United Downs Raceway - Sunday 23rd October 2016

The short oval racing season in Cornwall ended with an exciting day of highly significant races for the Stock Rods, the Ministox and the 2 Litre Old Skool Bangers, on a cold autumn afternoon at the United Downs Raceway.

Stock Rods

With some drivers away on holiday, and a noticeable absence of visiting drivers, the Stock Rod numbers were disappointing for the Grand National Championship fixture, and they fell further when 705 Dave Ham encountered mechanical problems pre-meeting.  Nonetheless, three highly watchable races were served up, beginning with the title race, which brewed up into a thrilling five-way battle for honours.  From the outside of the front row, 437 Lewis Trickey grabbed the early lead.  Pole sitter 944 Callum Hosie dropped into second, but then made a move to the outside, only to find a distinct lack of traction through the turnstile bend’s outside line.  As Hosie dropped back, Trickey found his lead under attack from 776 Simon Jones and 3 Matt Peters.  The order behind Trickey chopped and changed, but at the end of lap nine, Trickey glided off line on the exit of turn four, and that opened the way for Hosie to charge down the inside and grab the lead.  As Hosie edged clear, still the battle raged between Jones, Peters and Trickey, who slipped back to fourth, and then found 9 Chris Drake had joined the front runners.  Over the second phase of the race, Hosie extended his advantage, and Jones resisted the spirited attempts of Peters, to hold on to the runner-up position.  The first of two Allcomers races featured a bizarre incident, when 614 Chris Williams mounted the turn four kerb and then rolled over on the infield.  This brought a complete re-run, in which 203 Andy Russell swept to a fine victory, from 613 Lee Simmons.  Hosie was the first star grader home, and that moved him three points clear in the chase for the Points Championship.  In the second Allcomers, Simmons looked on course for a maiden win.  However, 26 Alan Furse and Russell tangled, and with Russell left stranded in the bend, the yellow flags were introduced.  That negated the lead Simmons had, and on the restart, Hosie swept by for a win that sealed the Points Championship.  Peters was second, and that was just enough for him to clinch the Track Championship.

2 Litre Old Skool Bangers

There was a deluge of over-the-top crashing in the 2 Litre Old Skool Bangers, which is set to land a number of drivers in disciplinary hot water.  Heat one began with several cars piling into a heap in the pits bend.  242 Ben Ellacott looked to have everything under control, and he was some way clear at the start of the final lap.  However, Ellacott then found his route blocked by the pit gate.  He was delayed, and 133 Terry Hill nipped past to take the chequered.  Yet, Hill was then attacked by 97 Craig Deer, who came off the infield at him.  Deer and Hill then bundled into the fence at the turnstile end, where Hill dished out some retribution.  Hill was disqualified, and both drivers were loaded for the day, with further penalties to follow.  Ellacott then inherited the win.  In the second heat, 384 Adam Geary fenced 232 David Thomas, and found himself disqualified and loaded, whilst 74 Adam Hitchcock scored a commanding victory.  The Final was full of heavy crashing in turn two, with Thomas involved, along with 845 Albert Haines.  Thomas had buried Haines into the heap, but Thomas was left sat there, and Haines piled into him on the next lap.  Again, both drivers were loaded for the day, with further penalties to follow.  Just four cars managed to go the full distance, and Sparks led home 847 Andy Whatley and 912 Simon Rees.  At the request of the drivers, the Chained Pairs race was dropped, in favour of an Allcomers, into a DD.  Rees narrowly won the race section, from Sparks, and the DD became a three-way battle involving Hitchcock, Rees and 47 Marcus A’Lee.  Eventually, A’Lee was left as the last car running, and encouraged by the defeated Hitchcock, he finished the contest with a couple of extra blows on the battered 74 car.

Ministox

The number of youngsters was just a shade under the hoped for amount, which led to all cars in all races.  Heat one brought a win for 972 Jack Soby, and a most deserved one at that.  He led for much of the way, but nearly lost out in a dramatic last bend.  With two novice drivers having bumped into one another in turn four, there was little room, and Soby went very wide, bouncing off the fence, before charging past the chequered.  Behind him, there was mayhem, with the unfortunate 901 Jacob Hale on the receiving end, as the chasing pack scrambled to get to the finish line.  902 Junior Buster was second, and 987 Ethan Pope was third, which kept the Points Championship battle alive.  Heat two was brought under caution early on, when 654 Harley Soper was spun into the fence on the home straight.  Junior Buster caught and passed Soby, before going on to win, and with Pope taking second from 907 Cameron Lawrence in third, the gap between them in the race for the silver roof, dropped to two points, with just the Final to be run.  In that last race of the season for the Ministox with Autospeed, it was 915 Max Langmaid who got out in front.  911 Harrison Bryant led the star grade chase.  Yet, all eyes were on Pope and Lawrence.  Pope had got past Lawrence, but he could not afford Lawrence to finish right behind him.  With Just a couple of laps remaining, Pope overhauled Junior Buster, and at that point the scores were tied.  Yet, on the run to the flag, Bryant won, and Pope spun Langmaid, who crossed the line backwards.  The electronic timing revealed Langmaid had held on to second by 0.05 seconds.  Hence, with Pope third, and Lawrence fifth, quite remarkably, the two young stars had ended the year level on 244 points each.  In many ways, it was fitting to have double Points Champions, for the first time in Autospeed history.

Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
GNC 944 776 3 437 9 203 151 54 26 614
Allcomers 1 203 613 944 9 437 3 776 26 14 nof
Allcomers 2 944 3 437 9 613 26 614 14 nof
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 972 902 987 951 907 915 980 667 999 911
Heat 2 902 987 907 980 677 667 915 951 917 999
Final 911 915 987 902 907 980 951 667 677 917
2L Old Skool Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 242 912 492 232 153 289 11 74 nof
Heat 2 74 246 447 903 845 492 153 912 383 311
Final 246 847 912 74 nof
Allcomers 912 246 47 74 289 nof
DD 47
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