Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 21st April 2024

On a dry if chilly afternoon BriSCA Formula Two Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars and Back 2 Basics Micro Bangers all put on an entertaining show.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

A 44-car entry dropped to 42 after pre-meeting practice, still more than enough for two well-populated heats. Before the main meeting got under way, there was a generously-sponsored Total White Out race for the 11 white-tops present. It brought a comfortable win for in-form driver 141 Harry Neath-Rogers ahead of midlands-based visitor 381 Sam Hooker, who was racing at the circuit for the first time. 222 Adrian Watts overhauled 128 Jake Ralfs for third, with the latter’s attempted last-bend retaliation failing to make contact. 828 Julian Coombes demoted Neath-Rogers from the lead of heat one proper on half-distance, but 127 Matt Stoneman was already up to fifth after an eye-catching climb through the field. As 605 Richard Andrews passed Neath-Rogers for second, Stoneman demoted 976 Dan Kent from fourth. Stoneman then snatched third with three laps remaining, only for caution flags to come out when Kent lost a wheel. The smart money would surely have been on Stoneman for victory, but Coombes made a good restart and kept out of reach, leaving Stoneman to settle for second ahead of Andrews. Stoke-based visitor 581 Dan Fallows again showed his liking for the Smeatharpe circuit with a win in heat two. Hooker impressed as he led until passed by Fallows in the closing laps before his car expired with two to go. The predominately lower-grader consolation race required two relatively early stoppages. The first came when 259 Daz Purdy rode up and over the front of 274 Ryan Hinwood’s car and ended up on his side on the infield. The second arose after Watts, Hooker and 203 Dean Hawkins piled into the fourth-bend fence, and Watts was left stranded. 235 Alfie Brimble led the restart but was passed by 12 Craig Driscoll, who led until the closing laps when he was pushed aside by teen sensation 286 Kasey Jones.  Neath-Rogers set the early pace in the Sidmouth Arms-sponsored 29-car final, chased by Hooker. But Coombes and Stoneman were again the men on the move. Coombes nudged Hooker wide for second while Stoneman’s incredible pace lifted him into third before half-distance. The gaps between the top three shrunk and Coombes shifted Neath-Rogers to move in front. His advantage lasted only a matter of seconds, however, as Stoneman followed through and then immediately passed the Exeter driver to take the lead. The track champion pulled away and his only conceivable threats appeared to come from 24 Jon Palmer and Kasey Jones. Amid heavy traffic, Palmer reached second with five laps to go and started to gradually close in as Stoneman suffered from his engine cutting intermittently. But Stoneman remained out of reach and Palmer had to settle for second, with Jones making third and 27 Kieren Bradford successfully snatching fourth on the final bend from Coombes. The 27-car Grand National was arguably the race of the afternoon. In an entertaining mid-race scrap for the lead, Andrews was run wide by a backmarker, allowing Coombes ahead chased by 315 Charlie Fisher. But then Fisher’s challenge delayed both and let Andrews back in front. Meantime Palmer had worked his way through from the back of the back of the field and was ready to pounce. As he got ahead, Bradford briefly snatched second, only to spin. Suddenly Palmer held a big lead from Driscoll and Bradford, while Stoneman had risen to eighth from the full-lap handicap with half the race remaining. As Palmer stormed to victory, with Driscoll second, Stoneman picked his way through to fourth. He then hit Jones wide at the start of the final lap to take third, all without the assistance of any yellow flags.

Saloon Stock Cars

Some late withdrawals reduced the entry to a still-reasonable 18 cars, meaning the final would not carry double points, but there was still an allcomers race to boost drivers’ tallies. 27 Jason Kingwell, delayed earlier in the race, proved to be the downfall of both 444 Kieran Bellringer and 33 Pete Hollett while each was leading heat one, which let 561 Aaron Totham in front. But the Essex racer lost out to 277 Jack Grandon with four laps remaining, with 382 Corey Hunt and 902 Junior Buster also getting inside the erstwhile leader. While Grandon eased to victory, Junior Buster put Hunt wide for second on the final lap, and 720 Archie Brown also beat Totham to fourth. In heat two, Bellringer led until beyond half-distance, before losing out to Hunt who was then nudged aside by Totham. Totham escaped to victory as Hunt traded second with Junior Buster but it was Brown who emerged from a last-bend sort-out in second, ahead of Junior Buster and 618 Stuart Shevill Jr – who had won the previous night’s final some 450 miles away in Cowdenbeath. The final took place on a track made greasy by oil dropped in the preceding Banger race; Grandon and 577 Harry Darby were among the early spinners. Full of confidence after his Skegness final win a week earlier, Hollett shoved 768 Joe Delahay wide for the lead and set a strong pace as Totham tried to chase him down. Totham got in front, only to be caught out by spinning debutant 962 Josh Pidgley on the second bend with three laps to go. Hollett accepted the gift to take his second final win in eight days, with Shevill coming through to second and 760 Joey Reynolds third. Bellringer was again unable to make his early advantage count in the allcomers race. Hunt relieved him of the lead in the second half of the race and then Bellringer inadvertently accounted for Brown by showing him towards an infield marker tyre on the home straight as he tried to pass. Totham’s strong pace again carried him into contention but he was unable to get close enough to Hunt for his last-bend lunge to make contact. So Hunt secured his maiden win in the formula from form men Totham, Hollett and Grandon.

Back 2 Basics Micro Bangers

A mid-20s turnout of small Bangers produced some lively action. After 31 Liam Shipway spun out, 198 Owen Nichol and 222 Ricky Walters traded the lead of heat one. Following a stoppage for a flash fire on 551 Kieran Figures’s car, Nichol was removed and Walters went on to win from 17 Adam Welsman. A sizeable oil spillage made for slippery conditions in heat two. It was particularly treacherous on the first bend, with most of the field piling in, and 211 Adrian Coles emerging from the chaos in front. Coles was put away on the third bend with five laps remaining, with 262 Buddy James going on to win from 328 Mike Parry. Shipway enlivened the final with his crabbing car before enjoying a head-on with Nichol and then getting blitzed by Walters. 460 Ed Reynolds had already moved his modern Nissan Micra into the lead when red flags were required for a fire on Nichol’s car, and he converted that into victory from 601 Brandon Melksham and Buddy James. The day ended with a heavily populated Destruction Derby, yet despite the good numbers, the event was swiftly concluded with many cars expiring after just a solitary hit. On his track debut, 96 Harley Carr-Flamank emerged as the winner, after seeing off Melksham and 562 Jayden James.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Total White Out 141 381 222 128 510 762 203 274 290 296
Heat 1 828 127 605 992 542 325 141 915 461 895
Heat 2 581 24 27 980 776 315 979 510 475 528
Consolation 286 12 468 728 121 235 460 856 381 572
Final 127 24 286 27 828 542 141 605 980 915
Grand National 24 12 127 286 992 542 828 315 915 27
Grade Awards W 141 Y 828 B 286 R 127
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 277 902 382 720 561 33 618 760 677 577
Heat 2 561 720 902 618 382 444 677 577 33 27
Final 33 618 760 27 902 720 25 677 577 277
Allcomers 382 561 33 277 760 618 677 444 25 27
B2B Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 222 17 601 262 211 662 56 460 562 652
Heat 2 262 328 333 562 729 756 652 662 198 761
Final 460 601 262 211 756 328 729 333 222 96
King of Crash/DD 96
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