Smeatharpe Stadium - Monday 27th July 2020

The BriSCA F2 stock car drivers reminded us what we had been missing since they last raced on 15 March with a thrilling night of racing, ably supported by the Saloon Stock Cars, which had returned to action a day earlier, and a large entry of Micro F2 stock cars.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

The dampness caused by afternoon showers had burned off before start time leaving dry conditions for a 33-car entry to contest two heats from which the top eight in each would qualify for the final. The drivers’ eagerness to resume racing got the better of them at the first time of asking, but white top 920 Wayne Wadge built a commanding advantage when heat one did get going, continuing to lead until beyond half-distance. He was eventually chased down and passed with two laps to go by 522 Chris Mikulla, who has had an even longer break from racing than most, having raced in only a few meetings last year. Track points leader 560 Luke Wrench followed Mikulla past Wadge, who held on for third, while 538 Chevy Mills shrugged off 542 Steven Gilbert’s last-bend lunge for fourth. A fast and aggressive 676 Neil Hooper charged through to win heat two from 783 James Rygor, who lost time passing erstwhile leader 91 Harrison Bryant. The 15-car consolation brought an easy win for 24 Jon Palmer from 418 Ben Borthwick who both retired from their heat with damage after tangling. Third was 979 Paul Moss, who missed his heat after suffering an engine failure in practice. The race was most notable for a rollover by 488 Liam Bentham after clipping a marker tyre.  The 25-car final (missing qualifier 663 Bryan Lindsay) also featured a false start as Bryant went way too early and was sent to the back of the yellow grade as a result. 689 Joe Marquand and 126 Jamie Avery hooked together into the back straight wall as that was happening, and both would be early casualties of the next attempt to start the race after thundering into the Honiton bend wall along with British champion Gilbert who was also out. Moss demoted Wadge from the lead on the next restart as Palmer dumped Wrench and Hooper into the pit bend wall, harming all of their chances. With barely a quarter of the race complete there was another stoppage after Harrison collected a spinner and was clobbered himself. Moss led the queue from pacy blue-tops 184 Aaron Vaight and Mikulla, with no stars higher than Palmer in eighth. The red-tops then all got further delayed by a backmarker on the restart and their own squabbling thereafter. Mikulla deposed Vaight and began to chase down Moss but he was only making marginal gains. Just within range for a last-bend lunge, Mikulla only made light contact and Moss held on to take his first final win at the track, from Mikulla, 315 Justin Fisher, Vaight, Palmer and Rygor. On his first outing of the season, 127 Matt Stoneman was seventh ahead of Borthwick, 38 Dave Polley and Mills.  “I’ve got to thank Team Gilbert for lending me an engine after mine went in practice,” said Moss, who will return to the blue grade for next weekend’s action.  Arguably the race of the night, the Grand National produced frantic bumper-work throughout the field and boiled down to a titanic scrap between Vaight, Wrench, Rygor and Mikulla with the lead constantly changing hands between the quartet. Wrench led into the final bend and somehow survived the inevitable onslaught from behind, with Mikulla, Rygor and Vaight crossing the line behind him virtually side by side but in that order.  It was an outstanding climax to a wonderful night of F2 action.

Saloon Stock Cars

Given the double-header fixture, paired with Sunday’s St Day session, the 14-car turnout was a little disappointing, but those present didn’t let that deter them from ramping up the action. 902 Junior Buster took heat one from a fast-closing 730 Deane Mayes, while national points leader 161 Billy Smith charged back to third after being delayed when 799 Joe Powell launched himself off a marker tyre. Mayes then won a hard-charging heat two, despatching Scottish visitor 14 Colin Savage into the wall on the final bend for victory. Smith was second having punted wide Junior Buster – who was third – earlier on, but lost out to Mayes in the process. Savage dragged his car home fourth but his night was over. The final was a quieter race won by Junior Buster, to complete a profitable couple of days for the youngster, after Mayes and Smith lost time battling each other. Smith was second after outfoxing Mayes on the last lap, while debutant 504 Danny Elbourn was fourth, a reward for the East Anglian Ministox graduate’s strong pace. A little further back, 558 Donald Stewart was spun on the final bend, but had the presence of mind to reverse over the line to secure eighth.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 522 560 920 538 542 835 196 689 first 8 to final
Heat 2 676 783 127 38 315 126 91 572 first 8 to final
Consolation 24 418 979 184 251 320 663 210 736 460
Final 979 522 315 184 24 783 127 418 38 538
Grand National 560 522 783 184 91 38 488 127 920 251
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 902 730 161 14 399 199 276 28 842 130
Heat 2 730 161 902 14 399 799 276 199 28 842
Final 902 161 730 504 276 199 28 558 399 842
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