United Downs Raceway - Sunday 16th June 2024

There was a fresh feeling of optimism and excitement in the air at United Downs Raceway on the back of the announcement that Autospeed had confirmed a 10-year lease extension for racing to continue at Cornwall's last Stock Car circuit. The feature event was the BriSCA F2 Nationals Championship, held for the first time in the Duchy, while the Saloon Stock Cars and Bangers completed the lineup

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

31 drivers were at the track for the first running of the F2 Nationals in Cornwall, which included 975 Graeme Leckie from Scotland and 501 Jason Ward (who was making his track debut), 578 Mark Gibbs and 618 Ben Lockwood from the North of England. Problems for 121 Vinnie Neath-Rogers in pre-meeting practice reduced the field by one, with a 2/3rds format deployed. The first race of the day was the Nationals Championship, with the drivers drawing their grade position out of the hat before being presented with their commemorative memento. The draw placed former Benevolent Fund Trophy Champion 126 Jamie Avery on pole with 605 Richie Andrews alongside, while Lockwood and 128 Jake Ralfs shared row two. After the grid was formed, promoter Crispen Rosevear addressed the crowd with the event signifying the celebration of the signature of the new lease, a sign of the magnitude of events on the horizon for the United Downs Raceway over the next decade and beyond. When the race began, Avery shot into the lead while Gibbs and Ralfs met the fence before reaching the green flag. With Ralfs stopped just short of the start line in a dangerous position, the race was suspended. As well as Gibbs and Ralfs, 259 Daz Purdy had also been sidelined with front corner damage while 27 Kieren Bradford and 979 Paul Moss limped to the infield with punctures. Avery made a good getaway at the restart and while Lockwood and 980 Charlie Lobb initially gave chase, 127 Matt Stoneman was quickly into second place. Stoneman's pace was such that he was able to catch and get by Avery by just the fifth lap, and he went on to record a commanding victory and land the stunning F2 Nationals trophy, handcrafted by the late Jon Padget, for the first time. The gap between Avery and Lobb ebbed and flowed, but Lobb was ultimately too far back to make a lunge on the last lap and Avery held on to second with Lobb completing the podium. Heat two featured half of the Nationals Championship qualifiers as well as the white and yellow graders who missed out. Ward was soon past early leaders 235 Alfie Brimble and 510 Matt Stone, with Lobb and Leckie next through. It looked like Ward may be able to hold on, but he was baulked by some of the backmarking traffic, allowing Lobb to close the gap and nip through in the closing stages. Ward and Leckie completed the top three. 828 Julian Coombes and 131 Dean Rogers tangled on the exit of turn two at the start to the third heat, but unhooked themselves before the race required a suspension. There was no such luck for 109 Tristan Smith and 325 Ryan Sheahan who found themselves entangled in a similar position, with the yellow flags called just before half distance. Bradford made his way past Stone almost immediately after the green fell, but Stoneman was already in third at the time of the stoppage and it wasn't long before he hit the front. From there, it was another easy win for the new Nationals Champion with Bradford second and 418 Ben Borthwick third. 27 drivers made it out for the Final, and with nearly half of them starting from the blue grade, it was little surprise that the race was barely under green flag conditions when it was halted after 468 Sam Weston clambered over the bonnet of Andrews on the exit of turn four. There was another stramash amongst the blue tops when the race restarted, this time Borthwick was the worst off, being collected by 302 Dale Moon at the start line but the incident cleared. Shortly afterwards on the back straight 931 Rebecca Smith was spun and collected head-on by 979 Paul Moss, with significant damage to both cars necessitating another halt to proceedings. Stone led the field away but had lost out to 890 Paul Rice when the race was stopped again for Brimble and 572 James Lindsay who had become hooked-up between turns three and four, while 676 Neil Hooper was another casualty having sustained a puncture in a brief collision with 390 Jessica Smith. Rice made a good restart, while early pacesetters Stone and 663 Bryan Lindsay dropped down the field. Further back, Stoneman had moved past Lobb for third place at half distance and then Lockwood for second two laps later, but by then Rice had moved a second and a half clear at the front. The gap dwindled gradually over the closing eight laps, with Stoneman marginally too far back to make a meaningful connection to Rice's back bumper on the final bend, allowing Rice to take the win and with it, a promotion to the star grade. Lockwood was third, although a way back from second placed Stoneman. Trophies were presented by members of the Wildworks team, in charge of the production of The Kneebone Cadillac at the Raceway at the beginning of July. Stone had his best showing of the afternoon in the Grand National, leading until almost half distance when Stoneman took over at the front. Lobb and Lockwood completed the top three, with 12 Craig Driscoll and Stone next across the line. Stone was awarded both the white grade award and Cornish hamper, while other grade awards went to Driscoll, Lobb and Stoneman respectively.

