Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 30th December 2018

The final instalment of racing at Smeatharpe Stadium came with Banger Bonanza 6 and with it a relatively mild winter’s afternoon.  It was very pleasing to see a good sized crowd on hand to witness a very spectacular all Banger session and with a very packed pit area featuring a total of 123 cars across three classes, it was perhaps always going to be a long day and we were very grateful to see the majority of those present sticking it right until the very last hit in the last event of the day.  The three Banger codes on the programme consisted of the 2 litre Old Skool Bangers in their 2018 Supreme Championship along with the National Micro Bangers and for the first time since Easter at Smeatharpe, the Back 2 Basic Bangers in over 1800cc form.

2 litre Old Skool Bangers

Whilst it remains puzzling that for so many, it was a first or rare appearance at Smeatharpe or Autospeed in this class, never the less it is great to report that 63 cars for the 2 litre Old Skool Bangers, was the best ever for this particular meeting and the ‘Old Skool’ format itself and was easily enough for a well populated last chance race ahead of the Supreme Championship to get the meeting underway.  A further eight had the opportunity to progress through to the main event and it was won by 743 Jake Bond.  The Supreme Championship saw the grid formed from points scored during the season at Autospeed meetings and had 133 Terry Hill on pole position alongside World Champion 907 Cameron Bradford with 131 Sam Hill and 912 Simon Rees on row two and 59 Mike Hamley and 768 Tyler Cock on row three.  It was a good race, featuring the best mix of what is a Banger event with a tight race for the lead and plenty of incident all around them.  Bradford quickly relieved Terry Hill of the lead early on, only for Hill to fight back but then both lost out to Sam Hill.  Bradford then got himself back in front until a decisive move from Terry Hill in the second half of the race saw him regain the lead that this time he was not to lose, and he became the Supreme Champion for 2018.  Bradford kept the 133 car in his sights all the way but had to make do with second and 100 Alec Jenner completed the top three.   The meeting Final featured a huge grid of 47 cars.  It was never going to go all the way with so many cars around Smeathape and a big pile up quickly formed by the pit gate and in front of the seated grandstand.  The complete re-run then featured some very heavy action, much of it well beyond what is actually permissible in the class, but equally it was impossible to keep up with it all.  452 Anthony Sleeman picked his way through it all to win ahead of 383 Bradley Hutchings and Jenner.  Despite the carnage, 25 cars made it out for the Allcomers (where full National rules DO apply) and again, this was the biggest grid to date at Smeatharpe for the particular race.  It was, however, a very stop-start one with almost every incident requiring a red flag for various issues, including a flash fire at one stage.  Sam Hill was the winner.  The day bodes well for the series in 2019 and let’s hope that many of those in the cars that appeared more than willing to get stuck in for this meeting will be looking to return for the Winter Open Championship, where full National rules apply all day.

National Micro Bangers

Just over 30 National Micro Bangers featured a few late additions to the booking list and the small cars provided heavy action throughout their part of the meeting.  The first heat certainly was action-packed and saw a large pile-up on turns one and two.  262 Rob ‘Roona’ Bugler took the victory and even found time to bury adversary 239 Steve ‘Nemesis’ Carter on the way.  Heat two featured a nasty looking, but totally accidental, hit on 221 John Paul, whose car spun right into the path of 77 Aaron Charles.  Inadvertently, Charles duly caught Paul in the driver’s door, but thankfully Paul was okay despite being shaken up in the crash.  133 Terry Hill, on double duty on the day, took the win.  The Final featured the biggest wreck of the day, and conceivably for all season at Autospeed when 46 Jacob Read’s car was left in an unrecognisable mess, having been trashed by 114 Liam Lake.  Thankfully he was able to walk away.  It also featured a large hit on 451 Nigel Belfield and a somewhat stupid if apparently impromptu infield DD between 313 Bevan Bailey and 666 Roberto Jay.  It was Jay who without doubt started it all and will now face a significant period on the side lines to ponder whether it was all worth it.  741 Alex ‘Boris’ Waterman took the win ahead of Terry Hill and 341 Andrew Jones.  The Destruction Derby continued the same theme, with big hits and it came down to a head to head – literally – between Bugler and Jones.  After exchanging several no holds barred head ons, both cars expired at the same time which resulted in what was a well-earned tie for the win.

Back 2 Basics (Overs)

Almost 30 Back 2 Basics Bangers (overs) definitely played their part with a variety of cars used for the day.  382 Danny Hunt made it look easy in their first heat as he lapped the entire field on his way to the victory.  Heat two was initially awarded to 17 Tim King, but on a cross check of the lap charts it was actually a first ever win for 335 Albert Hughes.  The Final saw 58 Martin Dalton get into the lead early on and he went on to win by a comfortable margin ahead of 333 Craig Partridge and Hughes.  At the request of the drivers a Destruction Derby was added for the ‘B2B’ and it was a good one with Hunt outlasting the rest to take the win.

Finally, mention must be made of 74 Adam Hitchcock.  Not only did ‘Scratchy’ arrive with one car for each Banger class on the day, he took part in nine of the 11 events he was eligible for.  We salute you Adam!

2L Old Skool Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
LCQ 743 938 991 784 112 714 908 113 first 8 to qualify
Supreme 133 907 100 452 714 720 131 38 228 799
Final 452 383 100 451 991 938 131 714 768 nof
Allcomers 131 383 452 714 133 nof
Back 2 Basics Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 382 74 80 192 278 333 17 83 282 246
Heat 2 335 17 333 58 282 246 80 83 278 595
Final 58 333 335 282 246 59 74 17 nof
DD 382
National Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 262 77 451 133 741 666 131 160 nof
Heat 2 133 741 131 376 262 45 114 451 74 77
Final 741 133 341 131 114 239 160 nof
DD 262 & 341
Best Presented 46 221 666 874
Entertainer 114
Most Wrecked 46
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