United Downs Raceway - Sunday 14th April 2024

A packed pit area greeted racegoers at the United Downs Raceway, on a breezy afternoon in the Spring sunshine.

Stock Rods

In view of the status of the meeting as the first staging of the stunning Bertie Bassett Trophy, numbers were a little disappointing, whilst the racing proved fractious and controversial at times.  In the opening heat, 131 Stephen Cock led the early stages, but 275 Jeremy Hatch made an outside line pass stick.  Hatch stormed clear and won emphatically, whilst 522 Chris Mikulla edged into second late on.  Heat two began badly for 220 Richard Short who lost power at the drop of the green.  As the pack descended on race leader 287 Mark Hatch, there was untidy bunching on the home straight and 258 James Griggs was bundled into a marker tyre.  The race was suspended, with Jeremy Hatch the race leader.  He shot clear again at the restart and secured his second win, some distance ahead of runner-up 231 Simon Bassett.  Both 151 Simon Vincent and English Champion 909 Justin Washer were docked for their push and shove exchange.  Heat three featured another damaging clash, as 311 Liam Shipway and 415 Sean Gillett got in a muddle on the home straight.  As the race progressed, Mikulla looked set to win, having rounded early leader Cock, but on the final lap, Mikulla hesitated as he caught backmarker Mark Hatch.  As he chose inside or outside, 944 Callum Hosie incisively grabbed the inside line, to hit the front half a lap from home.  Jeremy Hatch’s pair of race wins put him on pole for the Bertie Bassett Trophy final, with Mikulla alongside.  Hatch held the lead for the opening phase of the race, as the battle behind him intensified.  Mikulla tried the outside line, and Hosie squeezed ahead of Bassett to tail Hatch.  At the halfway point, Hosie tagged Hatch as they exited turn four, and that saw Hatch spun around as he crossed the start/finish line backwards.  Neither driver was blameless, and when the black cross was issued to new leader Hosie, a post-race docking seemed inevitable.  Hosie saw out the closing laps, setting the fastest time three laps from home, but even though he took the chequered, he was subsequently penalised two places to third, which left 914 Callum Faulconbridge in second behind Mikulla, who inherited the win.


Just shy of 50 drivers attended the opening Cornish date of the season.  A chaotic opening heat saw the track littered with incidents.  Through the mayhem, 121 Ryan Buddle picked a route to the front, and his lead was to prove unassailable.  196 Phil Chapman came out on top of a star grade battle involving 786 Grant Harris and 621 Scott Kendall, to seal second place.  Heat two was equally frantic, but had a spectacular finish.  710 Ryan Sowden led almost the whole race, but encountered problems with backmarker 823 Tyler Phillips.  As he was delayed, 70 Jamie Thomas caught up with Sowden and made a last bend challenge.  As they each went wide, 817 Michael Phillips nipped past on the inside line to grab the win.  The consolation was halted two laps from the end when Tyler Phillips lost a wheel.  459 Dean Blight was the leader at the time, but when the race resumed, he was overhauled by 556 Pete Hollis who romped home.  After 775 Callum Congdon had led the first six laps, 323 Barry Phillips then built up a massive lead in the final, but the race was halted when 988 Ryan Thomas needed assistance, after clouting the fence in the turnstile bend.  The race resumed with Barry Phillips at the front, but he was spun by 70 Jamie Thomas, and that opened the door for Harris to take control, and he won from 206 Matt Brewer and Chapman.  The day’s liveliest event was the Allcomers, which was littered with incidents.  Initially, Brewer was awarded the victory, but a subsequent review of the lap charts revealed comeback racer 451 Nigel Belfield as the true winner.

Old Skool unlimited cc Bangers

There was a deserved win for 90 Mark Bartlett in the opening heat, who saw off a spirited chase by Saloon Stock Car UK Champion 677 Warren Darby.  Having broken free in the latter stages when Darby suffered a seized diff, Bartlett was baulked by backmarkers on the last lap.  362 Johnny James and 186 Lewis Fasey made a last bend attack, but Bartlett repelled them, and claimed the chequered.  Heat two was dominated by James, as he blasted into the lead early on.  First race winner Bartlett made excellent progress from the rear of the grid, rising to third at the finish, behind 92 Liam Bartlett in second place.  James won again in the final, executing a flawless last lap pass of long-time leader 916 Luke Thomas.  Mark Bartlett was third once more.  For good measure, to underline his dominance, James completed a hat-trick of wins in the Allcomers.


There was a most spectacular incident in heat one as 267 Robbie Batten spiralled into a rollover in the turnstile bend, and was then collected by 111 Elliot Bawden, which tipped the 267 car back on to its wheels.  Understandably, the young driver was shaken up in the incident but exited the car after a delay when attended to by the medical team.  The race restarted with 290 Alfie Tomkins as the leader, but after a number of laps battling with 475 Mason Sealy, it was the latter who took control to claim the win.  Heat two finished in stunning fashion.  257 Kieran Hibberd tangled with 511 Lexi Crosbie as they contested first place, but as Sealy and 20 Lewis Middleton challenged for the lead, they too became ensnared with the tangling duo ahead.  Undeterred, 922 Kaydi Butcher barged past the spinning white graders.  Having taken the lead, Butcher was then passed by Middleton and Sealy, but a last bend attack from 202 Cody Bradford scattered the leaders, and Butcher pounced to regain the lead in time to take the chequered.  Repeating her Good Friday success, Crosbie sped clear in the final, to win from Hibbered, who tracked her for the whole race.  Bradford completed the top three.

Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 275 522 131 415 9 914 220 909 258 285
Heat 2 275 231 862 311 79 909 151 9 32 nof
Heat 3 944 522 131 231 151 914 313 862 204 311
Final 522 914 944 231 151 9 32 131 862 311
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 121 196 786 621 451 919 230 53 768 323
Heat 2 817 710 70 198 206 718 785 775 97 44
Consolation 556 459 988 254 354 747 156 130 nof
Final 786 206 196 44 785 710 97 53 70 451
Allcomers 451 206 196 556 710 919 53 202 130 3
Old Skool Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 90 186 362 954 92 77 290 120 99 891
Heat 2 362 92 90 186 954 77 120 290 59 168
Final 362 916 90 186 290 954 77 120 114 59
Allcomers 362 92 90 743 120 59 290 916 842 nof
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 475 290 202 902 922 257 511 242 111 575
Heat 2 922 475 20 290 257 902 242 559 111 575
Final 511 257 202 475 290 902 242 111 575 nof
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