Smeatharpe Stadium - Coronation Monday 8th May 2023

There was little sign of Bank Holiday sunshine on Coronation Monday, albeit the worst of the afternoon’s weather arrived only towards the latter part of the meeting. Despite the conditions there was an excellent turnout on both sides of the safety fence for an all-contact line up of formulas.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

The 35 car entry after a busy weekend’s racing was pleasing.  The opening heat saw 460 Adam Pearce hit the front where he remained unchallenged after 302 Dale Moon’s progress was hampered after tangling with 475 Leah Sealy; 890 Paul Rice also being delayed in the incident.  127 Matt Stoneman overhauled 876 Stu Moss for third finishing behind 895 Ben Goddard.  Heat two saw 464 Matt Linfield and 131 Dean Rogers tangle together on the back straight even before they took the green flag.  53 Phil Mann built up an unassailable lead despite the best efforts of 315 Charlie Fisher who progressed to second with just ten cars making it to the end.  The consolation also saw the race winner Linfield speed away at the front but there was plenty of interest further back through the field including a dramatic moment when 881 Jamie Ward Scott, 235 Alfie Brimble and 303 Kurt Selway tangled going onto the back straight, and that ended the hopes of the latter pair.  The mist had descended for the Final with 29 of the 30 qualifiers gridding.  An early yellow was required with seven cars all in the plating on the pit bend including previous heat winner Mann and 783 James Rygor who had a day to forget, never looking comfortable in the conditions.  259 Daz Purdie led the field off but soon found himself in the pit bend fence with 528 Shane Hector.  24 Jon Palmer was making rapid progress and as he launched an attack for the race lead this shoved 468 Sam Weston into the stranded cars on the pit bend requiring a further stoppage.  Palmer sped away on the resumption but behind there was a tremendous battle between Stoneman and 27 Kieren Bradford for the runner-up spot, with Pearce joining the fray.  All were using dramatically different lines on the slippery track which resulted in a drag race to the chequered flag with Pearce being the unlucky one to miss out on a podium finish.  By the Grand National the mist had lifted a little, but heavy rain had set in.  Having established themselves at the front, Goddard and Pearce entered the last lap in that order but Pearce made his move on turn one slipping into the lead.  However, heading into the Final bend, Moon attacked the leader which allowed Goddard to slip back past to take the win with Moon in second from Pearce third.

Saloon Stock Cars

Heat one was brought under caution for 444 Kieran Bellringer who was one of six drivers to career into the Honiton bend plating.  199 Phil Powell charged to the front as 902 Brad Compton-Sage and 277 Jack Grandon enjoyed a tremendous battle for second.  However, Sage was removed by a lap down 161 Billy Smith, with Smith having rejoined after being spun around by 319 Richard Regan.  Powell won convincingly.  577 Harry Darby was spun around on the opening bend of the first lap of heat two whilst at the other end of the track 227 Jon Kingwell renewed his feud with 28 Ian Govier.  672 Si Paris in his first home track outing of the season broke free and he went on to win.  Further back there was an exciting finish for second, as Smith potted backmarker 10 Frank Little Jnr into 114 Shane Rawlins to nab second on the final bend.  27 Jason Kingwell piled into Govier on the pit bend at the start of the Final with Little Jnr also being caught up in the melee.  Rawlins led until the lap boards come out when he was overhauled by Powell and despite trying to come back at the new leader, the Midlander on his track debut had to settle for second.  Regan and Smith battled for third, the latter escaping to the line as Regan’s attack brought 720 Archie Brown into play, Brown eventually being shoved sideways across the line by Regan as they finished fourth and fifth respectively.  Regan atoned for his disappointment when he strode clear to win the Devon Truck Show Allcomers.  The race, which again carried an enhanced prize fund, saw drivers splashing through the rain, with Regan grabbing the winner’s bonus.

Back 2 Basic Bangers

More than 30 drivers appeared, which helped to provide busy grids throughout the afternoon.  31 Liam Shipway and 394 Ben Myers headed the field off in heat one.  Eventually 315 Karl Sandercock fought his way into the lead which he held till the closing stages until 200 Jai Simmons forced his way through to take the win.  Heat two saw automotive madness in the mist as whilst 551 Kieran Figures took a flag to flag win, Shipway spent the majority of the race facing the wrong way in front of the starters rostrum only latterly to be joined by Myers, 105 Leo Horwell and 519 Jason Witney in a heap, Whitney almost rolling when impacting the front of Shipway’s machine.  Figures was thankful he had such a lead given that he took the chequered flag and then ended up careering into the chaos on the home straight, too. The Final saw only five finishers in a race littered with incidents at all points around the track, some of which attracted the attention of officials, as the severity of some crashing was excessive for a Back 2 Basics the class.  It was 333 Craig Patridge who led Simmons home through the carnage to take the win, with 756 Troy Hooper third and 187 David Walters fourth, after he had led much of the earlier stages.

Reliant Robins

A very good entry of Robins provided superb entertainment throughout the afternoon.  The opening race saw 362 Aaron Loader set the tone for the afternoon with a duo of rollovers as 100 Thomas Weeks led the field home in style.  He, along with more than half the field, flung their cars onto their sides or roofs as they crossed the finish line to laughter and smiles from the large throng of fans.  Heat two looked set to be a marathon affair as Loader took it upon himself to roll his car anytime the green flag dropped.  On the fifth rollover and with the car not starting without a push his enforced retirement allowed the race to be concluded by sunset!  Weeks saw his chances of a repeat ended by 985 Sam Carter who despatched the silver car onto its side in fine style on the pit bend with Carter heading through for the win with another bout of rollovers from the field at the chequered.  Carter saw his star status being mischievously recognised by the playing of Chesney Hawkes’ famed hit, ‘The One and Only’ over the PA system on his lap of honour.  The Final saw roles reversed with Carter being sent into a spectacular roll by 10 Jerry Weeks whilst 117 Ollie Starr looked to outdo Loader with a double rollover followed by a further four rolls including one for luck at the chequered flag.  518 Matt Capel and 154 Joe Odhams completed the top three.  The final event of the afternoon saw Carter and Starr towing caravans with the others challenged to try to seek them down and destroy the former holiday homes.  It didn’t take long for the inevitable to happen with both caravans coming under attack on the pit bend.  The race was halted to allow the cars to be disentangled with both vans now sitting off their trailers on the track providing a sitting target upon the race’s resumption.  At this point, both vans amusingly enveloped the cars of Carter and 304 Paul Weare, after they had each smashed into them resulting in the drivers blindly touring around the circuit as Jerry Weeks took the chequered flag to cheers from his assembled fan club on the home straight.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 460 895 127 876 325 468 980 302 528 890
Heat 2 53 315 542 828 259 24 509 232 194 525
Consolation 464 184 303 475 27 126 783 881 762 856
Final 24 127 27 460 895 302 194 980 542 325
Grand National 895 302 460 315 464 542 468 24 184 979
Grade Awards W 53 Y 460 B 27
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 199 277 720 10 28 319 577 677 27 760
Heat 2 672 161 677 902 720 27 199 227 277 319
Final 199 114 161 720 319 902 672 760 577 677
Allcomers 319 27 277 199 760 720 577 672 902 161
B2B Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 200 315 333 725 733 105 738 890 617 519
Heat 2 551 662 956 546 733 56 31 315 838 298
Final 333 200 756 187 546 nof
Reliant Robins 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 100 154 985 10 117 30 119 210 36 304
Heat 2 985 30 518 154 36 304 10 100 210 nof
Final 100 518 154 304 30 119 117 10 nof
Caravans 10 100 30 nof
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