Smeatharpe Stadium - Monday 2nd May 2016

Just less than 100 drivers competed in this year’s Mayday Monday fixture at Smeatharpe, which was mostly dry, save for a couple of really heavy showers which brought about changeable track conditions.

National Micro Bangers

Not for the first time, the National Micro Bangers exceeded expectations with a wonderfully entertaining display of fun-filled action, and no shortage of thunderous crashing.
First up was the Roughnecks v Badgers 10 v 10 Challenge.  Amidst an untidy start, there were many early spins, but heavier action swiftly followed, and numbers soon began to deplete, with more than half of the field eliminated in the opening couple of laps.  113 CJ Mackie (Badgers) and 194 Mikey Winter (Badgers) were both bundled into the pits bend fence at the start, and 74 Adam Hitchcock (Badgers) buried 57 Christian Mansbridge (Roughnecks).  198 Cory Hawkins (Badgers) was blasted into the pits bend wall, before 67 Sammy Richards (Badgers) stormed into 150 Ben Elliot (Roughnecks).  That left Richards exposed to a thumping shot from 931 Libby Churcher (Roughnecks).  Having spun 80 Darren Jones (Roughnecks), Hitchcock was then collected heavily by 917 Andrew Tew (Roughnecks).  185 Paul Rapps (Roughnecks) and 235 Sam Galliford (Badgers) were the early leaders, but just before half race distance, Galliford tipped over in the pits bend bringing the race to a halt.  When everything had been tidied up, just seven cars (of the original grid of 19) were ready for the restart – six of them Roughnecks.  However, the last remaining Badger – 380 Chris Oakey, could not get his car to fire up for the restart, and the Roughnecks were confirmed as winners, even before the concluding five laps of the contest.  Rapps stormed to victory in his ‘ugly duckling’ vehicle – a Daihatsu Move, and 930 Chris Churcher even had time to spin aside team mate Jones, as he took second.  Four Roughnecks went the distance, and they won emphatically – 34 points to nil.
The heat which followed, for drivers who had not been in the 10 v 10 Challenge, was relatively tame, but that was no bad thing, as that left plenty for the later races.  190 Steve Bailey pipped 45 Anthony Croshaw for the win, whilst 57 James Woolcock had a fair old knockabout.  The Final included a spate of big crashes in the pits bend, with 239 Steve Carter storming into Bailey and Hitchcock blasting Carter.  Croshaw was a comfortable winner, with only runner-up 133 Terry Hill on the same lap.  Croshaw won again in the Allcomers, as he stole the win with an opportune move on the last lap.  As Hill spun Bailey for the lead, Croshaw nipped by for victory.  A fine showing of 15 drivers assembled for the DD, which included a rollover for 231 Caylin Hawkins.  Croshaw looked to have the least damaged car as the event moved into its last knockings, but when he got caught up on another car at the pit gage, it left him wide open to repeated attacks from his running mate, 79 Adam Brocks, who finished him off in style to earn the win.

Saloon Stock Cars

Amongst the Saloon Stock Cars, two westcountry drivers – 27 Kieren Bradford and 314 Jason Barraclough – raced at Smeatharpe for the first time this year, and two long distance travellers – 30 Thomas Howard and 386 Dan Petters – raced at the track for the very first time.  In the opening heat, Petters edged clear at the start, as fellow white grader 276 Ben King spun.  Howard ran aground, and that brought out the yellow flags; although Howard’s day was to improve noticeably later in the afternoon.  199 Phil Powell took advantage to make his way to the front, leaving Petters to spin 677 Eddie Darby.  As Powell charged on to victory, 158 Shane Davies gave chase, and Darby managed to catch Petters on the last lap, sending him very wide, as the European Champion secured third place.  Powell hunted down 901 Mike Hale in heat two, to again get into the lead, with Davies and 730 Deane Mayes in pursuit.  Late on, 995 Ben Goddard earned himself a disqualification, a load up and a subsequent disciplinary matter, with his follow-in of King.  Powell won, and Mayes grabbed second.  The Final demonstrated the speed with which the circuit can dry out, and the race turned into a two-way contest between Powell and Howard, who had really got to grips with the track by this stage.  The gap between them continued to fluctuate, but whilst Howard looked to have Powell in his sights at one point, the local racer edged away again right at the finish, to complete his hat-trick.  Petters rounded out the top three.

Ministox

Another very well populated showing of youngsters did battle in the Turtle Signs sponsored Devon Championship.  654 Harley Soper, son of former Saloon Stock Car National Points Champion Paul Soper, made his debut.  The opening heat was a protracted affair, with suspensions needed to recover 982 Sophie Daughtrey, and then 907 Cameron Lawrence, who injured his wrist.  On each occasion, 943 Hannah Esau lost the big advantage she had built up, and she thus had to settle for second, when ORC Champion 268 Dan Santry eased past in the latter stages.  Esau had no such problems in heat two, for having nudged 988 Harry Shepard and 972 Jack Sobey wide, she sped to a comprehensive win.  That put Esau on pole for the Championship, with Santry alongside, and arguably one of the races of the season duly ensued.  A fascinating early battle for the lead saw Santry get away slowly, and 911 Harrison Bryant swept from fifth on the grid into first place.  When Esau was spun around, Santry was delayed even further and he fell right down the order.  Bryant built up a very strong advantage, and looked set to claim the title.  However, 902 Junior Buster slowed on the back straight, and when he ground to a halt, the yellow flags were shown to aid his recovery.  That bunched the field together, and plenty of pushing at the drop of the green saw Bryant run wide.  As the pack jostled for position, Santry leapt many places up the order, and moved into second place, which then gave him a clear run at Bryant.  As the laps ticked away, Santry caught and passed Bryant, yet still the competition was fierce for the minor placings.  Santry saw out the closing stages, to clinch the win.  Bryant was second, and 304 Tony Elbourn grabbed third at the end of a fantastic event for the young racers.

Old Skool unlimited cc Bangers

There was a most disappointing showing of unlimited cc Old Skool Bangers, and consequently, their races were rather uninspiring.  A dull opening race did have an exciting finish, when old stager 282 Steve Hunt dived at 185 Richard Coaker, to steal away the win on the last bend.  Heat two nearly produced the same outcome, but this time, Coaker survived, to claim the chequered.  The Final went the way of 362 Johnny James, with Hunt and Coaker taking second and third respectively.

Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 199 158 677 995 730 386 28 901 27 460
Heat 2 199 730 158 677 901 475 386 27 30 619
Final 199 30 386 677 158 901 28 619 27 730
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 268 943 667 677 902 980 304 951 344 303
Heat 2 943 987 911 915 344 268 304 902 917 303
Devon Ch. 268 911 304 344 980 667 303 943 999 677
BriSCA Micro F2s 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 185 783 475 38 167 538 433 nof
Heat 2 185 475 783 38 826 433 538 9 nof
Final 185 826 783 167 9 38 433 538
Unlimited National Bangers Old Skool 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 282 185 114 362 912 246 278 247 333 358
Heat 2 185 282 246 278 362 114 252 247 912 714
Final 362 282 185 278 247 114 333 714 912 nof
National Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
10 v 10 185 930 917 101 nof Roughnecks win 10v10 34 pts to 0
Heat 190 45 133 239 74 720 988 731 637 888
Final 45 133 190 79 150 731 888 239 720 988
Allcomers 45 133 731 988 79 nof
DD 79
Best Presented 921 198 79 45 74 731 133
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