Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 12th March 2017

The start of the main 2017 season came to be at Smeatharpe Stadium on March 12, on a typically mixed spring afternoon of weather that included rain, ‘mizzle’ and sunshine and all the different track conditions associated with.  Undeterred, a great 16 race programme unfolded with plenty of drama and action from the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars, Bangers and BriSCA Micro Stock Cars for the 7-11 year olds.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

There was huge anticipation in the days leading up to the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars annual MDP Services Trophy that the records for the opening meeting of the season at Smeatharpe could be broken.  But, a raft of no-shows from those initially booked followed by two failing to go no further than practice left the total number competing at 38 cars, but it was a cosmopolitan entry with plenty of travelling exploits.  The two heats in wet track conditions saw a pair of yellow top victories from regular visitors 53 Phil Mann and 464 Matt Linfield before 606 Andrew Palmer bounced back from a poor heat to win the consolation.  The track was largely dry for the Final and it was a fast and furious race.  After a complete re-run and a yellow flag at the quarter race distance the lead at that point was disputed between 719 Colin Smith and 578 Mark Gibbs with 38 Dave Polley, going for his third Smeatharpe feature race win in a row looking the big danger.  However, it was 575 Tom Clark who emerged as the one to beat, as he sometimes does in Willo The Wisp fashion and once he negotiated Gibbs, he pulled clear and went on to a comfortable victory with Polley unable to do anything about Gibbs, who made second.   Polley himself held on for third, despite a last bend challenge from Palmer.  The Grand National saw Polley come through for the victory he had threatened to do all meeting long, whilst there were plenty of fierce exchanges behind.  All in all this was a very solid start to the F2 season in the region.

Saloon Stock Cars

There had been hope that Saloon Stock Car numbers would improve in time for the new season, and there were two new faces amongst the entry, yet whilst the promise is there for more cars in the Autospeed region, it has not happened yet.  The Saloon Stock Cars had the worst of the track and weather with two of their three races being wet.  Each produced the same winner though with track debutant 157 Max Stott making his long trip from Wisbech one to remember by winning heat one and Final by some distance.  The dry second heat was the race of the day for them with Stott just holding off a last bend lunge from 158 Shane Davies in a very tight finish.  UK Champion Davies was caught up early in the Final and whilst none of them could do anything about Stott, and 199 Phil Powell established himself in second, the main race was for third and that was not decided until the very last corner when the bumpers charged in and 591 Aaron Morris got the better of it to take the remaining trophy position.

Bangers

The Autospeed Bangers once again turned out in numbers with 54 cars in attendance, in what was something of a crossover meeting, as the engine limit switches on 1 April from 1800cc to 1600cc and as such drivers had cars to use up.  With this in mind a Destruction Derby was scheduled at the end of the day.  Prior to that, the first heat went to 246 Ryan Sparks, who pipped 912 Simon Rees before 797 Dan Moss won heat two and then 23 Barry Staples won heat three by a large margin.  The Final featured a 40 car grid and suffice to say there was plenty going on all around the track.  An early caution when 451 Mickey Reed signalled with the thumbs down after a crash bunched the pack back up, but even at the resumption it was more mayhem.  All what Banger racing is about of course, but on the other side of the coin it does make races hard to follow at times, especially with the speed differences of some cars (and indeed drivers!)  It was two of the heat winners, Moss and Staples who emerged at the front and try as he might Staples couldn’t dislodge Moss and it was 797 who went on to make the heat and Final double.  Some way back, but to complete the theme of the day it was Sparks who was third.   The aforementioned DD was a very good one with fair solid hits going in, all in the true spirit of what the event is supposed to be about.  Ultimately it came down to 70 Jamie Thomas and 254 Will Blight and despite the former looking the stronger at one point, it was Blight who outlasted to take the victory.

BriSCA Micro F2 Stock Cars

The BriSCA Micro F2 Stock Cars had a trio of races, unluckily for the young drivers all in wet track conditions.  It was only a retirement in the second race that denied 290 Alfie Tomkins a hat-trick of wins as he was a long way in the lead at the time.  607 Christina Sillifant was the winner of that and she also made third in the third race designated the Final with 51 Jolean Maynard the runner-up.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 53 101 979 935 526 689 328 895 468 145
Heat 2 464 38 719 522 126 111 578 127 575 639
Consolation 606 418 828 460 14 572 245 325 762 87
Final 575 578 38 606 101 935 468 111 522 126
Grand National 38 468 522 127 101 828 575 578 719 689
Grade Awards W 719 Y 578 B 575
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 157 199 276 28 27 891 927 799 447 nof
Heat 2 157 158 199 903 891 28 591 276 447 27
Final 157 199 591 28 27 158 576 903 927 nof
BriSCA F2 Micros 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 290 51 826 38 66 9 770 nof
Heat 2 607 826 38 9 870 nof
Final 290 51 607 826 9 38 66 870 770 nof
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 A&B 246 912 130 45 133 451 23 991 113 622
Heat 2 B&C 797 246 281 333 175 718 898 991 302 912
Heat 3 C&A 23 45 130 206 866 133 70 797 622 185
Final 797 23 246 133 45 457 743 79 206 194
King of Crash/DD 254
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