United Downs Raceway - Easter Sunday 17th April 2022

A large Bank Holiday crowd were on hand to enjoy an action-packed afternoon’s racing across the four formulas on the bill, the meeting commencing with the presentations of the 2021 Track Championship awards to 677 Warren Darby in the Saloon Stock Cars and 2 Harrison Staples in the Bangers.

Saloon Stock Cars

With a couple missing, 14 cars gridded for heat one, which was to prove their quietest race of the afternoon.  177 Chris Masters, hot on the heels of his double-win success on Good Friday, led the field off as behind 97 Jon Kingwell was rattled round turns three and four.  319 Richard Regan took over at the front and there he remained until the chequered flag.  799 Joseph Powell and 252 Mark Tatterton gridded alongside the others in the second race of the afternoon to form a 16-car grid in heat two.  Masters again led the field off, as Kingwell again found himself clashing off the plating, this time alongside Tatterton.  In a repeat of the opening race, Regan moved through into the lead once again, but 902 Buster Compton Sage had come through from the back of the field to third and looked to be the major threat.  27 Jason Kingwell’s eventful weekend’s racing continued as he was sent heavily into the pit bend plating by 28 Ian Govier, the force taking Govier in as well and resulted in his race coming to an end as Kingwell continued.  His brother, Jon was also showing battle scars as his bonnet started to come adrift.  Up front, Buster Junior’s progress had stalled which allowed Regan to take a relatively comfortable run to the flag.  The Final for the Western Championship saw the field drop to just the 11 starters.  The earlier rain shower had stopped, yet the track was still very greasy as Buster Jnr found out, almost spinning around all on his own as he applied power onto the back straight, putting him out of contention in the process.  Regan turned Jason Kingwell around on the pit bend to move into top spot, but behind it was the veteran racer 199 Phil Powell on the march and he passed up the inside of Regan for the lead with Regan then facing pressure from 84 Carl Boswell who moved through into second.  Jason Kingwell was sent into a spin by Buster Jnr as Regan faced a late charge by 672 Simon Paris in the battle for third.  However, Paris a lap from home got it all wrong on the entry of the home straight and spun towards the infield as he mounted his challenge on Regan.  Powell took victory by an impressive margin to finally put his name on the Western Championship, as Boswell and Regan completed the top three.

ORCi Stock Rods

An excellent 27 cars arrived as their quest to secure a qualifying spot on the World Final grid in August continued.  A two from three format was deployed with 18 cars gridding for heat one although 231 Simon Bassett did not take the green having failed to fully resolve the issues that saw him grind to a smoky halt in pre-meeting practice.  220 Richard Short led until just before half distance when fellow novice grader 31 Adam McAleer edged into top spot as Short got out of shape.  A seven-way battle for fifth place demonstrated the competitiveness of the racing, but at the front 77 Tom Larcombe had homed in on the rear bumper of the race leader with just two laps to go.  Despite the pressure being applied, McAleer held on for victory.  The second heat saw McAleer once again at the front, but the yellow flags were swiftly deployed after 916 Luke Thomas blew his engine on the back straight, the resultant oil slick catching the following pack out with 351 Rhys Langdown, 841 Dave Hosking, 909 Justen Washer and 151 Simon Vincent all involved as they careered helplessly into the turnstile bend fence.  Vincent in particular came off the worse for wear requiring help from the medic team to exit from the car.  On the resumption McAleer drifted out wide allowing 275 Jeremy Hatch to move up the inside and into the lead.  He was then joined by 14 Ross Montgomery who then glued himself to the rear end of the leader.  Try as he might he was unable to find a way past and it was Hatch who took a hard fought victory.  The third and final heat was an ill-tempered affair.  The early stages saw 441 Tom Major being sent spinning onto the home straight infield in what appeared to be a case of too many cars fighting over the same piece of tarmac.  At the front Short led by the length of a straight.  Some way behind him, eight drivers were battling for fourth however one of them, 944 Callum Hosie, was then picked up by the backmarking Major, who had loitered with intent after rejoining following his spin.  Major then tucked in behind Hosie and drilled him heavily into the pit bend plating.  Major was clearly attributing the earlier spin to Hosie and in this way showed his apparent displeasure, whilst booking his exit from the formula.  This ended Hosie’s race whilst Major retired before he was shown the waiting disqualification flag.  Short maintained his healthy lead to the flag for a first ever win.  The Final featured 21 runners although Hatch sadly had to be pushed off the grid before the green flag fell.  The race wasn’t long underway when Washer expired on turn number four, as Short and 982 Sophie Daughtrey battled for the lead.  555 Greg Radmore went spinning out on the back straight as Bassett moved through into the lead.  Hosie, who had effected repairs in the pits, battled to keep control of his ill-handling car on the home straight, whilst 913 Ashley Bates continued to pursue the leader.  In the closing laps Basset gained a little more breathing space.  285 Martin Walker was spun around on the inside of turn four in the closing stages, reversing out into the path of Daughtrey as Bassett reeled off the remaining laps to take an emotional and poignant victory given the recent death of his father Nigel, himself a former Stock Rod racer of note, and whose funeral during the week had seen a large attendance from his many friends in the oval racing community.  Bates and Tom Larcombe completed the top three.

