Smeatharpe Stadium - Mayday Monday 2nd May 2022

A cool and grey Mayday Monday saw a busy pit area with good entries across each of the four formulas on duty.  The pre-meeting Grand Parade was a colourful and noisy affair with a pair of impressive rigs on hand representing the day’s sponsor the Devon Truck Show.

Saloon Stock Cars

A modest 15 car entry served up a trio of entertaining races, which yielded a different winner each time.  319 Richard Regan suffered a puncture before the green flag was show in the opener, retiring to the infield, whilst 677 Warren Darby made short shrift from his blue grade start to hit the front.  Behind him, 84 Carl Boswell continued to chase and there was plenty to entertain with a great battle between 698 Danny Colliver, 902 Buster Compton-Sage and 27 Jason Kingwell for third.  Buster Jnr launched his attack on Colliver on the last bend, winning the drag race to the finish line, as former ORC Champion 4 Barry Hollett (out in the Govier hire car), 672 Simon Paris and 33 Pete Hollett all recovered for a top ten finish despite having spun or been in the fence during the opening laps of the race.  The yellow grade managed to self-destruct at the start of the second heat, as Pete Hollett and 418 Mitchell Driver ended up in the pit bend fence, 27 Jason Kingwell was spun around on the home straight and 97 Jon Kingwell clouted the marker tyre heading into turn one.  Boswell avoided the chaos to take victory.  The Final saw Buster Jnr, Darby and Paris all spin around on the opening lap, whilst Jon Kingwell spun 28 Ian Govier in the pits bend, which left Govier to rejoin a lap down.  Upon doing so, Govier is back in the action, with his challenge on Driver enough to take the Yorkshire visitor out of the lead.  When Jon Kingwell spun around on the entry to the home straight, it was coincidental that Govier was next around the bend, which led to the two drivers meeting head-on.  Amidst countless other spins and incidents, Colliver kept a cool head to claim his second Final win in a row at the track, as he led home Pete Hollett and Junior Buster.

ORCi Stock Rods

Running a two from three format, 18 cars gridded for the opening heat as they continued their quest to score points to secure a place on the World Final grid at St Day in August.   916 Luke Thomas did not make it very far in the opener, being turned around on the home straight by the wayward 131 Stephen Cock.  275 Jeremy Hatch hit the front on the restart, but he was unceremoniously spun out whilst passing backmarker 955 Frankie Radmore who was disqualified as a consequence.  There then followed a dramatic four-way battle for the lead with 944 Callum Hosie eventually hitting the front.  Behind, 909 Justin Washer moved into second with a fierce battle for third continuing between 286 Martin Walker Jnr, 14 Ross Montgomery and 9 Chris Drake and Cock crossing the finish line in that order.  Hatch led the field away again in heat two, with 285 Martin Walker sandwich between the two Cocks, Stephen and 862 Darryl Cock.  Hatch held on to take his second win in as many meetings, with Darryl Cock the runner-up.  The third heat gridded as rain began to fall creating a tricky surface with little traction.  The conditions played into the hands of the lower graders, especially 841 Dave Hosking who revelled on the slippery track lapping the field up to and including sixth place on his way to victory.  Second went to Thomas who took an age to tiptoe around the treacherous outside line in his bid to overhaul 982 Sophie Daughtrey who gallantly held firm for third.  Conditions were even wetter by the time of the Final although all had the chance to switch to a wet set-up and whilst Hosking led the opening laps, he was caught and passed by 351 Rhys Langdown and Hosie.  The two stars ticked off the laps, but the pivotal moment came when Daughtrey spun on the exit of turn two.  Langdown dived to the outside line, but with a little more time to assess the situation, Hosie chose the inside and grabbed the lead.  Langdown had to settle for second and Hosking’s best day yet this season concluded with a third place.

