United Downs Raceway - Sunday 2nd July 2023

Dry but overcast conditions greeted racegoers for the latest fixture at the United Downs Raceway, where the English Championship for the Stock Rods took pride of place on a programme packed with races.

Stock Rods

Sponsored by MKM Building Supplies, the English Championship duly attracted 25 drivers who produced a fine afternoon of high-speed racing, interspersed with copious amounts of drama.  The only former title holder in the group was 944 Callum Hosie, and his day started wonderfully when he drew pole position for the opening heat.  It was no surprise that the Cornish star sped off into the distance.  285 Martin Walker took a distant second place, whilst the main incident of the race involved 522 Chris Mikulla and 204 Georgie Polley.  The pair tangled on the exit of turn four.  Briefly, it looked as though Mikulla would be spun inside out, but as he corrected his car into a straight line, Polley’s valiant attempt to stay out of the fence saw her veer wildly into the marker tyre guarding turn one.  Heat two was aborted at the start.  220 Richard Short had problems getting away at the drop of the green flag, and that hindered the whole of the outside line.  With drivers collecting damage that was not of anyone’s making, the race was stopped immediately, and the cars sent back to the pit area to effect repairs for the re-run.  77 Tom Larcombe made the early running, but 909 Justin Washer made a determined charge to the front, and won from 151 Simon Vincent and Mikulla, whilst 32 James Horwell was handed a technical disqualification when his bonnet came adrift.  There was a fractious feel to heat three, and when the leaders bunched together, it led to disaster for 258 James Griggs and 862 Darryl Cock.  Heading into turn one, Cock overshot the corner, and slid wide, but with the unfortunate Griggs on his outside, they both crashed out, with Cock’s front passenger side wheel becoming detached in the incident.  That left the door open for Washer to inherit the lead.  Out came the yellow flags, with Griggs and Cock both clearly disgruntled.  Washer led the single file restart from 351 Rhys Langdown, Vincent and Hosie.  Those four tore around the circuit, with Hosie eventually passing Vincent for third.  Washer, though, was not to be denied, and a second win sealed pole position for the main event.  Hosie joined Washer on the front row, with Langdown and Vincent on row two.  The green flag dropped, and Hosie matched Washer through the opening two hard-fought laps.  The leaders had set a searing pace at the front, but Washer doggedly refused to yield, and eventually he broke free of Hosie who could just not get the outside line to work.  However, whilst Washer would have been relieved to get clear of Hosie, he could not shake off Langdown.  The silver top tailed him for lap after lap, as they cut through backmarkers with the small gap between them ebbing and flowing.  Washer was never able to relax, but equally, Langdown was never quite in a position to mount a telling attack.  Despite plenty of traffic, the lead two remained unchanged, and Washer duly landed one of the major titles that had previously eluded him.  Langdown was close in second, whilst Vincent held on for third after Hosie’s game attempt on the outside line in the early stages ultimately proved to be in vain.


With a plethora of trophies up for grabs, courtesy of sponsors H N Sillifant & Son, the youngsters were not short of incentives.  The entry included the latest graduate from Micro F2s, 511 Lexi Crosbie and she acquitted herself well during the day, without getting the results her efforts truly deserved.  Heat one was only a few laps old when 567 Mia Batten and 922 Kaydi Butcher crashed out untidily in turn two.  After a race suspension, 207 Alfie Flecken and 290 Alfie Tomkins emerged as the leaders, and once Tomkins had spun Flecken aside, he went on to win from 617 Christina Sillifant and 920 Wayne Wadge.  Heat two began with a rough start for 559 Aiden Phillips.  He, and fellow white tops 928 Jess Coombes and 742 Kacey Williams tangled and clattered into one another and across the infield.  With a lengthy delay anticipated, all cars were sent back to the pit area.  Gladly though, after some medical assistance, Phillips was able to climb unaided from his car.  The race was re-run and was all very orderly until the closing stages which were utter chaos.  902 Reagan Davies had carved out a lead, but he clipped the spun Crosbie car in turn two.  As Davies scrambled over the infield, he lost the lead to Flecken.  Sillifant was left facing the pit gate and in the final act, Davies saw his luck desert him when he spun in turn three.  Flecken won, Tomkins was second and Wadge completed the top three.  The final came down to a dramatic last lap.  Kacey Williams had built up a comfortable advantage at the front, but Flecken continued to reel her in.  Starting the last lap, he looked to possibly have got her into range, and sure enough, he executed a text-book last bend challenge.  Williams was nudged wide, as Flecken nipped by for his second win of the day.  Williams held on for second, and Wadge grabbed third amidst the mayhem.  In addition to grade award bonuses, there were Top Effort prizes for Crosbie, Phillips, Williams and Davies.

Back 2 Basics Bangers

Another dismal showing of just seven drivers again raised the question about future fixtures for the Back 2 Basics Bangers.  Unsurprisingly, action was limited, with just the occasional spin serving as a reminder that the Bangers were not non-contact.  776 Terry Senford won the opening heat, whilst 788 Darren Morgan recovered from an early spin to nudge 45 Ashley Tucker wide on the last bend to steal second place.  Morgan made an entertaining start to heat two, as he careered up on to two wheels, glancing off the home straight safety fence and coming back in to land.  244 James Turner saw his hopes dashed with a wayward excursion up the inner banking on turn two.  459 Mitchell Brooks took the honours, as he led home 184 Brad Eddy.  There were assorted lead changes in the final, before Senford ran in Morgan in turn one, and was then comprehensively dumped in the turnstile bend fence by 617 Reece Rixon.  When it mattered, Eddy was at the front, as he led home Brooks and Turner – those being the only three to go the distance.

Small Van Bangers

The past week had clearly been a quiet one for Dr Frankenstein in his garage, as that can be the only explanation for the quartet of home-made creations that stretched to breaking point the notion of being a small van.  However, identified succinctly by commentator Johnny Adams in a comedy quip as ‘…the Devil’s spawn of vans’, the drivers who had put in the effort to race also did their absolute best to entertain.  Heat one was playful, with a number of spins as 648 Jamie Smith from 747 Nicky Seery.  Heat two was uneventful, save for race winner 53 Chris James spinning aside 11 Grubby Frankson after he had taken the chequered.  In the final, Frankson found himself under fire, and the rear end of his vehicle was left trashed, as Smith won from James.  The three drivers appeared for the Destruction Derby which was short, sharp and brutal.  James left himself as a target, as did Smith, but when Frankson rattled into Smith, it left him prone to two finishing hits from James, all as part of an action-packed finale to the day.

Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 944 285 131 32 522 9 913 77 275 149
Heat 2 909 151 522 351 77 231 862 285 286 258
Heat 3 909 351 944 151 275 913 231 220 31 131
English 909 351 151 944 522 275 9 220 231 131
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 290 617 920 207 742 902 559 242 475 nof
Heat 2 207 290 920 567 475 742 202 928 242 913
Final 207 742 920 290 567 475 617 202 928 922
Back 2 Basic Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 776 788 45 184 244 459 nof
Heat 2 459 184 617 776 45 244 nof
Final 184 459 244 nof
Small 'Van' Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 648 747 11 53 nof
Heat 2 53 747 648 11 nof
Final 648 53 11 nof
DD 53
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