Smeatharpe Stadium - Monday 17th June 2024

Despite some dark clouds overhead it remained dry for the Monday evening meeting which took place in front of a healthy sized crowd.  The fixture commenced with a tribute following the passing of Bill Lomas, former Saloon Stock Car racer who after retiring not long after the closing of Newton Abbot, remained involved in the sport, not least by way of his regular sponsorship of many of the major Saloon Stock Car championships at the Autospeed venues.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

As the World Final venue, the World Qualifying Round was always going to be well subscribed but even so, the near-60 car turnout on a “school night” was most impressive including several long distance visitors.  The entry allowed for three well subscribed heats, the first of which saw a chaotic beginning with 618 Ben Borthwick and 980 Charlie Lobb hooking up together.  An early yellow flag was required for 533 Johnny Whittaker and 109 Tristan Smith after tangled on the pit bend.  The stoppage aided 127 Matt Stoneman to speed into the lead on the restart as behind there was a scrabble between 325 Ryan Sheehan and 542 Steven Gilbert for the final qualifying spots.  Heat two saw 12 Craig Driscoll take up the early lead but with four laps to go he was closed on and passed by 184 Aaron Vaight as both looked to get through the back-marking traffic.  24 Jon Palmer moved into second and attempted a dive for the lead on the last bend, but narrowly missed, allowing the north west driver to take the win.  Heat three also saw an early caution with 468 Sam Weston being pushed half the length of the home straight by 564 David Shearing; the two coming to rest at the pit gate.  Once the race got back under way 844 Jack Prosser was passed for the lead by 560 Luke Wrench with three laps to go, as behind there was another fierce scrap for the final qualifying spots with 97 Jack Bradburn, 979 Paul Moss and 315 Charlie Fisher all being involved, Bradburn the one to secure his place in the Final at the first time of asking.  The consolation saw 26 cars take to the grid.  903 Ben Spence’s luck dd not improve come the consolation, his car climbing up into the air as he climbed over 131 Dean Rogers in the middle of the home straight.  Shearing moved into the lead after long-time leader 876 Stu Moss spun out of the lead and ultimately found himself in a drag race to the line for the eighth and final qualifying spot – marginally losing out to Whittaker.  All 32 qualifiers gridded under the floodlights for The final and provided a breathtaking race which ran from flag to flag.  There were scraps throughout the field, and pre-race favourite Stoneman suffered an early spin.  Whilst seeking to regain places, Stoneman found himself spun around again by 183 Charlie Guinchard.  Up front Driscoll was into an early lead and looked to have victory in the bag as the lap boards came out with the chasing 618 Ben Lockwood’s progress having stalled once he had reached second.  But in a blink of an eye, Driscoll had found himself losing time when 828 Julian Coombes fought back after having just been lapped by the leader.  Driscoll was run wide, and in an instant that allowed Lockwood to close.  Starting the last lap, Driscoll was now in striking distance, and Lockwood duly did so, snatching the lead after a last bend challenge, to win the drag to the line.  Behind them, Wrench finished third.  Driscoll’s displeasure with Coombes was clear to see at the end of the run down lap, with his second place points haul clearly scant consolation to the driver as he reflected on events in the post-race interview.  31 drivers returned for the Grand National which saw Wrench and 605 Ritchie Andrews tangle whilst Gilbert and 126 Jamie Avery both retired.  Prosser once again headed the field, but Lobb made the move with the race entering its closing stages to take the win and conclude a very entertaining evening’s racing.  Second for Prosser confirmed his place as the Best In Grade white top, which won him a hamper of goodies as a bonus prize.

