United Downs Raceway - Sunday 19th February 2023

United Downs Raceway made an early awakening from its winter slumbers with an early-season fixture that boasted three classes of Banger action, supported by a decent bundle of BriSCA Micro F2 Stock Cars.  Also making an appropriate awakening were Spring-like conditions which ensured that a very good crowd gathered to watch the action in mild temperatures and patchy sunshine.

Unlimited National Bangers

Ten Unlimiteds were in action with the opening race being a Wild Card Final earning a place in the World Championship at Smeatharpe in July.  458 Layton Quinn got away at the front but was soon spun around by the combined efforts of 372 Jay Matthews and 246 Ryan Sparks with Sparks soon getting ahead of Matthews to pull clear and develop a secure lead.  Behind him, 133 Terry Hill in his used Mk1 Granada moved ahead of 190 Steve Bailey which prompted 190 Pikey to fire 133 Terz wide into turn one and reclaim the position.  However, Terz was back ahead of Pikey on turns three and four soon afterwards which didn’t go down well, and this time Pikey picked up the Mk1 and buried it hard on turn one.  As Terz bounced off the plating, and Pikey spun him aside, it slowed Pikey and he found himself on the end of a solid follow-in from 360 Jack Reynolds at the other end of the circuit.  Terz limped his car around to blow up Pikey but took more damage as Hemmings span Matthews into him, the Mk1 then backing off and taking another shot from 59 Mike Hamley before managing another lap to pile into Pikey for a final time.  Sparks continued unchallenged to claim the victory and the Wild Card spot ahead of 225 Ricky Edmonds and 278 Shaun Brokenshire.  The first Allcomers race saw 278 Bean on and off the track with mechanical woes although he still managed a hit on Hamley before taking one from 225 Lord Ted.  Sparks took his second victory of the day.  The last race saw 360 Jackstar slow and wait for a shot from Edmonds as Sparks completed a hat-trick of wins to start his season in the best possible way.

National Micro Bangers

Of the entry of 16 National Micro Bangers that arrived for duty, 17 Adam Welsman, 190 Pikey, 662 Jared Roe and 846 Jacob Read receiving pre-meeting presentation awards on the Grand Parade, with 344 Mike Whitelock only just missing out.  The opening heat saw 846 Livewire take a burial from 278 Shaun Brokenshire with 648 Jamie Smith piling in through the back wheel of Read before 208 Kieran Barrett arrived to claim entertainer of the race by going through the passenger door of Read to put the 846 car on its side and bring out the red flags.  The restart saw 278 Bean land a hit on the slower and quirky Chevrolet Matiz of 355 Aaron Dark.  190 Pikey was the winner although 133 Terz was close behind as the chequered flag fell.  Heat two was the best of the day and saw 165 Graham Middlewood in another of his favoured Suzuki Wagon R models bouncing about in the early traffic which ended with him performing a complete rollover on the home straight before firing up and driving the car onto the infield.  775 Callum Congdon was in his first race of the day but it was short-lived as he took to the kerbs into turn three and was picked up and followed-in big time by 355 Dribbler.  208 Barry also collected Congdon before the red flags came out to allow him safe passage from the car, regrettably with a hand injury.  The restart thankfully didn’t lose any momentum and saw 278 Bean bury 344 Whitelock with 648 Smithy then nailing the 344 car as elsewhere 208 Barry fired up the back of 17 Welly.  Bean came around again to go through the back wheel of the 344 Corsa leaving it a big mess with Bean and then Welly delivering hits that put the Matiz of Dribbler to the cage.  113 Jack Gill hit Welly but paid for it by taking hits from Smithy and Bean with Smithy then coming around to nail Barry who had shuffled his Micra off the turn two kerb to present the boot lid to the oncoming traffic.  444 Mike Stacey got caught up in the aftermath of the latter hit and left himself a sitting target for shots from Pikey and Smithy with the latter then turning it around for one last assault on Barry.  Pikey was the race winner with Smithy taking the entertainer of the race award.  The Final saw 165 Knuckle T under fire as he was first spun out by Welly and later by 44 Liam Boswarthick which allowed Welly to deliver a stonking head-on to the Suzuki earning Welly the entertainer of the race.  Pikey led the field home with Terz and 44 Lippy completing the podium places.  The DD followed straight on from the Final and kicked off with 662 Jared Roe following-in 648 Smithy before Bean piled into the back of Roe and took a shot from 208 Barry in turn.  444 Pikey Mikey joined the track and blasted 648 Smithy in the driver’s-side back wheel whilst the impressively-repaired 344 Whitelock blasted 208 Barry in the back wheel which also sent Whitelock into the front wheel of 444 Stacey.  Stacey then became the focus of attention with Whitelock firing into the back of him and then Barry doing him on the nose before Whitelock arrived with another jacking that left the 444 Fiesta folded up impressively.  Whitelock was the winner by this stage but still celebrated with a solid hit on Bean and a final hit on Stacey to complete an excellent day for the Micros.

