (for those from Semi 1) or Rebel Flag (for those from Semi 2) with the first of them home to determine the inside line for the World Final itself at Hednesford next month.  Ford was the initial leader until 665 Richard Clubley took over and then Wadling.  There were many battles further back including one between MacMillan and Moodie, which saw the latter dumped wide on the seaside bend.  It was Brennan who came through to take the win, having caught and passed Wadling.  Thus, Semi Final one will have the inside line.  Rubery rounded out the top three.   The Grand National featured a very nasty crash for 527 James Riggall after a clash with 184 Aaron Vaight, which resulted in an injury for local teenager Riggall.  After the race was re-started, Moodie went on to take win.

Saloon Stock Cars

With their own World Championship only six days away at Mildenhall, there was never set to be a large entry of Saloon Stock Cars for this meeting.  But, of the 17 present it featured some fine travelling efforts, including 96 Willie Mitchell and 684 Ian McLaughlin from Scotland and 199 Phil Powell and 475 Ben Sealy from the southwest, a track debut for the latter.  Also having raced at Cowdenbeath the previous evening were National Points chasers 698 Danny Colliver and 730 Deane Mayes.  The trio of races did follow a similar pattern, with essentially different front runners in each and thus three different winners.  350 Tommy Parrin took an almost flag to flag win in heat one after overhauling Sealy, before 349 Michael Allard took his new car to victory in heat two.  The Final was led by 177 Chris Masters and then Parrin until he was spun and it was to be 6 Simon Welton, the most consistent on the day who went on to continue his affinity with Skegness by taking the win.  641 Willie Skoyles made second and Mitchell third. 

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 199 665 26 297 717 55 254 301 20 17
World Semi 1 647 968 676 604 768 315 571 1 464 652
World Semi 2 101 7 761 700 488 618 476 126 823 59
Consolation 817 801 979 226 178 16 41 854 301 783
Final 968 476 700 768 41 1 783 301 55 665
Grand National 7 1 783 676 846 226 913 41 627 722
Grade Awards W 26 Y 665 B 476
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 350 6 730 698 349 158 428 176 641 684
Heat 2 349 176 6 350 199 641 158 96 698 684
Final 6 641 96 349 158 176 684 428 800 350
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