Smeatharpe Stadium - Saturday 18th May 2024

In conjunction with the Devon Truck Show which took place on the adjacent airfield, a slightly unusual combination of Modstox, Back 2 Basics Bangers and BriSCA Micro F2s contested the latest fixture at Smeatharpe Stadium, where conditions were made tricky by the variable weather which ranged from sunshine to showers.


Very much befitting the status of the meeting as their British Championship, sponsored by Ford Race Wings, the Modstox turned out in force, with a 23-car entry, and during the introductory Grand Parade, each driver was presented with a bottle of cider to welcome them to the region.  On a wet track, heat one began in chaotic fashion, as a bundle of drivers crashed out in the west bend, and more drivers got involved in various incidents around the circuit.  The tangle on the back straight involving 46 Karl Brazier and 130 Martin Dyche eventually brought about a race suspension, and when the race resumed, 394 Chris Clare wasted little time to get to the front and break clear for a convincing win, ahead of 5 Dan Bunyard and 6 Adam Perkins.  Heat two began with five drivers absent from the grid of the first race, and the race also had an early flag.  271 Jack Helliwell had made the early running, but with cars scattered around the raceway at various points, a caution period was required.  275 Terry Williams-Hawkins took command when the race restarted, and he led home Chris Clare and Perkins.  Scores from the two heats were added to those from heats at Aldershot earlier in the month to give the grid for the title race.  National Champion 294 Jon Clare had earned pole position, with 73 Craig Underhill joining him on the front row.  Row two featured 707 Simon Flynn and 26 Sam Horton, whilst row three paired Chris Clare with defending Champion 47 James Faultless.  The opening lap proved pivotal as Underhill ran wide, Flynn spun and lost a considerable amount of time, and the Clare brothers swapped the lead until Chris began to edge clear.  Behind them, Perkins, Horton, Faultless and 70 Adam Flynn were all bumper happy in their quest for third.  228 Alan Sturgess saw his hopes dashed when he tangled, and Faultless lost his grip on the title when he was caught up in a melee in the west bend.  When 261 Simon Burgess was left stranded, out came the yellow flags, and some much-needed respite descended.  Chris Clare led Jon Clare, then Adam Flynn and Williams-Hawkins for the single file restart, with Horton in fifth and Simon Flynn having recovered to sixth.  Jon Clare and Adam Flynn bounced off the fence together, as Chris Clare sped away at the front.  That opened the door for Williams-Hawkins to grab second place, but he was a long way back from race leader Chris Clare.  As the laps ticked by, Chris Clare maintained his advantage, and went on to win comfortably from Williams-Hawkins, whilst Simon Flynn overhauled Underhill late on to seal third place and his position on the rostrum.  Sportingly, as the cars slowed to a halt after red flags, Faultless was first to get to new Champion Chris Clare, congratulating him on his success.  At last, the Modstox had a dry track for the Grand National, and that saw the lap times decrease significantly.  Jon Clare and Adam Flynn continued their squabble at the rear of the grid, in an early skirmish as teenager Helliwell clocked up several lead laps.  Williams-Hawkins sped into second place, as 14 Paul Francis made a thunderous exit when he bludgeoned the marker tyre on the entry to turn one.  Francis needed assistance from his car, and Williams-Hawkins led away the restart, which he turned into a win, leading home Horton and Faultless.

Back 2 Basics Bangers

There were some top class efforts from a handful of drivers who entered into the Devon Truck Show spirit by presenting cars in the colours of firms who had lorries and trucks on display.  More than a dozen drivers took part in the evening’s trio of races which began with a relatively sedate and routine affair in the opening race, as drivers struggled for grip on the soaking wet track.  890 Leszek Malinowski scored a straightforward victory, with 455 Shane Kennard the runner-up.  Heat two developed into a fine duel between Kennard and 562 Jayden James, but away from their contest, 31 Liam Shipway blitzed travelling companion 198 Owen Nichol with a thumping at the end of the back straight.  Kennard grabbed the lead from James late on and took the chequered.  Plenty of crashing occurred in the final, with Shipway, Malinowski and 222 Ricky Walters heavily involved at the pit gate.  758 Paul Gillard took an early lead that he was to hold until the end, despite momentarily getting trapped in the action in the pits bend.  Gillard won, leading home 211 Adrian Coles and James.  Just Malinowski and Kennard made it out for the Destruction Derby, and the Kennard Puma smashed Malinowski’s Focus time and time again to score a deserved victory.

Modstox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 394 5 6 26 111 294 73 14 275 70
Heat 2 275 394 6 294 73 23 26 228 47 707
British 394 275 707 73 47 16 26 23 294 70
Grand National 275 26 47 294 394 22 111 73 16 271
Back 2 Basics Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 890 455 562 788 758 211 31 13 662 756
Heat 2 455 562 758 788 890 211 662 13 nof
Final 758 211 562 455 662 222 nof
King of Crash/DD 455
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