Smeatharpe Stadium - Sunday 3rd March 2024

The first race action of the new season at Smeatharpe Stadium attracted just shy of 100 drivers across four classes, on a cold and chilly afternoon which, mercifully, was concluded just before heavy showers descended after the last race had ended.

2 Litre National Bangers

Another significant step was taken by the blossoming National Bangers scene with Autospeed, as 34 drivers contested the PRI World Championship Wild Card and Spring Open Championship double bill.  Four Best Presented awards had been offered, but such was the standard of preparation of many cars that two further bonuses were needed.  Brothers 841 Tom Perkins and 842 Jack Perkins were joined by 280 Harry Ricketts, 83 Ben Styles, 154 Blazej Szczygiel and 908 David Brown as recipients of the smart car prizes.  The random draw for the Wild Card race left 552 Carl Douglas and Tom Perkins on the front row, but 186 Lewis Fasey swiftly grabbed first place right from the outset, as he began to build a strong lead.  Douglas and 131 Sam Hill were the next two drivers in the order, and they swapped places, but were making no impression on Fasey.  With halfway approaching, the action began to ignite.  410 Dan Galley ran in 126 Dan Bowley, and 727 Kieron Ritson stormed into the stranded Bowley.  Next in was 17 Adam Welsman who blasted Ritson, which left the former wide open to a stonking hit from 278 Shaun Brokenshire.  266 Scott Gillbard arrived on the scene to park in the back of Brokenshire, and 6 Danny Greening did likewise to Gillbard.  303 Josh Jones edged gold top 133 Terry Hill sideways but was then attacked by 166 Luke Gillbard and then Sam Hill, who relinquished his second place slot.  Fasey was untroubled as he took the flag to clinch the Wild Card, after which Galley bundled 214 Shane Rawlins into the pit gate parking lot, before coming under heavy fire himself from 29 Jamie Locker.  Douglas was a distant second, and Smith took third from 756 Troy Hooper.  Next up was the Spring Open, and Rawlins rattled 412 Hayden Galley around the west bend, before Terry Hill deposited Jones heavily into the plating in front of the seated area.  That parked Jones up, and he was duly clouted again, this time by Luke Gillbard.  The race was halted to assist Jones from his car, leaving a one lap dash to the flag.  Sam Hill had everything under control to take the win, from Smith and Douglas.  At the start of the Allcomers, Smith plastered Tom Perkins around the pits bend plating, as Brokenshire ploughed into Scott Gillbard on the exit of turn four, after the latter had tangled up with Welsman.  Locker clattered into 38 Kevin Styles on the back straight, before Brokenshire launched himself into Hayden Galley.  Ritson took plenty more damage on the exit of turn four, and after Fasey had scored another win, 662 Jared Roe fired 298 Carl Locker into the pits bend plating, with Hooper spinning Roe as they exited the bend.  A quartet of drivers contested the Destruction Derby, which lasted far longer than expected.  Ben Styles attacked 166 Connor Charlton, who soon expired, leaving Styles, Brokenshire and Jamie Locker to take turns charging at one another.  The action was brutal, but somehow the cars kept going, until it all ended in a messy muddle on the back straight infield.  With no further movement, Locker was adjudged the winner, having landed the last legal shot before the infield entanglement.  The drama was still not over, though, for as Locker limped around to collect the winner’s trophy, his car burst into flames, with marshals quickly on the scene to extinguish.

