Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 7th February 2016

Whilst the whole of Smeatharpe Stadium, and the surrounding area, was saturated by the ongoing wet weather, the rain did have the decency to stay clear for the vast majority of the Winter Open event.

2 Litre National Bangers

There were over 30 drivers present for the Winter Open Championship for the 2 Litre National Bangers, with the title race first on the programme – and what a titanic battle ensued.  World Champion 162 Brett Ellacott was sidelined by a drive shaft problem, just as the cars gridded.  The first attempt at the race ended with carnage in the pits bend.  995 Andrew French was buried, which triggered a spate of crashing.  38 Kevin Styles thundered into 444 Kieran Bellringer, and amidst the debris, the 532 Chris Walsh car caught alight, which brought out the red flags.  The second attempt at the race saw a battle brew between 83 Ben Styles and 131 Sam Hill.  When backmarker 614 Chris Hide intervened, to send Styles wide, Hill took advantage.  However, Styles fought back, and with better use of more backmarkers, he edged past Hill to hit the front again.  Styles completed the last segment of the race, and clinched the title, whilst 45 Anthony Croshaw buried Hide, who was then further trashed by 133 Terry Hill, and Croshaw a second time.  An early red flag was called for in the first Allcomers race, with 282 Zak Heckford and 07 Kelvyn Snell both in need of attention.  196 Phil Chapman saw his lead eroded, and on the resumption of racing, he was bundled into some parked cars, after which there was a monumental five-car jacking train of 349 Lewis Price, Croshaw, Walsh, 961 Brad Deeprose and 372 Jay Matthews.  Terry Hill took the race win.  More action followed in Allcomers 2, with 47 Marcus A’Lee being blasted on the back straight, and Bellringer running in 74 Adam Hitchcock.  Terry Hill buried 352 Carl Belfield, which also saw the end of his own race, and Croshaw raised plenty of smiles, by gamely limping on, with both rear wheels turned in behind the rear of the car, to the point they would have obscured the rear number plate!  Sam Hill was the race winner this time.  A fantastic 9-car DD included a rollover for 637 Dan Smith.  Hitchcock and Smith had doubled up to attack 624 Liam Hide, whilst Hitchcock and 720 Kenny Gabriel Jnr met with a hefty head-on.  The redoubtable Liam Hide refused to be battered into submission, though, and he duly finished off Gabriel Jnr to claim a fine victory.

Ministox

A wonderful showing of 25 youngsters included Scottish silver top 629 Euan Millar; several other long distance travellers; and two local newcomers making their debut appearances.  With numbers at that level, the format deployed was two from three heats; and an all-in Final.  Heat one began untidily, when 902 Junior Buster hit a marker tyre entering turn three, and he was then collected by 677 Warren Darby.  Out came the yellow flags, with 303 Jacob Bromley the race leader.  Another caution period soon followed, with 980 Charlie Lobb stranded in the pits bend.  667 Tommy Farrell took up the running, but he was overhauled by 907 Cameron Lawrence, who took the win.  Farrell was second, and 304 Tony Elbourn grabbed third by a very slender margin.  Incredibly, novice 915 Max Langmaid made it through to fourth in his first ever race, despite starting at the back of the grid.  In heat two, 999 James Puckett built up a very useful lead, and was still some way clear at the midway point.  As the laps ticked by, silver top 268 Dan Santry closed on 922 Joe Parker and 987 Ethan Pope, before securing second place for himself.  On the very last last lap, Santry looked to have got Puckett in his sights, but he decided a last bend challenge was perhaps too ambitious, and Puckett duly held on for a maiden win.  The early running in heat three was made by 917 Gemma Robbins, but the chasing pack descended upon her, and she fell down the order.  Farrell took over in the lead, and he duly scored a convincing win, from Parker and Lawrence.  The final featured a 23-car grid, but surprisingly, it ran from green flag to chequered.  Robbins was again well clear out front, but it looked as though she would get caught up in a congested west bend.  With spun cars, Robbins just dodged the 299 Will Jackson car, and then tangled with novice 901 Thomas Larcombe.  The unfortunate Larcombe spun, Robbins managed to regain some momentum, and she completed the race to land a first ever win at Smeatharpe, which brought her the BB Van Hire & Sales annual trophy.  Lawrence, and 951 Aiden Vincent completed the top three.

Unlimited cc Old Skool National Bangers

There were several no-shows in the Old Skool unlimited cc class, which saw a change of format to three races, with all drivers in all races.  246 Ryan Sparks won the opening heat, after a fine move saw him shove race leader 282 Steve Hunt into backmarker 67 Sammy Richards.  Commentator Brian Goldsworthy remarked that Sparks, in his smartly presented BMW, had the rev limiter, “…firing like a machine gun!”  114 Nick Courtier and Hunt were the early leaders in the second heat, until 278 Shaun Brokenshire swept past, to land a conclusive victory.  An uneventful final was won by Sparks, who led home a pair of Mk2 Granadas – those of 362 Johnny James, and Courtier.

2L National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Winter Open 12 83 131 133 45 282 196 961 451 47 352
Allcomers 1 133 162 131 83 451 196 nof
Allcomers 2 131 162 83 451 74 196 637 113 nof
King of Crash/DD 624
Most Wrecked 532
Top Trier 113
Top Entertainer 45
Best Presented 131 196 290 311 995 444
Unlimited Old Skool National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 246 282 362 278 120 114 252 179 121 912
Heat 2 278 120 362 282 114 246 121 179 252 228
Final 246 362 114 278 121 123 120 802 272 228
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 A&B 907 667 304 915 303 677 911 344 917 299
Heat 2 B&C 999 268 922 987 677 629 980 902 561 344
Heat 3 C&A 667 922 907 951 911 629 304 268 987 561
Final 917 907 951 677 922 902 667 304 268 987
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