United Downs Raceway - Sunday 25th September 2022

A fully packed programme at the United Downs Raceway produced some compelling racing, and plenty of spectacular incidents in the autumn sunshine.

Ramp Rollover

Three intrepid entrants took up the Ramp Rollover challenge.  17 Adam Welsman and 71 Zak Peters each leapt off the ramp, but achieved no rolls, and then Andy Frankson had two attempts in the loaned 165 Graham Middlewood car.  At the second time of asking, he duly flipped the car into a spectacular full roll over and back on to its wheels, which won him first prize.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

A decent showing of 26 drivers enabled a two from three format on Old Motor Cycle Club Trophy day.  510 Matt Stone led the opening heat for several laps, despite an early race suspension when 605 Richy Andrews and 222 Adrian Watts clashed on the back straight.  When the race resumed, 184 Aaron Vaight struck the first vital blow in the chase for the Track Championship, as he fired 890 Paul Rice into 542 Steven Gilbert in the turnstile bend.  Stone led beyond the midway point before 194 Luke Johnson, Vaight and 988 Charlie Lobb came together to contest the lead.  Vaight then slowed with a problem, leaving Lobb to win, and as Vaight fell down the order, north east visitor 751 Les Smart kindly pushed him over the line for tenth.  Heat two saw an early black cross for Andrews which was to prove crucial in the final analysis.  At the halfway point, 728 Jack Bunter led from Andrews and 935 Nathan Maidment, but as the lap boards appeared, Andrews hit the front.  The speeds dropped appreciably for the final two laps, when Vaight began to drop oil from his diff, and although Andrews crossed the line first, he was subsequently docked and Maidment duly inherited the win.  The major talking point ahead of heat three was the Gilbert had shown outstanding sportsmanship to lend a spare engine to Rice, and that some frantic activity in the pit area had brought about the engine change in time for Rice to grid.  A wonderful race ensued, with a host of positional changes involving Johnson, Maidment and 667 Tommy Farrell as they chased after Bunter.  Similarly, 418 Ben Borthwick, Gilbert and Rice tried to get on terms with the front runners.  Maidment eventually took the win, and discovered he had a puncture when he drew to the line to collect his trophy.  Both Borthwick and 35 Charlie Fisher lost time at the start of the feature race, which saw Bunter into an early lead, chased by Maidment, Andrews and Johnson.  Vaight had made a fine start from the rear of the grid, but having got ahead of Rice and Gilbert his hopes were dashed when he tangled with 475 Leah-Nicole Sealy, and the pair careered over the infield on the back straight.  Maidment moved ahead before the midway point, and looked in control as all the positional changes were happening some way behind him.  Farrell moved past 27 Kieren Bradford to become the leading star grader, but he was unable to reel in the yellow grade trio at the front.  Maidment saw out the closing stages, with Andrews close as the runner-up, and Johnson was third for the second consecutive final at St Day.  During the trophy presentation, a live link to Wes Owen of Living Like Outlaws in the USA was just about achieved; all a far cry from communication options in the 1950s when the Old Motor Cycle Club Trophy was first purchased.  Borthwick suffered a broken propshaft at the start of the Grand National, which meant an early caution, and that enabled Maidment to wipe out his one lap handicap in an instant.  That left Gilbert and Rice as the only two potential winners of the Track Championship, with Gilbert needing to make up a four point deficit.  When the race resumed, Bunter clobbered the plating in turn four and Bradford flew up and over the bonnet of 468 Sam Weston, with Sealy also involved in the incident.  Maidment was now into the top ten by the time the race restarted, and Andrews saw Farrell speed past him at the front.  The focus, however, was on Gilbert, as he fought with such determination to catch up with Rice.  Every time he drew close, Rice edged away, but entering the last lap, Gilbert felt he was in range, and lunged into turn one.  Rice was sent to the plating, but Gilbert spun backwards into the fence too.  Eventually Rice managed to drive on, and he trailed in a lowly eighth, but Gilbert’s gallant attempt just left him in the fence.  Farrell was a clear winner and that netted him the coveted Bob Netcott Trophy to conclude a thoroughly entertaining display from the F2s.  As a further part of the presentations, Coombes received the All Saints shield, having led more laps of finals at St Day this season, than any other driver.

Stock Rods

There were sufficient cars to run a two from three format, with 818 Tim Bates stealing a march on the rest as he stormed into an early lead in heat one.  Bates led quite a charmed life out front with some wayward lines on his track debut, but he held on for a flag-to-flag win, whilst a string of drivers received a docking after various bouts of contact.  Heat two was similarly boisterous, with debutant 73 James Brenton being issued with a disqualification for his revenge attack on 14 Ross Montgomery, whereby Brenton spun Montgomery around on the back straight.  Just six cars finished the race, with 426 Keith Channon taking his new Tigra to victory.  Heat three was a quieter race, and Montgomery capitalised on a superfast start, by charging to an emphatic win as 77 Tom Larcombe just held on for second from 351 Rhys Langdown.  The final was a stop-start affair, punctuated by a race suspension when 306 Neil Truran could not avoid the spun 285 Martin Walker in turn one.  Channon made his way to the front, and was chased home by Montgomery and Larcombe.  415 Sean Gillett stormed to victory in the Grand National Champion, and third for Langdown was enough for him to take over the lead of the Points Championship.

Back 2 Basics Bangers

Despite the modest entry of drivers, there was much to entertain, not least 786 Grant Harris in his tiny Smart car.  Harris careered into the marker tyres on the exit of turn four in the opening heat which developed into a two-way battle between 200 Jai Simmons and 662 Jared Roe, until backmaker 294 Oli Bower intervened and spun Simmons around on the back straight.  Roe went on to win, despite 17 Adam Welsman closing in the latter stages.  Harris got in the lead of heat two, and the improbable win for the Smart car became more of a possibility as the race progressed.  Other drivers spun and fell by the wayside, but Harris sped on at the front, and just stayed clear of Welsman to take the chequered.  The final brought Welsman the win he had been so close to in the previous races, as he led home 161 Anton Ferris and Roe, who bounced back from being spun by 423 Nigel Beresford.  Several drivers contested the Destruction Derby, and although it ended limply, 200 Jai Simmons was a deserved winner, having crashed more than the rest of the entry, before his car lost its gears, despite being the last one running.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 988 194 979 27 468 828 510 890 258 184
Heat 2 935 418 605 728 667 302 460 689 475 27
Heat 3 935 728 667 542 890 194 418 979 302 988
Final 935 605 194 667 542 27 302 728 689 890
Grand National 667 302 605 988 979 689 935 890 27 35
Grade Awards W:728 Y:935 B:979
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 818 351 415 913 728 306 32 131 841 220
Heat 2 426 415 31 196 14 220 NOF
Heat 3 14 77 351 31 306 426 909 728 982 944
Final 426 14 77 351 415 909 728 841 220 31
Grand National 415 77 351 944 909 728 426 220 285 73
B2B Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 662 17 161 165 200 315 294 330 nof
Heat 2 786 17 662 165 161 330 71 423 NOF
Final 17 161 662 71 330 786 423 NOF
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