Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 24th March 2024

Stock Cars were back at Smeatharpe Stadium for the first time since October last year as large entries of BriSCA Formula Two and Saloon Stock Cars entertained a healthy crowd on a fine if chilly Spring day. Decent fields of unlimited cc Old Skool Bangers and Ministox added to a busy afternoon’s racing. It began with Track Champions 127 Matt Stoneman (BriSCA F2), 720 Archie Brown (Saloon Stock Cars) and 290 Alfie Tomkins leading the cars on parade before two further trophy presentations. Brothers Vinnie (121) and Harry (141) Neath-Rogers were joint recipients of the trophy for best 2023 newcomer, while Tomkins picked up the magnificent Trevor Redmond Trophy as the southwest driver voted by Autospeed staff as the best performer on the national racing scene last year.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

While two cars didn’t make it beyond pre-meeting action, the 46 runners were still enough for a full-format meeting with three heats. The first was the quietest but still notable for it producing another win for teen sensation 286 Kasey Jones – his third in just two meetings. In his first start from the yellow grade, the 16-year-old relieved 128 Jack Ralfs of the lead just after half-distance and went on to win from Ralfs and silver top 183 Charlie Guinchard. A number of spinners in the early stages of heat two mixed up the field, but 291 Dan Baker was untroubled out front until the closing stages as his car appeared to falter. 560 Luke Wrench moved ahead with five laps remaining and secured victory from fellow red-tops 776 Dan Roots, 418 Ben Borthwick and 689 Joe Marquand. The latter benefited from a final-lap crash between 194 Luke Johnson and 976 Dan Kent as they battled down the back straight and into Turn 3. The pair clashed and were thrown violently into –and up – the wall, consigning each to the consolation. While 528 Shane Hector was victorious from 24 Jon Palmer and 127 Matt Stoneman in heat three, 605 Richard Andrews proved to be something of a magnet for action. 736 Josh Weare’s car was flung heavily into an infield marker tyre as he tried passing Andrews in the first half of the race, while 468 Sam Weston later got tipped across the 605 car into the back-straight wall. Andrews bounced back to win the consolation, nudging 109 Tristan Smith wide to take a decisive lead before half-distance. Weston worked his way through into second, while Johnson and Kent both did well to repair and make the qualifying places. A close battle for the last two places went the way of East Anglian visitor 606 Andrew Palmer and 302 Dale Moon, with 315 Charlie Fisher just missing out. Elsewhere, fireworks were provided by 460 Adam Pearce thundering Weare around the wall. The 32-car field produced a predictably action-packed final for the MDP Services Trophy. From the early exchanges it was Kent who emerged in front, ahead of 728 Jack Bunter and Weston. But the star men were on a charge and although still some way behind the lead trio, a quartet of Borthwick, blue-top 27 Kieren Bradford, Palmer and Guinchard filled positions fourth to seventh before half-distance. Having tracked Palmer through the pack, Guinchard got the better of this squabble to run fourth when yellow flags were called with six laps to go. Roots had bounced over the front of 980 Charlie Lobb’s car, leaving both stranded on the fourth bend. The caution period wiped out the advantage of the front three and, upon the resumption, Guinchard picked off Bunter before following Weston past Kent. The silver-top nudged Weston wide to take the lead with three laps remaining, and Kent briefly got back into second before Palmer passed both him and Weston. Guinchard roared to only his second meeting final win at Smeatharpe, with Palmer following him home, while Kent provided more fireworks on the final bend. He clattered into Weston, successfully spinning his opponent, but taking himself into the wall which he then rode around and dragged his wounded car across the line for third ahead of Bunter and Wrench. Sixth and seventh went to Borthwick and Moon who proceeded to enjoy some post-race ‘handbags’ which left them in disciplinary hot water. More silliness in the Grand National led to Weare inexplicably attacking Pearce on the infield, incurring the wrath of officials. Meanwhile, Tristan Smith’s heavy encounter with a Turn 3 marker tyre had emptied the rainwater it was concealing all over the track, causing chaos. Kasey Jones belied his lack of experience to charge on in the lead, but he looked set to lose out when Palmer cut inside with an intelligent move two laps later. Nonetheless, the impressive Jones fought back on the final bend to snatch victory – or so he thought. He had not started from the back of his grade, as race winners should (the onus is on the driver to do so), and hence was docked 10 places, handing victory to Palmer. Guinchard fought through to a fantastic second from the full-lap handicap, with Wrench third. Hector, who crossed the line fifth, but also as a race winner that did not start at the back of the grade, suffered a similar fate to Jones.

