Smeatharpe Stadium - Saturday 10th March 2018

Six days later than was initially planned due to the opening meeting of the full 2018 season at Smeatharpe Stadium having to be postponed and rescheduled as a result of snow, it did end up being something of a blessing in disguise, as this presented an extra opportunity to have a Saturday evening session under the floodlights and it was pleasing to see that in the main, those that were due to attend on March 4 were back for this with healthy grids for the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars and Autospeed Bangers.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

The BriSCA F2 Stock Car entry was boosted by a handful of long distance travellers and the tone for the evening was set on the first corner of the first heat when 438 Mike Rice, 542 Steven Gilbert and 828 Julian Coombes all managed to trip over each other before they had even crossed the start line.  522 Chris Mikulla went on to win the completely re-run race and then 468 Sam Weston won heat two before Gilbert bounced back to win the consolation.  The annual MDP Services Trophy Final saw a very early yellow flag when Gilbert was again in trouble, this time with 935 Nathan Maidment.  Gilbert was left stranded to necessitate the caution, whilst Maidment was able to re-join, albeit a lap behind the race leader debutant 667 Tommy Farrell.  Maidment duly unlapped himself at the re-start and Farrell continued to lead, impressively too but his gap was back to nothing after five laps with 315 Justin Fisher in trouble on the pits bend, having been bundled into 328 Andy Walker by 111 Lewis Geach; and a lap later, Fisher was collected by 245 Nigel Fordham as Geach continued his spirited start to the season.  Farrell again led off after the re-start and was still there at the halfway point, but then passed by 464 Matt Linfield at the three-quarter point.  Linfield was then challenged by 890 Paul Rice and 302 Dale Moon only for the plucky sixteen year old, Farrell, to come back at all three of them.  If a four-car scrap wasn’t enough, it soon became five with Maidment having made up all his lost ground.  Words cannot do justice as to how good this five car battle was, with places swapping and changing until Linfield forged to the front, chased by Maidment over the final two laps.  It came down to a last bend lunge from Maidment on Linfield and in the scramble for the line, Maidment got there first in an amazing comeback win.  Moon rounded out the top three in a great feature race to get the 2018 season started.  The Grand National also saw plenty going on throughout and it was 560 Luke Wrench who took his new car to its first win.  So, five different winners in five different chassis and a five-car battle for the Final win.  We couldn’t ask for more than this five star showing.

Saloon Stock Cars

20 Saloon Stock Cars meant that it was a double-point Final for them, which hasn’t been the case at the opening southwest meeting of the season in a long while and the cosmopolitan entry included travelling efforts from Scotland, the north of England and East Anglia as well as welcome new faces from the southwest.  The first heat saw 276 Ben King take his brand-new car to a win straight off.  The second heat saw his old car, now in the hands on 444 Keiran Bellringer lead until he was caught and hit the plating and was then collected, which resulted in a yellow flag.  349 Michael Allard capitalised on this to bring himself into contention and he went on to move into the lead and take the win.  The Final saw King get into the lead, one which he was never to lose, but he did find back marker 902 Brad Compton-Sage in his path on the last lap, which allowed 399 Cole Atkins to close right in.  Another lap and he may have been able to mount a challenge, but it was to be a second win of the evening and a career first Final win for King.  671 Ross Graham made his long journey from Scotland worthwhile with third place.


41 Autospeed (1600cc) Bangers, on what was a rare Saturday evening/floodlight meeting for them certainly played their part in the meeting with the heat races in particular having plenty going on, with the continuing niggling feud between some of the Southampton and Cornwall based drivers a bit of a feature, which also saw two drivers loaded up for the rest of the meeting for taking things a bit beyond what is permissible in this code of Banger racing. 929 Sam Baker won both heats one and two before 718 Adie Brown took heat three.  The Final saw 223 Sonny Collins lead, just as he had in both of his heats until he was passed by 785 Nick Craddock.  991 Ben Hale looked the one most likely to challenge, having come through from the back of the grid as Devon Champion but Craddock was able to maintain the gap to take the victory and then Hale found an errant spun car across his path on the last corner, which allowed 223 Collins back in for second with Hale recovering for third.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 522 315 560 302 890 528 398 920 464 303
Heat 2 468 127 689 111 935 418 245 895 328 639
Consolation 542 876 438 464 667 460 303 328 948 222
MDP Services Final 935 464 302 890 127 522 418 398 876 438
Grand National 560 528 890 245 418 127 522 935 460 801
Grade Awards W 398 Y 689 B 464 R 935
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 276 671 399 217 27 360 349 501 199 84
Heat 2 349 27 276 360 888 671 199 501 78 171
Final 276 399 671 217 349 27 360 199 280 902
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 929 898 991 717 281 246 254 992 113 23
Heat 2 929 246 138 223 944 718 621 898 320 785
Heat 3 718 991 23 133 717 944 320 621 154 835
Final 785 223 991 929 944 281 113 898 70 246
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