Smeatharpe Stadium - Saturday 19th May 2018

A glorious late Spring day moved into a fine evening for the first part of the 2018 Speedweekend at Smeatharpe Stadium with the Saloon Stock Cars in qualifying mode for the European Championship racing along with the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars and the Micro National Bangers for their annual team meeting.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

54 BriSCA F2 Stock Cars raced in the meeting and featured a cosmopolitan entry ahead of the Benevolent Fund Trophy to be staged the following afternoon.  Ahead of the meeting itself there was the annual Ladies Race for the Bill Batten Trophy in aid of the Benevolent Fund.  11 drivers took part and after a spectacular coming together for Julie Brereton and Kerrie Walker which necessitated a complete re-run it was Sarah Harley who went on to win by a comfortable distance.  The first heat saw race leader 667 Tommy Farrell roll after tangling with 760 Trevor Dube and it was 676 Neil Hooper who went on to win after the re-start.  Heat two saw 527 James Riggall win and the third heat brought a career first BriSCA F2 win for 328 Andy Walker.  The consolation looked to be going to 890 Paul Rice, but he was significantly held up by back marking traffic over the closing stages and it allowed 700 Adam Rubery to perform a perfectly timed last bend move to take win whilst Rice was left stranded.  The Final, for the first running of The Grader’s Trophy got off to a bad start for some with several of the blue and star grade tripping over each other and it was left with 578 Mark Gibbs stranded on the back straight.  With the order in correct formation there was not the need for a complete re-start and 303 Chris Horwell continued to lead after the resumption but that was whittled back to nothing again when there was another yellow flag, this time after a tangle for 127 Matt Stoneman and 517 Harley Cornock.  So, Horwell had to do it all again and he duly did, but 560 Luke Wrench had made the most progress and he caught the 303 car as the race moved into its final quarter.  Yet, by then 542 Steven Gilbert and NI747 Bradley McKinstry had joined in to make it a four car battle.  Wrench made the decisive move with two to run and went on to open out a safe distance for what was to be the northwest star’s first Smeatharpe feature race win.  Gilbert made second and McKinstry third.  A frantic 33 car Grand National was once of those races where so much was going on it was impossible to keep up with it all.  Rice again was a race leader but he lost out after a late yellow flag and it was 468 Sam Weston who took the win, for his first star graded chequered flag.

Saloon Stock Cars

A few seasons ago, 41 Saloon Stock Cars would have been considered amazing, but such is the progress of the class once again in 2018 nationally, particularly on tarmac that it couldn’t help be thought that it might have been a slightly better entry, but this takes nothing away from what or whom was present and the five absolutely excellent races that were put on and enjoyed.  Each driver was allocated three of the five heats to determine their grid position for Sunday’s European Championship.  The first of them saw race leaders 99 Jacob Roff and 116 Diggy Smith clash and Roff was sent spinning where he was collected by 276 Ben King, which brought out the yellow flags.  Smith went on to continue to lead at the re-start and take the win.  The second heat got off to a bad start for 130 Chris Durrant as the hapless white grader was knocked from pillar to post and came to rest showing signs of distress more than half a lap from his initial impact.  Thankfully after some time he was able to exit the car on his own.  26 Tommy Barnes went on to win the race at the re-start but it was the ferocious battles going on behind that kept all on their toes with places swapping and changing.  360 Carl Waterfield took heat three and Roff heat four, again both races with plenty of exchanges.  The fifth and final heat saw a yellow flag with 190 John Wagstaff stranded and at this point Smith, in his efforts to get pole position had fallen a lap behind after an early crash.  Waterfield went on to take his second win of the meeting, which netted him inside second row, but Smith impressively fought his way back up to eighth which was enough to beat 620 Aaryn Triggs for pole position by one point.

National Micro Bangers

With a couple of teams not showing, the decision was made (after heat one) to run the National Micro Bangers as all available cars.  Surprisingly one of the teams that did not appear were 2017 winners The Bristol Boys.  But there were teams from The Dingles with two, Rebels with two, Real Steel with two, DWO and TYB.  The first heat saw 48 Stuart Belcher for Real Steel ‘B’ fight back at 133 Terry Hill for Rebels A but Hill was just able to gather his car back together to take the win.  The second heat featured two complete re-runs; one after a rollover for 160 Jamie Warr and it was to be the continued promise from Belcher to take the win.  However, with the rest of his team mates not scoring as highly, after this race Rebels A and DWO pulled clear of the rest and it looked like going down between these two teams, with established National Banger grandees amongst their number in the third and final race.  The action came thick, fast and at times very heavy for heat three under the floodlights with huge hits going on.  This was mainly between DWO and Reel Steel, but it was 45 Lips of Rebels A who waded in on 421 Josh Mayo which brought out the second of two red flags.   A two-lap dash re-start saw 988 Billy Dennison lead home DWO team mate 84 Jack Ansell but it was not to be enough with the rest of DWO going missing in action and it was to be Rebels A who took the £400 winner takes all prize.  The winning team consisted of 45 Anthony Croshaw, 74 Adam Hitchcock, 133 Terry Hill, 196 Phil Chapman, 351 Steve Belfield and 451 Nigel Belfield.

Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 116 620 661 26 27 349 350 199 218 470
Heat 2 26 428 730 349 600 671 56 620 172 171
Heat 3 360 116 641 28 221 470 670 172 27 661
Heat 4 99 620 27 349 157 428 641 600 171 276
Heat 5 360 661 306 171 428 730 84 116 28 172
BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Ladies Race 297 935 315 328 111 376 828 578 nof
Heat 1 676 542 101 464 76 282 53 517 first 8 to final
Heat 2 527 303 560 7 895 468 127 761 first 8 to final
Heat 3 328 522 NI747 16 376 935 315 689 first 8 to final
Consolation 700 629 578 979 722 526 first 6 to final
Final 560 542 NI747 527 303 16 7 101 700 689
Grand National 468 542 578 560 328 16 527 629 761 302
Grade Awards W 303 Y 76 B 522
National Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 133 988 48 84 74 160 747 190 421 451
Heat 2 48 196 231 190 74 133 988 351 45 84
Heat 3 988 84 451 642 45 351 74 196 760 nof
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