United Downs Raceway - Sunday 30th April 2017

Heavy rain, torrential at times, in the morning of the race meeting, left the United Downs Raceway, St Day sodden for much of the meeting, even if the track did eventually dry out right towards the end of the day’s action.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

Numbers were sufficiently good at 30 cars, to deploy the full format, and on a soaked track, with spray dancing up off the surface 328 Andy Walker shot into the lead in heat one.  Behind him, yellow tops 689 Joe Marquand and 890 Paul Rice diced together, swapping places along the way.  Eventually, Marquand broke free, and he reeled in Walker to take the lead and the win, with 126 Jamie Avery and teenager 542 Steve Gilbert – on a belated first appearance of the season – in second and third at the flag.  Heat two began with a spin for 636 David North.  Up front, 639 Steve Hartnett was replaced in the lead by 762 Mike Cocks, but it was the bullish showing from 111 Lewis Geach that caught the eye, as he stormed up the order.  Cocks and 460 Matt Weston tangled and hit the fence, with yellow flags being required to retrieve Weston.  Geach took the win of the restarted race, from 700 Adam Rubery and 418 Ben Borthwick.  Eleven of the fourteen starters in the consolation were white tops, but although 87 Paul Weekes and then Hartnett, led early on, the whites were swamped, as 828 Julian Coombes, 979 Paul Moss and 468 Sam Weston took up residence at the front.  These three produced a compelling battle, with Weston grabbing the lead on the last lap, to head home Moss and Coombes.  The Snell Family Trophy final was befitting of the magnificent prize.  Borthwick and Geach spun at the start, and became entangled, whilst 797 Dan Moss found himself beached on the infield on the home straight.  The race was stopped, and a complete re-run ordered.  Showing his best form yet, 398 Ian England got into the lead, chased primarily by 325 Ryan Sheahan.  Just after the midway point, Paul Rice took control at the front, with Avery in pursuit.  With five laps remaining, Rice was still ahead of Avery and 488 Liam Bentham.  Coombes had been bundled around the fence in the turnstile bend, and when he ground to a halt on the back straight, out came the yellow flags.  That bunched up the remaining runners, and 38 Dave Polley was able to strike swiftly, moving from fourth to third, and then overhauling Avery and Rice.  Matt Weston and Hartnett ran into the fence on the exit of turn two, and just as the yellow flags appeared, they were collected by 575 Tom Clark.  Polley led away the remaining few laps, and went on to win from Gilbert and Bentham.  Rice, slightly unfortunate to see his lead nullified by that late yellow flag in the final, made amends in the Grand National, as he led home Gilbert and Rubery.

Stock Rods

There were 25 drivers, including four from Scotland, on hand to contest the ORC Championship.  909 Justin Washer won heat one by the proverbial country mile.  From pole position, he left the rest standing, and was some way clear of European Champion 83 Mike Bethune at the flag.  It was a similar tale for heat two pole sitter, British Champion 91 Jim Pitcaithly.  14 Ross Montgomery had viewing problems, when his bonnet became partly detached, and blocked most of his screen.  A good scrap for second place saw 24 James Matson head home 45 Jordan Wainwright and 944 Callum Hosie.  The start of heat three saw 92 Adam Daniels resist the challenge of 70 Steve Archibald, who skated over some water on the back straight and flew up the inner banking entering turn three.  Daniels went on to win despite late pressure from Bethune and World Champion 51 Luke Oliver.  Scots Pitcaithly and Bethune gridded on the front row for the title race, with Washer and Daniels right behind.  Pitcaithly stoutly defended his lead, defiantly refusing to anyone pass on the inside, whilst assorted drivers tried to go around him, but without success.  When Daniels developed a mechanical problem and slowed in the pits bend, he caused a log jam behind, which triggered a spectacular crash involving 26 Alan Furse, 68 Levi Robinson and 222 Mike Belcher, who shot up the fence just after the pit gate.  Despite heavy damage, fortunately all drivers were okay.  Pitcaithly was clearly not the fastest car on the track, as his chasers jostled for position behind him.  Bethune and Oliver both tried for find a way past, but Pitcaithly stood firm.  Bethune’s attempt at looking down the inside on the exit of turn four brought disaster, and still Pitcaithly was the leader.  Eventually, it was Oliver who emerged as the main challenger.  He tried inside, he tried outside, but even though he briefly got ahead, he could not make the pass stick.  Thus, Pitcaithly held on, and took the ORC title for the first time, by a slender margin from Oliver, with Wainwright completing the top three at the end of a captivating race.

2 Litre Old Skool Bangers

479 Jamie Jenkin got the better of 804 Treve Wills in the first heat for the Old Skool Bangers.  Wills led heat two, but could not withstand 452 Anthony Sleeman, who edged clear.  793 Ashley Richards had a front wheel ripped clean off amidst some lively action down the order.  In the final, a red flag was needed for 275 Tony Woodside, as he encountered safety harness problems.  Sleeman sped to his second win, moving aside Wills and 650 Jamie Seery as he charged to the front.  Just seven drivers made it out for the Allcomers, to National Banger rules, and ironically, this was the dullest race of the day; Sleeman claiming his third win of the afternoon, ahead of 383 Brad Hutchings.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 689 126 542 38 575 890 797 328 first 8 to final
Heat 2 111 700 418 302 526 488 76 740 first 8 to final
Consolation 468 979 828 14 460 639 762 398 325 87
Final 38 542 488 890 302 700 979 126 328 740
Grand National 890 542 700 689 575 797 468 126 38 302
Grade Awards W 328 Y 890 B 488
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 A&B 909 83 91 51 45 92 3 215 944 26
Heat 2 B&C 91 24 45 944 437 208 151 215 26 740
Heat 3 C&A 92 83 51 208 14 909 3 151 222 68
ORC Championship 91 51 45 24 151 944 14 740 3 437
Old Skool 2L National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 479 452 804 133 997 74 648 650 304 836
Heat 2 452 804 99 479 650 133 648 74 836 383
Final 452 650 479 99 383 648 74 621 836 384
Allcomers 452 383 133 99 74 380 nof
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