Smeatharpe Stadium - Monday 26th July 2021

Regular Monday night racing during the school holidays commenced with action from the BriSCA Formula Two Stock Cars in their first session at Smeatharpe this month, Saloon Stock Cars in the second leg of back-to-back meetings in Devon and Cornwall, and 2-Litre Bangers in a Supreme Championship qualifying round.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

A 30-car entry included a debut for former Stock Rod star 33 Matt Peters plus the first opportunity to race as superstars on home territory for 27 Kieren Bradford and 667 Tommy Farrell. Proceedings commenced with an appreciation and applause for two recently departed stars of yesteryear, 1985 British champion Nick Lawrence (ex-561) and George Beckham (ex-621), who finished third in the 1986 World Final. Heat one was led by 928 Lauren Stack until five laps to go when the rapid 542 Steven Gilbert and 418 Ben Borthwick moved in front. Borthwick tracked rival Gilbert throughout but wasn’t quite close enough to mount a last-bend challenge, so Gilbert won from Borthwick and 127 Matt Stoneman. 325 Ryan Sheahan and 35 Charlie Fisher chased down early leader 605 Richard Andrews to take up the running in heat two, but the pair were reeled in by 890 Paul Rice in the closing stages. Rice used the bumper to pass both and take the win, while Fisher successfully shifted Sheahan for second on the final bend. The consolation featured all three superstars present after a black cross for starting out of position meant Farrell just missed out on the top eight, Bradford crashed out with 438 Mike Rice, and 24 Jon Palmer retired with mechanical trouble while well placed in their heats. The big lead Stack had built in the consolation was wiped out when yellow flags were called to recover 529 Luke Trewin who had gone in hard on the pit bend. She was shuffled back on the resumption but did still qualify for the final for the first time in her fledgling career, as Palmer and Bradford made light work of carving through to first and second, and a big tangle with five laps to go mixed up the order in the rest of the top 10. The 26-car final began with a bang when Mike Rice rode over 320 Matt Hatch and crashed heavily into the bend four wall almost roof first. After taking a couple of minutes to catch his breath, Rice was thankfully able to exit his car unaided. Upon the resumption – led away by Stack from Andrews – 948 John Brereton, Paul Rice and 895 Ben Goddard piled into the Honiton bend wall, swiftly followed by Gilbert and 315 Justin Fisher, which ended the latter pair’s race. Out front, 988 Charlie Lobb took up the running, but Palmer was flying through the field and had risen to second by half-distance. He shifted Lobb wide entering the pit bend with seven laps to go before motoring to a comfortable victory. Lobb suffered diff problems and he and third-placed Charlie Fisher got shuffled back in the closing stages as the other stars – headed by Borthwick and Stoneman – made their presence felt. With Stoneman secure in second, Borthwick sent third-placed Sheahan wide on the final bend, which allowed Bradford to nip past both for third. Speaking to commentator Alan McLachlan after the race, in-form Palmer played down his chances for the World Championship later this year, saying he needs to find more pace in his car. He noted that shifting most of the other red-tops in one move early on was key to winning this race, adding: “Trying to catch little Charlie Lobb, that was hard work!” The Grand National was led to beyond half-distance by Andrews before Stoneman came through to win from Charlie Fisher and 903 Ben Spence, while Palmer showed plenty of pace on his way to sixth from the lap handicap without the aid of a stoppage.

Saloon Stock Cars

While a few late withdrawals meant it could have been higher, a 15-car turnout of Saloons was encouraging given that there were no genuine visitors. Their first heat exploded into life in the second half as 677 Warren Darby, on his last appearance from the Blue grade, challenged 281 Marc Chenery for the lead having just passed 28 Ian Govier. Govier blasted the youngster into the wall, then crashed into the parked car of 276 Ben King half a lap later. That gave Darby the chance to catch Govier and exact revenge, thundering him into the pit wall. The fired-up Darby was then a man on a mission, making full use of the bumper as he recovered to sixth with a last-bend lunge on 199 Phil Powell. The earlier shenanigans had allowed 277 Jack Grandon to hit the front and he won from 364 Nathan Olden and Chenery. An early pit-bend pile-up delayed several in heat two and allowed 33 Pete Hollett to lead, with Grandon streaking through to second and 902 Junior Buster third. Hollett’s hopes of a win were dashed by an unhelpful Govier as he tried to lap the veteran, allowing Grandon to catch and pass for his second win of the day. Hollett held on to second from Junior Buster, while Powell got the best of an almighty last-bend squabble in the lower half of the top 10. Grandon’s hopes of a hat-trick were thwarted when Powell immediately spun him at the start of the final. Instead, Chenery streaked clear from the front of the white grade and could not be caught as he secured his first win in the formula. Darby returned to form with second and 489 Wayne Jarvis completed the top three, as Grandon pulled off after another spin.

2-Litre Bangers

Some late entries swelled the numbers to a reasonable 20 cars. While mostly Mondeo-mounted, 246 Ryan Sparks provided rear-wheel-drive interest in a BMW. Two missed the first heat which, run to limited-contact rules, was a very quiet race won by 190 Steve Bailey from 743 Jake Bond and 113 Chris Jeanes. Heat two was similar, Bond motoring to victory from Jeanes and 838 Jamie Peters after Bailey had sent 907 Cameron Bradford spinning into the infield marker tyres. While the final was run to full National Banger rules, it seemed the drivers had forgotten in what was largely another quiet race. Peters passed 278 Shaun Brokenshire for the lead, and was followed through by Bailey, who then nudged his DWO colleague wide to hit the front. Bond meanwhile had risen to third, and having passed Peters for second, lined up Bailey for a last-bend attack. He was successful, getting the verdict in what was almost a photo finish. It appeared to have riled Bailey who rewarded Bond for his efforts with a sideswipe down the straight. Peters completed the top three. Action was again at a premium in the Allcomers, but plenty of bumperwork did see the order shuffled several times, from which Sparks emerged as the winner.

BriSCA F2s 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 542 418 127 828 895 53 988 232 8 to final
Heat 2 890 35 325 315 184 605 903 194 8 to final
Consolation 24 27 398 438 667 928 320 446 948 207
Final 24 127 27 418 35 828 325 667 184 605
Grand National 127 35 903 890 605 24 315 27 184 667
Grade Awards W 605 Y35 B 895
Saloons Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 277 364 281 902 489 677 199 319 33 152
Heat 2 277 33 902 489 444 677 199 281 28 364
Final 281 677 489 33 276 902 444 199 319 152
2L National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 190 743 113 239 133 907 929 246 278 333
Heat 2 743 113 838 190 929 133 239 246 278 280
Final 743 190 838 239 133 278 907 714 nof
Allcomers 246 190 239 133 278 714 907 838 nof
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