United Downs Raceway - Sunday 14th February 2016

It was cold and it was chilly, in west Cornwall, for the first meeting of the year at the United Downs Raceway, St Day, but there was some good race action served up on track, particularly from the Bangers, as they got to grips with the tricky conditions.

Stock Rods

With three drivers unfortunately failing to honour their bookings, the opening Stock Rod fixture of the season with Autospeed saw just a dozen cars on track.  Newcomer 944 Callum Hosie looked to have heat one in the bag, but 909 Justin Washer was relentless in his pursuit, and in the closing stages, he hunted down Hosie, and swept past him with two and a half laps remaining.  Washer won, Hosie was second, and 68 Levi Robinson must have got dizzy from the number of spins he endured.  The second heat was but a few laps old when race leader Hosie spun at the front, and former British Champion 9 Chris Drake spun at the rear of the order.  3 Matt Peters took up the running, and he went on to win from 441 Tom Major, who looked rejuvenated after a quiet season in 2015.  The scores from the heats put Washer on pole for the Winter Supreme final, with Peters alongside him on the front row.  At the drop of the green, Peters was slightly caught napping, and as Washer charged into the first bend, 92 Adam Daniels grabbed second place for himself, having started on grid three.  The order of Washer, Daniels and Peters remained constant throughout the race, although the gaps between them did ebb and flow.  At one stage, a close finish looked likely, but Washer was comfortably clear at the chequered, and Daniels was similarly out of range of Peters.  A late run by Major took him up the order to fourth.

Ministox

A most impressive gathering of 18 youngsters saw the Ministox continue in the good form they had showed the week before at Smeatharpe.  Heat one began with a black cross for 987 Ethan Pope from the front of the red grade; as untidy starts were an untimely feature of the afternoon in the junior class.  On a slippery track, both ends of the circuit proved rather treacherous for the young racers, but 907 Cameron Lawrence mastered things better than most, and he chased down long time leader 917 Gemma Robbins, with 667 Tommy Farrell just pipping Robbins late on for second place.  Heat two involved a hefty crash for 980 Charlie Lobb.  Lawrence was excluded from the rest of the meeting for his part in the incident, and Farrell also received a black cross, after he was involved in Pope being spun inside out on the home straight.  902 Junior Buster relieved Robbins of the lead, but in turn, he could not hold off 931 Jack Manhire, who looked impressive in securing his first win of the season.  The blue grade took control of the final, with 922 Joe Parker leading home 677 Warren Darby and Tommy Farrell.

Bangers

Just under 40 Bangers were present for the annual Taiya Densham Shield meeting.  Former mult-Champion 246 Ryan Sparks took heat one, when he stole a march on 997 Cameron May late in the race.  Heat two began with a rollover for 13 Lee Radford.  A great battle developed when the race resumed, with 797 Dan Moss just holding off 999 John Glover.  Moss and Glover finished one and two respectively, again, in heat three, but it may have been different if backmarker May had not removed distant leader 304 Marty Penhaligon.  The day’s largest field of cars gridded for the feature event, including 927 Lee Robbins, whose very second hand car had looked to have been trashed beyond repair earlier in the day.  However, Robbins did still limp the battered car on track.  The final therefore had action expected and so it delivered.  53 Chris James rolled on the home straight, and that brought about a complete re-run.  An honourable mention should also be made of the thoughtful move by 58 Martin Dalton, as he sensibly positioned his car so as to shield the 53 car that was on its side.  First Penhaligon, and then 621 Scott Kendall, led the final.  Indeed, Kendall was still out front as the race moved into its final third.  Behind him, 60 Andy Bulled, 70 Jamie Thomas, Ryan Sparks and 622 Jason Spry all fought gamely.  It was silver top Spry who sprung clear from the pack, to overhaul Kendall.  Sparks tried to track him, but on the final lap, Spry was just out of reach for Sparks to try any ambitious last bend lunge.  Thus, Spry won the Taiya Densham Shield, Sparks was second and top points scorer for the day, and Kendall was pleased at his rostrum finish.

Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 909 944 92 37 3 776 705 40 22 9
Heat 2 3 441 909 705 92 37 776 22 40 944
Winter Supreme 909 92 3 441 37 40 705 22 944 9
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 907 667 917 951 931 677 999 988 980 922
Heat 2 931 902 917 922 677 915 987 999 943 972
Final 922 677 667 902 987 931 999 988 943 951
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 246 320 997 28 70 133 441 911 354 768
Heat 2 797 999 246 927 28 947 113 354 53 254
Heat 3 797 999 622 154 79 60 447 441 808 58
Final 622 246 621 60 70 354 997 999 797 447
Best Presented 331 952 169
Grade Awards W 621, 254, 808 Y 997, 927, 947 B 70, 79, 154 R 246, 622, 797
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