Skegness Stadium - Sunday 21st May 2023

The second day of Autospeed’s ‘On Tour’ meeting at Skegness Raceway featured a busy afternoon of racing for five formulas under sunny skies. The Ministox English Open stole the show as undoubtedly the race of the weekend.

BriSCA Formula Two Stock Cars

The BriSCA F2 Stock Cars joined the other formulas from the previous night with a strong turnout of 46 cars contesting the fantastic Nostalgia Trophy, donated by Mick Whittle. The former racer was present himself with his stunning Fiat-bodied ’70s-style recreation, along with the restored cars of Gary Kent and Howard Cole. In the first heat, 475 Leah Sealy made strong early progress to take the lead, but track specialist 564 David Shearing was flying from his blue-grade start. Once into second, he took a couple of laps to shift Sealy but hit the front as the race reached half-distance. As Shearing pulled clear, 129 Charley Tomblin passed Sealy with three laps to go as the Somerset racer slipped to an eventual sixth. 903 Ben Spence worked his way through to relieve 359 Gary Wrench of the lead in heat two. Wrench fought back, but Spence quickly consolidated his position. From the back of the field, 618 Ben Lockwood, 101 Kelvyn Marshall and 968 Micky Brennan were carving through, and Lockwood took over from Spence with six laps to go. While Marshall retired, Brennan climbed to third but could not catch the lead pair. The consolation was dominated from start to finish by 69-year-old veteran 297 Paul Bailey. 776 Dan Roots looked like he could be the man to challenge but was delayed by a tangle in the last quarter of the race.  The qualifiers for the 30-car final were led out by Mick Whittle in his magnificent machine. Gary Wrench led the opening laps which were enlivened by 195 Mike Philip getting tipped into the wall on the back straight. Eventually, 376 Daz Seneschall shoved Wrench wide for the lead, with yellow-top 926 Josh Wilson following into second before making his move for the lead a lap later. In a fast-paced race, Wilson was pulling away and, on the big Skegness oval, didn’t even need to worry about backmarking traffic until the final few laps. 379 Dale Seneschall Jr relieved his dad of second but could do nothing about the leader. Shearing worked his way into third with a few laps remaining, chased by Marshall and 560 Luke Wrench, but none were able to make further progress as Wilson claimed his maiden BriSCA F2 final victory from Seneschall. Shearing’s last-bend lunge for second only succeeded in spinning himself, handing third to Marshall to complete a 1-2-3 for cars built by the Macclesfield man. A packed field of 38 cars took part in the Grand National, which predictably led to some fairly chaotic opening laps, again led by Gary Wrench. After yellow flags were required to remove a wheel guard from the track, Sealy briefly hit the front. But she and second-placed Spence both lost out in a pile-up on the seaside bend, letting Shearing take over from 129 Charley Tomblin and 226 Billy Webster. Brennan was again setting a searing pace as he cut through towards the front and made it into second, but Shearing romped away to his second win of the day. Gary Wrench scooped the hamper of Cornish goodies as the leading white grade points scorer.

ORCi Stock Rods

Having contested their UK Championship qualifying heats the night before, first up for the Stock Rods was a last-chance qualifier to secure the remaining eight places on the grid. 73 Terry Gallagher led much of the way before being passed by 240 Graeme Dignan, and those two led the qualifiers home, with 285 Martin Walker third. The big race itself lined up with 29 David Philp Jr on pole position, joined by Northern Irishman 924 Jack Morrow on the front row. 79 Sean Devine, 67 Craig Haxton, 426 Keith Channon and 700 Sean Naismith completed the front group of six. Philp converted his pole position into the race lead, chased by Morrow as the front two broke clear. Morrow then nosed inside to take the lead and extended his advantage as Philp appeared to struggle. Philp fell into the clutches of the chasing pack headed by Devine and the flying 83 Michael Bethune, up from 12th on the grid. As Devine got inside Philp he ended up being run out of room and into the inner tyres, while Philp also picked up damage, ending both their races. Bethune was also delayed in the incident, so it was 944 Callum Hosie who emerged in second, ahead of 41 Stuart McKinnon. It allowed Morrow to further extend his lead to around one third of a lap. The Ulsterman never looked like being caught and duly claimed victory, well clear of Hosie. Bethune passed 172 Derek Conner and McKinnon on his recovery to third, meaning that Northern Ireland, England and Scotland were all represented in the trophy placings. The meeting final was a much quieter race, led by Dignan from early on. Haxton worked his way through to second in the latter stages, ahead of 605 Craig Murray and Naismith. The weekend for the Stock Rods ended with victory in the Allcomers for Murray, and another decent finish for Dignan in second.