Saloon Stock Cars

A 25-car turnout meant the hard-hitting Saloons would be rewarded with a double-points final as well as earning an allcomers race to close out the action. Their opening heat was a typically frantic affair with debutant 382 Corey Hunt among the spinners that caused a near track blockage on the home straight. Hunt was clobbered head on by 677 Warren Darby, leading to a caution period. 561 Aaron Totham took the lead from fifth in the restart queue but earned a black cross for his over-enthusiasm. So, while Totham escaped to take the flag first after another race suspension, the hard-fought second-place battle was effectively for victory. 277 Jack Grandon emerged on top from 760 Joey Reynolds, with Totham docked to third and Scottish star 618 Stuart Shevill Jr fourth. A quieter heat two was won by Reynolds, who got inside 33 Pete Hollett with a lap to go. Track debutant 474 Michael Kent climbed from his yellow-grade start to lead the final within a couple of laps amid the early action. The progress of 561 Aaron Totham and Grandon was even better as they rose to second and third before half-distance. Totham eventually made his pressure tell as he took the lead, but East Anglian Kent wasn’t giving up hope of repeating his King’s Lynn final success of the previous weekend. He briefly got back in front, but the scrap allowed Grandon on terms and he got inside both to take the win. Totham was second and Kent third. Kent got his win in the allcomers race, in which Grandon was an early spinner. Kent took over from 112 Rich James early on and proceeded to clear off into the distance, taking a comfortable win over 27 Jason Kingwell. 902 Brad Compton-Sage and Reynolds took no prisoners on their way to third and fourth, with Brown in their wake, while Grandon’s recovery to seventh included removing Warren Darby on the final bend.

Unlimited cc Old Skool Bangers

Twenty-three big rear-wheel-drive Bangers provided some entertainment across their four races. The first was won by the BMW of veteran racer 282 Steve Hunt, who nudged 120 Mark Ashley’s Triumph Stag wide at around half-distance to take the lead. While 362 Johnny James (BMW) and 90 Mark Bartlett (Ford Granada Mk3) pushed past 991 Ben Hale on the final lap for second and third, Ashley dropped to fifth. BMW-mounted 362 Johnny James took a dominant win in heat two, half a lap clear of 186 Lewis Fasey (Ford Scorpio), 246 Ryan Sparks (BMW) and 916 Luke Thomas (Lexus), who had been running second. 114 Nick Courtier’s well-used Granada Mk2 led the way in the final but, amid plenty of action around the track, Fasey was climbing through the field. He closed in to take the lead with three laps to go, with Bartlett also demoting Courtier before the flag. Bartlett saw out the afternoon with a convincing win in the Allcomers.


Sixteen youngsters contested three Ministox races in which National champion 290 Alfie Tomkins came close to a hat-trick. A pair of cautions helped the star-grade drivers get on terms with the leaders in heat one. 207 Alfie Flecken briefly burst into the lead but, as the red-tops squabbled, silver roof Tomkins managed to break free for victory. The white-graders’ scrap at the start of heat two allowed 922 Kaydi Buttcher into the lead. She was passed by 550 Callum Herzig and, in her attempted fight-back, got turned into the home-straight wall and flipped over onto her roof. With the race halted, Kaydi scrambled out none the worse for wear. Her demise let a five-car gaggle of stars contest the lead, initially headed by 20 Lewis Middleton. Flecken and Tomkins also had spells in front, and it was the latter who led on the last lap. One-time British champion 202 Cody Bradford’s final-bend lunge from third only succeeded in letting 475 Mason Sealy pass him and Flecken to snatch second at the death. There was a similar start to the final as the white-tops tangled while attempting to lap novice driver 575 Caden Clark, which let Herzig through. 511 Lexi Crosbie hung on to second for several laps until the inevitable star-grade onslaught arrived, led by Flecken. Bradford and Sealy were next in line when a caution was called with two to go. It all went wrong on the restart for Flecken, who was initially tipped into a half-spin by Bradford before slewing into the wall almost head-on which brought out more yellow flags. Tomkins took advantage to slip into the lead, but he wasn’t able to complete his hat-trick as a last-bend lunge from Bradford snatched victory to end an entertaining afternoon’s racing.

BriSCA F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 286 128 183 27 161 525 542 12 first 8 to final
Heat 2 560 776 418 689 291 438 235 259 first 8 to final
Heat 3 528 24 127 141 980 728 890 915 first 8 to final
Consolation 605 468 194 109 976 979 606 302 first 8 to final
Final 183 24 976 728 560 418 302 27 286 890
Grand National 24 183 560 890 27 980 12 776 315 468
Grade Awards W 128 Y 728 B 27 R 183
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 277 760 561 618 129 902 33 799 00 164
Heat 2 760 33 474 902 618 720 27 129 364 799
Final 277 561 474 129 760 902 577 720 618 677
Allcomers 474 27 902 760 720 129 277 561 577 799
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 290 475 207 202 20 902 267 505 257 922
Heat 2 290 475 202 207 20 550 902 617 257 505
Final 202 290 20 313 902 257 475 550 511 505
Old Skool Unlimited cc Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 282 362 90 991 120 262 246 186 92 954
Heat 2 362 186 246 916 282 452 92 954 991 91
Final 186 90 114 954 282 246 362 92 262 916
Allcomers 90 92 246 916 120 186 282 362 262 743
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