Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 27th September 2015

A glorious Autumn afternoon greeted a very busy pit area and programme of events for the penultimate meeting of season 2015 at Smeatharpe Stadium.  For the Bangers, it was their last outing of the year at the circuit and featured the annual Dave Weare trophy, the unlimited old skool National Bangers (again) turned up in good numbers and were joined by the Saloon Stock Cars, Stock Rods and there was also a trio of races for the 7-11 year olds in the Micro F2’s.

Saloon Stock Cars

The Saloon Stock Car entries have been frustrating in the second half of this year.  It has also been a bit of a classic case that, if all who are currently racing arrived at the same time, there wouldn’t be so much of an issue, but from the early season near-20’s entries, no denying that 11 cars is/was disappointing.   It did include the travelling exploits of National Points chasers 730 Deane Mayes and 698 Danny Colliver, the latter who had once again made the overnight journey from racing – and winning the Final - at Cowdenbeath the previous evening.  Also as an aside, the final knockings of the track championship was a feature of the day between Colliver and 158 Shane Davies which will continue into the last meeting of the season next month.   In all three of the races though, there was no catching 901 Mike Hale as he took his ex-Shane Brown car to an unchallenged hat-trick from his white grade start.  Colliver did probably come the closest with one of his characteristic charges in the Final, but had to settle for second with 619 Ross Thomas third.

Stock Rods

The Stock Rods West of England Championship meeting featured fewer cars than hoped for with damaged cars and drivers suspended following a rumbustious away meeting at Bristol the previous weekend.  The day here got off to a bad start as 22 Wayne Belcher, 41 James Horwell and 54 John Tait all managed to come to grief on the opening lap of the first heat to necessitate a complete re-run.  87 Paul Lawer held on under pressure to take the win whilst heat two was more of a runaway win for 26 Alan Furse.  The points from the heats determined the grid for the feature race and placed Lawer on pole position with 49 Kevin Lock alongside.   Lawer got a good start to lead into the first corner, but the pack was quickly bunched behind him and he was tipped into a spin from behind.  Lock then took over but he too was tipped into a spin very early on and it was then 776 Simon Jones who took over.  So, three leaders right at the start of the race, but that was to be the way it was to stay at the front and a successful defence of the title for Jones.   The main battle was for second place with Furse holding on under great pressure behind, and it was 92 Adam Daniels who rounded out the trophy positions.

Bangers

The entry of Bangers was very good, just shy of 60 cars, underlining the significance of the day.  The first heat featured no less than three lead changes on the last lap, with 28 Steve Linly just nipping ahead of 13 Lee Radford at the chequered flag.  The second heat also saw a very late lead change too as long time front runner 331 Duncan Kennard crashed just before starting the last lap and it was 16 year old 701 Ben Brice who assumed the lead and went on to win his very first Banger/adult race at Smeatharpe.  A track blockage behind him, caused utter mayhem, with many drivers laying claim to the second, third and fourth places amidst the confusion.  The consolation also saw a teenage race winner as 743 Jake Bond held off 535 Ian Harvey-Harris all the way to the flag.  The Dave Weare Trophy, featuring qualifiers only, was led off by Radford until he lost out to Harvey-Harris and then he was displaced by 79 Brian Edmond.  A big pile up on the exit of the Honiton bend saw several cars wiped out, and left 735 Wayne Flint signalling that all was not well and the yellow flags were shown.  Edmond lost the lead soon after the re-start to 804 Treve Wills and whilst Edmond stayed with the Cornish racer for several laps, a crash with Brice saw his demise and ultimately Wills was a long way clear at the flag, to win the magnificent replica tankard trophy.   835 Matt Westaway made second and 622 Jason Spry third to make it an all-Cornwall top three and Westaway’s runner-up was enough to confirm as the Smeatharpe track champion for 2015.  In place of the more usual Allcomers race, there was a Chained Pairs race – always one of Dave Weare’s favourite events.  It proved to be a spectacular and fun end to the day too.  At one stage 416 Ben Borthwick and 718 Adie Brown looked to have an unassailable lead.  But, this all changed when 912 Simon Rees was in trouble on the home straight and the red flags were shown.  The re-start put Edmond and 154 Barry Pike back into contention and over the three laps that were left, they chased down the leading duo.  It looked like they had mounted their challenge too early by diving in on turns one and two on the last lap.  However, Borthwick and Brown then ran equally as wide on the last corner, anticipating the attack.  It was too wide, and Pike and Edmond were able to nip through right at the flag to take the victory with only metres to spare.

Unlimited cc Old Skool National Bangers

The unlimited Old Skool National Bangers once again left plenty of food for thought.  A month earlier the World Championship meeting had produced a highly disappointing entry of 33 cars.  This meeting saw 31 arrive…  There was a vast mixture of cars of old, new and used and a lot of enthusiasm from the drivers too and it showed in their three races, where there was always plenty going on, as there would be with big cars on the small track.  Old stager 252 Lib James lapped all up to fifth place on his way to victory in heat one and then it was son 362 Johnny James who won in heat two.  The Final saw plenty of action and despite the best efforts of some of his rivals to stop him, 247 Richard Sparks picked his way through it all to take the win ahead of 278 Shaun Brokenshire and Johnny James.  Amidst a hectic day, 165 Paul Easterbook moved to the top of the Points chart.

Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 87 49 776 437 9 92 26 909 181 740
Heat 2 26 87 437 49 909 92 22 181 776 705
West of England 776 26 92 437 740 705 909 41 49 181
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 901 619 717 158 730 199 728 460 698 475
Heat 2 901 995 619 698 199 158 728 730 460 717
Final 901 698 619 158 199 730 460 475 728 995
Old Skool National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 252 912 362 734 528 265 129 891 247 702
Heat 2 362 492 262 129 284 122 252 278 232 185
Final 247 278 362 165 528 479 122 228 702 47
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 28 13 79 113 284 797 320 185 58 34
Heat 2 701 991 735 133 804 372 406 366 835 321
Consolation 743 535 60 70 131 768 231 938 622 447
Final 804 835 622 60 113 372 133 131 768 13
Chained Pairs 154/79 416/718 366/775 335/46 NOF
Best Presented 535 154 321
Grade Awards W 13, 743, 701 Y 79, 797, 231 B 804, 131, 284 R 60, 835, 113
  • 27 September - Taunton
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