Smeatharpe Stadium - Monday 30th May 2016

A gloriously sunny afternoon greeted the very large crowd on hand for what is always one of the highlights of the season at Smeatharpe, for Unlimited cc National Bangers Crasharama XVIII, which was ably backed up by the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars and BriSCA Micro F2s on a packed 15 race programme.

National Bangers

Driver no shows in National Bangers are par for the course, but it was good to report that there were not too many for Crasharama XVIII, with the eventual car count at 34.  This included assorted long distance entries, with five from over the border in Wales and seven from East Anglia, six of which were visiting “Shunters” on their first southwest appearances.  There was also the usual array of southwest and south coast drivers.  The feature race was the first of the day for the National Bangers and with the track busy with big cars, there was a lot of action straight away and this resulted in an early red flag with 349 James Guppy in trouble on the pits turn.   Such was the damage in those two opening laps, there was a depleted field for the complete re-run which was headed off by 733 Ricky Stroud.  It was Stroud who led the early stages, but 190 Steve Bailey passed him to take up the lead.  There were various outbreaks of action, as 341 Andrew Jones piled 772 Chris Noble into the stranded 007 Kevin Snell in a Yank on Yank moment.   The remaining laps were relatively quiet and Bailey cruised to his third Crasharama victory ahead of Stroud and Jones.   The first Allcomers featured a crash which the day will probably be long remembered for.  On the opening lap 360 Jack Reynolds followed in 180 Andy Bailey.  On seeing this, Steve Bailey went in for an absolutely huge hit on Reynolds which not only dramatically folded Jackstar’s Volvo but also further folded his dad’s 180 car which was already pinned up against the plating.  The race was instantly halted and it was pleasing to see that both Bailey Snr and Reynolds exited their cars unaided.   The complete re-run didn’t go much further; this time it was 921 Kairan Wilson who was in trouble by the pit gate.  Take three was led by Jones, but he threw away the lead to follow in 32 Alan Wombwell and then later on the race concluded with some train-jacking on the pits bend which was started when 732 Danny Stroud followed in 988 Billy Dennison and then they were joined by 382 Tommy Hutchings, Ricky Stroud and finally 239 Steve Carter in quick succession.  17 Kyle Overy was the winner.  There were still 17 cars for the second Allcomers and once again there was plenty of entertainment with 514 Charlie Taylor backing across the track on the start finish line and into the traffic.  He collected first 99 David Spooner and then Jones whilst 239 Nemesis once again accounted for Ricky Stroud.  74 Adam Hitchcock went on to record a rare win.  After a huge effort in the pits to pull the remains of his car out for the DD, Reynolds was determined to take part.  But, with regret, it was deemed that with a cracked safety cage the car was unsafe and he was not permitted to take part.  It was great to see that his efforts were noted by the crowd though, with a round of applause.  It still left 11 others to contest the event, which is a very high number for an Unlimited cc Destruction Derby.   It ultimately came down to DWO team mates Bailey and Jones and it was 190 Pikey who delivered the last hit to take the victory to round out a good afternoon for himself and in general.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

A showing of 30 BriSCA F2 Stock Cars would normally be considered very ordinary at Smeatharpe but with so many regular drivers on annual holiday or simply partaking in other pastimes over this particular Bank Holiday, it was actually a pleasing entry and it allowed the planned traditional format to continue to be deployed.  315 Justin Fisher came through to win heat one before 542 Steven Gilbert picked up from where he left off at St Day 24 hours earlier by taking heat two.  The consolation saw a career first win for 861 Ben Litherland, who led home 460 Matt Weston and 663 Bryan Lindsay in an all white grade top three, after a great battle involving 689 Joe Marquand, 14 Mike Priddle, 828 Julian Coombes and 627 Gary Sillifant enabled the white tops to build a commanding lead at the front in what was the race of the day.  The Final was headed off by 572 James Lindsay and he was still there at the halfway point of the race.  However, by then Gilbert was looming large and he moved ahead three laps later to lead.  It was to be a lead he wasn’t to lose as the battle for second place between 24 Jon Palmer and 522 Chris Mikulla actually held up their progress and that it how they finished to the flag, despite a big last bend move from Mikulla.  It was thus Gilbert’s second Final win in as many days.  The Grand National was a fitting end to the day for the F2’s with a lot going on throughout including some star graded battles with 676 Neil Hooper accounting for Mikulla and then Hooper himself going out in a crash with 575 Tom Clark.  Palmer held on to win, despite an audacious last bend attack from the back marking Coombes.

Saloon Stock Car

The Saloon Stock Car entries remain simply frustrating with Autospeed.  They could and should be so much better than they currently are.  Injuries and damage sustained at Kings Lynn two days earlier meant that this time, with regret it dipped into single figures but did include the ever present 730 Dean Mayes again making the long journey from Norfolk.   With all of that said, the races were not bad from such a mediocre entry.  276 Ben King, in a new car to him (an ex-219 Luke Grief car) took both heats from the white grade with ease.  The Final didn’t look so certain for him, but then his car made sure of it by expiring on him whilst leading.  199 Phil Powell moved into the front running spot and went on to take his second Smeatharpe Final in a row, and with it, he now leads the track championship.  901 Mike Hale made second and 677 Eddie Darby third.  Let’s hope the European Championship weekend will lead to something of a shot in the arm for the formula in the region.

BriSCA Micro F2s

The junior class for 7-11 year olds were a relatively late addition to the programme, having been effectively moved from St Day the previous afternoon.  11 cars were in attendance and the first race featured a first time rollover in the class at Smeatharpe as 167 Kody Bradford went up and over on turns three and four.  The races went on to produce three different winners in 538 Kady Mills and 293 Alexi Bartram before 826 Lewis Martin struck back for the boys to win the third.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 315 476 522 528 572 468 352 418 828 689
Heat 2 542 24 676 745 575 111 538 890 627 14
Consolation 861 460 663 828 627 14 689 789 907 332
Final 542 24 522 575 315 745 572 627 828 418
Grand National 24 572 528 542 627 689 418 352 828 745
Grade Awards W 572 Y 745 B 542
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 276 677 27 730 199 901 619 475 28 nof
Heat 2 276 199 730 901 677 619 28 27 475 nof
Final 199 901 677 730 619 28 27 475 nof
BriSCA Micro F2s 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 538 293 185 783 38 nof
Heat 2 293 826 290 475 783 38 167 nof
Final 826 290 185 475 293 538 38 167 nof
Unlimited National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Crasharama XVIII 190 733 341 133 239 382 nof
Allcomers 1 17 133 239 341 714 99 nof
Allcomers 2 74 162 714 239 190 133 99 nof
king of Crash / DD 190
Best Presented 45 79 921 349
Oldest/Rarest 772
Longest Car 514
Top Trier 100
Most Wrecked 360
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