United Downs Raceway - Sunday 7th August 2016

A glorious summer's afternoon saw a reasonable sized crowd at the United Downs Raceway, St Day - attracted by the annual Cornish Caravan Chaos event, which saw more than a dozen caravans obliterated in the usual orgy of devastation.

Stock Rods

The 17-car showing of Stock Rods was the season’s best in terms of domestic fixtures, and they served up some spectacular action, bordering on controversial at times.  The first heat was halted on lap nine after a collision between newcomer and 124 Aaron North and 208 David Simpson.  As Simpson swerved past North, he clobbered the turnstile bend fence, and in his efforts to limp to the infield, he ran aground on the home straight.  Swiftly after the race had resumed, there was another incident in the turnstile bend, which saw 9 Chris Drake leap up over the kerb and bounce down into the fence.  The caution period allowed 3 Matt Peters and 944 Callum Hosie to close on race leader 92 Adam Daniels, but despite several fraught laps, Daniels defended his position to take the win.  The Final was arguably the race of the whole day, littered with incident right from the very start of the race, when 40 Rick Cornell made a slow getaway, and as the stars bunched up, Daniels found himself spun on to the infield on the home straight.  613 Lee Simmons and 614 Chris Williams set the pace, and they were some way clear of the rest.  As the laps ticked by, more and more drivers exited the race, including 54 John Tait at the end of the back straight.  Peters and Hosie began to hunt down the two white grade leaders.  Peters looked to have made a telling pass to hit the front, when he lightly tangled with Simmons.  Peters took umbrage, but it became apparent that Simmons had a puncture.  Peters hit the front, Hosie slotted into second, and 437 Lewis Trickey completed the top three.  203 Andrew Russell won the Grand National, to land his first ever Stock Rod victory.  Behind him, a furious battle raged involving Trickey, Hosie, 909 Justin Washer and 776 Simon Jones, which gave Peters a chance to move into contention from his one lap handicap.  Peters gallantly tried the outside line, and by flag fall, his efforts had been rewarded with a very fine fourth place.


A two from three format was deployed for the Bangers, which led to plentiful heats.  For a long time in the opening heat, 129 Stuart Simpson looked on course for a rare win, but a late charge from 320 Dan Abbott sweep to victory.  It was a similar story in heat two.  This time the runaway white top was 898 Jack Semmonds.  However, he was reeled in by 991 Ben Hale, who scored a convincing win by the time the chequered fell on him.  In an almost carbon copy of heat two, Semmonds built up a good lead in the third heat.  However, he was again hunted down by Hale, who claimed a second win of the afternoon.  The Cornish Championship only did two laps, before it was stopped, after 797 Dan Moss rolled over on the back straight.  When the grid reformed, six of the original starters were missing, and a spate of crashes depleted the field even further.  Semmonds was away and gone at the front, but when 912 Simon Rees spun and was collected in turn four, a race suspension was triggered, and the huge advantage Semmonds had, swiftly disappeared.  When the race resumed, 835 Matt Westaway and 804 Treve Wills found a way past, and Semmonds’ luck finally ran out when he was bundled into the turnstile bend fence.  British Champion 28 Steve Linly and Ben Hale both tried to recover from early delays, but although they moved up the order, second and third respectively was as close as they got to Westaway, who punched the air in celebration at landing the Cornish title.

Old Skool Unlimited cc National Bangers

An improved showing of Old Skool Unlimited cc National Bangers led to slightly more action than has been the case for the past couple of rounds of the Supreme Championship.  185 Richard Coaker led the opening heat, until 246 Ryan Sparks took over around the midway point.  262 Buddy James made a strong run in the late stages, but could only get so far as second place.  In heat two, 247 Richard Sparks made most of the running, but he could not hold off the late challenge from 362 Johnny James.  In the final, 278 Shaun Brokenshire set the early pace, as part of a close battle that also involved Richard Sparks, 714 Paul Smaldon and 275 Tony Woodside.  From that quartet, Sparks emerged as the new race leader, but his brother Ryan Sparks tracked him down and edged ahead, with Johnny James grabbing the runner-up place in the closing stages.


A dozen caravans were wrecked during the Cornish Caravan Chaos event.  Ultimately, the race became a two-way contest.  With 154 Barry Pike struggling to keep some momentum, 847 Andy Whatley pounced, with two laps to spare, to take the victory.

Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 92 944 3 40 437 705 613 54 614 200
Final 3 944 437 614 92 776 705 200 nof
Grand National 203 909 944 3 776 437 705 614 200 nof
Old Skool National Bangers Unlimited cc 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 246 262 185 247 912 362 275 714 406 278
Heat 2 362 247 185 954 511 246 112 76 nof
Final 246 362 247 275 954 112 114 278 511 912
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 320 621 479 129 804 847 835 441 358 944
Heat 2 991 797 28 621 898 320 441 34 185 768
Heat 3 991 835 898 28 912 185 366 129 458 768
Cornish 835 28 991 804 441 847 358 55 nof
Caravan Chaos 847 154 nof
Best Presented 320 447 835
Grade Awards W 55, 129, 898 Y 358, 366, 621 B34, 804, 847 R 28, 835, 991
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