Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 9th October 2016

In a year when the weather has been largely kind at Smeatharpe Stadium, which has made a very welcome change to some others, the 2016 main season drew to a close on a sunny if brisk Autumn afternoon.  As is now the tradition it was trophies galore on this particular meeting with the Ladies Trophy the feature event for the 20th year in succession for the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, backed up by the 2 litre National Bangers Old Skool series and a double helping of junior racing with the 11-16 year olds in ORCi Ministox and 7-11 year olds in the BriSCA Micro Stock Cars.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

The BriSCA F2 entry included another visit from 38 Dave Polley from East Anglia and National Points Champion (and Final winner at St Day a week earlier) 100 George MacMillan from Scotland and also a return to F2 for former National Points, British and Smeatharpe track champion 886 Chris Bradbury.  As well as a host of great trophies up for grabs to compliment the main one of the day, there was also the track championship/s to be resolved.  With 315 Justin Fisher suspended, that had taken him out of the equation and effectively set up a head-to-head between leader 542 Steven Gilbert and 24 Jon Palmer.  With Fisher on the side lines, his car was used for the meeting by outgoing track champion 676 Neil Hooper who promptly set a very fast pre-meeting practice lap time of 12.795, which is very close to 218 Rob Speak’s all-time lap record of 12.788 set (in a race) in 2011.  Hooper turned that form into a victory in heat one whilst heat two saw Palmer and Gilbert into battle, which looked to be swinging into the former’s favour until he lost out in a battle with Polley and it sent Palmer down the order and out of the points.  575 Tom Clark was the race winner.  Palmer really needed to win the consolation to keep his hopes alive, but instead was involved in a highly watchable battle with 522 Chris Mikulla and 935 Nathan Maidment.  It held up all their progress and Palmer made third with 352 Dave Sansom winning after he had sent 468 Sam Weston into a spin, after 2015 Novice of the Year Champion Weston had had the temerity to pass Sansom for the lead.  The scene was set for the Ladies Trophy Final which commenced with Martin Farrell giving his customary walk through of the grid, displaying the trophy to the protagonists.   It was a hard and fast race which unusually went all the way without the need for a yellow flag and for a very long time it looked as if 145 Andrew Morgan had built up an unassailable lead.   As the laps ticked off Polley emerged as the one doing the hunting down, with Hooper not too far back.  It all came down to the very last lap.  Morgan appeared to slide wide and it allowed Polley up the inside and as they headed into the last bend, Hooper charged at Polley.  They both wide, but in the scramble for the finish line it was Polley who got there first for his second successive Smeatharpe Final win with Hooper second, Morgan third and 689 Joe Marquand in fourth.  With Gilbert home sixth and Palmer retired from the race, it was enough to secure the track championship in favour of the Cornish teenager.  During the presentation for The Ladies Trophy, final winner Polley sporting accepted the customary champagne soaking, which left the English Open Champion well and truly drenched.  The Allcomers for the annual Trackscene Trophy came down to a dramatic one lap dash re-start after 828 Julian Coombes was sent heavily into the plating on the pits bend by 111 Lewis Geach.  979 Paul Moss was the leader at the time and whilst he continued to do so on the last lap and went on to win, all hell broke out behind and the ultimate result was changed completely to how it may have been had the yellow flag not occurred.  This was a spectacular and thus fitting end to the season.

2 Litre Old Skool National Bangers

There were 20 drivers for the 2 litre National Bangers in the Old Skool format, with the entry being all Ford cars bar the BMW of 246 Ryan Sparks.  The opening heat saw 910 Kat Dawe power her fresh new Mondeo to victory, spinning any that got in the way on route to the chequered flag.  However, she appeared to be marked opposition for the rest of the afternoon.  83 Ben Styles took the second heat whilst the Final saw some good battles and scrapes and it was Sparks who came through to win from 133 Terry Hill and 242 Ben Ellacott.   If the three races in the format had been entertaining, the Allcomers is intended to be a spectacular climax to the day and despite the efforts of 42 Dan Relins waving in – and Hill duly obliged – the small grid for it was never likely to produce too much in the way of action.  Styles took his second win of the day.

Ministox

It was Club 21 trophy day for the Ministox and as with the F2’s they reached the conclusion of their season at Smeatharpe with the track championship to be decided, and between two of the biggest names with 907 Cameron Lawrence and recently crowned National Champion 987 Ethan Pope locked into a head-to-head.  Lawrence caught and passed long-time leader 654 Harley Soper to win heat one and then took his second win in heat two, but with Pope third and second in each race it went down to the Final to decide the outcome.  915 Max Langmaid was the early leader whilst Lawrence found himself bundled wide in the star grade battle and it resulted in a puncture which forced him out of the race.  There was a yellow flag with 677 Warren Darby stranded across the back straight and then soon after the re-start another after cousins 970 Archie Farrell and 667 Tommy Farrell crashed heavily together.  Pope had already made it to the front by then and went on to take the win and with it the track championship.  911 Harrison Bryant was second and 902 Brad Compton-Sage recovered from an early spin to make it back up to third.

BriSCA Micro F2s

The small drivers in the small cars had a small field, but the Micro’s put on a trio of close races; and there was yet another newcomer on the grid, as 66 Harvey Breakspear made his debut.  475 Leah Sealy was in her last meeting at her home track and she won the first race before 783 Fin Carter won the second.  The third race saw Sealy reel in Carter and pipped him in a run to the flag and whilst Micro’s are intended to be as non-competitive as possible, it was notable that her lap time of 19.633 seconds was the fastest time ever during a Micro race at Smeatharpe.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 676 700 979 418 100 886 111 189 first 8 to final
Heat 2 575 145 528 544 38 328 542 127 first 8 to final
Consolation 352 745 24 460 828 689 890 14 572 522
Final 38 676 145 689 575 542 522 528 100 127
Grand National 979 544 468 542 127 100 418 145 575 935
Grade Awards W 145 Y 689 B 575 R 676
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 907 654 987 911 902 915 677 951 577 999
Heat 2 907 987 902 911 915 677 917 999 951 577
Final 987 911 902 951 999 577 917 958 901 983
Micro F2's 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 475 246 783 607 9 66 nof
Heat 2 783 475 9 607 66 nof
Final 475 783 9 607 66 nof
2L Old Skool Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 910 83 133 242 138 903 74 47 202 311
Heat 2 83 138 133 74 246 903 242 910 47 202
Final 246 133 242 912 47 202 556 nof
Allcomers 83 74 242 133 nof
  • 09 October - Taunton
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