Smeatharpe Stadium - Easter Monday 17th April 2017

It was another busy one for the Autospeed staff and many of the drivers, the long weekend concluded at Smeatharpe Stadium on Easter Monday on a dry and chilly afternoon where the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars and old skool unlimited National Bangers were watched on by a large crowd.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

For the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, the fourth day of racing meant that for some drivers they were in their fifth meeting of the weekend, others fourth, others less and some their only one.  All combined though, this resulted in a highly impressive 44 car total, the best so far of the three meetings at Smeatharpe in 2017 including a surprise visit from National Points Champion 7 Gordon Moodie, joining recent Final winner 38 Dave Polley, Northern Irish teen star NI747 Bradley McKinstry and former British Champion 700 Adam Rubery, fresh from a maximum score at the World Championship qualifying round at Bristol the previous afternoon.  127 Matt Stoneman took heat one and Moodie came through to win a frantic and chaotic heat two, which was littered with incidents.  544 James Rogers was never caught from his white grade start in the consolation.  The Final, for the Autospeed Rosebowl in memory of Paul Oakley, it was an incident at the very back of the pack on the opening lap that shaped the ultimate outcome of the race.  Rather than start racing at the drop of the green flag, 83 Sy Harraway appeared to hesitate and seek to run 315 Justin Fisher out of room in the pits bend.  That saw them tangle together briefly, before Fisher sped off to belatedly start racing.  Harraway’s loitering duly held up both Polley and Stoneman, but not Moodie who was able to break clear from the latter two, who might have provided a significant challenge.  At the front, it was 328 Andy Walker who was the leader and he held sway until just beyond halfway when 352 Dave Sansom moved past.  Rubery and Moodie were the pick of the stars coming though, until Rubery tangled up and out with 325 Ryan Sheahan.  This allowed Moodie a clear run at Sansom and on starting the last lap the Scotsman was right on the back bumper of the westcountry driver.  Sansom was never going to make it easy for Moodie, but the tactic of applying the brakes failed and Moodie pushed Sansom very wide to then open out two car lengths on the back straight for the last time.  As expected, Sansom went in with a huge last bend lunge on Moodie, which failed to connect and thus it was the silver top who came through to win, his first tarmac feature race win of 2017.  Sansom held on for second and McKinstry completed the podium with a fine third.  32 cars were on track for the Grand National and it produced plenty of action, which resulted in a pile-up on the exit of turn four which Moodie found himself involved in.  With a detached starter motor, Moodie was left stranded to bring out the yellow flags.  Sansom went on to win by a good margin after the re-start.

Saloon Stock Cars

The Saloon Stock Cars too completed a busy weekend and a combination of factors actually led to a reverse of the entry to the F2’s, with numbers falling short of what had been hoped for at one stage.  Nevertheless most of the long-distance travellers who were at St Day the previous afternoon were back, joined by others.  158 Shane Davies came through from the back of the grid to the front to win the first heat whilst the second heat saw 903 Adam Neville lead until passed by 800 Scott Greenslade who went on to win.  The Final saw 30 Peter Hollett (in the Hire car) lead initially until passed by Greenslade who never looked likely to be caught.  It was the battle for second that was hotly contested with Davies reeling in 28 Ian Govier and then beyond these two with bumpers going in and places swapping and changing.  There was no stopping Greenslade though, who was still enjoying a comfortable lead at the flag.

Old Skool unlimited cc National Bangers

There is a reduced programme for the unlimited Old Skool National Bangers at Autospeed in 2017, the mid-20’s entry for this meeting was an acceptable level.  247 Richard Sparks was a flag to flag winner in the first heat and it looked for much of the way in heat two that his brother 246 Ryan Sparks was heading for victory.  However, he ran wide on the last lap which allowed 122 Jesse Ashley to simply slip up the inside to win.  The annual Easter Hop Trophy, presented by the legendary former racer Gus Garrett again featured a flag to flag win, this time from 362 Johnny James whilst second was very close at the line with 122 Ashley just getting there ahead of 954 Jamie Beere.  The emphasis on the Old Skool format is supposed to be on fun, whatever the size of car and it was therefore disappointing that a lack of interest was shown for the Pairs Race at the end of the meeting was, especially given that the meeting had run well ahead of schedule.  That said though, the trio of pairs that did take part actually put on the most entertaining race of the day for the Bangers.  It looked like Ryan Sparks and 278 Shaun Brokenshire were heading for the win.  However, the pairing of Beere and Richard Sparks had other ideas, after Beere had broken his steering.  They backed into the path of 246/278 on the very last corner and duly stopped them, all of which allowed Johnny James and 702 James Dodge through to take the victory.  The drivers were then permitted a bit of an impromptu pairs DD which was well received by the Bank Holiday crowd.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 127 352 935 747 126 328 526 14 83 689
Heat 2 7 828 468 700 303 572 398 111 418 460
Consolation 544 325 38 315 979 245 53 76 663 639
Final 7 352 747 468 328 38 935 127 126 111
Grand National 352 935 468 544 127 328 126 689 245 2
Grade Awards W 328 Y 352 B 468
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 158 428 28 730 276 199 800 221 157 903
Heat 2 800 428 158 28 619 199 27 157 903 730
Final 800 158 28 428 157 730 199 27 619 903
Old Skool Unlimited cc National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 247 122 246 185 133 988 954 112 702 333
Heat 2 122 246 114 988 148 133 247 185 362 383
Easter Hop Trophy 362 122 954 246 185 133 278 333 988 912
Chained Pairs 362/702
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