Smeatharpe Stadium - Monday 31st August 2020

In the only opportunity for Bank Holiday action this year, a healthy crowd was on hand to witness an afternoon of excellent racing, which included the conclusion of the Saloon Stock Cars’ Summer Series.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

In the midst of a busy period of racing, the 38-car entry included Northern Irish visitor NI747 Bradley McKinstry and all five final winners at the track so far this season.  Following a traditional Grand Parade of drivers, the bounty of prizes for the recently concluded August Accumulator series – topped by 920 Wayne Wadge – were presented to the top three in each grade and overall, before racing commenced.  Heat one was led until three-quarter distance by 736 Josh Weare, on his last appearance in the White grade, before fellow white-top 287 Luke Beeson found a way past.  Weare was then half-spun by 783 James Rygor, but still held on for third, as Rygor passed Beeson for the win a lap later.  Heat two was dominated by another driver making the most of one last outing from the white grade, as Wadge had just enough in hand to withstand 24 Jon Palmer’s last-bend lunge, while British champion 542 Steven Gilbert similarly withstood the hard-charging 676 Neil Hooper for third.  All but four of the 18-car consolation were lower graders and they served up an old-fashioned stock car race with plenty of spinners causing chaos for the others to negotiate.  820 Chris Hatch spun away his lead, while 544 Will Adams twice gyrated, the second time in front of leader 302 Dale Moon.  That allowed 835 Matt Westaway back in front before Moon hit back, with the latter going on to win from 689 Joe Marquand and 979 Paul Moss.  A near-full complement of 29 cars contested the final and produced a magnificent all-action display without requiring any stoppages.  Beeson and Weare enjoyed short spells in the lead before 538 Chevy Mills hit the front, but form men Rygor and Palmer were carving through the pack.  As Mills negotiated backmarkers, the pair moved into second and third and started to eat into his lead.  With two laps remaining, Rygor finally had Mills in his sights with no traffic between them but was still a few car-lengths short.  Mills maintained his pace and while Rygor attempted a long last-bend lunge, he was just too far back and could only make light contact.  Mills rode it out to take the flag and, with it, the Club 21 Trophy – silverware his father had won 16 years earlier.  Rygor and Palmer were second and third, from McKinstry, Moss and 418 Ben Borthwick, as many of the stars’ progress was stymied by their constant trading of blows in a terrifically hard-fought display.  A similar number contested the Grand National which again produced plenty of action, this time requiring an early stoppage when 539 Steve Hartnett was turned into the wall and collected by 828 Julian Coombes and 210 Tristan Claydon who hooked up.  Beeson and Weare again set the pace out front while Palmer was the one to watch as he scythed his way up the order, Rygor this time spinning away his chance of a strong result.  Palmer worked his way into second and caught Beeson with three laps to go, using the bumper to move ahead a lap later.  Palmer’s win continued the fine form that leaves him topping the national points standings, while Beeson impressed with second, and third was taken by regular visitor 184 Aaron Vaight, another who – like Palmer, Rygor and Gilbert – will be donning superstar lights in September.

