Smeatharpe Stadium - Saturday 18th June 2016

The first day of the 2016 Speedweekend at Smeatharpe Stadium featured a mammoth 20 race programme on a long sunny evening, featuring the qualifying phase for the Saloon Stock Cars European Championship, BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, the Autospeed Bangers Team Championship and a trio of races from the BriSCA Micro Stock Cars.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

There was an excellent entry of BriSCA F2 Stock Cars at just under 60 all told, making it the highest non-shale total of season 2016 so far and featured drivers from all four corners of the United Kingdom.   With the Benevolent Fund Trophy being the focus of Sunday’s racing, the first event for them was the annual Ladies Race for the Bill Batten Trophy.  The rules were tweaked this year to aim it more towards female drivers who have little or no racing experience and it worked well, with a 13 car grid.  It was a close race too although Francesca Butcher, at the wheel of the 935 car made the race her own from the off.  A yellow flag with Amy Graham in trouble on the home straight changed the outcome as Liz Polley was spun by 2015 winner Hannah Brigg after the re-start.  Hannah then coasted to a halt with throttle linkage problems, and Kelly Bradford swept through to make second with Kerrie Walker third and Tina Hoskin fourth.

Then followed the 2016 running of the Young Guns Championship for the drivers aged 16-19 at the start of the season.  With regret there was a very modest field for it, but it did feature some interest as a hard hit from 542 Steven Gilbert put both NI747 Brad McKinstry and 846 Ashley England out and allowed 527 James Riggall to get away and win with 55 Courtney Finnikin second and 689 Joe Marquand third.  With the entry the size it was, the decision was made to run three qualifying heats for the Final and these went the way of 935 Nathan Maidment, 7 Gordon Moodie (after first across the line 24 Jon Palmer was disqualified under the technical ruling for a loose rear wheel guard) and then NI747 McKinstry.  The consolation was a very busy one with lots going on all around the track and Palmer bounced back from his earlier disappointment to win.  The Final was for the annual Dave Wilson Trophy and it featured a false start and as the first green flag had not been shown, those that received damage in the crashes and tangles that followed were permitted time to repair – a move that brought almost universal praise, despite adding a few minutes to the schedule.   When the final did get going there was an early yellow flag with Finnikin and 528 Shane Hector in trouble after separate crashes, albeit in the same place on the track.  175 Ashley Pursey led off the re-start and held sway until he was passed by Palmer.  There was a great battle for second between 7 Moodie, 315 Justin Fisher and 968 Micky Brennan which went on for several laps, until Moodie was able to break clear.  However, at that point Palmer was simply too far down the road and whilst the gap came down it was never enough for Gordon to attempt a last lap pounce.  Thus it was Palmer’s win, to mark him a return to the star grade.  Moodie was second, 476 Ryan Wadling was third and Pursey, 596 Ritchie Mead and Palmer all received cash bonuses from Andy Wilson for being the highest in their respective grades in the race.  A 37 car Grand National under the floodlights concluded the F2 part of the programme and saw a lot of action, as well as two yellow flags and at the end of it all McKinstry took his second win of the evening.

Saloon Stock Cars

A total of 37 Saloon Stock Cars, again from all over the country and it featured the very rare occurrence of having each of the roof graded Champions present on the one occasion.  The five qualifying heats were all a case of no quarter expected, and certainly none given with all the big stars eyeing their grid position for the European Championship in what was visibly an even field.  349 Michael Allard came through to win heat one after reeling in long time leader 27 Keiren Bradford and then in heat two it was yellow grade 386 Dan Petters who won, after spinning 276 Ben King aside to lead.  Heat three saw King hold on to win, impressively pulling away from a re-start whilst heat four saw 730 Deane Mayes reel in Petters to take the chequered flag.  Heat five, with sparks flying under the floodlights saw a great battle emerge for the lead after two yellow flag periods had bunched the field up and it was 158 Shane Davies who held on for the win, keeping big guns 499 David Aldous and defending title holder 677 Eddie Darby at bay.  When the points were totted up, it saw Mayes who got the coveted pole position by just one point ahead of a three way tie for second place on the grid, leaving a mouth-watering prospect for the main event on day two.

Bangers

The Bangers annual Team Championship was moved from its more regular August Bank Holiday Monday slot to the Saturday evening of the Speedweekend and saw the entry of 13 teams of four fully booked, with more wanting to come but unable to be accommodated.  With a 39 car field in heat one there was action all around the track and at the end of it all, 28 Steve Linly racing for Men in Black headed home 320 Dan Abbott, also for MIB.  Third over the line 70 Jamie Thomas failed post race scrutineering.  The Men In Black team took a commanding early lead, and that set the tone for the rest of the evening for that team who came in as defending champions as 320 Abbott then won heat two, ahead of team mate 185 Richard Coaker.  In the continuing efforts to uphold the rules and regulations, the next driver to fail post race scrutineering was 938 Ashley Rice.  835 Matt Westaway for Team Lambrini won heat three but third for Linly was enough to secure MIB the title for the second year running and with a race to spare.  That race was won by 406 Chris Bridger for Pussay Patrol with MIB 28 Linly second and 60 Andy Bulled third which meant that their victory saw them with more than double the points of the second placed team, Team Thirteen.  So well done to the Men In Black quartet of Linly, Abbott, Coaker and 912 Simon Rees.

BriSCA Micro F2 Stock Cars

A dozen Micro Stock Cars, from all over the country completed the bill with two races pre-meeting and then during the course of the main part of the programme.  185 Sam Carter won the first two but couldn’t get hold of 293 Elexie Bartram in the third of them and she took the win.  Carter was second and 475 Leah Sealy third.

Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 349 6 730 570 27 77 428 641 85 217
Heat 2 386 428 499 677 730 661 570 199 217 901
Heat 3 276 27 677 641 349 158 30 661 711 28
Heat 4 730 386 27 349 499 570 428 475 85 6
Heat 5 158 499 677 670 360 28 800 698 220 777
BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Ladies Race 935 315 572 689 38 676 828 418 nof
Young Guns 527 55 689 542 nof
Heat 1 935 55 596 476 768 572 303 542 418 575
Heat 2 7 315 175 522 437 127 761 101 578 189
Heat 3 747 968 100 527 846 627 328 817 740 979
Consolation 24 676 38 528 618 740 828 538 794 468
Final 24 7 476 100 38 315 968 101 768 846
Grand National 747 7 935 542 627 38 768 522 968 846
Grade Awards W 175 Y 935 B 24
BriSCA Micro F2s 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 185 293 475 290 538 355 155 747 246 607
Heat 2 185 293 475 607 155 355 290 783 246 nof
Final 293 185 475 290 607 355 155 9 246 nof
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 28 320 715 444 900 912 302 624 366 785
Heat 2 320 185 60 133 28 406 15 743 181 717
Heat 3 835 75 28 743 715 17 900 84 898 185
Heat 4 406 28 715 60 185 133 621 835 154 836
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