Smeatharpe Stadium - Friday 1st October 2021

The Autumn season of Friday night sessions at Smeatharpe drew to a close, with Bangers, Ministox and Special Rods sharing the bill.

Special Rods

The season’s second guest appearance from the Special Rods produced a nine-car entry, with some of the most exciting racing yet seen from the formula at Smeatharpe.  38 Kev Styles led off the opening heat, whilst 61 Beth Stevenson was an early spinner in the west bend.  Far from hindering her progress, the spin seemed to galvanise her efforts, and she stormed back into contention.  701 Ben Brice climbed up the order, but in his quest to overhaul 445 Nik Loader, the pair tangled.  Brice spun, Loader was delayed, and Stevenson shot into second before completing a textbook pass around the outside of Styles to score a superb victory.  In heat two, Stevenson got to the front much more swiftly, and despite a late charge from 278 Andrew Bressington and 303 Jason Oliver, she ran out a distant winner.  Styles made much of the running in the final, but this time Brice was able to sweep from the star grade to the front.  Loader was the runner-up and Oliver completed the top three.

Ministox

Despite a shortfall in numbers, the Ministox produced some outstanding racing.  Heat one was a stop-start affair, as 567 Mia Batten and 922 Kaydi Butcher tangled, whilst there were spins for 617 Christina Sillifant and track debutant 368 Emily Santry.  As the raced moved towards the closing stages, 382 Corey Hunt looked in control, but 290 Alfie Tomkins and 942 Leon Williams tripped over one another and out came the yellow flags again.  Hunt sped to victory on the restart and from the battle behind him, 202 Cody Bradford edged out Williams and 984 Fin Carter.  Tomkins got into the lead in heat two, but when Butcher spun in the west bend and was collected by 242 Amy Williams, the leaders were delayed.  Once they sorted themselves out, Bradford had grabbed the lead, but he was to fall foul of backmarker Amy Williams on the last lap.  As she clipped him, Bradford momentarily got out of shape, and Tomkins sped past to grab the win, with Hunt in third.  The Ministox final, for the Club 21 Trophy, was arguably the race of the night.  As the race developed, Hunt, Tomkins and Bradford disputed the lead, but that further opened the door for Sillifant and Leon Williams to join them.  Indeed, Sillifant momentarily took the lead, but as she tangled with Bradford, she was spun around on the home straight and fell back down the order.  As Hunt, Tomkins and Bradford resumed their battle, they left the door open for Williams, and he became yet another race leader, just as the race moved into the final lap.  However, as the lead quartet stormed into the west bend, it was Williams who was out of luck.  He spun, Bradford was also held up briefly, and Tomkins shot by to win, from Hunt and 207 Alfie Flecken, with Sillifant brilliantly working her way back up to fourth.

Bangers

The Bangers ran to a two from three format, with the first heat featuring a wayward and chaotic showing from 89 James Tuohey, who was involved in a number of spins and incidents.  621 Scott Kendall charged to the front, but when he was held up by backmarker Tuohey, 929 Sam Baker pounced to grab the win late on.  Heat two looked to be going the way of 291 Melvin Jones, who had led from the start, but he was reeled in and passed on the very last lap by 23 Barry Staples.  There was even stronger disappointment for 455 Shane Kennard in heat two.  He led to the last lap, but when backmarkers tangled in front of him, not only was he delayed, but he went no further in the race.  595 Ben Wall benefitted, as he inherited the lead and took the win.  Excitement got the better of the white graders at the start of the Devon Championship, as they got in a frightful muddle in the pits bend, although 33 Nathan Boswarthick emerged in the lead.  604 Josh Bridger came to a halt on the start/finish line, which made for some close calls over the next few laps.  Having edged out Jones early on, Boswarthick succumbed to a revenge attack by Jones that saw them clash in the pits bend at the end of lap four.  374 Rich Kelly duly assumed the lead, but he was hunted down by fellow Cornish racer Kendall, and four laps from home it was Kendall who nipped ahead.  Kendall completed an emphatic win to clinch the title, Kelly was second and Staples rounded out the top three.  The Allcomers concluded the night, and Staples scored a second win, as he reeled in long time leader 298 Dave Greening.

Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 929 621 23 303 714 2 171 6 291 187
Heat 2 23 291 298 455 991 374 33 331 296 891
Heat 3 595 621 33 206 891 296 991 374 6 171
Devon 621 374 23 2 31 206 714 33 171 6
Allcomers 23 2 298 171 187 296 206 144 6 303
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 382 202 942 984 207 617 914 567 992 242
Heat 2 290 202 382 942 617 914 984 217 368 242
Final 290 382 207 617 202 217 919 942 567 992
Special Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 61 278 38 445 303 60 26 66 701 nof
Heat 2 61 278 303 66 701 38 60 445 26 nof
Final 701 445 303 60 38 26 61 66 nof
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