Saloon Stock Cars

While a 17-car entry was a little disappointing for a Bank Holiday weekend, particularly with such generous prizes on offer in the Summer Series, the Saloon Stock Cars once again proved that they do not require huge car-counts to entertain.  True to his reputation, 161 Billy Smith decided that his Summer Series chances were best served by removing the opposition.  So, having battled with his world champion father Diggy (116) and 730 Deane Mayes in the early laps of heat one, he exploded into action in the closing stages by dumping 799 Joe Powell into a spun car and then thundering 476 Ryan Wadling into the wall, ending the day for both local drivers.  Out front, 277 Jack Grandon shoved long-time leader 00 Brad Morgan into a parked car with three laps to go as he went on to win from 902 Junior Buster and 561 Aaron Totham.  Heat two developed in a similar fashion and again exploded to life at the end.  Grandon shoved past Morgan with two laps remaining, only for Morgan to hit back and spin Grandon out as they took the one-to-go board.  It was not over there, as Totham got in on the act.  Morgan repelled his attack, but all that had brought Junior Buster within range.  In a stupendous finish, Junior Buster cannoned Totham into Morgan on the final bend, sending them both fencewards.  The 902-car slipped inside and took the win, as Totham scrambled home second.  The 00-car appeared to have been knocked out of gear as Morgan coasted home fourth, edged by Billy Smith on the line.  It was impossible for the final to live up to that, and this time Morgan built up enough of an advantage to keep himself in the clear.  He went on to take his second final win in two days, enough to secure the overall Summer Series title.  Grandon looked set for second until he pulled up in the closing stages, allowing Totham to take the place.  Billy Smith, as in heat two, managed to break clear of the other red-tops early on, allowing him to climb through the field (with liberal use of the bumper, of course) and fence Junior Buster on the final bend to secure third.

Bangers

An entry topping 50 cars meant that the Bangers adopted a format of two heats and a consolation before the qualifiers-only final and, in something of an experiment, two Allcomers races – one to standard limited-contact rules and one allowing the bigger National Banger-style hits.  621 Scott Kendall survived an attack from 75 Paul Fisher on the final bend to win heat one, while 23 Barry Staples raced to victory in heat two.  That featured plenty of action, particularly on the back straight where debutant 16 Jack Roberts suffered a roll as he avoided several other stricken cars that littered the raceway.  Consolation race leader 44 Liam Boswarthwick was removed in spectacular fashion by 842 Jack Perkins, which was deemed illegal, and saw Perkins loaded until the second Allcomers race.  60 Andy Bulled picked up the pieces to take the win.  While 238 Jake Hughes and 27 Shaine Barton – joined by the lapped Bulled – battled hard over the lead of the final, Staples was carving his way through the pack.  He soon joined the frontrunners and successfully attacked Hughes for the lead, moving ahead with two laps to go.  Staples went on to win from Hughes and Barton, with 246 Ryan Sparks also coming through from the back for fourth.  31 Liam Shipway was on the receiving end of a big fencing in the first Allcomers, a race in which 161 Anton Ferris, 18 Corey Karkeek, 26 Craig Nichols and Bulled all had spells in front before the stars came through.  Staples could not quite complete his hat-trick, as 929 Sam Baker beat him to the flag with 916 Luke Thomas completing the top three.  The second Allcomers a dozen drivers, who produced a number of exciting heavy crashes, first when 549 Dan Levy and Staples tangled, which left the former exposed to a thunderous hit from Kendall.  Staples then responded by running Levy in, but he was in turn blitzed by 687 Rhys Julian.  Perkins picked up 355 Aaron Dark and charged the pair of them into the pits bend, where Dark blasted Julian and Levy, before 275 Liam Best landed his own stonking hit on Perkins.  For good measure, 244 James Turner flew into the heap, but with the driver’s side of Staples exposed to the oncoming traffic, further crashing would have been too dangerous.  In the race, just four cars went the distance, as Baker scored a second victory.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 783 287 736 NI747 560 522 578 890 418 35
Heat 2 920 24 542 676 184 127 539 572 538 210
Consolation 302 689 979 835 196 325 828 320 390 526
Final 538 783 24 NI747 979 418 736 542 127 676
Grand National 24 287 184 127 736 522 NI747 689 890 920
Grade Awards W 736 Y 538 B 783 R 24
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 277 902 561 980 00 730 116 199 447 161
Heat 2 902 561 161 00 116 980 730 504 399 199
Final 00 561 161 116 730 980 399 902 842 199
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 621 75 26 161 328 89 281 34 355 320
Heat 2 23 246 916 27 196 929 944 800 275 455
Consolation 60 99 891 31 358 33 238 nof
Final 23 238 27 246 196 621 916 355 320 891
Allcomers 1 929 23 916 60 196 27 26 18 182 898
Allcomers 2 929 275 244 18 nof
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