Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 16th July 2023

Day two of the Summer Speedweekend saw the unseasonable weather conditions continue although the majority of racing largely took place in dry conditions.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

Outstanding sponsorship backing resulted in big money up for grabs, with £167 to ever race winner.  Heat one saw a complete re-run called after 525 Charlie Knight and 828 Julian Coombes entangled broadside on the home straight.  540 Dayne Pritlove made a quick getaway, and such was his speed that he was quickly into lapping the tail end of the field.  Both 581 Dan Fallows and 302 Dale Moon looked like they would be set to overhaul the white top, but they were delayed by back markers which allowed Pritlove the opportunity to claim a popular win.  Heat two was also dominated by the lower graders, this time white top 53 Phil Mann was the one who began to lap the field, which included sweeping past star graders such as 24 Jon Palmer.  844 Jack Prosser eventually forced his way past Mann as both put another lap on Palmer.  By this time, Palmer had become aggravated with 572 James Lindsay who was duly shoved around the plating at the end of the home straight.  Meanwhile, Prosser and Mann headed to the chequered flag.  Heat three followed a similar pattern of a long-time white grade leader, this time in the shape of 728 Jack Bunter.  However, he was passed by superstar graded Scotsman 3 Liam Rennie who charged on to victory.  The consolation saw 141 Harry Neath Rogers emerge as the early leader.  468 Sam Weston and 998 Graham Fegan both tangled on the exit of turn two, Fegan then colliding with 290 Kieran Cocks as he dragged his stricken car to the centre, whilst Cocks careered into the infield marker tyres at the end of the straight.  Coombes moved up into the lead as 390 Jessica Smith spun out on turn four.  When Smith rejoined, it was just behind the race leader and the pair then traded blows and on-track position with Coombes possibly unaware that Smith was a lap adrift.  A late yellow flag was required with a wheel off the 663 Bryan Lindsay machine, whilst 475 Leah Sealy had moved into second.  On the resumption Coombes withstood a last bend challenge from Sealy to hold on for the win.  The Final grid of 34 cars made for an impressive sight, and ‘Hey Jude’ was played in preparation for The Master’s Trophy.  924 Jack Morrow from Northern Ireland was an early casualty, in hard on the pit bend with Moon also involved.  259 Daz Purdy continued the theme of the afternoon as an early white top leader but eventually 194 Luke Johnson took over.  He was chased by Fallows after which the race evolved to next level excitement, which would have very much received the Bill Batten seal of approval.  Fallows edged past Johnson, only for Johnson to respond and grab the lead once more.  The pair continued to swap places over a series of laps, and all the while third placed 460 Adam Pearce kept them in his sights.  Fallows eventually hit the front to lead the last lap, and with Johnson and Pearce line astern, the trio charged into the last bend.  Fallows was able to ride out the hit, and he led Johnson and Pearce over the line to seal the win and duly grab the £667 first prize along with the stunning trophy.  Fallows was clearly delighted with his weekend’s racing, whilst runner-up Johnson remarked in the post-race interviews that he knew he would have had his Dad nipping at his ear if he had not fought tooth and nail for that one.  Presentation duties were undertaken in the presence of a veritable Who’s Who of West Country Stock Car racing as support to Bill’s family and friends.  The weekend, the gathering and particularly the enthralling race had been a most fitting tribute to ‘The Master’.  The Grand National, featuring a first prize of £167 plus £152, courtesy of Mick Sworder, brought the curtain down on a busy and enjoyable weekend’s racing.  In an eventful start, Neath-Rogers, 605 Richie Andrews and 870 Bruno Farrell tangled into the west bend fence, whilst Johnson spun in the pits bend, and that was the catalyst for most of the star graders to also pile into the turn.  Weston, Rennie and 127 Matt Stoneman all tangled as a result.  On the restart 881 Jamie Ward-Scott hared into the lead and it was not until the last couple of laps that 676 Neil Hooper began to close noticeably.  Also in those closing stages, 525 Charlie Knight spun wildly on the start line, in a high speed tangle with Purdy, with Knight just managing to scramble out of harm’s way at the end of the straight.  Ward-Scott held on at the front until very late on, when Hooper edged past, to provide an appropriately nostalgic winner to cap the weekend.

Saloon Stock Cars

The points from the previous evening’s heat races were tallied to form the grid for the Bill Batten Tribute Trophy.  28 Ian Govier sat out proceedings with his car handed over to former BriSCA F2 star and Smeatharpe Stadium legend Kevin Stack who had been celebrating his 73rd birthday the previous evening.  Therefore, what else was there for Stack to do than join a grid of 32 other Saloon Stock Car drivers – some less than a third his age!  720 Archie Brown made a good start from the front row of the grid and had eased clear when 622 Gary Paterson found himself facing the wrong way on the home straight where he was met nose first by 389 Ryan Santry moments after the yellow flags had been shown.  The race resumed in frenetic fashion, with Brown momentarily losing the lead to 349 Michael Allard, but the World Champion duly found himself under attack and he lost time, which allowed Brown back up into the lead.  As those in pursuit battled one another, and hindered their progress, Brown looked relatively secure in that position until he encountered backmarker 161 Billy Smith.  Brown sent the East Anglian wide in the pits bend, but Smith responded in kind, and came back at the young star grader running them both hard into the west bend.  Over the next lap or so, Brown and Smith were glued together, crawling around at snail’s pace, and that opened the door for 618 Stuart Shevill Jnr to briefly move into the top spot before he relinquished the lead to 760 Joey Reynolds.  For good measure, a rain shower threw an extra curve ball to those on track and that saw Allard go spinning around.  Despite an abundance of traffic, Reynolds picked his way through the dangers to take the win.  The first of two Allcomers races saw 319 Richard Regan and 114 Shane Rawlins tangle early on.  Around the same time, 261 Dom Davies ended up facing the wrong direction on the home straight and Stack went around in the west bend.  329 Kegan Sampson took over from fellow Ministox graduate 515 Harrison Stone in the lead, and further back 561 Aaron Totham was spun around by Allard.  Brown eventually forced his way into the lead, chased by 902 Buster Compton-Sage.  Santry tried to steal third on the final bend from 27 Jason Kingwell, but he narrowly missed out.  The last Saloon Stock Car race of the weekend saw Totham well clear in the lead, so he missed out on a barrage of huge blows which were traded by the bumpers of Brown, Reynolds, Regan and 677 Warren Darby.  Going into the last bend, 281 Marc Chenery, who was in second, found himself under attack from Allard and 84 Carl Boswell which demoted him to fourth.  Totham won, convincingly, whilst Allard and Boswell both gained a place in the last bend sort out.


