United Downs Raceway - Sunday 6th May 2018

A splendidly bright sunny day greeted racegoers at the United Downs Raceway, where the English Championship for Saloon Stock Cars produced some of the most brutal action the circuit has ever seen.

Saloon Stock Cars

Although the overall car count of 26 was a little below what had been originally expected, it in no way detracted from a mesmerising display by the Saloon Stock Cars.  Heat one soon set the tone for a lively day, with 56 Georgie Boult Jnr being spun out of the star grade pack, and 276 Ben King sent hurtling towards the fence.  902 Junior Buster relieved 316 Dan McCluskey of the lead, and survived the latter’s attempt to challenge back.  Indeed, McCluskey spun as a result, which caused the pack to dive either side of him.  Sage was being tailed by 360 Carl Waterfield, who was bundled into him by 27 Kieren Bradford.  However, Bradford was then spun by 888 Shane Emerson, amidst a group of cars which left Waterfield to charge clear, and he went on to win from Sage and 116 Diggy Smith.  84 Carl Boswell led heat two from the early stages, whilst 800 Scott Greenslade took a hefty trip into the turnstile bend fence.  McCluskey again spun in turn four, whilst European Champion 730 Deane Mayes and ORC Champion 349 Michael Allard battled together on their ascent up the order.  A strong late run by 641 Willie Skoyles brought him into contention, and he took the win, from 171 Adam O’Dell, whilst Boswell sent 199 Phil Powell into the turn four plating, as part of a last lap sort-out for minor placings.  Heat three included a hugely spectacular rollover for Boswell, as he challenged 130 Chris Durrant for the lead.  At one point, Boswell’s car was stood on its nose on the back straight.  O’Dell took command after the restart, from Smith and 99 Jacob Roff.  As O’Dell and Smith sealed first and second, a furious battle behind them was resolved with World Champion 306 Daniel Parker grabbing third place.  The points from the heats paired O’Dell and Smith on the front row, with Allard and Parker handily placed on row two.  The cavalry charge into the pits bend on the opening lap was one of the great sights of the season – truly breathtaking.  O’Dell bounced off the plating, but held the lead, which was crucial with a first yellow flag appearing soon after, on account of Waterfield having come to a halt.  217 Sid Madgwick was another early casualty, along with Durrant and Boswell.  The order for the restart had O’Dell leading from Skoyles, Allard, Parker and Bradford, who had made a better start than most in those initial exchanges.  Skoyles was soon shifted out of second place, and Bradford then punted Parker into Allard, which spun Allard.  The revised order duly saw O’Dell chased by Bradford, and they broke clear when Skoyles and Parker clashed.  Bradford challenged O’Dell for the lead, and had just got ahead when the yellow flags appeared again, after 280 Steve Linly had ground to a halt on the back straight.  Bradford was sharply away on the restart, but Mayes was now making progress, along with 157 Max Stott.  Just when Bradford looked like he might have company at the front, Stott and Mayes began to swap hits and places.  The race moved into the last five laps, and Mayes catapulted Stott into the turn one plating, which left Stott with a whole load of damage to the front and the rear of his car.  Stott retired to the infield, and Mayes was caught by Allard and Parker.  Bradford, though, was clear and gone, and he saw out the last couple of laps to become the first south west winner of a title for many seasons.  Allard clinched second, and a stupendous last bend dive by Mayes saw him scat Parker out of third place, bringing to a close a truly savage and ferocious contest.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

Whilst 30 drivers were present, 241 Ginge Crook encountered mechanical problems on the grid for his heat, and thus, 29 was the number that did actually compete.  The white tops were slow away in heat one, and solitary red top 468 Sam Weston quickly capitalised, charging up the order to actually hit the front as early as lap five.  Weston went on to win from 111 Lewis Geach.  With various spillages from the Van Bangers, heat two was preceded by three rolling laps, aimed at dispersing some of the spill dry granules.  The race near enough passed without incident, but just when 303 Chris Horwell looked on course for victory, he was delayed when 639 Steve Hartnett spun out.  That allowed 522 Chris Mikulla to pounce in the closing stages.  828 Julian Coombes, who had opted to not race in his heat, was quick to take the lead in the consolation, but was chased home by 572 James Lindsay.  The Steve Wills Haulage sponsored final was led away by 920 Wayne Wadge and 328 Andy Walker.  As the early laps ticked by, Walker was building up a comprehensive lead, but when Wadge clattered around the turn one safety fence, and came to a halt, he needed assistance, which necessitated a caution period, and the field bunched up behind Walker.  979 Paul Moss grabbed the lead when the race resumed, and he set about extending his lead.  Moss held a considerable advantage, whilst Weston, Mikulla, 418 Ben Borthwick and 542 Steven Gilbert squabbled excitingly to lead the pursuit.  As time started to run out, it was Gilbert who emerged as the main threat to Moss, but he was unable to mount a challenge before the chequered fell on Moss, who instantly returned to the blue grade.  Having missed out in his heat, Horwell fared better in the Grand National, as he led from flag to flag, for a first ever F2 victory, with Gilbert the runner-up once more.

Van Bangers

Just shy of 20 Van Bangers served up some fun action; the entry including the welcome return of former 2 Litre National Banger World Champion 66 Dave Spooner.  Indeed, the whole atmosphere for the day amongst the Van Bangers contingent was one full of smiles and fun.  The opening heat was particularly busy, and saw a lot of crashing.  Once the race settled down, 141 Toby Tiddy spun long time leader 405 Graham Harris to claim the win.  In heat two, 452 Anthony Sleeman rolled over in the turnstile bend.  The restarted race was a lot quieter than the opening heat, but did finish spectacularly, when 504 Jordan Vandersluys survived a last lap attack from backmarker 99 David Spooner.  Sleeman ran out a clear winner of the final, because as the laps ticked by, the rest of the drivers fell by the wayside, leaving ‘Lurch’ as the last van running.  In the nine-Van DD, it was 153 Eddie James who out lasted the others, finishing off his son, 53 Chris James, Tiddy and 768 Tyler Cock in the closing stages of a protracted battle.

Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 A&B 360 902 116 888 306 730 199 157 280 27
Heat 2 B&C 641 171 349 84 730 99 27 157 217 130
Heat 3 C&A 171 116 306 349 399 217 276 902 888 99
English Ch. 27 349 730 171 306 99 199 56 902 120
BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 468 111 895 667 328 740 745 526 first 8 to final
Heat 2 522 542 303 979 325 418 398 663 first 8 to final
Consolation 828 572 920 639 460 976 87 948 502 227
Final 979 542 418 522 468 667 828 325 745 895
Grand National 303 542 468 667 522 418 325 828 328 745
Grade Awards W 303 Y 979 B 522
Big Van Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 141 504 405 nof
Heat 2 504 99 768 16 nof
Final 452 nof
DD 153
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