Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 25th September 2016

The penultimate meeting of the full 2016 season at Smeatharpe Stadium saw a very busy programme of events featuring the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars, ORCi Stock Rods and Bangers.  15 minutes prior to start time there was a very heavy shower of rain but whilst this forced the cancellation of the Grand Parade of F2’s and made the going very wet for the opening two races, beyond this the Autumnal sun shone and the racing was largely on a dry track.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

It was trophies galore for the F2 Stock Cars and once again the formula came up with the goods both in terms of the entry, and the on track action.  First up was the Smeatharpe White & Yellow grade Final, which for the first time saw the resurrected Bill Hilborn trophy to be raced for (see separate news item).  With 25 cars on what was a very wet track, there was always going to be early drama and it came in the way of a big pile up on the Honiton bend in which 352 Dave Sansom rolled.  The re-started race saw 464 Matt Linfield surge into an early lead and he went on to win by a safe distance from 418 Ben Borthwick and 689 Joe Marquand.  The second heat on a drying track featured a good battle towards the end with 111 Lewis Geach getting to the line first.  544 James Rogers won the consolation.  The feature Final was for both the Steve Rich Trophy and Silverline Trophy and keeping up the tradition for the latter it was via a clutch start.  Despite reservations, in the most part, the clutch start trial again worked well.  762 Mike Cocks was the initial leader until he was passed by 145 Andrew Morgan, but with so much happening on the track it soon led to a yellow flag necessity as 189 Paul Butcher and 575 Tom Clark came together on the exit of turn four.   Morgan continued to hold sway at the re-start and opened out a gap on those chasing but the yellow flags were soon out again, this time for a large pile up on the Honiton bend.   The next re-start lasted for an even shorter amount of time as second place runner 14 Mike Priddle and third placed Sansom clashed and Priddle was sent spinning into an inner marker tyre which left him shaken and it brought the race straight back under yellow.  All of these caution periods had brought the pack closer together and allowed the star men to get much more on terms.  Whilst Morgan continued to lead after the last resumption he was caught and passed by 38 Dave Polley into the second half of the race.  From that point on the East Anglian superstar held sway and went on to take the victory, making it the grand slam of southwest Finals for him this season with a feature race at each of the three venues in the region.  24 Jon Palmer gave gallant chase but never got close enough to mount a challenge and 127 Matt Stoneman rounded out the podium places.  The Grand National was equally rumbustious and featured a succession of yellow flags, the last of which was after a spat between 315 Justin Fisher and 542 Steven Gilbert left the latter in the plating and Fisher disqualified.   All of the yellow flags had allowed Polley to make good progress from his lap handicap start and he was right with long-time leader 979 Paul Moss at the last re-start.  He went on to win to make it a double helping of points to round out another superb F2 session at Smeatharpe.

Saloon Stock Cars

If the F2’s have had a majestic season at Smeatharpe, the Saloon Stock Cars with regret have had the opposite with disappointing entries throughout.  That said though, there has been some good and memorable races.  With the track championship won, probably understandably 730 Deane Mayes did not make the long trip from East Anglia this time, as transport issues sideline him for once.  However, the one driver who has chased him hard all season, 158 Shane Davies did make the journey from Kent.  The Ehite & Yellow grade Final was first, for drivers who had scored points racing as either white or yellow at any Autospeed meeting in 2016.  It included 386 Dan Petters from East Anglia but regrettably his involvement in the meeting was very short lived as a coming together between he and 28 Ian Govier on the opening lap saw both heavily into the plating.  Petters failed to reappear whilst Govier only did so much later on in the afternoon for the very last race.  84 Carl Boswell went on to win from 314 Jason Baraclough and 27 Kieren Bradford.  Davies made very light work of the field in heat one to lead early on and go on to win.  However, in heat two he was given plenty of resistance from 619 Ross Thomas and 891 Andrew Pridham and this delayed him and it allowed 199 Phil Powell to get away at the front and he went on to win.  The Final saw Davies in command once again and he caught and passed Powell to claim the victory.  Thomas made third.  There is already a lot of interest being shown in the Saloon Stock Car workshop day set for next month at Smeatharpe and on the back of that it is hoped that there will be renewed interest for 2017 and a different story to tell come this time next year.

Stock Rods

The Stock Rods had their West of England Championship as their feature event and the 20-car entry included a good number from the south coast, as well as the continued showing of some new faces and names.  3 Matt Peters battled through to win the first heat and in the second heat, race leader 208 David Simpson clashed with back marker 124 Aaron North which took him out and it allowed 22 Wayne Belcher to get into the lead and he went on to win.  The points scored from the heats determined the line-up for the Final and placed both heat winners on the front row.  Peters was able to convert his pole position start into the early lead and it was to be one he wasn’t to lose, but it was not without its dramas as he and the other leading runners appeared to be amongst some wayward back markers at various points in the race.  A yellow flag with 205 Sam Perrott stranded on the back straight gave the chance for those chasing – 776 Simon Jones and 909 Justin Washer in particular, to get on terms (the latter’s task made easier when 92 Adam Daniels opted to retire from his back marking position ahead of him) but Peters had it all under control and went on to take the biggest win of his career so far.


For the Autospeed Bangers it was the Dave Weare Trophy day, in memory of Dave who was taken from us five years to the day.  Always a poignant meeting and once again a good entry of cars, sitting at a total of 52, way above the number it had looked at the end of the week leading up to the meeting and the requested booking in cut-off point.  898 Jack Semmonds ran away with the win in heat one and 444 Kieran Bellringer did likewise in heat two, however he failed the post-race tyre check and was disqualified which promoted 23 Barry Staples to the victory.  The consolation featured another post-race tyre check failure, and it was 176 Ben King (who was also racing Saloon Stock Cars at the meeting) who moved into the winning position.  Despite the large grid of 30 cars for the Final, there was little in the way of action bar some racing bumps and scrapes.  Semmonds was the leader until the ultra-rapid Honda CRX of Staples caught and passed him and the long-serving south coast star went on to win the magnificent Tankard trophy.  Semmonds held on for second and 133 Jody Jeanes third.  To round out the meeting, as has become the norm for this particular day, a Chained Pairs race replaced the more usual Allcomers.  For a long way it looked like 17 Tim King and 60 Andy Bulled were heading to a commanding win, but it went wrong for them in the second half as they were spun and then got into a tangle with each other.  Ultimately it was 246 Ryan Sparks and 185 Richard Coaker who took the victory.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
W&Y 464 418 689 189 76 528 175 53 740 460
Heat 2 111 522 979 542 38 315 935 575 24 468
Consolation 544 745 404 352 526 127 145 762 14 174
Final 38 24 127 542 315 979 111 935 468 740
Grand National 38 979 352 127 24 575 111 418 468 404
Grade Awards W 544 Y 979 B 111
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
W&Y 84 314 27 799 276 907 nof
Heat 1 158 199 891 619 27 84 901 69 276 nof
Heat 2 199 158 84 276 891 619 799 901 69 nof
Final 158 199 619 276 891 27 84 28 901 69
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 3 776 208 26 22 92 351 215 40 234
Heat 2 22 215 909 234 3 944 351 437 9 26
Final 3 776 909 234 22 351 944 26 437 208
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 898 129 797 836 154 331 284 991 246 441
Heat 2 23 28 447 70 185 113 41 927 515 130
Consolation 176 320 58 941 133 717 999 60 911 718
Final 23 898 133 447 41 515 246 836 154 185
Chained Pairs 246/185 898/944 154/79 784/684 60/17 nof
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