A last chance qualifying race commenced proceedings for the youngsters with an early battle between the Scottish pair of 858 Rhys Anderson and 628 Ross Mclaughlin eventually seeing them finish the race in that order.  Behind, 913 Ben Faulconbridge was spun out of a qualifying sport with 922 Kaydi Butcher suffering a similar fate in the closing laps, as 505 Louis Herzig benefitted by claiming the final spot on the back of the National Championship grid.  The title race saw defending Champion 7 Charlie Hardie start on pole position with 290 Alfie Tomkins the lone west country driver amongst the top six cars.  Hardie made a good start with 42 Jake Wilson following into second and Tomkins third.  172 Rian Mitchell was spun out by 207 Alfie Flecken, but at the front the leaders encountered backmarker 770 Austin Farrell, whose intervention resulted in a change of the order, as Wilson took over first place.  He led, from Tomkins and Hardie, with 484 Dean Heeps in fourth.  Wilson and Tomkins were beginning to edge clear, but then Tomkins made his move on the pit bend sending Wilson into a half spin.  However, that also delayed Tomkins and allowed Hardie to again challenge for the lead, only for the race to enter a caution period for Anderson when he became stranded on the exit of turn two.  On the restart, Tomkins managed to pull clear, which left Hardie, Wilson, Heeps and 920 Wayne Wadge in a scramble for second.  Flecken and 27 Rab Scott joined the battle, as Tomkins moved further into the distance.  Having previously been disqualified for a loose exhaust, Austin Farrell rejoined the race.  Tomkins sped past him, and Wilson established himself clearly in second, as Hardie’s challenge on Flecken delayed both drivers.  Wilson used backmarker 196 Mason Leslie as a shield to squeeze past Farrell who was shown the black flag.  However, heading into the west bend, Farrell dived at Wilson, half spinning him, and in the delay, ORCi Champion 629 Kerr Paterson grabbed second place and Flecken moved into third.  Wilson responded, as he bundled Paterson out of his way and then regained second from Flecken, as the errant Farrell retired to the infield.  Tomkins lapped Hardie and was the length of a straight clear of Wilson.  Just five laps remained, but a lap later Tomkins would have been relieved to note Hardie, who had tailed him, slow and initially head towards the infield, before circulating at a slow pace for the next lap.  Tomkins came to lap Hardie for the second time, only for Hardie to speed up on the back straight and squeeze Tomkins wide heading into the pits bend.  Tomkins survived and looked to have escaped the challenge from the Scottish star, but another backmarker, 922 Kaydi Butcher, hindered Tomkins as he took the last lap board and shot into the west bend.  Hardie stormed after Tomkins, half spun him, and took both cars into the fence, with Tomkins trapped behind the stationary car of Leslie.  With such a dramatic turn of events, the Steward called for an immediate halt to proceedings before any further unsporting tactics were deployed.   The race reverted to the last completed lap, with Tomkins duly being declared the winner and the new National Champion, Wilson the runner-up and Heeps in third.  The decision was not popular with Wilson, who chose to leave the track prior to the trophy presentations.  An early flag was required in the BB Van Hire Trophy race with 902 Reagan Davies the leader.  Once back underway, 475 Mason Sealy managed to break away at the front to take the win.  Behind him, Mitchell performed a fine undercut on the final bend to move from fourth to second, with Davies in third and 870 Bertie Farrell fourth.  Their final race of the weekend was suspended for 27 Rab Scott.  On the resumption, more rain fell which contributed to a five-way battle for the lead.  In the scramble which followed, Sealy grabbed the lead to take his second win on the day with Mitchell second and Paterson third, the drivers demonstrating that they could produce some excellent racing when all other things are put to one side.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 540 581 302 194 183 960 560 359 525 NI924
Heat 2 844 53 980 776 325 460 533 141 390 184
Heat 3 3 728 895 605 127 161 35 315 542 979
Consolation 828 475 667 467 881 first 5 to final
The Master Trophy 581 194 460 736 259 183 3 960 667 728
Grand National 676 881 126 24 980 127 27 540 161 776
Grade Awards W 540 Y 194 B 581 R 3
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Bill Batten Tribute 760 389 561 677 238 261 27 661 577 329
Allcomers 1 720 902 27 389 349 661 329 760 677 577
Allcomers 2 561 349 84 281 720 760 902 389 661 319
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Last Chance 858 628 242 196 505 first 5 to final
National Championship 290 42 484 27 629 172 475 207 339 617
BB Van Hire 475 172 902 870 629 60 920 207 388 339
Allcomers 475 172 629 870 339 902 913 202 388 920
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