United Downs Raceway - Sunday 8th March 2020

The first Cornish race meeting of the new national season proved to be one of sunshine and showers at the United Downs Raceway, St Day.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

A hideous downpour fell at the end of the Grand Parade, which brought a delay to proceedings, as drivers sought to make adjustments ahead of the first event, which was the First Chance To Win race.  Seven drivers gridded, with 222 Adrian Watts drawing pole position.  An early clash between 18 Josh Toll and 320 Matt Hatch left the latter with a broken wheel guard.  Whilst he retired to the infield, Toll charged to the front, and duly won the Neil Truran Motorsport sponsored race, ahead of Watts and 502 Andy Solway.  In the first heat proper, 572 James Lindsay led to the point when the lap boards appeared.  At that point, the lead passed to 196 Phil Chapman.  Lindsay then responded and fought back, which saw Chapman slide wide, whereby 689 Joe Marquand and 315 Justin Fisher pounced.  Fisher then nudged Marquand in the pits bend, and Marquand clipped the trio of cars that had recently spun there.  Marquand lost drive in his car and the yellow flags appeared.  Fisher led off the single file restart and won convincingly.  A superb second heat saw 560 Luke Wrench and 24 Jon Palmer battle their way up the order, repeatedly changing position.  At the front, 122 Jesse Ashley had a good lead for much of the first half of the race but was reeled in by 302 Dale Moon.  Just as Moon hit the front, the race was suspended after 227 Stu Whitemore came to a halt on the start-finish line having had the throttle stick open.  Whitemore required attention, after which the restarted race saw a thrilling contest amongst Moon, Wrench and Palmer.  Having got ahead, Palmer clipped the kerb heading into turn one, and Wrench was able to relieve him of the lead before securing a first ever St Day win.  On a completely soaked track, the consolation brought a routine win for Marquand, after 222 Adrian Watts had led beyond the midway point.  The feature final was the race of the day, and fittingly so as the racing community remembered Autospeed’s long serving commentator, Bill Dalley.  Ahead of the race, a snippet of Bill’s commentary was aired over the PA system.  With spray kicking up from the rear wheels of every car, visibility was extremely difficult.  Ashley relieved 663 Bryan Lindsay of first place but 835 Matt Westaway then swept past the pair of them.  In turn, Westaway was being tailed by Marquand and 890 Paul Rice, whilst British Champion 542 Steven Gilbert strived to join the battle for the lead.  Marquand edged Westaway wide, to take over the in the closing stages, at which point spins for 468 Sam Weston, Watts and Moon caused the pits bend to become congested.  However, the lead group picked their way through without problems, and Marquand secured the win which netted him the Voice of Autospeed Trophy.  Gilbert was the runner-up and Wrench completed the top three.  Wrench went on to win again in the Grand National, as he led home Gilbert and Fisher.

Stock Rods

As the non-contact Stock Rods ended their first grading period, their entry was a little disappointing at just a dozen cars.  There was a flag to flag victory for 285 Martin Walker in the opening heat, whilst 441 Tom Major reeled in 32 James Horwell to grab second in the closing stages.  Walker looked set to win for a second time in the final, but despite having built up a commanding lead, he was caught napping right at the end, and English Champion 437 Lewis Trickey sped by for the win.  Walker was second and British Champion 909 Justin Washer completed the top three.  In the Grand National, Walker led, but spun out, which left Horwell to take up the running.  3 Matt Peters closed, but lost power in the late stages, leaving Horwell to score a clear win from Washer.

2 Litre National Bangers

A fine showing of 25 drivers served up plenty of action from the Bangers.  The day began with a pair of Old Skool races.  In the first of them, 861 Jean-Marc Penaluna led the early stages, but was spun aside by 376 Stephen Hill, whose own time at the front was short lived, as 133 Terry Hill, 743 Jake Bond and 452 Anthony Sleeman charged to the front.  Their battle was the feature of the closing stages, with Terry Hill securing the win.  In the second race, Bond and Terry Hill chased down 278 Shaun Brokenshire, with Bond the winner this time.  The National Bangers feature final was full of action, with crashing right from the start of the race as 687 Rhys Julian and 238 Jake Hughes formed their own archway of love on the exit of turn four.  Terry Hill thundered 76 Kaylee Spooner around the pits bend plating, and Stephen Hill ran aground on the start-finish line, where he sat for the rest of the race.  59 Mike Hamley then bundled 99 David Spooner into the infield marker tyres.  11 Grubby Frankson then blitzed Kaylee Spooner, which left him prone to a wicked shot himself from Terry Hill.  Brokenshire inherited the lead from Bond, but found his path blocked by the crashing in turn two, as Julian blasted Frankson, whilst Penaluna squeezed David Spooner into the heap.  Bond spun aside Penaluna, who was again seeking refuge on the infield, and David Spooner rattled into Frankson, which gave Terry Hill another target.  Having blasted Bam, Hill then picked up 316 Liam Hatch and dumped him into Spooner too.  Just five cars went the distance, as Sleeman took the honours from Hamley and Bond.  The day ended with just four cars for the Allcomers.  Terry Hill won from Sleeman, whilst Penaluna was very fortunate to pick up third place having repeatedly dived to the infield throughout the race, in stark contrast to the very game Hamley who played his part well in some entertainment.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
FCTW 18 222 502 227 228 nof
Heat 1 315 418 196 105 572 526 320 325 first 8 to final
Heat 2 560 24 302 895 890 122 184 126 first 8 to final
Consolation 689 835 542 468 115 768 222 18 663 460
Final 689 542 560 890 126 835 196 24 325 105
Grand National 560 542 315 302 418 115 126 835 325 320
Grade Awards W 572 Y 196 B 689
Crook's Giveaway 320
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 285 441 32 909 3 437 204 351 9 982
Final 437 285 909 9 14 351 32 204 3 441
Grand National 32 909 437 441 351 9 204 285 222 14
National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 133 452 743 333 278 76 238 47 161 383
Heat 2 743 133 278 376 47 59 238 908 383 161
Final 452 59 743 133 333 nof
All Comers 133 452 nof
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