Smeatharpe Stadium - Monday 14th August 2023

The second and final summer Monday evening fixture delivered in spades for the modest crowd with a spellbinding set of races from the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars and an enthralling ORCi Stock Rod British Championship.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

A late uptick in entries yielded 25 cars which raced in a two from three format.  Heat one saw 141 Harry Neath-Rogers, 572 James Lindsay and 303 Kurt Selway end up in a heap on turn four in the opening stages as 914 Callum Faulconbridge’s challenge at the front faded allowing 27 Kieren Bradford through to win.  Flying white grader 777 John Vickery led heat two until two laps to go when he was passed by 736 Josh Weare.  24 Jon Palmer and 980 Charlie Lobb enjoyed a fierce battle for the minor positions as 127 Matt Stoneman’s challenge for second was hampered by a struggle to get past Vickery which allowed 783 James Rygor to close.  Once past the white top, they darted to the line, with Stoneman just pipping the 2013 World Champion by 0.001 seconds!  Weare scored his second win of the evening in the third and final heat, in which he was followed home by Vickery.  The Final under the lights got off to a frantic start with the lower graders heading at speed down the home straight four abreast which eventually led to 605 Richie Andrews and 259 Daz Purdie tangling, the two lucky to be avoided by the chasing pack.  If that wasn’t spectacular enough, the star graders on the following lap arrived at turn four at such speed that by the time their wheels were pointing to head down the home straight they were five wide which was only going to end in chaos and so it proved.  It was teenage star sensation 213 Tom Bennett who himself carried along sideways down the straight, quite the introduction to his track debut at Smeatharpe.  There then followed a sublime few laps which saw Palmer, Rygor, Stoneman and 468 Sam Weston all trade bumper blows, the ferocity of which might have suggested there was a major championship at stake, but there was thankfully an opportunity for all to catch their breath when a caution period was required with 528 Shane Hector in the plating on turn two.  On the resumption, the action continued with Stoneman running deep into the pit bend allowing Rygor and Palmer through.  Up front, Neath Rogers disappeared from the lead and with Stoneman further tangling, he had to settle for third as Palmer led home Rygor to conclude a race which really did provide everything a Stock Car enthusiast would have wished for.  Weare capped off a good evening with his third win of the night in the Grand National.

ORCi Stock Rods

The British Championship saw drivers contest two out of three heats with the random draw starting positions reversed for their second race to determine the grid for the main event.  The opening heat saw 982 Sophie Daughtrey and 79 Brian Edmonds clash early on but as the race settled down there developed a pack of seven cars fighting for the lead positions as former ORCi Champion 216 Cameron Doak looked to pass fellow Scotsman 612 Leon Stewart on the outside line, a move that he was unable to make stick with Stewart finishing fourth behind former British Champion 9 Chris Drake, Autospeed Points Champion 351 Rhys Langdown in second and World and defending British Champion 29 David Philp Jnr in third.  522 Chris Mikulla had built up a healthy lead in heat two but saw a late race tangle with 73 Terry Gallagher allowed newly crowned National Champion 944 Callum Hosie to dive up the inside to take the lead.  However, in the process he clipped an inner marker tyre, and quickly pulled up, a change of engine being then required in the pits.  Hosie’s demise allowed Mikulla to retake the lead and then the win.  Heat three was a controversial affair.  The race commenced at frantic pace with every driver seeking to develop an opportunity to dive into a gap.  14 Ross Montgomery led 285 Martin Walker, Philp and Doak as the race began to settle down but the World Champion miscalculated the gap to the infield marker tyres, and like Hosie in the race before clipped one, this time coming into the home straight which sent him into the path of Doak, the two for a moment looking like there were going to end in a heap on the infield.  After separating, the two continued, but Philp in particular had significant front end damage which reduced his pace significantly.  He opted to maintain a tight inside line in the hope of making it to the finish in a points placing position, which forced the lead cars to pass him on the outside when lapping him.  Montgomery and the others did just that, but 286 Martin Walker Jnr found himself baulked and initially he seemed unable or unwilling to pass on the outside.  When he did look to move wide, Philp blocked his move until Walker Jnr lost patience and took matters into his own hands by taking Philp to the wall in the middle of the west bend.  This left Philp with meeting-ending damage, whilst Walker Jnr inevitably incurred the wrath of the Steward.  On the resumption, Montgomery led Walker and Stewart home to the flag.  The British grid saw Drake and Langdown secure the front row with Hosie and his team’s repair efforts in the pits being rewarded with a place at the rear of the grid.  The pivotal moment of the race came in the opening phase, when Drake and Langdown clashed doorhandle to doorhandle which saw them momentarily delayed and as they drifted wide in the west bend, it allowed Stewart who had started behind them to dive up the inside entering the back straight and into the lead.  There then followed a supreme example of expert defensive driving as Stewart.  He was pressured and harried by Langdown who was evidently faster than the Scottish star but unable to find a way past.  Despite frequent backmarking traffic, Stewart really didn’t provide Langdown with any opportunity and as the laps ticked by, Stewart and Langdown were joined by Drake, Daok and Mikulla.  Nobody could make the outside line move stick, and Langdown’s last ditch effort on the final lap only resulted in him losing second to Mikulla.  However,, it was a Jubilant Stewart who took the title, his fellow countryman Doak on hand to join in the celebrations as the cars came to a halt.  Mikulla was the runner-up and Langdown third, whilst a race-long charge by Hosie was to yield sixth at the flag.

Heritage Junior Stock Cars

The annual visit for Heritage Junior Stock Cars saw them arrive in good numbers, sufficient for the format to be split to a two from three format.  761 Andy Whitehouse and 580 John Perritt tangled early on in heat one, as veteran 198 Alan Nicholson hit the front leading until the final lap when a forceful hit from 746 Will Yarrow entering into the west bend saw the former BriSCA F1 driver take the win.  Heat two saw 619 Dave Sloggett and 728 Graham Bunter come together on the home straight which almost resulted in 734 Richard Johnson tipping onto his side.  107 Dan Chiplin was hunted down by Nicholson as the lap boards came out, but Chiplin held on for the win.  536 John Fergusson went careering round the plating in the third heat as he sought to maintain his lead over 537 Charlie Barnes, a move which managed to secure him the win from 47 Giles Carter with Barnes finishing in third.  The Final rounded out the Westcountry Tour, and brewed nicely to an exciting conclusion with Nicholson just hanging on for a narrow victory, ahead of Yarrow and Bunter.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 127 528 475 980 315 468 213 914 259 203
Heat 2 736 127 783 141 777 355 980 24 315 475
Heat 3 736 777 783 355 24 203 528 213 510 914
Final 24 783 127 736 355 475 315 777 663 510
Grand National 736 475 127 783 980 355 777 24 605 315
Grade Awards: W:777 Y:736 B:355
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 9 351 29 612 216 32 151 522 862 73
Heat 2 522 51 351 231 275 151 14 313 728 286
Heat 3 14 285 612 9 862 216 982 32 nof
British 612 522 351 216 9 944 32 151 231 285
Heritage F2s 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 746 198 536 47 135 107 157 499 342 520
Heat 2 107 198 746 734 157 537 499 8 nof
Heat 3 536 47 537 734 64 761 580 555 619 520
Final 198 746 728 555 536 580 734 157 64 537
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