Smeatharpe Stadium - Tuesday 9th July 2019

Smeatharpe Stadium played host to the penultimate BriSCA Formula Two World Championship qualifying round ahead of the Semi-Finals, which are set to take place at the United Downs Raceway, St Day, on Sunday 11 August.  Heritage Junior Stock Cars concluded the second leg of their South-West tour, while National Micro Bangers completed the bill.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

The first of two midweek meetings at the track this year raised an excellent 46 cars, although one failed to race.
In the opening heat, from the front of the yellow grade, 667 Tommy Farrell moved into an early lead, which he stretched after a caution period, before being reeled in by 184 Aaron Vaight who pushed past with two laps to go.  Farrell attempted to hit back immediately, but wasn’t successful, allowing 24 Jon Palmer into second.  Palmer then pulled off a last-bend lunge on Vaight for the win, with Farrell also snatching second. Further back, rising star 183 Charlie Guinchard enjoyed a physical scrap involving plenty of bumperwork with British title protagonists 418 Ben Borthwick and 542 Steven Gilbert, and rattled Gilbert around the fence on the final bend, without managing to demote him from fifth.
Heat two was won by 488 Liam Bentham on the debut of his brand new Dave Polley-built car, with both World of Shale champion Polley and one-time world champion George MacMillan on the spanners in the pits.  With no white-graders present, Bentham made the most of starting near the front of the blues to run second after just three laps and relieve 828 Julian Coombes of the lead before half-distance.  Sunday’s St Day final winner 890 Paul Rice also demoted Coombes to take second on the final lap.
Semi-final front row contender 905 Rob Mitchell, fresh from a roll at St Day, won the consolation after exchanging places with 876 Stuart Moss who then spun from the lead.  398 Ian England and 689 Joe Marquand followed Mitchell home.
The 30-car final was a spectacular race.  Rice, Borthwick and 895 Ben Goddard were early spinners, before 14 Mike Priddle spun out of the lead, letting Farrell in front.  The local driver then felt the force of Guinchard’s bumper as his fellow teenager took up the running, before the pair exchanged places twice more in two bends.  Guinchard had shed Farrell’s challenge by half-distance, with fellow form-driver 325 Ryan Sheahan moving into second.  From there, Guinchard was ruthless through the traffic as he pulled clear to win, earning himself a first-time red roof in the process, with Sheahan and Vaight completing the top three.  24 Jon Palmer enjoyed liberal use of the bumper on his way to fourth, laughing afterwards: “I didn’t know where I was – I was just walloping everyone.”  It was symptomatic of a terrific contest in which 606 Andrew Palmer and Farrell completed the top six.
London-based Guinchard didn’t take up his place in the Grand National, which was another no-holds-barred affair.  Farrell and Palmer were again among the most entertaining, and contested the lead, before Borthwick and Gilbert charged through into second third.  Farrell looked almost home and dry but was delayed by a backmarker on the last lap, allowing Borthwick through.  He attemped to retaliate with a last-bend lunge but only succeeded in spinning himself, allowing Borthwick a clear run to the flag, and Gilbert into second from 302 Dale Moon.

Heritage Junior Stock Cars

The F2s of four to five decades earlier turned up 17-strong and put on their own brand of entertaining racing.  Heat one was won by 728 Graham Bunter from 580 John Perrett, while 271 Wayne Helliwell headed a close scrap for third.  Perrett went one better in heat two, moving ahead with laps to go and holding off 198 Alan Nicholson for the win, with Helliwell again third.
Cornishman 196 Phil Chapman led the early stages of the final before being relieved by 536 John Ferguson, with Nicholson following through.  But 47 Giles Carter was swiftly carving through from the back of the grid and took the lead with four laps to go.  Carter went on to win from 773 Nick Whitney and Nicholson.
Ferguson completed another lively evening from the Heritage brigade by winning the Helter Skelter race.

National Micro Bangers

The latest round of the National Series attracted a disappointing showing of cars.  Three quiet races were won by 162 Brett Ellacott, 278 Shaun Brokenshire and then Ellacott again.  New World Champion 190 Steve Bailey and 133 Terry Hill followed Ellacott home in the final.  Pick of the action came in heat two when long-distance traveller 634 Ben Green, all the way from King’s Lynn, was followed in by Bailey, who then completed another tour before blowing up the stricken machine.
Green gamely limped back out for the DD, which ultimately saw Brokenshire finish off Bailey after some hefty exchanges.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 24 667 184 134 542 183 969 14 418 126
Heat 2 488 890 828 315 302 578 606 468 464 618
Consolation 905 398 689 105 895 783 325 979 303 544
Final 183 325 184 24 606 667 542 315 828 488
Grand National 418 542 302 468 828 24 667 969 464 328
Grade Awards W 14 Y 325 B 183
Heritage Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 728 580 271 773 47 537 198 128 196 342
Heat 2 580 198 271 536 47 728 773 763 196 128
Final 47 773 198 536 580 271 728 763 128 196
Grand National 536 198 763 773 728 196 271 886 135 253
National Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 162 77 190 133 278 74 838 634 nof
Heat 2 278 162 133 74 190 nof
Final 162 190 133 278 74 nof
DD 278
Entertainer 634
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