United Downs Raceway - Sunday 4th February 2018

The bright winter sunshine belied the chilly conditions that greeted racegoers at the United Downs Raceway, where the first Cornish event of the new short oval racing season was contested.  More than 70 drivers were in action, during an eventful afternoon.

Stock Rods

The 16-car entry of Stock Rods contested two graded heats, ahead of the closed grid Winter Supreme Challenge feature race.  In the opening heat, 909 Justin Washer found himself disqualified after two separate incidents of contact with other drivers.  437 Lewis Trickey looked set to claim the win, but fell foul of the half-wet, half-dry track on the back straight, and spun away his lead, unaided.  That left 14 Ross Montgomery to take advantage, and he led home 45 Jordan Wainwright.  The second heat looked to be going the way of 72 Marc Soby.  From the front of the grid, he stormed well clear, but late on, a couple of wayward moments saw him fall back into the clutches of Trickey, who was leading the chase.  With just a lap or two remaining, Trickey took over, and led Soby to the flag.  Montgomery and 426 Keith Channon shared the front row of the Winter Supreme Challenge, and it was pole sitter Montgomery who shot away at the green flag, to take up the early running.  Further back, 227 Jody Hawkins spun just before the pit gate, and she was unfortunately collected by Trickey, which led to a race suspension.  Montgomery led away the restart, whilst there was a side-to-side clash further back between Channon and 92 Adam Daniels.  Montgomery was still in front at halfway, with defending Winter Supreme Challenge holder 51 Luke Oliver in hot pursuit.  Try as he might, Oliver was unable to get close enough to mount a telling attack on Montgomery, who survived a hair-raising sweep past a couple of backmarkers, before taking the chequered.  Oliver was the runner-up and Daniels completed the top three.

Bangers

The opening heat of three for the Bangers saw 166 Luke Gillbard and 659 Mike Clements as lively additions to the grid.  288 Billy Collins swiftly got into the lead, and he went on to win convincingly.  His brother, 223 Sonny Collins, built up a big lead in heat two, but mechanical problems forced him to retire when a long way clear.  929 Sam Baker took up the running, and he swept unopposed to the flag.  Heat three saw Billy Collins win again, but this time his victory was much more hard earned.  Having got caught up early on, he had to work his way back up the order.  Sonny Collins had led, but he tangled with 366 Pete Warren just as the yellow flags appeared, when 70 Jamie Thomas rolled over in the pits bend.  Sonny Collins retired, which left 116 Scott Greatrex to lead off the restart.  He held on until late in the race when 797 Dan Moss took over, but Collins chased him, and brilliantly spun him around on the home straight, to grab the lead at the start of the last lap.  Fittingly, the final, for the Taiya Densham Shield, was the busiest race of the afternoon, with 29 starters.  After Gillbard had been the early leader, 196 Phil Chapman took over.  He was comfortably clear, but with four laps remaining, the race was suspended, on account of a track blockage on the home straight, involving 17 Tim King and 206 Matt Brewer.  Chapman led one more lap, but came under attack from backmarker 304 Marty Penhaligon.  That delayed Chapman, and 246 Ryan Sparks pounced instantly, and he went on to win.  138 Dan Rice crossed the line in second, but failed post-race scrutineering.  Chapman thus ended up in second, with 835 Matt Westaway third.

Ministox

The 15-car entry of Ministox included one long distance traveller, 210 Aaron Richards, and local newcomer 942 Leon Williams who made his debut appearance.  946 Stacey Coombes made the early running, but she lost out when she tried to spin 970 Archie Farrell.  That left 927 Owen Robbins as the leader, and he was still at the front when the race was suspended, after rookie Williams clouted the fence in the turnstile bend.  Robbins had backmarker Farrell as a cushion between him and second placed 677 Warren Darby for the restart, but as Farrell drifted wide, Robbins was slow away.  Darby and 980 Charlie Lobb swiftly pounced to shoot into first and second, and that is how it stayed to the chequered; Darby winning from Lobb and Robbins.  Lobb spun Darby at the start of heat two, and whilst 619 Max Langmaid made good progress from the star grade, third was as high as he got, as Robbins and 972 Jack Soby proved uncatchable.  They battled all the way to the line, with Robbins winning by a very slender margin indeed; his first ever victory.  The Cash Generator of Redruth sponsored final was a chaotic race, which included another dramatic moment for Williams as he inadvertently got caught up amongst a gaggle of star graders.  Williams spun around, as did Warren Darby.  Soby led to the closing stages, but a text book move from Langmaid saw him land a successful last bend attack.  Soby went sideways, Langmaid barged past to win (which he celebrated with an air punch upon crossing the line), and Richards nipped through for second place, too.

Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 288 929 366 991 621 246 835 138 320 911
Heat 2 929 70 797 621 304 916 196 622 898 768
Heat 3 288 246 797 911 196 916 60 358 691 nof
Taiya Densham Shield Final 246 196 835 898 797 622 60 304 911 166
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 14 45 92 51 426 3 151 351 72 9
Heat 2 437 72 426 227 14 51 909 9 92 3
Winter Supreme 14 51 92 909 351 9 151 3 34 72
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 677 980 927 619 654 972 577 210 946 900
Heat 2 927 972 619 917 980 210 577 654 677 970
Final 619 210 972 577 980 946 970 927 677 982
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