Smeatharpe Stadium - Friday 4th June 2021

A Friday night affair at Smeatharpe Stadium brought a packed evening of racing. The start had to be delayed following traffic chaos across the region. BriSCA Formula Two Stock Cars were in action at the track for the fourth time in less than three weeks, this time as one of a number of meetings selected for a tyre trial, with evaluations being conducted ahead of the formula’s next tyre contract. They were joined by the Ministox, contesting their Devon Championship, plus a strong field of Back 2 Basics Bangers.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

After a hectic spell of racing, there was a pleasing 27-car turnout for a weekday meeting, six of whom had also raced at Skegness the night before. Split into two thirds for their three heats, the first brought a second win in as many meetings for recent convert from Saloon Stock Cars 27 Kieren Bradford. He did not take long to pass the white tops and take the lead but looked set to be challenged by the chasing 315 Justin Fisher until Fisher slowed to retirement. That left Bradford with a big lead over 560 Luke Wrench who was unable to close him down. 801 Jack Cave was third as, aside from Wrench, the other stars and superstars were battling each other too hard to make significant progress beyond the lower half of the top 10. Bradford hit the front even faster in heat two and was unchallenged on his way to another comfortable victory. 776 Dan Roots led the chase before being demoted by British Champion 542 Steven Gilbert on the final lap, while Fisher nicked fourth on the final bend after an entertaining scrap with 24 Jon Palmer and Cave. In-form driver 398 Ian England made it three yellow-top winners in heat three, relieving 605 Richard Andrews of the lead just before half-distance. Andrews eventually dropped to sixth as 325 Ryan Sheahan and Palmer completed the top three, while further back, 915 Jamie Jones and 736 Josh Weare thundered into the wall on the final bend. Twenty-three cars returned for the all-in final, with Bradford seeking a hat-trick. 762 Mike Cocks led the way after 194 Luke Johnson and 928 Lauren Stack tangled out, before 903 Ben Spence took a turn in front. But Bradford was on the move and hit the front within a few laps, with Cave following him through, and Fisher and Wrench completing the top four by half-distance. As Bradford extended his lead, Wrench worked his way into second with five laps to go. But once again, Wrench couldn’t make much impression on the youngster who cut through the traffic with apparent ease on his way to a first final win in the formula. Wrench was second, from Fisher, Palmer, Cave and Gilbert, before Bradford celebrated in style by testing the new tyre combination’s donut performing ability. “I saw Luke coming so I thought I best keep it nice and smooth,” said Bradford, adding of the tyres: “I’m out of control most of the time anyway so it made no difference to me!” Numbers were down a little for the Grand National, but they served up the best finish of the night. A flying 890 Paul Rice relieved Johnson of the lead before half-distance but he had Wrench and Palmer coming in his wake. Rice lost his advantage when yellow flags were called after the spun Andrews was collected by Sheahan, setting up a three-lap showdown. Wrench nudged Rice wide for the lead, and was followed through by Palmer who then demoted Wrench for the lead on the first bend of the final lap. Wrench wasn’t done though, and went in for the last-bend hit. He successfully shifted Palmer, but allowed Rice to slip inside and clinch the win by just a quarter of a second from Wrench. Fisher also managed to overhaul Palmer on the run to the flag, with Cave and 126 Jamie Avery completing the top six. Bradford managed tenth from the lap handicap.

Ministox

The 23-car Ministox entry included seven novices and would contest two from three heats to decide the grid for their Devon Championship final. Proceedings began with a presentation for 2020’s joint Autospeed Points Champions, 577 Harry Darby and the now-retired Sam Carter. Darby scythed through the field with ease to win heat one in dominant fashion as 917 Troy Hemmins and 907 Cadan Davies completed the top three. Heat two then went the way of 525 Harrison Stone who benefited when 870 Bertie Farrell pulled off after a stoppage. 382 Corey Hunt, who had spun out of contention in the first heat, passed 942 Leon Williams for second but was unable to close down Stone. Heat three was something of a repeat of the first race, as Darby made light work of the opposition for a comfortable win ahead of the impressive 617 Christina Sillifant, who held off 914 Callum Faulconbridge and 202 Cody Bradford for second. That left Darby and Sillifant on the front row of the grid for the Devon Championship final, with Davies, Faulconbridge, Stone and Bradford joining them in the front group of six. Thoughts that Darby would run away with it were temporarily put on hold as Sillifant stuck with the silver top in the early stages, followed by Stone, Faulconbridge and Davies. But the plucky Cornish girl’s challenge ended when she was unintentionally run wide by a backmarker, clobbering the wall exiting bend two and losing three-quarters of a lap as she regained her composure. That left Darby clear and he motored to victory from Hunt, who passed Stone for second on the final lap. Hemmins, Faulconbridge and 055 Olivia Herzig completed the top six, while Sillifant recovered to seventh.

Back 2 Basics Bangers

A packed field of 32 Back to Basics Bangers made for an action-packed opening heat, their race of the night. From spins and crashes to major pile-ups and temporary track-blockages, there was chaos whichever way you looked. But 113 Chris Jeanes avoided it all to take a relatively comfortable win from 743 Jake Bond and 311 Danny Allen. The first race incidents inevitably took their toll on numbers and made for a quieter heat two which was won by 211 Adrian Coles from the lively 562 Jayden James and 185 Richard Coaker. It was a similar story in the final, where 519 Jason Witney took an early lead and pulled out a sizeable advantage that couldn’t be overcome by his pursuers. They were headed by Coles, who completed a successful night in second, and James likewise in third. Bond was exceptional in the Destruction Derby.  Despite being forcefully clobbered by James, who was in turn walloped by 183 Dan Whitfield, Bond got going again to finish off the opposition, landing the final blows on 200 Jai Simmons and the Kangoo van of 160 Jamie Warr.

BriSCA F2s 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 27 560 801 325 988 194 126 542 890 127
Heat 2 27 542 776 315 24 801 210 398 194 736
Heat 3 398 325 24 560 126 605 783 210 184 127
Final 27 560 315 24 801 542 126 890 783 776
Grand National 890 560 315 24 801 126 194 184 320 27
Grade Awards W 194 Y 27 B 801 R 560
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 577 917 907 617 770 055 538 207 919 928
Heat 2 525 382 942 907 914 202 055 217 538 207
Heat 3 577 617 914 202 970 770 870 217 525 920
Devon 577 382 525 917 914 055 617 970 870 538
B2B Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 113 743 311 187 211 394 200 279 196 161
Heat 2 211 562 185 196 632 210 800 126 187 27
Final 519 211 562 743 218 27 183 196 200 394
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