Smeatharpe Stadium - Friday 24th September 2021

The third of a quartet of Friday evening race sessions once again provided an entertaining mix of contact and non-contact short oval racing at Smeatharpe.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

Whilst the 21 car entry was modest by the track’s usual standard, it was sufficient to proceed with the two from three heats format planned.  Heat one saw 232 Dan Abbott led until three laps to go when he relinquished the top spot to 783 James Rygor.  Heading into the last lap, Abbott still held onto the runner-up spot, but 890 Paul Rice went for the hit on the white top’s rear bumper between turns two and three.  However, in doing so Rice sent himself into a half spin, with fourth place 667 Tommy Farrell being collected in the process, allowing Abbott to cross the line in second, Rice recovering for tenth and the unlucky Farrell failing to finish.  528 Shane Hector in the Paul Moss car led the second heat which saw 736 Josh Weare and 35 Charlie Fisher momentarily tangle on the Honiton bend.  24 Jon Palmer passed Hector to take the lead and ultimately the win as behind both Rice and 522 Chris Mikulla fought their way past Hector on the last lap.  Yet, Hector responded and forced his way past Mikulla once again to take third at the flag.  Abbott took his maiden F2 win in heat three with a flag to flag victory, the gap between him and his nearest challengers helped by a tremendous battle between Rygor, Palmer, Farrell and 398 Ian England for third which put paid to their chances of catching the distant leader.  The Final saw a similarly enthralling battle between Rygor, Palmer and Farrell, this time joined by Rice.  Up at the front, Abbott was eventually overhauled by Fisher, but once Palmer cleared himself from the battle with his fellow high graders, he set about closing in on Fisher and as they both headed down the back straight for the final time, it was as clear to Fisher as it is to everyone else in the stadium that a challenge will come into the final bend.  Palmer’s move was textbook, for with controlled aggression he edged the young racer wide with sufficient force for Palmer to take the chequered flag ahead of Fisher and 844 Jack Prosser.  Abbott concluded a fine evening’s racing for the first year F2 racer by securing his second win in the Grand National.

Stock Rods

A fine entry of 22 cars saw a busy evening of racing for the drivers.  Heat one did not last terribly long for 841 Dave Hosking, as he was spun around following a robust challenge by 231 Simon Bassett.  A duel then ensued between Bassett and 76 Martin Larcombe, but behind them, there were ten drivers all battling it out for third to tenth spot in a frantic example of pack racing, the skill shown by European Champion 909 Justin Washer and 437 Lewis Trickey racing side by side for several laps was highly exciting to watch.  Larcombe took the victory, whilst Bassett crossed the line in second but found himself demoted two places for the incident on the opening lap.  Heat two began with a disaster for 862 Darryl Cock as he had a drive shaft problem, ground to a halt and was inadvertently upended by 77 Tom Larcombe.  A full re-run was required, and 933 Darren Waters led the field off on the resumption.  Waters proceeded to stay a long way clear, and he recorded a comfortable win.  Behind him, there was an enthralling battle for second between Washer, National and English Champion 944 Callum Hosie and 762 Charlie Edwards which saw Washer move from fourth to second in one dramatic move on the Honiton bend.  The third heat saw Waters spin 913 Ashley Bates out of the lead, and that ultimately cost Waters, as he was docked in the final analysis, which resulted in sees him lose the race win with 728 Kris Woods inheriting the win in his trusty Starlet.  The Final required a complete re-run after Waters rolled in spectacular fashion at the end of the back straight.  Bates swiftly grabbed the lead when the race got underway, and whilst he was put under significant pressure from Martin Larcombe over the final quarter of the race, he held on for the win – his maiden Stock Rods victory.  Larcombe was the runner-up, with Hosking finishing in third as the lower graders dominated proceedings.  Given the strong numbers in attendance, the drivers were rewarded with an additional Grand National race which saw the lower grades once again to the fore, Larcombe heading home Hosking and 286 Martin Walker Jnr to conclude an entertaining evening’s racing for the formula.

Banger Vans

Having added the fixture as a result of apparent driver demand it was therefore disappointing that there was just a meagre three Van entry for this one.  The trio of drivers in attendance did provide plenty of smiles around the raceway.  The opener saw 74 Adam Hitchcock run away at the front of the field.  He took the chequered and then decided to set about the back marking 168 Adam Welsman, but in doing so all he managed to do was roll himself spectacularly on his side.  Meanwhile, at the other end of the track 954 Jamie Beere’s van which had been ailing during the race decided to self-destruct, the engine belching an impressive cloud of smoke around the pits bend.  With Beere’s engine damage terminal and Hitchcock’s van now also struggling after its earlier roll, Welsman proceeded to career into the rear of Hitchcock’s van on both the home and back straight, Hitchcock also managing a retaliatory hit on the red minibus of Welsman.  With Welsman the last to keep moving, he was declared the winner as the strains of ‘2 Become 1’ by the Spice Girls aired over the PA which signalled that with just one van still running the evening’s racing from the vans was brought to an early conclusion.

BriSCA F2s 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 783 232 522 988 528 526 33 976 194 890
Heat 2 24 890 528 522 988 844 464 398 605 736
Heat3 232 976 667 24 783 35 844 526 605 33
Final 24 35 844 783 522 988 976 33 464 398
Grand National 232 783 988 35 667 890 24 522 33 976
Grade Awards: W:232 Y:844 B:988
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 76 286 728 231 285 909 9 151 437 77
Heat 2 933 909 944 762 14 426 285 32 227 313
Heat 3 728 286 933 944 426 32 151 841 101 862
Final 913 76 841 437 909 944 227 14 32 286
Grand National 76 841 286 728 426 944 437 14 32 285
Banger Vans 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Warm Up 74 168 954 nof
Allcomers 168 nof
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