Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 17th March 2019

The opening meeting of the 2019 national season at Smeatharpe Stadium saw what was a typically spring like weather in the Blackdown Hills with almost four seasons during the afternoon and mixed track conditions associated there with.  It was also an unduly long meeting, unavoidably owing to a delay after an incident in a Ministox race (see below).  So we thank those who stayed on in the cold wind to enjoy a 17-race programme with almost 130 competitors in action from the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars, 2L Old Skool Bangers and ORCi Ministox.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

The entry for the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars was just a couple shy of the 40-car mark and although two failed to negotiate practice it was still a healthy entry with an even split across the grades.  The white grade was sufficiently well populated for them to have their own race, sponsored by Neil Truran Motorsport with a draw to determine the grid positions.  91 Harrison Bryant took the victory.  Inspired by a strong showing in this race, 660 Becky Pearce recorded her first ever F2 win in heat one, just holding on at the line before 127 Matt Stoneman took heat two.  The rain came during the consolation and on a first appearance at Smeatharpe (in his own car) for a few seasons, former World Champion 783 James Rygor took the win.  It was a wet track that greeted the drivers for the annual MDP Services Trophy Final and required a complete re-start with 325 Ryan Sheahan parked in the turn four fence, and 539 Stevie Hartnett facing the wrong way just a little further down the home straight.  When the race did get going, there was an early yellow flag required after 464 Matt Linfield took a hefty trip into the turn one plating.  528 Shane Hector relieved 844 Jack Prosser of the lead at the restart and held sway until passed by 111 Lewis Geach.  689 Joe Marquand reeled in both and moved into second and in a decisive move he planted Geach wide into back marking traffic and moved into a lead he was not to lose.  This promotes him to a career first time star grade.  Stoneman had moved into second in the final quarter of the race but never got quite close enough to consider a realistic challenge for the lead.  Hector was third.  Geach bounced back to win the Grand National.

Saloon Stock Cars

There had been much promise of new cars and new faces from the southwest region in the Saloon Stock Cars and (finally) it happened and with a smattering of travellers too, there was a very pleasing field of 22 cars.  In what was to be the only dry race for the Saloons, 171 Adam O’Dell continued his good run by taking heat one and 399 Cole Atkins won heat two in the rain.  552 Karl Douglas was the long-time leader in the Final until caught and passed by 199 Phil Powell.  The pair were well clear and although Douglas kept with Powell, the latter used his years of experience to hold on to win.  There was a big battle for third too with 56 Georgie Boult Jnt just scrambling across the line to take it.  The good numbers augurs really well for the forthcoming season.

2 Litre Old Skool Bangers

The 2 Litre Bangers contested the first round of what is set to be an enhanced Old Skool Series for 2019, and that attracted a very good entry of 42 drivers.  However, for the series to growth, strive and survive it requires drivers to respect the on-track rules that are underwritten for it.  It is a shame to report that a small select band of drivers transgressed on these rules and are facing disciplinary actions as a consequence.  The Allcomers race is the one where the big hits of National Bangers are fully permitted and yet once again, even taking in the late running of the meeting there was a paltry grid for it.  862 Darryl Cock took the first heat, which saw plenty going of action of varying degree, down to the busy track whilst heat two looked to be going to 133 Terry Hill until he was inadvertently removed by 777 Ricky Daunton, and that left the door open for 938 Ashley Rice to claim the win.  No troubles for Hill in the Final though, as he put an early stamp on the series by winning ahead of 908 David Brown and 138 Dan Rice.  Although there was the small field for the Allcomers, with 233 Liam Parkin a willing entrant but early leaver from the scene, four drivers in particular put up a great show so well done to 131 Sam Hill (who won) along with Terry Hill, 383 Bradley Hutchings and 912 Simon Rees – as the quartet knocked the living daylights out of one another’s cars at the end.


There was again a strong entry of ORCi Ministox with drivers from all over England present, which required three heats ahead of their Final.  The opening heat was shaping up to be race of the day with no less than five lead changes, until the yellow flag was called for 914 Callum Faulconbridge who had crashed and then got collected heavily and required assistance from his car, which brought about a 50-minute delay to racing.  577 Harry Darby continued to lead at the re-start and won.  The second heat saw an oil slick from deposits from a car on track add to the drama, 985 Sam Carter was the first to react to this and it resulted in his winning margin being almost half a lap. In the wet third heat 499 Alfie Aldous took the win.  The Final saw the star graded drivers slowly away at the flag, whilst the lower grades got a good start and with the bigger names then fighting amongst themselves for much of the race, little progress was made.  It left 907 Caden Davies and 870 Stella Farrell well clear to battle amongst themselves at the front and that is how they remained to the flag.  Aldous was the pick of the stars but third was the best he could get to with the runaway white graders in the distance.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
White Top Race 91 460 572 844 241 222 227 636 660 760
Heat 1 660 315 325 398 528 542 890 464 105 328
Heat 2 127 468 24 111 828 517 526 844 689 572
Consolation 783 418 91 539 302 460 895 241 944 nof
Final 689 127 528 418 302 783 526 542 890 539
Grand National 11 528 895 105 418 398 127 302 689 542
Grade Awards W 660 Y 528 B 689 R 127
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 171 56 620 276 902 199 399 28 450 210
Heat 2 399 28 730 620 56 276 447 450 799 00
Final 199 552 56 730 171 980 902 447 642 450
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 577 499 927 654 564 514 998 942 907 677
Heat 2 985 619 244 946 564 569 475 677 970 nof
Heat 3 499 985 870 514 589 619 654 927 244 566
Final 907 870 499 566 577 619 654 569 985 589
2L Old Skool Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 862 938 133 366 929 138 246 242 908 196
Heat 2 938 138 397 929 366 912 131 47 383 242
Final 133 908 138 383 47 242 246 196 131 6
Allcomers 131 383 133 912 nof
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