Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 14th October 2018

What was due to be a double header to round out the main season at Smeatharpe Stadium ended up being just the Sunday only, with the Saturday programme of Unlimited National Banger Championship of the World, BriSCA F2 Stock Cars and ORCi Ministox postponed on the Wednesday ahead of the event with what was then a terrible weather forecast.  Running in what had been forecast would have been near impossible.  In the end, the worst of what was dubbed “Storm Callum” came on Friday and the heavy rain due on Saturday evening came in the early hours of Sunday and into the day that dawned.  The irony and the best laid plans.  But, Sunday went ahead with the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars having what is traditionally the last meeting of the year at Smeatharpe with the Ladies Trophy, the Back 2 Basic Bangers had the Dave Weare Trophy, the ORCi Stock Rods West of England Championship and there was also racing from the 7-11-year olds in the BriSCA Micro Stock Cars.  Thankfully the weather improved at the afternoon went on and although a cold Autumn afternoon and the second part of the meeting was on a dry track surface.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

Once again there was a good entry of BriSCA F2s, over double that of other tarmac entries in the country over the weekend and largely southwest based showing that the strength is still there in what many regard as the heartland for the formula.  The heats went to 544 James Rogers and 689 Joe Marquand who just held off a last bend challenge from 302 Dale Moon.  24 Jon Palmer, notably under graded at yellow, won the consolation.  With the track surface now dry for the Final, and a full 30 car grid there was great anticipation as Martin Farrell and grandsons paraded the Ladies Trophy through line up as part of the customary build-up.  However, not unexpectedly the first attempt at the race did not go far with several white and yellow grade drivers tripping over each other to necessitate a red flag and complete re-run.  The second attempt was only a lap old when similarly, there was another pile up, this time at the other end of the track and with an order now set it remained under yellow flag with 613 Ian Serpell leading.  He continued to do so as the race settled down at the re-start, tracked by Palmer until there was another caution period, this time with 162 Richard Swales stranded across the track.  Serpell lost out to Palmer at the re-start who continued to lead and quickly found himself having to deal with back marking traffic. This allowed 315 Justin Fisher, 522 Chris Mikulla and 127 Matt Stoneman to look likely to challenge him but they too encountered the same traffic.  All of this left the gap ebbing and flowing but never close enough and it was Palmer’s victory, to mean a return to the blue grade.  As is the tradition for this race he received a champagne shower from the Farrell family, which left him drenched in bubbly.  Mikulla made second and Stoneman third.  The Grand National, for the Trackscene Trophy once again featured a busy track and it looked like 464 Matt Linfield was headed for a clear win.  However, a yellow flag in the closing stages with 111 Lewis Geach in trouble brought all the gaps down and placed Stoneman in a position to challenge Linfield’s lead.  It came down to a “cat and mouse” on the last lap between the two and just as it looked like Stoneman had done enough, Linfield came back with a hit on the exit of turn four to spin him to the centre and take the victory.  To compound Stoneman’s woes his spinning car was then collected by 528 Shane Hector.  A spectacular end to yet another great showing from the F2s at Smeatharpe.

Stock Rods

For the ORCi Stock Rods it was their first Smeatharpe appearance since July and their biggest domestic date of the Autospeed season with the West Of England title which meant that the heats determined the grid line-up for the feature race.   Despite the wet track conditions of heat one, 3 Matt Peters and 9 Chris Drake made the moves from towards the rear of the grid to the front to be first and second.  With the track rapidly drying for heat two it caught a few out in incidents, first 34 Glen Sanders who collected the already crashed cars of 72 Marc Soby and 222 Mike Belcher.  Notably, 105 Ross Rowe was also caught out as he was challenging for the lead and then Peters which left his car stranded across the track and required a yellow flag.  As this was called race leaders 25 Luke Plain and 92 Adam Daniels clashed, which resulted in the former going out with a puncture.  Daniels held on to win at the re-start.  Two second places placed Drake on pole position for the Final but he lost out to Daniels at the green flag after missing a gear change at the start.  From then on, with the field appearing to find no outside line it was 20 laps of the same scene; Daniels leading home Drake and 151 Simon Vincent for the title.

Back 2 Basics Bangers (unders)

The switch to Back 2 Basics Bangers (unders) for the Dave Weare Trophy day proved a popular one with just shy of 40 cars present with a varied mix of cars and drivers from throughout the region, many with the sense of fun bringing back the true essence of Banger racing including 938 Dan Rice circulating with a CD of “Madness” at high volume booming out of the car stereo!  Their feature race was the first for them and with plenty finding themselves in various forms of disarray it was 247 Richard Sparks who took the chequered flag by a good margin, to win the magnificent tankard replica trophy.  382 Danny Hunt and 992 crashed across the line for second and third.  The first Allcomers race saw further action, including a stoppage for 269 Jo Brooks on fire and then another after Sparks waded in on 28 Ian Govier, with the Saloon Stock Car driver needing attention.  The restarted race was won by 27 Shaun ‘Tiny’ Ross.  The second Allcomers significantly saw 154 Barry Pike, Dave’s long-time team mate take the win.  A Pairs Race was always Dave’s favourite event and therefore included as part of the programme.  There were more takers and more action this year too and it was Pike and 79 Brian Edmond, who were the only ones to complete the full number of laps in the race to win.  Only one other pair, 912 Simon Rees and 333 Craig Partridge were still left running at the end too.  The lively pairs race did decimate the number of cars for the destruction derby too and it was a short and sharp one won by 677 Warren Darby.  Warren had opened the meeting parading his recently won Ministox British Championship trophy and had signed off in junior racing the previous evening at Skegness with a Final win, so this rounded out quite a unique weekend on the occasion of his sixteenth birthday.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 544 111 828 418 944 398 976 613 639 468
Heat 2 689 302 528 127 667 890 325 315 517 760
Consolation 24 522 464 162 53 460 438 663 979 241
Ladies Trophy Final 24 522 127 315 418 302 111 689 460 464
Trackscene Trophy 464 468 315 24 544 325 398 517 528 613
Grade Awards W 544 Y 24 B 418 R 522
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 3 9 14 972 92 222 151 105 776 41
Heat 2 92 9 151 776 206 426 705 14 41 972
West of England 92 9 151 3 14 776 426 105 705 41
Back 2 Basic Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Final 247 382 992 278 154 988 912 372 272 335
Allcomers 1 27 154 988 912 46 281 491 333 938 335
Allcomers 2 154 382 938 27 881 912 46 298 787 333
Chained Pairs 154/79
DD 677
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