Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 13th October 2019

The final in-season fixture of the year at Smeatharpe was blighted early on by the damp conditions bequeathed from several showers in the morning, but with autumnal sunshine and a strong breeze, the track swiftly dried.

Ahead of racing, there was a One Minute’s Silence, in memory of Ron Trickey – a much valued helper to Autospeed, particularly in terms of his exceptional groundworks and plant operating skills which have so helped to shape the venues at the United Downs Raceway, St Day and especially Smeatharpe.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

With a plethora of local drivers absent for a variety of reasons, numbers were a little way short of the usual levels at Smeatharpe.  Sixteen drivers took the track for heat one, which doubled as the White & Yellow grade final.  The track was still damp and tricky for this race, and that caught out 137 Russ Chadwick who spun early on.  14 Mike Priddle led, but 118 Josh Toll wrestled the lead from him, as the two white tops set the pace.  As the race progressed, 979 Paul Moss moved into contention, but he could not hold off the speedy 895 Ben Goddard.  It was Goddard who crossed the line first, from Moss and 517 Harley Cornock.  However, Goddard failed the post-race axle alignment measurement, and was disqualified.  Moss inherited the win and took the Bill Hilborn Trophy.  Cornock was promoted to second with 844 Jack Prosser third.  Heat two included a debut BriSCA F2 outing for long-serving westcountry racer 720 Mark Ashley, who has years of previous experience in Bangers and Hot Rods in particular.  Top heavy with star names, 676 Neil Hooper led home fellow red top 184 Aaron Vaight.  Goddard bounced back from his W&Y Final disappointment to win the consolation, from 24 Jon Palmer and 828 Julian Coombes.  Tenth for 636 David North was a notable result, as that brought the local driver his first points of the season.  The Ladies Trophy final saw Chadwick build a commanding lead in the early stages, but there was drama on lap five, which left cars littered around the circuit.  572 James Lindsay had ground to a halt; Palmer and 315 Justin Fisher had tangled with Ashley; and as the yellow flags appeared, Hooper got caught up with 91 Harrison Bryant.  In all the confusion, Coombes tried to get away from the home straight fence, and was clattered by Cornock, which left the former with a shredded rear tyre.  Once tidied up, the race resumed, Chadwick continued to lead, whilst Moss and Goddard were closing on him.  Similarly, 418 Ben Borthwick had made fine progress from the star grade, and once he got past Goddard and Moss, he moved into the lead on lap nine.  The second half of the race was relatively incident-free, until the very last lap when Borthwick’s haste to pass backmarker Priddle saw the two drivers momentarily veer towards the infield.  Borthwick regained direction, and saw out the final half a lap to win from Goddard, Moss and Vaight.  Showing a great sporting approach, Borthwick took the customary champagne soaking during the trophy presentation.  Coombes was a convincing winner of The Trackscene Trophy in the Grand National, as he stormed to victory, finishing clear of Hooper, whilst Chadwick just pipped Borthwick for third in a near photo-finish.  Toll, Moss, Goddard and Borthwick each collected a bottle of anCnoc single malt whisky from Alan McLachlan, as the day’s grade award winners.

Stock Rods

Amongst the entry of Stock Rods, 285 Martin Walker made his debut in the formula, and it was he who headed the field away in the opening heat.  Walker led until the midway point.  351 Rhys Langdown briefly hit the front, but he then lost out to British Champion 909 Justin Washer.  3 Matt Peters also sped through to claim second place, with Langdown having to settle for third.  Heat two was also led by Walker, but this time it was 426 Keith Channon who reeled him in.  Further down the order, there was a dramatic incident on the back straight on lap three.  This involved Washer, who lost a wheel, and 9 Chris Drake who clipped the wheel and flew through the air.  Channon charged on at the front and took the win, from Langdown and 14 Ross Montgomery.  The upshot of the results from the heats was that Langdown earned pole for the West of England Championship, with Peters alongside, and at the drop of the green flag, they tore off into the west bend.  The inside line for Langdown proved advantageous, and he sped off turn two and swiftly into a clear lead.  Montgomery grabbed second place for a short time, but Peters looked to get around the outside of him, and Montgomery was fair in leaving racing room for Peters, who made the pass stick.  Langdown, though, was log gone, and he duly cruised to victory; his finest hour yet with Autospeed, and an indication that greater things may yet lie ahead for him.

Back 2 Basics Bangers

Another fine showing of more than 30 drivers contested the latest meeting for the Back 2 Basics Bangers.  The most significant race for the season for the Back 2 Basics Bangers is the Dave Weare Memorial, and that was their opening event.  A packed grid set off and mayhem duly ensued, with cars heading in all directions.  The early leader was 27 Shaine Barton, but by the midway stages 17 Tim King was in front.  However, rather aptly, it was 79 Brian Edmond (Dave Weare’s brother in law) who was able to grab the lead just as the lap boards appeared, and he scored an emotional victory, with 242 Ben Ellacott the runner-up and King in third.  After 29 Jamie Jones had led the first Allcomers race, Barton grabbed the lead from him.  Barton went on to win, from 74 Adam Hitchcock and 992 Dan Walsh, with Jones in fourth.  Ellacott was a convincing winner of the second Allcomers, which had a notably reduced grid.  Next came a hugely entertaining Triples & Pairs race.  Barton and 729 Jez Hooper were victorious, but for entertainment, the trio of 246 Ryan Sparks, 394 Ben Myers in his smoking car and 333 Craig Partridge, were top notch.  A brutal Destruction Derby concluded proceedings.  21 Brett Barton was adjudged the winner, after he eventually saw off Sparks.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
W&Y 979 517 844 118 91 137 222 460 572 828
Heat 2 676 184 689 468 315 418 162 720 nof
Consolation 895 24 828 126 14 398 572 663 214 636
Final 418 895 979 184 126 676 689 398 468 663
Grand National 828 676 137 418 979 184 126 398 517 689
Grade Awards W 118 Y 979 B 895 R 418
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 909 3 351 14 9 437 776 284 68 222
Heat 2 426 351 14 3 776 81 437 68 222 285
West of England 351 3 14 776 81 9 437 426 68 222
Back 2 Basics Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Dave Weare Trophy 79 242 17 27 386 328 211 992 394 59
Allcomers 1 27 74 992 29 17 79 335 333 154 21
Allcomers 2 242 74 27 246 992 252 59 333 17 nof
Chained Pairs 27/729 246/394/333 154/79 nof
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