Van Bangers

A very good entry of 15 vans provided a fair bit of variety although the Ford Transit was still the most popular choice making up just under half of the vans in the pits.  Heat One saw 694 Dan Mallaber take a hit from 738 Steve Tippett after Mallaber got boxed-in by the spinning 7 Dan Orchard whilst 511 Dan Crosbie buried 4 Mark Jenkins.  The red flags then emerged for a loose wheel bringing about a complete re-run of the race.  Take two saw 254 Steve Ryan in the only Mercedes Sprinter run Crosbie to the wall taking Mallaber around with 813 Steve Quickfall then blasting 254 Ryan and getting done by 786 Grant Harris in turn.  254 Ryan got going again to come around and fire up the back of 786 Harris with 113 Jack Gill winning the race.  Heat two started with a series of spins, 738 Tipps taking more than half a lap to persuade 977 Sam Jago to face the way he had come from.  511 Crosbie was in lively mood again running in 7 Orchard on the awkward exit of turn two with Orchard taking a lunge at Crosbie at the end of the straight in a failed revenge attempt which only succeeded in Orchard taking a rough ride over the banking.  113 Gill succeeded in spinning Crosbie later on but Crosbie still bounced back to bury Mallaber into some parked traffic.  2557 Owen Braine was the winner in his rapid LDV Maxus.  In the Final, there were early tit-for-tat exchanges between 113 Gill and 977 Jago before 25 Jake Baron attacked 254 Ryan prompting his Expert van to mysteriously stop running in the way only a Peugeot can.  Ryan span Jago to leave the 977 van almost blocking turn two but the surviving runners skilfully avoided the hazard with 756 Troy Hooper leading home 2557 the Bin Rat and 694 Mallaber as the only finishers of the race.  The DD followed with an immediate green after the chequered flag from the Final.  511 Dan Crosbie and crew had turned the hardcore Nissan Vanette out for one last ride but things started badly as the Bin Rat ran Crosbie to the wall.  Elsewhere, both Mallaber and Braine delivered hits to 113 Gill with the latter surviving the attention to blast Crosbie in the back wheel allowing Mallaber to come in on the nose of the Nissan.  756 Hooper euthanized himself with an attack on Bin Rat with Gill and Braine both delivering final hits to Hooper.  Crosbie turned it round to meet the much bigger LDV of Braine on the nose and with the latter losing cooling water, Braine switched to reverse for a last attack on Crosbie before his van expired.  It came down to a Final chase down the back straight with Crosbie going in hard on the back of Gill from which neither moved again although Crosbie was judged the winner as the last aggressor of the session.

National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
WF Wild Card 246 225 278 372 59 458 133 nof
Allcomers 1 246 372 225 59 278 nof
Allcomers 2 246 372 225 59 nof
National Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 190 133 275 662 278 344 648 355 nof Ent 208
Heat 2 190 133 648 nof Ent 648
Final 190 133 44 648 662 nof Ent 17
DD 344 Ent 344
Van Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 113 2557 756 694 7 738 nof
Heat 2 2557 113 694 254 511 nof
Final 756 2557 694 nof
DD 511
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