ORCi Ministox

Like the Stock Rods, it was championship day the Ministox – in their case, the English Open. Nine places were on offer from the last-chance qualifying race, won by 870 Bertie Farrell. The Devon youngster took advantage of white-grade clashes to lead from early on and claim a dominant victory, despite a smoky exhaust. 27 Robbie Scott and 858 Rhys Anderson followed him home, while 567 Mia Batten just edged 920 Wayne Wadge Jr to the final qualifying place. The big race featured 30 cars with Scottish white-top 874 Ben McLellan on pole position ahead of his more experienced countrymen 167 Sam Cavanagh, 7 Charlie Hardie, 60 Bailey Millar, 84 Robbie Armit and 484 Dean Heeps. Hardie immediately cut inside to lead, chased by Armit, and the lead pair built a sizeable gap to the rest as they made light work of backmarking traffic. The race was turned on its head by a yellow flag soon after half-distance as 913 Ben Faulconbridge was broadside on the track and 629 Kerr Paterson had taken a hit into the inner tyres. On the restart, Armit got inside Hardie to lead momentarily, only for 42 Jake Wilson to squeeze past them both. There ensued a fantastic display of stock car racing at its best as the bumpers were used to full effect and positions traded on every corner between Wilson, Armit and Hardie, with Millar and 014 Demi Ritchie joining in too. While Wilson suffered one hit too many, Ritchie took advantage of the clashes to hit the front and was looking like she was set to break clear when yellows were called once more, this time to assist 742 Kacey Williams. With just two laps to go, Ritchie led from Hardie, Armit, Millar, Cavanagh and 29 David Philp Jr Jr. Hardie and Armit managed to pass Ritchie at the restart but Millar then shoved past both to lead onto the last lap, with Cavanagh on his tail. Cavanagh was clearly going to challenge on the final bend, but when the lunge came in, it pushed both cars wide and allowed Hardie to cut inside for victory. Cavanagh held second, ahead of Philp, Armit and the recovered Millar. 290 Alfie Tomkins snatched sixth as Ritchie was shuffled back to seventh, all having played their parts in a truly stupendous race. The meeting final could never live up to that but it began with a bang as Armit was tipped into the fence, with his car rolling onto its side. After a complete re-run, Philp worked his way into the lead within a few laps as plenty of crashing claimed several cars. Hardie and Wilson passed McLellan for second with a couple of laps to go, but Philp was too far clear to be challenged. Armit bounced back from that chaotic exit in the final to win the Allcomers, as Cavanagh and Heeps rounded out the top three.

Hot Fords

The non-contact class visiting from Buxton Raceway also returned for a second day of action. Both heats were won in consummate style by 100 Ayrton Mitchell, racing his brother’s car after his own had hit trouble the day before while Phil (101) had picked up a wrist injury. Mitchell quickly worked his way to the front of the opener from his yellow-grade starting position, but took a little longer in heat two as 141 Ryan Grindey and 908 Shane Houghton enjoyed spells in front. Grindey and Houghton were second and third in the opener, as the stars struggled to make progress on the sweeping circuit. 48 Gary Bell caught the leaders in heat two and managed to claim second. The final was led from start to finish by Grindey. While he may not have been the fastest on track, he drove tidily enough to repel any advances from the train that developed behind, with Houghton claiming second, Ball third and Mitchell fourth.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 564 129 195 226 979 475 931 560 184 213
Heat 2 618 903 968 285 3 376 880 960 359 200
Consolation 297 379 926 915 992 581 101 9 776 12
Final 926 379 101 560 968 618 285 359 3 226
GN 564 968 226 3 776 12 611 213 979 560
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Last Chance 240 73 285 415 275 220 913 522 286 73
UK Championship 924 944 83 172 32 41 612 67 231 351
Final 240 67 605 700 46 944 151 83 41 197
Allcomers 605 240 700 151 426 67 944 83 285 172
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Last Chance 870 27 858 617 475 913 742 172 567 920
English Open 7 167 29 84 60 290 014 644 617 207
Final 29 7 42 874 167 202 290 388 550 014
Allcomers 84 167 484 014 202 339 207 290 629 172
Hot Fords 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 100 141 908 48 87 483 9 19 420 067
Heat 2 100 48 908 141 87 483 9 19 306 11
Final 141 908 48 100 9 483 87 306 11 067
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