Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 15th March 2020

The season opener at Smeatharpe saw poor weather in the morning finally give way to a better afternoon, by the end of which the track had dried, and racing speeds increased during a day that was full of spectacular action.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

On a soaked track, 542 Steven Gilbert stormed to the chequered flag in the first heat but failed post-race scrutineering on rear axle offset.  That promoted 302 Dale Moon into first place.  Heat two was held under caution when 538 Chevy Mills and 844 Jack Prosser were left stranded in the pits bend.  895 Ben Goddard nudged ahead of 979 Paul Moss when the race resumed, and he swept to victory, chased home by 24 Jon Palmer.  320 Matt Hatch claimed a first ever win in the consolation, after coming out on top of a duel with 35 Charlie Fisher.  Amazingly, the final went from green flag to chequered, and was a race full of incident, with the track having dried on the straights, but still damp on the corners.  Hatch got into the lead from the early stages but was chased down by 979 Paul Moss and 890 Paul Rice.  As Moss and Rice swapped the lead, a telling moment arrived when Rice bundled a backmarker into Moss, which sent Moss over the bonnet of 689 Joe Marquand.  When Moss landed, he clobbered the fence on turn four.  Rice thus regained the lead and saw out the remaining laps for a stunning win, which not only netted him the MDP Services Trophy, but also a return to the star grade.  560 Luke Wrench relieved 578 Mark Gibbs of second place in the very late stages as the long distance travelling drivers completed the rostrum positions.  The Grand National was another boisterous race, run at a far faster pace than the preceding races.  Gilbert hunted down Mills, to seal the win, ahead of Palmer who had pulled off a ‘double pot’ when he scattered Rygor and Wrench with a perfectly timed move in the pits bend.

Saloon Stock Cars

Each of the day’s three races for the Saloon Stock Cars produced an outstanding last bend finish.  In the opening heat, 27 Kieren Bradford dived at the long-time leader, 277 Jack Grandon in the west bend, at the start of the final lap.  However, although Bradford briefly grabbed the lead, as he hustled past the spinning Grandon car, 902 Junior Buster was able to make a last bend challenge and edge past Bradford to grab a sensational late victory.  561 Aaron Totham was a long way clear in heat two, but late on his run was inadvertently hindered by backmarker 770 Archie Farrell.  That gave Bradford the tiniest glimmer of hope that he could mount a last bend challenge, but Totham was out of range.  Totham cruised to the line for victory, whilst Bradford bounced off the plating and Junior Buster was able to steal second from him.  Then came a momentous final.  Grandon again looked to be away and gone, but as the race neared its conclusion, 161 Billy Smith looked to possibly have reeled Grandon into range.  As the two cars charged down the back straight, Smith left nothing to chance and shot into the bend like a missile, connecting with Grandon who was sent into a half spin.  The momentum took both cars towards the plating, and in a mad scramble, Smith just got clear of Grandon to charge towards the line.  However, with the lead pair slowed by that last bend move, it opened the door for third placed 341 Austen Freestone.  As Smith struggled to pick up speed, Freestone so nearly managed to take advantage, and was very close to stealing the win.  However, Smith did get over the line, for an outrageous victory, with Freestone second and Grandon recovered for third.

Ministox

The first heat had to be suspended for debris on the back straight as 329 Kegan Sampson lost a roof fin.  525 Harrison Stone was the leader at the time, but he was duly relegated by 654 Harley Soper, who sped on to a comprehensive victory.  In heat two, there was another race suspension, as 984 Fin Carter bounced into the marker tyres and was collected by 577 Harry Darby and track debutant 055 Olivia Herzig.  382 Corey Hunt led the single file restart, but Soper overhauled him for a second win, with Hunt dropping back to fifth.  Hunt made most the running in the final, but late on Darby managed to catch him, as did English Champion 499 David Aldous, to leave a top three of drivers who were each sons of former Saloon Stock Car champions.

Back 2 Basics Bangers

A large entry of Back 2 Basics Bangers led to a chaotic opening race, which was halted early on when 287 Mark Hatch incurred heavy damage on the back straight.  On his debut appearance, 303 Josh Jones stormed to a fine win when the race was re-run.  The second heat was also stopped early on, with 211 Adrian Coles requiring attention.  When the race resumed, 74 Adam Hitchcock hit the front, but he was nudged aside by 729 Jez Hooper, and shortly after 83 Ben Styles took over and won comfortably.  The final looked to be Hitchcock’s for the taking, but 161 Anton Ferris wreaked havoc in an entertaining spell that hindered Hitchcock and allowed 218 Ant Jeffrey to take over.  Jeffrey won, with 800 Jonathan Hardacre and 455 Shane Kennard completing the top three.  A well populated Destruction Derby saw the Hardacre Micra comprehensively smashed up in a big pile of cars on the exit of turn four after Hooper had stopped him head-on.  26 Craig Nichols was disqualified for repeatedly failing to hit anything, and eventually Hitchcock outlasted the rest to limp his car into a final hit on Kennard.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 302 560 325 578 196 418 890 600 526 460
Heat 2 895 24 126 979 689 783 676 464 105 147
Consolation 320 35 542 844 538 229 275 222 468 544
Final 890 560 578 783 105 542 126 895 24 418
Grand National 542 24 560 676 538 783 126 302 844 325
Grade Awards W 320 Y 538 B 890 * 560
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 902 27 10 161 730 399 84 980 561 277
Heat 2 561 902 27 277 161 57 730 10 399 84
Final 161 341 277 730 57 399 561 276 902 214
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 654 985 569 499 329 998 927 382 566 914
Heat 2 654 499 569 985 382 525 914 927 329 313
Final 577 499 382 569 927 654 329 914 998 985
B2B Basics Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 303 881 83 13 455 777 291 129 205 218
Heat 2 83 729 161 335 303 74 13 455 218 182
Final 218 800 455 331 161 777 74 252 26 nof
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