ORCi Ministox

The entry included 11 drivers from Scotland, a tremendous effort given the distances involved, with special mention for 165 Jamie Dawson who had journeyed south with his team having raced at Crimond Raceway the afternoon before, a mere overnight 600 mile journey.  Each of the 30 youngsters participated in the random draw for group allocations ahead of a two from three heat format.  It was one of the visitors, 647 Lewis Clark Burgoyne who headed the field home in the opening heat, his dad, current BriSCA F2 World Champion on mechanics duty throughout the afternoon.  He was followed to the flag by fellow countryman 628 Ross McLaughlin with 870 Bert Farrell showing good pace in third.  The second heat saw an early yellow flag after 770 Austin Farrell ground to a halt on the entry to the back straight before being clipped by Burgoyne and ORCi and Open Scottish Champion 178 Scott Allardyce on their way past.  7 Charlie Hardie sped away into the lead on the restart, leaving behind an excellent battle for second which featured Burgoyne making a last bend hit to progress through for the runner-up spot on the line from 84 Robbie Armit.  With Scottish drivers filling the first five places, this looked like an ominous sign for the home contingent.  A wet third heat created some challenges, especially for those less familiar with the track.  Heat two winner Hardie saw his progress to the front wiped out after a clash with 917 Troy Hemmins, but out front 902 Reagan Davies drove well to take a career first win.  A non-qualifiers B Final saw 170 Austin King and 858 Rhys Anderson having a fall-out at the start of the race, hampering the progress of both drivers.  922 Kaydi Butcher made most of the running.  With her best performance yet, she smoothly held the lead until the midway point, but as the lap boards appeared, she began to get a little more ragged and those chasing started to reel her in.  680 Bobby Brandon looked set to hit the front but collected one of the large infield marker tyres ending his hopes, which left 913 Ben Faulconbridge and 368 Emily Santry to battle for the right to close on Butcher.  In a very close finish, Faulconbridge just got there from Santry, whilst Butcher was harshly bundled out of contention by a backmarker, yet after clouting the west bend plating, she did manage to complete the race distance to gain eighth.  On a soaking wet track, the British Championship was gridded in points order from the earlier heats, with six of the top seven places being filled by drivers from North of the Border.  Yet, just when Scottish domination was expected, Bert Farrell produced a stunning move on the exit of turn two to burst into an early lead.  Indeed, once ahead, the local racer began to edge clear during some truly dramatic and frantic opening exchanges.  Farrell charged on at the front and was still ahead as the race reached halfway.  However, Armit eventually muscled his way past Farrell for the lead, which left the local driver to enter an entertaining dice with Burgoyne.  The young Scotsman eventually got clear and looked to hunt down Armit who had built up a decent lead by this time.  However, with the laps ticking away, the complexion of the race when silver top Hardie struck problems on the back straight.  As he slowed to a halt on the entry to the back straight, race leader Armit clipped the stricken car on his way past.  Armit held on to his lead, despite Burgoyne’s attack heading into the pit bend, but the race was suspended for Hardie who required attention.  Just two laps remained for the restart and although Armitt had made the best of the restart, he could not discount Burgoyne.  As the Scottish duo stormed into the final bend, Burgoyne dived at his compatriot, this time with sufficient force to spin Armitt around.  However, Burgoyne was unable to scrub off the speed to avoid then collecting Armitt on the nose and as both were delayed, 202 Cody Bradford was in the right place at the right time.  He hugged the kerb, and just 50 metres from the line he took the lead for the first time in the race.  To cheers from the pits bend, Bradford scored the most dramatic of late wins.  Burgoyne recovered for second and Farrell finished an excellent third to conclude an enthralling race.  Unsurprisingly, Bradford celebrated in fine style, stealing the championship from what looked like the secure grasp of the visitors.

Bangers

A good entry of Bangers resulted in the field racing in two from three heats.  121 Ryan Buddle led heat one until a tangle on the pit bend saw second place 759 Taylor Whitfield narrowly avoid rolling, the car tipping up and onto two wheels round the bend.  That allowed 31 Liam Shipway through into the lead despite the best efforts of 23 Barry Staples to catch him.  206 Matt Brewer looked to have the second heat in the bag, but after passing 726 Lewis Senford for the lead he got caught up with 298 Dave Greening.  However, Senford also tripped up which left Brewer the chance to recover and take the chequered.  Senford was unchallenged as he sped to a flag-to-flag victory in heat three, despatching the backmarking 366 Pete Warren in fine style on his way to the flag.  823 Tyler Phillips led the first third of the final, chased hard by Shipway.  Yet, Brewer was in no mood to halt his run of success, and having got to the front, he went on to secure his second victory of the day, with Shipway and Senford completing the top three.

Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 677 84 902 698 27 97 4 672 33 277
Heat 2 84 677 672 902 698 199 4 97 319 418
Final 698 33 902 319 277 84 444 672 28 97
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 944 909 286 14 9 131 151 77 31 101
Heat 2 275 862 285 131 76 728 14 944 151 32
Heat 3 841 916 982 351 76 9 285 728 286 77
Final 944 351 841 285 76 32 151 916 909 14
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 647 628 870 617 172 42 907 902 207 567
Heat 2 7 647 84 165 172 290 202 178 917 870
Heat 3 902 84 628 207 917 7 165 617 178 290
B Final 913 368 217 954 920 644 242 922 170 680
British 202 647 870 165 290 172 628 207 907 617
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 31 23 556 182 2 296 44 836 33 187
Heat 2 206 708 246 726 182 23 621 238 274 891
Heat 3 726 708 187 206 13 621 2 912 358 60
Final 206 31 726 23 33 836 708 182 556 912
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