Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 22nd April 2018

A fine Spring afternoon greeted everyone at Smeatharpe Stadium and on what may have been considered a “domestic” meeting it was a suitably busy pit area for the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars and 2 Litre Old Skool National Bangers.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

When it became apparent that there was a very heathy white graded BriSCA F2 Stock Car entry booked in to race, with the offer of sponsorship of Yokohama tyres from Neil Truran Motorsport and further prizes from MDP Services, in the days leading up the meeting there had been a big effort to bolster it up further to 20 cars to run a white grade only race.  Ultimately it was 16 cars (out of a total of 36 that took to the track on the day); a car count which was still mightily impressive, and the decision was that the event went ahead, to duly reward those who were raring to go.  The drivers drew their grid position via public draw, conducted on the track by Neil Truran, the king of the handshakes.  The race came down to great battle between 325 Ryan Sheahan and 667 Tommy Farrell, with the latter leading the way throughout.  However, the pair conducted a game of ‘cat and mouse’ on the last lap, and had not bargained for the fast closing 460 Matt Weston who went charging in with the bumper on the last corner.  The three of them sped to the finish line with Sheahan just getting there from Weston and Farrell.  The two heats that followed for the full programme were won by 542 Steven Gilbert and then in heat two it was a career first win for teenager Farrell.  After a crash in his heat with BriSCA F2 first timer 711 Vince Stone, 127 Matt Stoneman reappeared and duly won the consolation.  The 29 car Final didn’t get going for very long at the first attempt with a huge pile up on turn one.  This was immense, with many cars airborn, including 517 Harley Cornock, 828 Julian Coombes and 303 Chris Horwell, who had been up-ended by Stone, almost snow-plough style.  In all, five cars failed to make the complete re-run.  Sheahan held sway in the lead until just before the three-quarter mark but behind there was a lot of places swapping and changing including another crash for Stoneman.  Horwell had just shot over the bonnet of 245 Nigel Fordham in the west bend, and Fordham was then clobbered again, this time by Stoneman who was sent hurtling in his direction by a train of drivers, which notably included 676 Neil Hooper, who was ruthlessly surging up the order.  Indeed, Hooper strode ever onward and forged ahead of all around him to duly relieve Sheahan of the lead.  For a while, Gilbert was keeping pace with Hooper, but as the laps ticked by, he made no impression, and could only keep the 676 car in his sights whilst 522 Chris Mikulla made third.  The Grand National will be remembered as the race of the day.  An early yellow flag with 976 Dan Kent in trouble closed the pack up and brought Hooper on terms from his lap handicap.  Sheahan continued to lead at the re-start whilst Hooper made huge strides through the traffic.  A second yellow flag period came with 315 Justin Fisher in trouble, after his static car was struck by 890 Paul Rice, and as the remaining runners bunched up under single file, Hooper could sense a real chance of claiming the double victory.  However, his rivals had other ideas at the re-start as Sheahan once again opened out a comfortable lead.  Firstly, it was 468 Sam Weston who moved Hooper aside, with help from Gilbert and then Hooper became engaged in a fierce battle with 418 Ben Borthwick, which spilled over on the rundown lap to a spot of “eyeballing”.  Gilbert again gave good chase in second but it was to be the second chequered flag of the day for Sheahan.  This was BriSCA F2 Stock Car racing at its absolute best.

Saloon Stock Cars

With the Saloon Stock Cars sandwiched between big and/or titled meetings and weekends the 17 car total was as good as to be expected, and then some, with some unexpected but nevertheless very welcome travelling efforts from Scotsmen 5 Tam Rutterford and 529 Jason Secker, despite a meeting being on in their home country on the same day.  The first heat saw a win for East Anglian traveller 399 Cole Atkins and then in heat two 276 Ben King added another victory to his growing tally, with plenty of hard hits and good battles going on behind him and a rapidly finishing 27 Keiren Bradford just running out of laps to mount a challenge.  267 Martin French was the early leader in the Final until passed by King and once again the race followed a similar pattern to the second heat with Bradford making the most progress, to second but unable to do anything about King who signed off as a yellow graded driver with the win.  Bradford certainly puts himself in good stead for the upcoming big meetings in the southwest with second and 56 George Boult Jnr came through for third.

2 Litre Old Skool National Bangers

There were plenty more Bangers in attendance than were booked, which meant an entry just shy of 30 cars for the latest Old Skool meeting.  99 David Spooner Jnr was the winner in heat one before 131 Sam Hill took heat two after the top three running well ahead of him all managed to crash together.  The Final featured a red flag stoppage with 992 Dan Walsh in need of attention, after taking a hefty hit but was all ok.  775 Brad Hunt was the leader at the time and continued to do so at the re-start and looked set to take a surprise victory.  However, back marker Sam Hill had other ideas and whether he thought he was racing for the win or not is not known, but he lunged in on the 775 car on the last corner and spun him aside.  There was a good battle going on for second place at the time which right at this very late stage of the race became the one for the lead with 912 Simon Rees taking the flag ahead of 383 Brad Hutchings and 297 Chris Hommell.   Again, a disappointingly low grid for the Allcomers but it did have its moments, mainly involving 74 Adam Hitchcock.  Sam Hill took his second win of the afternoon.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
White Top Race 325 460 667 398 572 639 663 760 241 636
Heat 1 542 935 418 315 464 613 111 303 517 241
Heat 2 667 468 676 460 890 876 438 895 639 398
Consolation 127 522 828 325 572 245 87 227 711 222
Final 676 542 522 325 935 315 418 464 438 876
Grand National 325 303 542 468 418 676 522 111 667 245
Grade Awards W 325 Y 438 B 522
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 399 276 730 529 171 799 27 84 447 281
Heat 2 276 27 529 730 399 171 199 56 799 5
Final 276 27 56 730 199 171 529 799 267 902
2 Litre Old Skool Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 99 185 131 133 38 775 394 912 741 992
Heat 2 131 912 99 100 133 246 836 74 38 297
Final 912 383 297 59 720 185 775 133 397 298
Allcomers 131 383 912 133 838 74 760 nof
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