Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 1st November 2020

On a grey and damp afternoon the 2020 racing season was once again brought to a halt due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, as the seventeenth Smeatharpe meeting since the previous restrictions were lifted took place, adding to the memorable moments that can reflected upon in the weeks ahead.

Stock Rods

A season’s best entry of 23 Stock Rods gathered to contest the inaugural Ron Trickey Trophy, the magnificent silver cup on offer to the winner alongside the West of England Championship.  A plethora of sponsors came forward to support the event and each of the drivers were presented with a flagon of cider as they came round on their Grand Parade pre meeting.  The grid warranted being split into three groups with each driver racing in two heats.  Each of the heats ran to a closed grid, with grid positions reversed for the drivers’ second heat race.  Heat one was contested in the driest conditions of the afternoon.  Eventual race winner 207 Jack Grandon (returning back to the formula he left to commence his Saloon Stock Car career), found how treacherously greasy the outside line was before eventually powering his way through to victory.  The rain had begun to fall by heat two which appeared to play into the hands of 14 Ross Montgomery and his trusty Nova eventually overhauling 441 Tom Major as behind 909 Justin Washer moved up to second which he narrowly held onto despite losing drive as raced to the finish line.  The third heat saw outgoing points champion 3 Matt Peters race to the front despite starting from the rear of the grid.  944 Callum Hosie, 437 Lewis Trickey, 9 Chris Drake and Montgomery were embroiled in some fierce battles further back, Hosie eventually breaking free in second as Trickey looked first to the outside line and then to the inside as he found a way through into third.  On the last lap 770 Archie Farrell spun to the infield as his front-right wheel broke free and rolled safely through the gap in the infield armco.  The Final grid saw Peters and Montgomery secure the front row based on their earlier efforts and Peters made the perfect start building up an immediate lead.  A flag to flag win would suggest a relatively easy drive for Peters but he showed great skill and determination as he lapped the field up to fifth place, in doing so encountering a number of backmarkers embroiled in their own battle including Washer and 44 Andrew Worthington who were enjoying a rather robust squabble for the minor placings.  Behind Peters a great race developed between Hosie and Trickey, Hosie eventually breaking free in second with the English and 2020 Points Champion coming home third.

2 Litre National Bangers

The Teamarama title returned for the first time since 2012 raising a slightly disappointing 24 car entry spread across seven teams.  The first of two heats run to Old Skool rules saw the FWJ team targeted with 264 Shane Jennings (FWJ) sent into the pit bend plating.  He was joined by teammate 186 Lewis Fasey (FWJ) who found the passenger side of his car pummelled by 838 Jamie Peters (DWO).  The race was suspended to allow Jennings out of his car and on the restart 929 Sam Baker (Idiots) and 133 Terry Hill (Hillbillys) swapped places at the front of the field, Hill eventually taking the win.  Heat two was a quiet affair, 239 Steve Carter (DWO) winning.  527 Will Darch (Team Grizzle) was sent spinning into the pit gate at the start of heat three which then developed into a straightforward race with 114 Liam Lake (TPT) being shadowed home by teammate 122 Mark Cooper Jnr (TPT).  The fourth and final points-scoring heat saw Carter (DWO) again hit the front, but behind him 278 Shaun Brokenshire (Idiots), Baker (Idiots) and 907 Cameron Bradford (Idiots) made sure that they took victory in the overall points table.  Slightly surprisingly but very positively, eight drivers returned for the DD to bring the curtain down on the 2020 season in fine style.  Both Brokenshire and teammate 246 Ryan Sparks found themselves blitzed on the pit bend, Brokenshire managing to carry on with a severely shortened car.  He was eventually done for by Lake as he and Cooper set about one another.  Eventually Cooper and Carter were the final two cars running and both met heavily head-on on the Honiton bend, Cooper limping round to the back straight where he was eventually brought to a halt by two further attacks from Carter to end an entertaining and brutal final event.

Ministox

Another excellent field of Ministox brought their season to an exciting finale as both the destiny of the Track Championship and Autospeed Points Championship were determined.  The opening heat saw the lower graders to the fore with 525 Harry Stone taking an excellent win, once he had got the better of 917 Troy Hemmins.  Behind, 654 Harley Soper swapped bumper blows with Autospeed Points challengers 985 Sam Carter and 577 Harry Darby, Soper’s sixth place finish enough to secure him the Track Championship, as Carter led Darby home in fourth and fifth to take a single point advantage in the chase for the silver roof.  Heat two saw the yellow graders all out of shape heading into the first bend with a complete restart called for as 617 Christina Sillifant landed heavily in the plating.  On the restart Darby found himself sent wide on the Honiton bend, running into 055 Olivia Herzig who had come to a temporary halt.  Darby was delayed long enough to allow Carter past, as the race was brought under yellow flag conditions with Stone and Herzig both stranded nose-first towards the back straight fence.  There were two aborted restart attempts as the youngsters showed an eagerness to get the race back underway which it eventually did at the third time of asking.  Darby again encountered trouble on the Honiton bend, this time from the front bumper of 566 James Willis, and he then came under fire from 538 Kady Mills.  Soper had made his way to the front where he built up a healthy lead with 383 Corey Hunt in second as behind an excellent battle for third had developed between 907 Cadan Davies and Carter, the two swapping places over the closing laps.  Carter led Davies into the final bend, but Davies was not to give up easily and with Mills joining in for good measure, Davies and Mills just edged Carter out at the line.  The Final saw Carter with a slender four-point advantage over Darby, heading into last race of the season.  Both encountered heavy traffic over the opening two-thirds of the race, with Carter under attack from 870 Bert Farrell.  As the race entered the last five laps Darby had finally shook off the attentions of Willis to make it into the top five, as Carter was left battling to make progress as some very tenacious lower graders also fought for places.  The race built to a dramatic conclusion, for on the final lap, Davies was sent spinning from his top five position whilst a couple of others were delayed allowing Carter to edge into the top ten.  Soper and Hunt were again in the top two places with Hunt making the challenge on the last bend, the force of the hit sending Soper out wide and connecting with the plating on the exit of the pit bend.  Soper’s car lost momentum but was just able to stay ahead of Hunt by the narrowest of margins at the line as behind Darby finished fifth and Carter ninth to see them end the afternoon as they began, tied on points.  Therefore they both shared the Autospeed Points title, arguably a just result given their season long battle, Carter happy to defend his title ahead of reaching retirement age in the formula, whilst Darby will head the crop of drivers at the top of the sport in 2021.

Team Total
Idiots 95
Hillbillys 84
TPT 71
DWO 69
FWJ 48
Team Grizzle 33
TBC 20
Bruisers 0


Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 207 3 44 437 32 227 86 770 73 222
Heat 2 14 909 441 9 426 264 44 227 351 285
Heat 3 3 944 437 9 14 207 32 441 351 285
WoE 3 944 437 14 207 44 909 770 32 426
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 525 917 202 985 577 654 907 914 670 998
Heat 2 654 382 907 538 985 914 998 577 566 207
Final 654 382 914 917 577 970 617 322 985 907
2ltr Old Skool Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 133 929 278 376 907 743 131 741 341 114
Heat 2 239 714 838 114 122 741 133 278 208 341
Heat 2 114 122 743 907 239 190 133 341 929 208
Heat 4 239 278 122 208 929 907 190 714 133 131
King of Crash/DD 239
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