United Downs Raceway - Sunday 3rd May 2015

The Mayday weekend began at St Day, where there was some great racing despite variable weather conditions.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

Despite some drivers being absent whilst chasing World Championship points at Northampton, there were still 26 F2s in action at St Day, and they produced some very close and exciting racing.  The day began with a Grand Parade, during which sponsors H N Sillifant &Son presented commemorative mugs to all competitors, whilst all white graded drivers received an award and a cash bonus incentive courtesy of Silverline Taxis.  The opening heat had barely begun before chaos broke out on the home straight, which resulted in 542 Steven Gilbert coming to rest on top of the bonnet of the spun 663 Bryan Lindsay.  Once that was tidied up, the race developed into a fine tussle between 954 Jamie Beere, 189 Paul Butcher and 979 Paul Moss.  However, as they battled with one another, 575 Tom Clark was able to pounce, and he swept past the trio of yellow graders for victory.  In heat two, 828 Julian Coombes was the early leader, and as the race progressed, he looked like he might hold on for the win.  However, 111 Lewis Geach reeled him in late on, with Coombes having to settle for second.  Just like the opening heat, there was a good yellow grade tussle in heat three; this time Butcher was joined by 116 Ashley Rundle and 254 Richard Beere, from which Beere emerged in the lead, and he secured the win.  The final was as good a F2 race at St Day as there has been for a long time.  Coombes again made all the running.  First to challenge him was Butcher, but Coombes defended the veteran driver’s attacks, which opened the way for Jamie Beere to join the contest for first place.  As their three-way battle raged, 522 Chris Mikulla and 126 Jamie Avery joined in the action.  The five cars were in such close order that something had to give, and in an explosive moment on the exit of turn four, Mikulla was spun around.  Avery grabbed the initiative, and edged into the lead, and from there, he went on to claim a second successive St Day feature race win – and his fourth in all at the circuit.  Coombes was second – a career best result so far, and Jamie Beere filled the final rostrum place.  In the Grand National, on a damp circuit, Lewis Geach, Richard Beere and 797 Dan Moss filled the top three places to round out a wonderful day’s racing from the F2s.

Saloon Stock Cars

Even though there was a disappointing showing of just a dozen cars, the Saloon Stock Cars were again in good form, and their three races did yield a trio of different winners.  Heat one began with a spin for 995 Ben Goddard.  344 Ross Fisher got out in the lead, but he was dragged back with three laps to run, when yellow flags were needed to help the retrieval of the stranded 891 Andrew Pridham.  Despite 677 Eddie Darby closing right with him, Fisher was not to be denied, and he held on for the win.  In a case of déjà vu, heat two began with a spin for Goddard.  Fisher again showed well, and held off Darby and 730 Dean Mayes for a while.  Goddard rattled 199 Phil Powell around the pits bend wall, whilst Darby edged ahead of Fisher for another St Day victory.  The final featured a good battle between 60 Ryan Wadling (who was in the loaned 460 Cliff Friend car for the day) and Goddard.  Another yellow flag was needed for Pridham, and from the restart, Goddard again spun around, as Wadling pulled clear to win, from Mayes, Darby and 717 Richard James.