Stock Rods

A couple of late cancellations, and engine problems in practice for 415 Sean Gillett left the non-contact class just a little short of the anticipated 30-car turnout, but to ensure plenty of racing opportunities, a full format was deployed.  Heat one could barely have been more chaotic.  Debutant 89 James Tuohey spun on the exit of turn four, and 204 Georgie Polley ran out of room on the back straight, striking the plating and suffering front end damage.  To add to the drama, 285 Martin Walker came to a halt, with steam bellowing out from under the bonnet.  An untidy restart saw 311 Liam Shipway clobber a marker tyre as he attempted an audacious inside line pass.  All the while, 313 Brad Seymour looked in control, but in a frantic battle involving 522 Chris Mikulla, 909 Justin Washer and 351 Rhys Langdown, the landscape changed.  English Champion Washer hogged the inside line, and that proved a winning move as he took the chequered.  Heat two was even more dramatic.  914 Callum Faulconbridge set a searing pace, and looked so far clear that victory was a formality.  However, the youngster caught up a gaggle of backmarkers, and opted to sit tight on the inside line.  946 Dave Taylor closed the gap markedly, and was soon on the tail of Faulconbridge, but he too stuck to the inside line.  As their speeds decreased, silver top 944 Callum Hosie reeled them in, and with a lap and a half to go, he took to the outside line.  He got level with Taylor, and on the final lap was able to round Faulconbridge to win by half a car’s length.  Just ten cars contested the consolation, and 476 Vic Wadling swiftly took command.  Shipway dropped down the order late on, coasting home in the tenth and final position.  The early stages of the Crocodile Products sponsored final were punctuated by two caution periods.  The first came when 286 Martin Walker Jnr was spun around on the back straight, and inadvertently collected by 9 Chris Drake.  Then, 258 James Griggs spun in pits bend, which left him in a precarious position.  Faulconbridge twice saw his lead eradicated by the yellow flags, but despite being chased by 314 Jason Barraclough, Faulconbridge was not to be denied a first win in his debut meeting, and he punched the air in celebration.  Polley had held third for most of the race, but Langdown made his outside line move stick in the closing stages to grab the final rostrum place in the closing stages.  Seventeen drivers appeared for the Grand National, and Barraclough’s excellent showing on his Stock Rod debut brought him the reward of a win, with Polley the runner-up.  A frantic last lap saw Taylor out of shape as he fought against the awkwardness of a puncture, and he dropped away to sixth, when a higher finish had seemed likely.


The 15-strong entry of junior racers included a trio of newcomers on debut.  Heat one began with 313 Oakley Hayes spinning aside 559 Aiden Phillips, whilst 511 Lexi Crosbie shot into the lead.  Many of the star grade battled amongst themselves, which aided Crosbie’s cause, and she duly sealed a maiden win.  Hayes was second and 290 Alfie Tomkins took third, as 475 Mason Sealy and 207 Alfie Flecken got in a tangle on the last bend.  Another first time win was to follow in the next heat, as the young racers did well to cope with a slippery track surface.  This time, Hayes broke clear at the start, whilst Crosbie’s hopes were dashed as she spun in the pits bend.  Hayes calmly saw out the remainder of the race, to win ahead of 20 Aaron Middleton and 267 Robbie Batten.  The final built to a fascinating conclusion, after beginning in similar fashion to the previous race when Crosbie spun, and Hayes took command.  Again, it was Tomkins who broke free of the squabbling pack of stars, and he set about catching Hayes.  As the laps ticked by, the gap reduced visibly, but heading into the final lap, Hayes had sufficient advantage to stay out of reach of a challenge, and he duly claimed a second successive victory.  Middleton completed the top three.


2 Litre National Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
PRI Wild Card 186 552 648 756 133 214 662 6 49 29
Spring Open 131 648 552 186 166 133 662 756 278 18
Allcomers 186 133 552 214 648 131 662 842 29 756
DD 29
Top Trier 17
Top Entertainer 278
Most Wrecked 83
Best Presented 83 154 280 841 842 908
Stock Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 909 351 522 314 313 101 131 32 8 to final
Heat 2 944 914 946 149 286 9 572 275 8 to final
Heat 3 476 51 204 285 258 220 231 862 777 311
Final 914 314 351 204 285 944 909 131 32 275
Grand National 314 204 944 32 51 946 313 101 37 914
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 511 313 290 20 202 217 922 207 257 267
Heat 2 313 20 267 617 207 290 475 217 257 559
Final 313 290 20 475 207 217 257 617 511 559
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