Smeatharpe Stadium - Tuesday 20th June 2017

Always something of a mid-summer treat for racegoers, the one and only midweek fixture at Smeatharpe Stadium for the 2017 season came on a very warm evening, headlined by the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars World Championship qualifying round joined by the BriSCA Heritage Stock Cars and National Micro Bangers.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

The BriSCA F2 entry reached a fine total of 41 cars including many long distance travellers looking for those vital qualifying points, many of whom made it a double-trip following the meeting at St Day two days previously.  The first heat saw 418 Ben Borthwick holding on for victory after star graders 127 Matt Stoneman and 700 Adam Rubery preoccupied each other over the last two laps.  The second heat ended up being a race of attrition with just nine finishers and it was 24 Jon Palmer who took his first win of the season.  A yellow flag interrupted consolation saw 618 Ben Lockwood take the chequered flag.  The annual A1 Windows and Doors Trophy Final was headed off by Borthwick until a yellow flag just past the first quarter of the race for debris on the racing line.  Borthwick continued to lead after the re-start but further back the yellow flag effectively triggered another one as Palmer, Stoneman, 527 James Riggall and 783 James Rygor all tripped over each other on the home straight.  Three of the four moved to safety but Riggall was left stranded to bring about another yellow flag.  This was now at the halfway point and 522 Chris Mikulla moved past Borthwick to lead, but again there were more yellow flags to come as this time it was 979 Paul Moss and 222 Adrian Watts in trouble on turn three.  The last re-start came at lap 15 with Mikulla leading 315 Justin Fisher and 886 Chris Bradbury.  Mikulla, arguably under graded off blue pulled out a big enough gap at the green flag and whilst Bradbury relieved Fisher of second he couldn’t catch Mikulla who took the victory.  Rubery bounced back from an early spin to claim the other trophy position, and another healthy southwest score in the World series.  The Grand National featured a memorably spectacular moment as race leader Riggall’s car caught fire in the engine compartment and he carried on regardless, almost obliviously until a yellow flag brought the race to a slow and he could exit the car unharmed.  468 Sam Weston assumed the lead for the re-start and he kept clear of the chasing 745 Lee Morgan to take the win, to round off yet another highly charged F2 session at Smeatharpe.

National Micro Bangers

A very good midweek entry of National Micro Bangers for the latest round of the Autospeed National Series saw drivers from throughout the southwest, and beyond and it was one of those in 45 ‘Lips’ Anthony Croshaw who took the win in the first heat.  Curiously, he then failed to appear again in the meeting until the Destruction Derby.  There was plenty of action in that first heat, including a double rollover on the opening lap for 261 Tom Ware and 760 Ryan Pike.  Mention must be made of the thoughtful actions of 190 ‘Pikey’ Steve Bailey, who gallantly parked across the two upturned cars, to guard them as the red flags came out.  The action continued in the second heat which was won by 162 Brett Ellacott.  The Final saw a flag to flag victory for Bailey who celebrated by running 720 Kenny Gabriel Jnr in on the rolling lap whilst a lot of the entertaining for the crowd, in the dusk came from 239 ‘Nemesis’ Steve Carter who had taken a large shot from 728 Stuart Hooper and then circulated with his wrecked car in a shower of sparks.  74 Adam Hitchcock made second in the Final and Ellacott third, after 210 Lewy Hart was disqualified on the post-race tyre check.  The 18 car DD rounded off the evening and featured two rollovers, the first for 988 Billy Dennison and the second for 841 Tom Perkins.  Despite the small cars, the big hits went in and the cars refused to stop and ultimately it ended up being a head heat between Bailey and 382 Tommy Hutchings after neither could get their cars mobile enough to deliver a telling last winning hit.  Great stuff yet again from the National Micro Bangers.

BriSCA Heritage Junior Stock Cars

The BriSCA Heritage Junior/FII Stock Cars completed their southwest mini-tour and put on a quartet of very watchable races as part of the Gold Cup Semi Final meeting.  In heat one, 616 Darren Clarke took the win, but the significant point of the race was 28 Ian Govier running 247 Andy Webb out of road and into the inner marker tyres on the back straight.  59 Nigel Finnigan took heat two whilst the Final saw 342 Ross Taylor lead for much of the way, until passed by Webb who went on to take the victory.  Webb’s successes shouldn’t be overlooked, for this is the Andy Webb who won the BriSCA F2 World Championship 51 years ago!  Taylor was second whilst third was extremely close with 253 Alan Humphrey just holding on.  Having looked competitive all evening, 728 Graham Bunter came through to win the Helter Skelter.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 418 127 700 745 315 526 527 740 38 783
Heat 2 24 468 886 542 828 328 488 895 222 nof
Consolation 618 578 522 606 126 124 476 111 919 87
Final 522 886 700 618 38 126 315 578 468 526
Grand National 468 745 578 618 38 315 522 111 542 460
Grade Awards W 418 Y 526 B 522
BriSCA Heritage Juniors 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 616 728 763 128 533 23 253 218 773 59
Heat 2 59 616 23 728 763 533 128 342 253 107
Final 247 342 253 763 728 23 128 59 616 311
Helter Skelter 728 763 533 107 773 342 28 716 128 59
National Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 45 7 74 162 196 190 988 452 382 133
Heat 2 162 74 452 210 196 333 720 7 988 133
Final 190 74 162 133 7 333 382 720 452 239
DD 190/382
Top Entertainers 2 96 239 240 760
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