Smeatharpe Stadium - Wednesday 27th December 2017

Banger Bonanza 5 attracted more than 100 drivers, on a day when difficult traffic conditions made the journey to Smeatharpe a particularly troublesome one for many.  That led to a number of late arrivals, and coupled with a most unfortunate pre-meeting accident that resulted in Autospeed co-promoter Andrew Carter having to be airlifted to hospital, start time was significantly delayed.  The weather was predictably very chilly, but aside from an occasional shower and a brief flurry of snow, it was a mostly dry afternoon.

National Micro Bangers

Once again, the National Micro Bangers showed their worth at Smeatharpe, with another fine display of action-packed races from the small cars.  Whilst numbers were not quite as plentiful as at some meetings during the season, there were still 25 drivers present, and the cars of 45 Anthony Croshaw and 77 Aaron Charles were outstandingly smart, which netted them Best Presented bonuses.  The opening heat was full of crashing in the pits bend, which began with 621 Scott Kendall’s hefty follow-in of returnee 366 Ian Mills.  Soon after, a superb jacking train formed – 239 Steve Carter into track debutant 225 Travis Chant, 150 Ben Elliott into Carter, 196 Phil Chapman into Elliott, 741 Alex Waterman into Chapman, and then 333 Charlie Randell who got some impressive airtime with his hit on Waterman.  Croshaw completed the train.  Out front, 451 Nigel Belfield had led almost the whole race, but World Champion 74 Adam Hitchcock chased him down, and was in range for a last bend challenge.  Belfield opted for a conservative approach, and Hitchcock drew alongside before winning the drag to the finish line.  In heat two, Belfield was again well clear in the lead, when he threw away a potential victory to blast 280 Harry Ricketts in the west bend, which left him prone to a thunderous shot by Carter.  Charles picked up the lead from the departed Belfield, and was chased by Randell.  However, the two gold tops – Hitchcock and 190 Steve Bailey – were on their way up through the order.  Bailey hit the front with two laps to go, but on the final lap, he was momentarily held up by 760 Ryan Pike, and Hitchcock stole the lead back, to win for a second time.  Bailey, miffed at missing out on victory, took Hitchcock to the fence after the chequered.  Numbers had dropped a little by the time of the Banger Bonanza 5 final.  Bailey stormed to a comprehensive win, but the race ended with a slightly unfortunate incident on the back straight as Charles collided with Belfield as he rejoined following a trashing of 160 Jamie Warr.  Belfield was then shaken up by Randell, who was powerless to avoid running into him.  Seven drivers limped their cars on to track for the DD, and the hits came thick and fast.  Kendall blasted Croshaw and 734 Kev Donovan did likewise to Waterman.  Carter finished off Randell with successive hits, and that left just three.  Carter and Kendall met head-on, and Jamie Warr trundled into them with what force his ailing car could muster.  As Kendall backed off, his car went on fire.  Once that was extinguished, Kendall had to be excluded, and thus Warr was adjudged the winner, which was reward for his gallant efforts all afternoon where he took a plenty of hits.

2 Litre Old Skool Bangers

There were more than 50 drivers present for the Supreme Championship fixture, which began with the Last Chance qualifier.  That was led from start to finish by 112 Mike Simmonds, whilst 929 Sam Baker won the battle for second with 451 Nigel Belfield.  Thus, Simmonds and Baker earned their places on the back of the grid for the Supreme.  The title race took a couple of shuffles of the grid to get things correct, and it was 907 Cameron Bradford and 383 Brad Hutchings who led them off on the rolling lap, with 74 Adam Hitchcock and 912 Simon Rees on row two.  The ensuing fifteen laps were enthralling, with each of the front four on the grid, enjoying some time in the lead.  They were joined, too, by 862 Darryl Cock, and at one stage, the proverbial blanket could have been chucked over the five drivers as they produced a compelling contest.  It was in the final third that the outcome of the race was decided.  Hitchcock relieved Rees of the lead, and made good a decent getaway.  That left Bradford, Cock, Rees, Hutchings and 100 Alec Jenner to battle for second.  The more they fought, the more Hitchcock was able to extend his lead untroubled.  Hitchcock went on to record a convincing win, and although Jenner crossed the line for second, he failed post-race scrutineering, which saw Cock and Rees take the official second and third places.  27 Dean Quinn was the early leader of the all-in Final which had featured more than 40 starters.  There was an early rollover for 527 Fergus Smith-Jones, and 302 Dale Moon inverted late on.  Hitchcock made another telling late charge to hit the front in the final quarter of the race, and he ended up winning from 936 Ashley Rice and Baker.  The Allcomers event was a lively conclusion to the day’s Old Skool races, and brough a win for 776 Terry Senford.

Back 2 Basics Bangers

The first opportunity for Back 2 Basics Bangers to appear at Smeatharpe was quite a success, with a varied entry of cars; the return to racing of some old favourites; and an entertaining quartet of events which served up plenty of action.  After a detailed review of the lap charts, occasional Saloon Stock Car racer 591 Aaron Morris was eventually declared the winner the opening race, at the wheel of a new-shape VW Beetle.  744 Jake Carless had looked on course for victory, until he got caught up with some wayward backmarkers in the closing stages.  Heat two turned into the battle of the People Carriers, as 278 Shaun Brokenshire and 246 Ryan Sparks swapped the lead position a number of times.  A strong late run by 382 Danny Hunt nearly brought him into contention, but third was as high as he got, with Brokenshire victorious.  793 Ashley Richards rolled at the start of the final, which was about the time of the brief snow flurry.  Carless again spent much of the first half of the race out front.  Carless and Hunt then got tangled with backmarkers, and Sparks inherited the lead.  However, a good late run by Morris in the ‘Love Bug’ saw him snatch the victory on the last lap.  The DD to end the day for the Back 2 Basics saw a four car burial of Sparks, who tipped on to his side in the People Carrier.  Brokenshire’s t-bone of 369 Daniel Thompson was heavy enough, and left the youngster a little shaken.  Once that had been attended to, it became apparent that Brokenshire was the only driver able to restart, and so he was awarded the win.

National Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 74 451 133 988 190 45 313 333 77 382
Heat 2 74 190 133 77 45 333 451 760 734 nof
Final 190 74 45 133 333 988 382 160 760 nof
DD 160
Best Presented 45 77
Most Wrecked 451
Top Trier 160
Top Entertainer 239
2L Old Skool National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
LCQ 112 929 451 59 768 196 412 776 527 149
Supreme 74 862 912 383 720 938 202 907 333 185
Final 74 938 929 907 185 333 633 768 251 112
Allcomers 776 912 185 27 206 11 383 nof
Back 2 Basics Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 591 17 246 239 715 248 285 322 80 793
Heat 2 278 246 382 169 954 328 239 17 322 285
Final 591 246 382 744 17 369 42 954 360 nof
DD 278
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