Smeatharpe Stadium - Monday 20th July 2020

Racing returned to Smeatharpe Stadium for the first time in four months with a low-key, limited entry affair that still attracted plenty of interest on a weekday summer’s evening.

Stock Rods

The 15-car Stock Rod entry included newcomers and returnees, who were among the night’s most impressive performers. Much of the heat was led by 227 Jody Hawkins but when she got caught on the outside line trying to deal with a backmarker, 369 Ash Manktelow pounced to take the win on his track debut. Hawkins held off 441 Tom Major for second. The final played out along similar lines, but this time Hawkins led until the final lap when Manktelow took advantage of her slightly wider line to cleanly nose inside and take the win. Major was again third with 909 Justin Washer best of those starting at the back of the field in fourth. Manktelow could not complete his hat-trick from the lap handicap in the Grand National and so Hawkins was finally rewarded for her strong performance. Washer passed Major for second with five laps to go but couldn’t catch Hawkins. Manktelow picked off a few slower cars to place seventh.

Ministox

An entry of 26 cars was the highest at the track since the 2017 National Championship and featured 007 Charlie Hardie, 603 Brandon Morton and 604 Ryan Borthwick from Scotland plus English Champion 499 Alfie Aldous from East Anglia. There was also an astonishing collection of eight novices, which bodes well for the future of the formula, despite fewer opportunities to race elsewhere. The large field was split into four with each driver contesting three heats and no overall final as the youngsters served up plenty of action. The first heat was won by 654 Harley Soper after running in deep on the final bends to avoid the last-bend lunge of 985 Sam Carter who had been closing him down. The remaining races all fell to Aldous. In heat two, Aldous charged through to take second from 577 Harry Darby before demoting leader 902 Reagan Davies. Darby followed, and Carter passed London-based visitor 566 James Willis for third on the final bend. Willis entertained with his robust style in heat three and led for a spell but lost out to Aldous after a caution. Aldous’s significant lead was wiped out by another yellow flag period, which took a couple of attempts to restart due to some over enthusiasm through the field, but he easily had the pace to win from 569 Adam Langridge and Carter. Borthwick led the early stages of the final heat but had lost out to Aldous and Darby when he spun and was collected by 055 Olivia Herzig. Aldous and Darby finished in that order with British Champion 927 Owen Robbins completing the top three.

Back 2 Basics Bangers

Like the Ministox, the Back 2 Basics Bangers quick filled their allocation for the meeting, with well over 50 cars being split in half for their opening heats. Amid the typical light-hearted action contested by a wide variety of machinery, experienced racer 113 Chris Jeanes won the opening heat in his Mk1 Vauxhall Vectra while 988 Billy Dennison took the second in a Ford Focus C-Max. The final produced a 1-2 for the well known Aldershot-based Reynolds family, as 760 Joey Reynolds led home his father, veteran racer 260 Keith Reynolds. The Ford Fiesta pair then proceeded to bump and bore each other on the run-down lap. Volkswagen Beetle driver 776 Terry Senford led almost all of the allcomers race but was hunted down by Reynolds Sr who passed him on the final lap to take the win. On a good night for the family, 360 Jack Reynolds outlasted and outblasted the rest to win the DD.

Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 369 227 441 14 3 909 437 351 204 222
Final 369 227 441 909 3 437 351 14 204 nof
Grand National 227 909 441 351 3 437 369 14 222 nof
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 654 985 927 007 998 914 907 290 603 942
Heat 2 499 577 985 566 654 007 942 604 914 538
Heat 3 499 569 985 654 927 604 617 007 907 566
Heat 4 499 577 927 569 566 907 914 617 870 055
B2B Basics Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 113 260 300 371 161 333 760 272 715 776
Heat 2 988 386 286 718 719 394 70 360 211 491
Final 760 260 311 113 291 371 74 776 196 157
Allcomers 260 776 211 300 113 333 760 298 157 17
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