Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 27th January 2019

Despite bright winter sunshine, an icy wind cut across the Blackdown Hills, to leave racegoers very chilly at this year’s Winter Open Championship fixture.

2 Litre National Bangers

Yet again there was a dismal amount of drivers who failed to honour their bookings which left a disappointing car count for the Winter Open Championship, and aside from 74 Adam Hitchcock’s early race burial of 121 Aaron Jennings, the race was very processional.  741 Alex Waterman made the early running, pursued initially by 842 Jack Perkins and then 133 Terry Hill.  However, 162 Brett Ellacott burst through from mid-pack, and he hit the front by lap five.  Ellacott went on to secure a convincing victory, with Hill the runner-up, and 190 Steve Bailey in third.  The win landed Ellacott his second Winter Open title.  In the first Allcomers race, Ellacott won even more comprehensively, despite starting dead last on the grid.  Ellacott capitalised on some early race skirmishes which saw lots of crashing in the pits bend, with 908 David Brown and Terry Hill very much on the receiving end.  Late arrival 37 Matty Thompson was also in the thick of the action, with 131 Sam Hill strongly involved in a number of incidents.  In the second Allcomers, Ellacott made it three wins in succession.  Again, Sam Hill injected some action into the race, as he set about 799 Tom Pearce, who gallantly battled on, despite his car repeatedly waving a back wheel in the air as he entered the corners.  There was frustration for 233 Liam Parkin when his car expired whilst trying to limp to the start line for the DD, and that left just Thompson and Sam Hill to duel.  Hill was encouraged to trash the Parkin car, but in doing so, he got snagged on the pink Mondeo, which left him a sitting target for Thompson to finish him off; which brought a decent reward for Thompson, the day’s furthest travelled driver.

Stock Rods

Just a dozen Stock Rods contested their first fixture of the season, and their opening race began with some wayward driving in the pits bend, as first 972 Jack Soby clobbered a marker tyre, and he was swiftly followed by 9 Chris Drake who did likewise.  81 Rob Johns had grabbed the early lead, and he was some way clear of 426 Keith Channon, when Channon then retired, which left Johns even further ahead.  41 James Horwell moved into second, but could do nothing about the distant Johns, whilst 3 Matt Peters won a thrilling battle for third place, just pipping 437 Lewis Trickey on the line.  Johns led off the final, whilst the luckless 909 Justin Washer retired for the second race in a row.  Horwell chased after Johns, and had closed the gap on him as the race got to halfway.  Johns overshot a bend, which left the inside line clear for Horwell to snatch the lead.  Light drizzle changed the complexion of the closing segment of the race, as speeds significantly reduced, but Horwell held on for victory from Johns, and 25 Luke Plain just held off a clutch of chasing star graders for third.  Johns won again in the Grand National, whilst Plain and Peters clashed when squabbling for second place.  Each half spun, and fell right down the order, with Trickey able to benefit as he trailed in as the runner-up to Johns.

Ministox

With 24 youngsters present, a two from three format was deployed.  136 Emmaleigh Polley was away sharp in the first heat, and she proceeded to win on her track debut.  514 Abbie McGuinness led the chase of Polley in heat two, but had to be content with second, as Polley made it two wins from two starts.  In heat three, McGuinness picked a faultless route past backmarkers 870 Stella Farrell and 970 Millie Farrell to preserve the lead she had built up, and she sped to the chequered, with 980 Charlie Lobb the runner-up.  The BB Van Hire & Sales Trophy final began with a double spin for 577 Harry Darby and 619 Max Langmaid.  Stella Farrell and Polley were the early leaders, as McGuinness moved into third place.  The order soon changed again, as McGuinness took the lead, and 985 Sam Carter charged into second.  Carter made one attempt to shift McGuinness, but on the back straight he spun her aside to leave himself well clear of the rest.  Carter completed victory and celebrated with an air punch in the cab.  499 Alfie Aldous was the runner-up and 244 Edward Selby completed the top three.

Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 81 41 3 437 14 25 92 72 nof
Final 41 81 25 3 9 437 14 72 nof
Grand National 81 437 9 92 909 14 72 41 3 25
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 136 566 980 499 569 210 564 927 654 870
Heat 2 136 514 564 985 244 499 619 946 210 914
Heat 3 514 980 985 244 998 619 654 577 946 914
Final 985 499 244 210 654 564 870 927 980 998
2L National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Winter Open 15 162 133 190 741 131 799 714 nof
Allcomers 1 162 190 714 74 131 nof
Allcomers 2 162 190 74 714 131 799 nof
King of Crash/DD
Best Presented 190 842 908
Top Trier 131
Top Entertainer
Most Wrecked 133
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