Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 17th July 2016

A truly glorious summer’s day greeted the plentiful array of racegoers who came to sample the fun and frolics of the Reliant Robins on their annual visit to Smeatharpe.

Stock Rods

An entry of 24 cars for the English Championship proved to be the best so far at Smeatharpe this season, but three drivers then encountered problems in pre-meeting practice.  Nonetheless, the random draw was still deployed to determine starting positions in a two from three format.  In heat one, 944 Callum Hosie turned his pole position into a win, and 9 Chris Drake came through for second place.  Heat two featured a fine defensive drive by 437 Lewis Trickey, who held off repeated challenges from 909 Justin Washer.  Behind them, there was a chaotic conclusion to the last lap, as the pack engulfed backmarker debutant 200 Aaron Payne.  The third heat saw a dramatic turn of events.  2014 National Champion 148 Wayne Shackleford wrestled the lead from 626 Richard Edmonds, but just as he did so, he picked up a puncture and ran wide.  That left the door open for defending English Champion 51 Luke Oliver to grab the lead, and he went on win from 776 Simon Jones.  The upshot of the results was that Jones and Drake had earned front row starts to the title race.  At the drop of the green, Jones edged ahead of Drake, and in the formative laps, Oliver overhauled Hosie and then Drake to move into second place.  There was little to choose between Jones and Oliver, but then the race was suspended, as 614 Chris Williams ran aground on the home straight.  Less than half of the race had been run, but a few laps into the resumption, Oliver capitalised on Jones running a little wide.  Jones was very fair in leaving Oliver enough racing room as they approached the corner, and that was it; Oliver had secured the lead.  Drake held firm in third, but was some way adrift of the lead pair, as Oliver made a successful defence of the English title, and Jones had to settle for second place.

2 Litre National Bangers

Although hardly a deluge, there was an upsurge in numbers for the National Bangers, with just under 30 drivers in action during the afternoon.  The first event was Wreckfest 3, and that really did live up to its name with some enormous crashing in the pits bend.  After 372 Jay Matthews, 202 Matt Butlin and 11 Matt Parsons had started to form a heap, 397 Ben Hommell fired into 648 Jamie Smith, and was then clobbered by 79 Adam Brocks.  Once Brocks had moved out of the way, 503 Seymour Tucker was next in, and he was then collected by 637 Dan Smith.  Brocks duly fired into Smith, which took both cars out of the pile-up.  Having lost the lead to 452 Anthony Sleeman, 376 Stephen Hill threw away any hope he had of a rostrum finish, by steaming into the Tucker car, which left the Welshman’s Mondeo a disfigured mess.  Sleeman took the win, ahead of World Champion 162 Brett Ellacott and 133 Terry Hill.  Both Sleeman and Ellacott generously gifted their trophies to youngsters in the crowd.  Some late arrivals boosted the grid for the first of two Allcomers races.  For much of the race, it looked as though 190 Steve Bailey was set for victory, but late on he slowed dramatically, and then got entangled with Terry Hill in a scramble for the line and a lowly place finish.  That is as far as Hill got, whilst Ellacott who took full advantage to win from 25 Nick Lane.  Ellacott celebrated with a monster burial of 995 Andrew French on the rundown lap, and Bailey sent Lane headlong into the 311 Simon Rogers car.  Bailey again got to the front of the second Allcomers race, but once more, he tailed off in the late stages, and when Terry Hill nipped by on the last lap, Bailey then picked up speed to bury both cars into the pits bend wall.  Hill bounced out and got over the line for a lowly fifth, and red flags were swiftly shown, when a small fire was noticed in the Bailey car.  For a second successive race, Ellacott was the main benefactor, as he won again.  An absolutely superb DD concluded the day.  Although six drivers started the event, the hits were brutal and relentless.  Parsons and 374 Richard Kelly met head on, and then 114 Liam Lake and Bailey both waded in.  As the event developed, it was 74 Adam Hitchcock and Brocks who lasted longest, with Brocks finally seeing off Hitchcock to seal a popular win.

Saloon Stock Cars

With more retirements in the westcountry, and some drivers on holiday, it was another low car count in the Saloon Stock Cars, who benefitted from the presence of three very long distance travellers – 248 Will Makins for this fourth successive Smeatharpe appearance; National Points Championship leader 730 Deane Mayes; and newly crowned UK Champion 158 Shane Davies.  First up was the Devon Championship, which saw Makins lead early, and 475 Ben Sealy get the better of fellow yellow 276 Ben King.  That proved to be the start of Sealy building a winning platform, for the rest of the pack never managed to get on terms with him, as he sped to victory.  Outgoing Devon Champion 199 Phil Powell made it through for second, and Davies completed the top three.  The first Allcomers brought a win for King, after he had delivered a telling blow to Sealy in the early stages.  This time Mayes took the runner-up place.  There were plenty of spinners in Allcomers 2, notably 901 Mike Hale.  Powell made it through to the front in this one, and that is where he finished, with Davies and Mayes his two pleacemen.

Reliant Robins

Even though there were not quite as many Plastic Pigs as had been anticipated, they still served up some typical chaotic race action.  26 Russell Gillingham won the first heat in which 101 Gordon Mintram rolled at the pit gate but came back down on to his wheels, and 90 Joe Cambridge rolled on to his side.  Heat two featured the rollover of the afternoon, as 58 Martin Dalton spun Gillingham on the back straight, and he duly tipped over countless times.  Coming to rest on his driver’s side, Gillingham pushed the Robin back on to three wheels, and gained massive applause from the crowd for his efforts.  304 Tim Weare pounced late on to edge past Dalton for victory.  The final was probably the day’s dullest race, with little in the way of incident to report.  Dalton, Weare and Gillingham filled the top three places in fairly straightforward fashion.  The day’s entertainment from the Robins ended with the Caravan race.  Tim Weare towed a caravan, whilst two more caravans were strategically placed as targets.  In something of a ‘Hare & Hounds’ event, the pack chased down Weare, with some drivers repeatedly launching themselves through the two static caravans.  After a caution period and a slight adjustment to the back straight caravan, Weare then took his Robin and decimated caravan chassis through the static caravan, to huge applause.  On the home straight, the remains of the static caravan afforded drivers a launch pad, and many took the opportunity to achieve incredible air time, in front of an appreciative gallery of spectators under the covered stand.  Gillingham won the race, Weare eventually ran aground when he snagged his own chassis on the static caravan chassis, and there ended a most entertaining meeting.

Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 944 9 776 3 234 41 437 68 740 208
Heat 2 437 909 3 41 626 148 51 234 705 613
Heat 3 51 776 92 9 626 944 148 208 705 614
English Championship 51 776 9 92 909 148 944 626 41 234
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Devon 475 199 158 730 276 901 28 619 891 248
Allcomers 1 276 730 158 199 619 891 901 28 475 248
Allcomers 2 199 158 730 28 619 276 891 475 248 901
Reliant Robins 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 26 304 3 58 437 333 27 101 nof
Heat 1 Entertainer 90
Heat 2 304 58 90 437 333 3 27 26 917
Heat 2 Entertainer 26
Final 58 304 26 437 3 333 27 90 nof
Final Entertainer 3
Caravan Chaos 26 27 58
2L National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Westcountry Wreckfest 452 162 133 45 190 25 74 79 nof
Allcomers 1 162 25 452 190 714 45 451 995 nof
Allcomers 2 162 452 714 114 133 451 nof
DD 79
Best Presented 45 79 311 995
Top Trier 637
Most Wrecked 503
Entertainer of the Day 451 74 79
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