ORCi Ministox

Heat one featured all 20 drivers on the grid, and is so often the case, they commenced their afternoon’s racing in a no holds barred fashion that led to very much a stop-start affair.  The first yellow flag was called for 922 Kaydi Butcher who was left with steering issues.  966 James Payne led the field off on the restart but a big heap of cars sped into the pit bend with cars going in all directions, including Payne who retired against the pit gate.  770 Austin Farrell then bunny hopped in spectacular fashion around turn two, glancing off of Payne and ending up facing the wrong direction on the back straight with another batch of yellow flags required.  On the resumption 290 Alfie Tomkins moved through into the lead as 617 Christina Sillifant grabbed second.  954 Bobbie Beere-Rees battled hard to retain his third place, turning 170 Austin King around to regain his spot until he then tangled with the backmarking 742 Kacey Williams.  Tomkins duly sealed the win.  The second heat took place on a wet track which, if anything, led to a calmer race given the lower race speeds.  A race suspension was required however after 911 Alex Thomas was spun on the back straight, and then collected by 913 Ben Faulconbridge.  Once the race got back underway 202 Cody Bradford and Tomkins moved through into the top two spots.  Bradford went on to win and 917 Troy Hemmins forced Tomkins out wide on the final bend for second with Beere-Rees nipping through for third.  The Final is a thrilling affair as Beere-Rees charged into an early lead and 368 Emily Santry into second.  They were passed however by both Tomkins and 236 Alfie Brimble, who then applied the bumper to Tomkins and slipped up the inside.  With Brimble briefly into first place on the back straight, Tomkins responded and sent him into a half spin.  However, this saw Tomkins delayed which allowed Beere-Rees to dive up the inside of both of them and back into the lead.  By the time Tomkins and Brimble recovered, Beere-Rees was away and gone, driving a composed last lap to take a well earned victory.  Tomkins was second and Santry’s long trip west was rewarded with a third place finish.

Bangers

An entry just shy of 40 cars raced in two out of three heats.  The opener was relatively tame.  759 Taylor Whitford led the opening half of the race only to be sent spinning out by 726 Lewis Senford.  23 Barry Staples was quickly through the field to secure the win.  Senford led heat two, whilst 274 Dillon Smith was spun around by Cornish Champion 238 Jake Hughes on the home straight, which saw Hughes collide with the infield marker tyres.  206 Matt Brewer hits the front and takes the chequered flag, whilst 776 Terry Senford’s brutal follow-in of 696 Ashley Rawlings ended the former’s involvement.  At the start of the third heat, 959 Justin Payne went careering at speed into the turn one plating.  354 Simon Philips in a rather battered and twisted Citroen Picasso led the restart, as Brewer shoved 244 Aaron Warren out wide.  Hughes managed to force his way past Brewer to momentarily take the lead, but Brewer fought back to secure his second win.  In the early stages of the final 233 Liam Parkin and 155 Connor Burtonwood came to a crunching halt together.  Lewis Senford took an early lead amidst a large pile up on the turnstile bend.   Meanwhile Parkin and Burtonwood edged their way to the end of the back straight, whilst Staples nipped past Senford for the lead.  Having freed himself from Burtonwood, Parkin came to a halt on the entry to the home straight.  Burtonwood then became wedged to his inside, as a radiator burst into a large cloud of steam, as 302 Dale Moon joined them.  Staples won to land the Taiya Densham shield, from Senford and 891 Martyn Cleave.  Despite only four starters for the Destruction Derby, it was still a spectacular affair.  Phillips, in his now disintegrating Picasso, set about taking out 696 Ashley Rawlings, but having attacked 53 Chris James, Phillips experienced a flash fire which engulfed the front of the car.  As the race marshals quickly arrived on the scene to extinguish the flames, Philips calmly exited the car waving to the relieved crowd who cheered his efforts.  With no other cars mobile, James was duly declared the winner.

Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 319 33 177 341 672 677 364 84 28 399
Heat 2 319 902 677 33 341 84 399 364 199 27
Final 199 84 319 399 341 902 33 364 672 677
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 31 77 913 944 220 285 275 14 151 728
Heat 2 275 32 31 14 231 54 982 862 299 nof
Heat 3 220 77 351 913 862 32 909 9 285 982
Final 231 913 77 76 220 351 9 14 944 32
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 290 617 207 202 970 907 870 917 911 913
Heat 2 202 917 954 870 290 368 928 617 902 236
Final 954 290 368 917 617 202 907 236 970 870
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 23 60 44 244 786 836 59 386 296 556
Heat 2 206 726 23 556 621 33 296 836 155 302
Heat 3 206 238 2 290 786 114 44 759 53 NOF
Final 23 726 891 621 2 238 59 274 296 786
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