Smeatharpe Stadium - Saturday 11th August 2018

History will not dictate the long hot summer of 2018 at Smeatharpe Stadium, for once again it was a meeting that featured rain and associated track conditions.  But, that said the weather was nowhere near as bad as some forecasts were predicting and those that were present were treated to a good evening of racing from the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars, ORCi Ministox and fun on three wheels from the Reliant Robins.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

An entry of 33 cars for the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars shows that the southwest region remains strong for the formula on tarmac, and this was with several regulars missing.  The two heats were when the track was at its wettest and were won by 689 Joe Marquand and 418 Ben Borthwick, both with convincing victories.  The consolation looked to be headed to 676 Neil Hooper, but when both he and second placed runner 948 John Brereton managed to hook together whilst negotiating backmarkers, 468 Sam Weston nipped around them to grab the lead and ultimately the win.  The annual Roy Goodman Perpetual Challenge Trophy started on a track surface that was mainly dry and the race was headed off by 800 Ash Sampson and he and Brereton disputed the lead until the latter retired, just as the yellow flags were shown on lap five with Marquand in trouble by the pit gate after a heavy tangle and crash with 528 Shane Hector.  The restart only lasted two laps, this time it was 639 Stevie Hartnett with issues on turn four, after he had been collected by 245 Nigel Fordham.  Light right started to fall again at the re-start and it was obviously enough to make the track slippery as several spun and tangled together.  It was 613 Ian Serpell who took up the lead, tracked by 126 Jamie Avery (on his first appearance of the season) whilst 127 Matt Stoneman and 522 Chris Mikulla came from almost nowhere to be third and fourth.  The four of them had a great battle for the lead, until the two star men forged ahead.  As the race moved towards its last few laps, Mikulla looked to have done enough to hold on but Stoneman appeared to find some extra grip and was able to go for a last bend move on Mikulla.  The pair both rain wide and came to the line side by side with Stoneman just getting there, to successfully retain the trophy.  Sam Weston came through for third.  315 Justin Fisher won the Grand National, just holding off 542 Steve Gilbert.

Saloon Stock Cars

There were more Saloon Stock Cars in attendance than were booked to appear, and naturally this was a bonus.  Like the F2’s they had mixed track conditions to deal with.  With 720 Shane Brown’s one-off return at the previous meeting now becoming a little more regular, this time he was at the wheel of the Ian Govier car and he showed his class by coming through to win heat one.  With the track dry for heat two 360 Carl Waterfield reeled in 447 Adam Hicks to take the victory.  The Final, once again on a damp track saw 799 Joe Powell move into the lead early on and he opened out an advantage that looked unassailable even at the halfway stage.  Yet when Brown moved into second he chased the 799 car down and was close enough to attempt a last bend lunge.  Had it come off, in all probability both would have spun, but as it was he just failed to connect and thus it was Powell’s second Final in succession with dad 199 Phil Powell coming through for third.

Ministox

Again, there was a healthy entry of ORCi Ministox, with the clashing National Championship meeting having a minimal effect on the entry.  927 Owen Robins was the winner of the first heat whilst heat two saw 569 Adam Langridge take a lot of catching, and it was only 654 Harley Soper that did so.  Soper duly passed him late on to continue his run of Smeatharpe wins.  The Esau Family Trophy looked for a lot of the race that it was heading the way of Langridge as he opened a large lead, totally belying his lack of experience of the track.  However, when 677 Warren Darby fought his way through to second place he managed to get on the dry line that was rapidly appearing.  Langridge’s lead evaporated and Darby moved ahead on the last lap.  So it was a good win for Darby and a highly successful visit from Langridge, whilst 506 Bradley Eltham completed the top three.

Reliant Robins

Although there was only a modest entry of Reliant Robins, all of those present put up a great show that was thoroughly enjoyed by all those watching on with spins and rollovers galore.  17 Lee Robins was the winner of the two heats before 58 Martin Dalton took the Final ahead of 304 Tim Weare and 26 Russ Gillingham.  The Caravans included a static on the back straight and produced some memorable moments – notably when Weare blasted through the caravan with his Robin, which was towing another caravan for good measure!  49 Liam Boden was the winner of the race.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 689 745 325 542 613 315 464 245 126 639
Heat 2 418 528 979 828 522 127 438 667 111 303
Consolation 468 126 111 676 948 398 328 639 800 762
Final 127 522 468 613 464 979 418 245 126 325
Grand National 315 542 464 418 24 745 468 667 438 245
Grade Awards W 948 Y 613 B 418
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 720 799 199 360 444 476 399 902 447 276
Heat 2 360 447 199 214 620 799 444 56 902 399
Final 799 720 199 399 476 276 360 316 620 56
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 927 677 577 569 654 506 900 985 619 970
Heat 2 654 569 900 677 619 506 970 577 927 985
Final 677 569 506 577 619 927 970 998 900 907
Reliant Robins 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 17 58 26 304 49 nof Entertainer 58
Heat 2 17 49 26 510 58 304 nof Entertainer 272
Final 58 304 26 272 nof Entertainer 49
Caravan Chaos 49 58 17 nof Entertainer 304
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