Stock Rods

The entry of 25 Stock Rods was the best in the south west so far this season, and included a quintet of Scottish drivers, all of whom were racing at St Day for the first time.  At the pre-meeting Drivers’ Briefing, the draw was made for grid positions, under a two from three heat format.  The opening heat saw 151 Simon Vincent make the most of his front row start, to storm into the distance.  24 James Matson was inadvertently spun inside out on the home straight, by 740 Nigel Stuart – and that resulted in a subsequent disqualification for Stuart.  Whilst Vincent powered on in the lead, a hugely impressive drive from 172 Derek Conner, who had started last of the 16-car grid, brought him up to second at the finish.  In heat two, Conner started from pole position, and he cruised to victory, cutting his way through backmarkers with ease.  Despite a brush with the home straight fence, 92 Adam Daniels (who was making his comeback from retirement), was comfortably clear in second, and 776 Simon Jones completed the top three.  The third heat featured a good battle involving 83 Mike Bethune, Jones and 555 Greg Radmore.  With four laps to go, 143 Danny Hansford spun, and that forced a caution period, but the top three remained as they were for the closing laps, as Bethune took the win.  The points from the heats yielded an all Scottish front row of Conner and Bethune, with Jones and Daniels on row two.  The expectations were that one of this quartet would surely land the title.  Whilst Conner made a good start, Jones was quickly on his tail, and when the Scotsman left room on the inside, as he exited turn four on the second lap, Jones dashed by to take the lead.  Jones built up a lead, leaving Conner with no answer to the Cornishman’s pace, and Jones duly led to halfway and beyond.  Conner, Bethune and 51 Luke Oliver continued to race for second, but they were some way behind race leader Jones.  However, as the race moved into the final third, Jones encountered backmarker Matson.  As Jones looked to pass him around the outside, Matson appeared to speed up, and he began to make life difficult for Jones.  Seemingly caught unawares, Jones moved back to the inside line to protect his lead from the chasing group of Bethune and Conner, but now Matson appeared to slow.  Within a short time, Jones, who had been well clear, had been sucked back into the battle with the trio who had pursued him from afar.  Jones again tried to overtake Scotsman Matson around the outside, but with little momentum, the move did not stick, and Bethune grabbed the inside line.  Conveniently, Matson then moved aside to let the train of cars through, with Bethune now the leader, Conner up into second, and Jones forced to fall down the order.  Bethune saw out the last couple of laps to clinch the ORC Championship, Conner was second and Oliver just pipped the unfortunate Jones in the run to the line for third.  Jones very sportingly congratulated Bethune on the start-finish line, but the young Scot will know Matson’s erratic showing had contributed greatly to his ultimate success.

Bangers

Just under 50 Bangers contested their Cornish Championship.  There was a host of crashing in the opening heat – much of it in the turnstile bend.  196 Phil Chapman picked a clear route through to land the win.  In heat two, 491 Charlie Fulbrook looked to be homing in on a rare win, but 835 Matt Westaway caught him in the closing stages.  Heat three featured an enormous rollover by 60 Andy Bulled at the end of the back straight.  66 Alan Charlton caused a four car crash which saw him loaded up for the day.  Just eight cars finished, with 929 Sam Baker leading home 28 Steve Linly.  The Cornish title race was a hugely entertaining contest.  After 515 Sam Fowler and 999 John Glover had led at the start, Westaway took over.  He was then joined by Baker and Linly, and the three drivers fought tooth and nail for the lead.  As the lap boards appeared, Baker was just easing clear, and Linly was forced to retire with smoke pouring out of his car.  Baker went on to win and clinch the title, 938 Ashley Rice crossed the line in second, but failed post-race scrutineering for having illegal tyres, and so Westaway and 45 Mike Reed completed the top three.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 A&B 575 302 979 189 567 797 476 290 nof
Heat 2 B&C 111 828 254 116 83 954 126 605 575 542
Heat 3 C&A 254 189 116 476 302 605 83 828 126 528
Final 126 828 954 528 605 302 254 542 575 290
Grand National 111 254 797 575 528 828 627 189 126 572
Grade Awards W 828 Y 254 B 302
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 344 677 730 105 28 199 717 158 182 995
Heat 2 677 730 158 344 995 717 60 891 182 28
Final 60 730 677 717 158 28 995 344 105 182
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 151 12 83 143 181 92 272 705 26 49
Heat 2 172 92 776 51 272 9 22 740 909 315
Heat 3 83 776 555 3 49 181 51 22 24 705
Final 83 172 51 776 92 151 272 3 181 555
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 196 28 53 304 938 999 73 79 70 331
Heat 2 835 491 804 416 45 999 912 304 154 366
Heat 3 929 28 366 320 206 785 622 001 nof
Cornish 929 835 45 154 622 320 785 787 nof
Best Presented 60 206 254
Grade Awards W 304, 196, 366 Y 835, 154, 999 B 45, 622, 785 R 929, 28, 320
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