Smeatharpe Stadium - Monday 10th August 2020

The Monday night meetings at Smeatharpe Stadium continued with Round 3 of the August Accumulator series for BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, doubling up as the tenth annual staging of the Remembering Rog trophy in memory of Roger Willcock, and the third qualifying round of the 2-Litre National Bangers Supreme Championship.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

Another very healthy midweek entry of 37 cars were in the pits although three didn’t make it beyond the pre-meeting race for white-graded drivers. That boasted a healthy prize fund and was contested by 10 cars. From third on the drawn grid, 920 Wayne Wadge surged into the early lead only for a crash in which 228 Stuart Deacon jumped over the tangled cars of 35 Charlie Fisher and 820 Matt Hatch to bring an immediate halt. Form driver Wadge led the complete re-run, only to be demoted by 736 Josh Weare and seasonal-debutant 14 Mike Priddle. But Wadge fought back to win from Weare and Priddle. Hatch was again in the wars in heat one proper, spinning from the lead at the end of the first lap, with Priddle taking over before Wadge found a way through. Further back, 538 Chevy Mills was turning some quick laps, while 542 Steven Gilbert and new red top 522 Chris Mikulla were carving their way through. Mills pushed Wadge wide to take the lead with three laps to go, followed by Gilbert and Mikulla a lap later. They closed down Mills, who ran tight into the final bend, making Gilbert’s hit a bit awkward, but he scrambled inside for the win, with Mills just edging Mikulla. Track points leader 560 Luke Wrench was only just behind having lost a little time shunting 325 Ryan Sheahan and 24 Jon Palmer into the wall early on. A caution was required in heat two when track debutant 115 Ben Farebrother ran too wide on the exit of the pit bend and got turned across the bows of 53 Phil Mann into the back straight wall. That eliminated Weare’s healthy advantage, although a better restart than those behind him helped him keep the lead until half-distance when 184 Aaron Vaight took over. 418 Ben Borthwick and 488 Liam Bentham followed through a couple of laps later but they could not chase down Vaight who took his third race win in ten days. Bentham took second from Borthwick who fended off 127 Matt Stoneman’s last-bend lunge for third. A fairly thin field for the consolation was reduced further when 526 Marc Rowe and 663 Bryan Lindsay piled into the pit bend plating, bringing out caution flags, just as Farebrother was put into the Honiton bend wall. With only 10 cars remaining, each just had to finish to qualify for the final, but 895 Ben Goddard was eliminated by a rear puncture. 783 James Rygor reeled in 282 Ant Riley to take the win – his fourth of the month, to go one better than fellow blue-top Vaight – while Priddle was third. Rygor was again flying in the Remembering Rog final and had risen to fourth in just a handful of laps. From there, he picked off Wadge, Mills and Weare to take the lead. Mills was second but had the lapped Borthwick – who was spat out of the battling red-tops early on – between himself and the leader. The impressive Weare spun across Wrench to lose third, slightly delaying Wrench and the pursuing Palmer in the process. And when Weare was clobbered by Riley, yellow flags were required with the race at half distance. With backmarkers removed to leave a pure top six, Rygor led from Mills, Wrench, Vaight, Palmer, Gilbert and Mikulla. Wrench was the man on the move after the restart, taking second and then applying the pressure to Rygor. Bumper-work helped Wrench move ahead on the pit bend, and, as the red tops behind traded blows, Gilbert lost ground with a fouling rear tyre. He would eventually slip to seventh, as Wrench won from the very back of the grid, Rygor holding on to second from Vaight, Mills, Palmer and Mikulla. In his post-race interview, Crewe-based Wrench confirmed that his target this year is to lift all three south-west track championships, having taken the Bristol crown last year. It would be some achievement if he manages it. The majority of the Grand National was led by Wadge but he lost out when forced wide by backmarker Mikulla, allowing Mills to take a lead he would not relinquish. Form drivers Vaight and Rygor came through to second and third, while the full-lap handicap was not a significant extra hindrance for silver-top Wrench who managed to carve his way through to an impressive fourth.

2-Litre National Bangers

A 25-car entry meant that the National Bangers could run all-in, with their two heats run to ‘Old Skool’ rules, as is now standard. That didn’t prevent some hard hits in heat one, with 161 Anton Ferris getting rammed into the fence by 452 Anthony Sleeman early on, and 908 Dave Brown blasted into the wall by 799 Tom Pearce at the death. Sleeman and Pearce thereby had their night truncated early for their misdemeanours. 70 Jamie Thomas led almost from start to finish in his golden Ford Cougar, even surviving getting trapped on the Honiton bend inner kerb by some spun cars, to win from 333 Craig Partridge and 133 Terry Hill. A slightly quieter heat two went the way of 929 Sam Baker who nipped inside race leader Hill on the final bend, edging it on the line. Thomas was on the receiving end of the full-contact final, getting T-boned by 74 Adam Hitchcock after a home-straight spin, then being blasted by 278 Shaun Brokenshire. 2 Jack Hodges led much of the way but a delay dealing with backmarker 91 Kevin Cole allowed Partridge to slip by. As Cole was thundered into the pit bend wall by Hill, Hodges attempted a last-bend lunge on the leader, but Partridge held on to win from Hodges and Baker. The Allcomers featured some spectacular crashing, which saw the car of 383 Bradley Hutchings comprehensively blitzed, whilst Brokenshire ran in 166 Connor Charlton. Even when the chequered fell on 907 Cameron Bradford, the action continued with some good-natured crashing that included Terry Hill, 741 Alex Waterman and 720 Kenny Gabriel Jnr – all to the warm applause of appreciated onlookers on the spectator banking.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
White Top 920 736 14 663 903 nof
Heat 1 542 538 522 560 920 24 302 539 325 91
Heat 2 184 488 418 127 464 126 890 736 210 196
Consolation 783 282 14 320 53 115 720 903 nof
Final 560 783 184 538 24 522 542 127 488 302
Grand National 538 184 783 560 920 302 539 542 24 488
Grade Awards W 920 Y 538 B 184 R 560
2 Litre National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 70 333 133 907 383 2 720 246 929 278
Heat 2 929 133 2 131 743 70 246 383 720 74
Final 333 2 929 743 383 907 278 720 741 133
Allcomers 907 133 720 74 741 nof
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