Saloon Stock Cars

The 20 car entry was again impressive for a Monday evening fixture and included another impressive travelling effort by newly crowned Scottish Champion 618 Stuart Shevill Jnr.  Heat one got off to a frenetic start with 382 Corey Hunt thundering into the turn two plating before crossing the start/finish line on the opening lap.  720 Archie Brown was also an early spinner, whilst 577 Harry Darby found himself spun around by 27 Jason Kingwell.  199 Phil Powell streaked away at the front to take the win as behind the bumpers were traded throughout the pack for the minor places.  Heat two saw 561 Aaron Totham overhaul Powell for the win but most eyes were on the battles further back which saw some big bumper blows being traded between Shevill Jnr, Brown, Darby, Hunt, 902 Buster Jr and 672 Si Paris, the pack racing three and four abreast as they diced for position in tremendous style.  The Final began with an early stoppage as 444 Keiran Bellringer was inadvertently collected at full speed by 33 Pete Hollett on the home straight, Bellringer thankfully climbing out the car after a period of respite.  On the restart, Powell was spun around whilst there was again a lively exchange involving Paris and Kingwell, as they ended the race embedded together in the infield marker tyres.  At the front, 277 Jack Grandon took over the running by mid-distance to take the win from Junior Buster and Brown.

2 Litre National Bangers

A larger than expected entry of 2 Litre National Bangers continued the trend this season of serving up some tremendous action that had the crowd royally entertained.  Amongst the entry, 842 Jack Perkins had a new shape Picasso, and 278 Shaun Brokenshire revealed a home-built Astra Limo which garnered plenty of attention, both in the pits and on track.  A large wrecking train on the pit bend was the main feature of the opening heat.  Brokenshire blasted 166 Connor Charlton, before being attacked by 154 Blazej Szcygiel, who was then clobbered by 160 Jamie Warr.  Next in was 648 Jamie Smith, and he was predictably hit by Perkins, who then copped two heavy portions, first from 18 Corey Karkeek, and secondly from 166 Luke Gillbard.  Aside from the action, the race for the win was also an enthralling affair with 662 Jared Rowe being attacked by 220 Troy Cooper with a lap to go.  That in turn saw Cooper shoved out by 246 Ryan Sparks who went on to win, with Cooper and Roe completing the top three.  After the wrecking in heat one, it was impressive that 17 cars took to the grid in the second heat which saw 205 Charles Pearcey splatter 813 Steven Quickfall around the west bend plating.  Pearcey then flattened 977 Sam Jago on the back straight, before he was collected himself by 720 Kenny Gabriel Jr and 741 Alex Waterman.  Brokenshire then landed a meaty hit on Quickfall.  40 Ben Reeder ran in 210 Ryan Brooks, but aside from the crashing, 186 Lewis Facey swept to another win.  Another hugely entertaining race followed with the final, which was marked by big hits involving Brokenshire.  756 Troy Hooper looked to spin 154 Joe Odhams, and Fasey’s progress was halted by Pearcey who came the wrong way at him on the back straight.  By the pit gate, Brokenshire clouted Hooper, before being assaulted by Gabriel Jr who then brought further damage to Hooper.  Brokenshire got running again and survived an attack from Cooper before lining up a revenge hit on Gabriel Jnr, and in turn, 841 Tom Perkins blasted the limo.   Whilst all that was going on, Roe came out on top of a tremendous scrap for the lead just pipping Sparks and 333 Craig Patridge at the flag.  The Destruction Derby at the end featured just six runners but nonetheless still served up some great hits with 648 Jamie Smith coming out on top.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 127 618 578 980 355 126 325 542 121 235
Heat 2 184 24 12 890 828 27 276 390 605 418
Heat 3 560 844 183 895 915 776 926 97 931 83
Cons 564 418 931 667 501 297 975 533 976 876
Final 618 12 560 24 980 27 578 895 501 183
Grand National 980 844 915 890 127 184 926 183 355 776
Grade Awards W 844 Y 12 B 618
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 199 277 561 799 618 902 33 382 27 129
Heat 2 561 199 277 799 129 720 902 618 27 382
Final 277 902 720 561 618 33 577 799 112 382
2Ltr National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 246 220 662 205 720 266 908 741 333 756
Heat 2 186 662 756 246 220 908 40 333 nof
Final 662 246 333 648 17 266 841 186 nof
DD 648 nof
Best Presented 17 278 662 842
Entertainers 266 278 720
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