United Downs Raceway - Sunday 27th August 2023

The season’s best crowd at the United Downs Raceway enjoyed a terrific Bank Holiday meeting which was full of incident and drama, and where the Caravan Chaos race at the end of the afternoon was a shining highlight of an entertaining day.

Caravan Chaos

Half a dozen caravans were destroyed in a thrilling race which brought wild reaction from the crowd, particularly when 182 Nathan James stormed into a back straight pile-up and rolled over.  156 Howard Cross had spun, 275 Liam Best had charged into the heap, and 270 Oli Knight parked inside the back of the Best caravan.  The race was stopped, and from the wreckage, just 692 Dave Gardner and 294 Oli Bower were available for the restart.  Bower trashed more caravans before grinding to a halt.  Gardner completed the remaining laps to secure the win, and then fired into Bower’s stationary car and caravan remains, which resulted in Gardner rolling over to produce a fitting climax to the destruction.

Stock Rods

There was a slight dip in numbers for the Stock Rods, but those in attendance took full advantage of the four races on offer.  51 Aiden Vincent made light work of his upgrade to yellow as he swept to the front of the first heat.  At the wheel of the loaned Keith Channon Tigra, National Champion 944 Callum Hosie charged through the grid, but Vincent looked to be out of range.  However, the youngster was baulked by backmarkers, and in a moment of confusion on the home straight, 275 Jeremy Hatch and 204 Georgie Polley tangled when Polley suffered a puncture.  Polley spun, Vincent was delayed, and Hosie pounced to grab an unexpected late race victory.  In heat two, Vincent made no mistakes as he turned his lead position into a convincing win.  415 Sean Gillett made good progress with a succession of outside line passes, but he could not hold off 151 Simon Vincent, who stole second from him late on, to follow home his son.  The final was led to halfway by 982 Sophie Daughtrey.  The track was especially awkward for this race, for whilst it was drying after an earlier shower, there was barely more than one dry line.  Late on, Daughtrey drifted wide, and Aiden Vincent shot by to complete a heat and final double.  149 Dan Curtis and 258 James Griggs rounded out the top three.  Daughtrey made much of the running in the Grand National, too, before relinquishing the lead to Gillett.  Another late charge by Hosie saw him wrestle the lead from Gillett in an untidy exchange on the last lap.  Unluckily, Gillett just missed out, and Hosie was perhaps fortunate to keep the win.


The youngsters in the Ministox contested two graded heats, ahead of their Cornish Championship.  Returning after a month off on the naughty step, 770 Austin Farrell made a wild start to heat one, with a wayward excursion over the infield.  White graders 922 Kaydi Butcher, 313 Oakley Hayes and 511 Lexi Crosbie led the field, but British Champion 202 Cody Bradford made good progress from the rear of the grid, to speed through for victory.  Heat two was a chaotic race, which began with Hayes making a poor start at the drop of the green.  He then proceeded to clout the fence a number of times as the race progressed.  242 Amy Williams settled into the lead, and 870 Bert Farrell spun 567 Mia Batten out of second place.  Crosbie lost time when she spun up the inner banking, and Williams saw her lead evaporate when she suffered a puncture.  Gamely Williams soldiered on and was rewarded with tenth, but it was Bradford who claimed his second win.  With two victories, Bradford was assured of pole position for the title race, and 207 Alfie Flecken joined him on the front row.  However, it was National Champion 290 Alfie Tomkins who was to be Bradford’s main challenger.  The two drove superbly as they swapped the lead, until the clash which was to decide the outcome of the race.  As Bradford challenged Tomkins, the resulting tangle saw Tomkins veer over the kerb entering turn one.  As he bounced back on to the track, he spun third placed Bert Farrell, which also grabbed 920 Wayne Wadge into the crash.  Bradford escaped, and led off the single file restart after a race suspension was required to tidy the mayhem.  913 Ben Faulconbridge sat behind Bradford, but he was too slow to react when the green fell.  Flecken moved into second but could not catch Bradford who completed a hat-trick of wins to regain the Cornish title.  Third went to Austin Farrell, who celebrated wildly after passing the chequered.


An improved showing of 25 drivers contested this year’s Cornish Championship.  Returnee 156 Howard Cross made a false start to the first heat, before 533 Ryan Parkin and 959 Justin Payne crashed out in the turnstile bend.  The race was halted on account of Parkin discovering a seat belt issue.  206 Matt Brewer and Cornish Champion 290 Jay Tomkins battled entertainingly for the lead when the race restarted, with Brewer just getting the verdict.  Only nine cars went the distance.  Heat two began with 11 Grubby Frankson dumped into the turnstile bend plating, and 354 Simon Phillips produced a typically lively display which included running 53 Chris James around the pits bend fence late on.  161 Anton Ferris spun on a number of occasions, as Brewer collected a second win.  There was high drama at the start of the Cornish Championship race, with Phillips turned into the fence on the home straight.  Left facing the wrong way, Phillips was then collected by the pack before his Picasso burst into flames.  Phillips exited the car swiftly, and marshals quickly extinguished the fire.  422 Tristan Beresford led the restarted race, but 230 Tom Shilling edged past just before the midway point.  Despite 621 Scott Kendall and Brewer giving pursuit, Shilling was away and gone, to land the prestigious title in his first season.

Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 206 290 621 161 230 113 53 556 11 nof
Heat 2 206 23 230 422 275 621 182 633 786 556
Cornish 230 621 206 182 23 290 422 786 161 113
Caravan Chaos 692
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 202 475 290 870 207 913 920 617 567 242
Heat 2 202 207 920 290 617 870 902 770 567 242
Cornish 202 207 770 902 913 475 922 242 617 511
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 944 51 32 415 909 258 151 522 862 131
Heat 2 51 151 415 258 149 131 944 909 32 231
Final 51 149 258 76 415 982 204 131 285 231
Grand National 944 415 151 909 522 285 32 982 100 51
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