Saloon Stock Cars

The entry of 13 Saloon Stock Cars included a return to action for 672 Si Paris. 7 Pat Lines was the leader at the start of the first heat, but 577 Harry Darby and English Champion 720 Archie Brown were into the top three by the end of the third lap. Brown had hit the front by the end of lap five, but Irish & Dutch Open Champion 902 Brad Compton-Sage was making significant progress through the pack. Compton-Sage made his way past Brown with four laps remaining and eked out enough of a gap to avoid falling victim to Brown on the last bend. Darby completed the top three. 799 Joe Powell was quickly past Lines in heat two to lead, while 382 Corey Hunt thundered across the grass on turn one and 111 Thomas Ruby found himself facing the wrong way on the outside of turn one a lap later on. Powell was unable to hold off the attentions of Brown with two laps remaining and despite also making his way past, Compton-Sage was too far back to mount a challenge on the English Champion and was resultantly forced to settle for second. 33 Pete Hollett was spat out by the red grade when the Final began, with Powell emerging as the early leader. A battle developed between Darby, Brown and Compton-Sage for second with Darby being forced into retirement after being thumped off of the turn one plating. Ruby found himself facing the traffic at the end of the home straight for the second time in as many races as Brown and Compton-Sage closed in on Powell out front. Compton-Sage made his way past Powell after a wiggle from the latter on the entry to turn three, and while Brown followed him through Compton-Sage again had enough to hold off a challenge. Powell completed the top three. The best race of the day was the Allcomers, owing in part down to a brief shower that started shortly after the green flag fell. Powell led as an enthralling battle between 129 Will Morphey, Darby, Hunt, Brown and Compton-Sage raged for second place with places swapping on a corner-by-corner basis. Compton-Sage and Brown broke free as Hunt was sent clattering into the turn one wall, losing him ground on Morphey and Darby. As the track became more slippery, some including Powell were caught out leaving Compton-Sage and Brown to battle it out for the win. Meanwhile, Ruby spun before being sent into the fence heavily by Hunt. Ruby's involvement was not over yet, as he found himself in front of the leaders with just over a lap remaining. This allowed Compton-Sage back into range of Brown, with Compton-Sage winning out over Brown in a drag race to the line while Morphey was best of the star graders in third


Another excellent showing of over forty cars meant that a full format meeting was deployed. After an initial false start, 24 Matt Taylor led heat one when it got underway. The race was suspended when 817 Michael Phillips spun Taylor on the entry to turn three, and was thundered into in turn by 97 Craig Deer. 459 Dean Blight led the restart and had looked to have enough of a gap to win, but 786 Grant Harris was able to scythe his way through the field in enough time to move Blight aside to win. Similarly, 196 Phil Chapman nipped by 511 Dan Crosbie on the last bend for third. A pileup that developed in the early stages of the second heat claimed, or delayed, the majority of the white and yellow graded drivers, with the likes of the Picasso of 354 Simon Phillips sustaining meeting-ending damage. This left 254 Brandon Blight clear in the lead although a brush with the plating deranged the steering on his car allowing Points Champion 206 Matt Brewer into the lead with two laps remaining. 621 Scott Kendall followed Brewer over the line while B. Blight held on for third. 15 Josh Pollard was the early leader in the Consolation race but slowed when approaching a battle between Matt & 816 Josh Taylor and 70 Jamie Thomas, eventually going into retirement. 866 Graham Payne briefly took over out front, but 662 Jared Roe was soon at the head of the field. Roe went on to score a straightforward win ahead of 551 Jack Belfield and debutant 75 Neil Lobb, with just nine cars going the distance. 25 of the qualifiers gridded for the Final, which saw a flag-to-flag win for 121 Ryan Buddle. The crowd were kept entertained by a battle between 451 Nigel Belfield and Lobb, while 3 Luke Philp found himself stranded across the track and was inadvertently collected by 422 Tristan Beresford, who was running in the top positions at the time while 881 Caitlin Emery found herself spun around at the end of the home straight having been in the running for another good finish. Buddle was followed across the line by Kendall who was the best of the star graders, while D. Blight was third. The Allcomers got off to a lively start with 768 Tyler Cock and 823 Tyler Phillips exiting on the inside of the home straight while 149 Dan Curtis and Harris tangled on the entry to turn three. There was also some synchronised spinning from Devon Champion 31 Liam Shipway and 826 Lewis Martin on the home straight, although Shipway was able to rejoin. D. Blight dispatched of early leader Lobb into the turn one fence and went on to take the chequered flag, while Buddle concluded a good afternoon in second and Chapman was third.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Nationals 127 126 980 418 618 676 12 302 890 468
Heat 2 980 501 975 618 931 468 390 302 510 542
Heat 3 127 27 418 979 676 890 12 605 663 510
Final 890 127 618 980 126 468 578 27 12 390
Grand National 127 980 618 12 510 27 931 468 302 975
Grade Awards W 510 Y 12 B 980 R 127
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 902 720 577 129 382 799 33 768 112 672
Heat 2 720 902 799 577 129 382 27 33 672 7
Final 902 799 720 129 27 382 33 7 768 112
Allcomers 902 720 129 577 672 27 33 112 768 111
Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 786 459 196 511 881 230 121 556 235 163
Heat 2 206 621 254 113 31 AR 31 LS 198 27 451 352
Cons 662 551 75 125 3 422 70 866
Final 121 621 459 196 786 511 662 27 206 230
Allcomers 459 121 196 511 621 27 662 31 LS 556 206
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