The story of the entire August bank holiday weekend of racing at Mendips Raceway was the low lying cloud, that we are unfortunately susceptible to, but actually rarely effects us and yet of course it caused the curtailment of things in July, and, at times had us all worried this time.
Both on Sunday and Monday it was there as everyone arrived, but thankfully it cleared away and both meetings were able to run – very smoothly and unhindered.
On Sunday the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars returned for the first time since June and there were exactly 40 cars in the pits which was pleasing, including D92 Peter Baer all the way from Germany, we think the first driver from that country to race a Stock Car at Mendips Raceway and also 172 Trevor Harris having made the long trip down from Scotland.
The last qualifying round for the Rookies Reward Final was first up and saw victory for 832 Kane Moore. The two qualifying heats saw wins for 783 James Rygor, who just held off 676 Neil Hooper for the win and 886 Chris Bradbury, who thus added more points to his track championship tally.
The consolation needed to be completely re-started after a big coming together between several on the back straight. It was eventually won by 877 Eddie Darby.
The Freddie Funnel Memorial Trophy Final saw a very early yellow flag which closed the grid up, and then another later on. All of this left Darby at the head of the field and he impressively held on for the victory ahead of 315 Justin Fisher and 676 Hooper, with Bradbury fourth thus having been beaten in the first time in a Final here since Easter. However, he was back to the fore in the Grand National and this victory was enough for him to retain the points with a meeting to spare. It was at the hard luck expense of white grader 710 Brett Townsend though who was well clear and set for a career first win had it not been for a late yellow flag which left the rest breathing down on him for the re-start.
The Rookie Bangers had two meetings in two days, but that didn’t stop them turning up in great numbers with both days having to run to a qualifying heat format, which really brought back the ‘old days’ and this transferred to the style of racing too, with spins and crashes to keep everyone entertained, without any rough stuff. There were three great cars too with 9 Adam Elias bringing out a Mk4 Cortina Estate, 111 Tom Ruby a Hillman Minx and 162 Mike Cocks a Morris Minor!
The two heats on Sunday went to 133 Jody Jeanes and 29 Ian Frampton before 15 Ben Tovey took the consolation race.
The Final came down to a battle between 113 Aaron Brown and 29 Frampton, until the latter fell away with a puncture in the closing stages. This left Brown clear to win ahead of 75 Paul Fisher and 133 Jeanes. The mist and fog did come rolling back in for the Allcomers, but the drivers still wanted to race, so indeed they did. Although in the end only three drivers did the required number of laps with 15 Brett Sedgebeer leading them home to win.
The Mini Rod numbers were perhaps a little low, only just enough for the heat and consolation format to work properly. 501 Sam May came from the back of the grid to the front to win heat one whilst a real race of attrition saw only five finish heat two and 342 Ben Elliott take the win. After suffering back luck in his heat, 7 Aaron Charles won the consolation before the Final turned into a really good race with a great battle at the front which 60 Steve Sayer slowly edged away from to take the win, doing his chances of regaining the silver roof the power of good. 23 Jack Stuckey was second and 11 Tony Munden was third – all three will be main players going into their final meeting of the season on October 18.
A very good humoured Bank Holiday crowd arrived for the four formula Monday meeting for Special rods, Hot Rods, Robins and Rookie Bangers.
Banger numbers were good enough to again run a split heat format, with the drivers racing over two heats, consolation and Final, and the Caravan race. Ollie Starr(117)took heat one, Arry Brown(113) continued his good weekend with a heat two victory, while David England(42) kept it all going for the visitors by winning the Consolation. Glenn (677) won the final, fromOllie Starr and Martin Dalton(58), who was believed to be racing in his last meeting before retirement.
There were 16 Robins, giving up of their usual entertaining antics, and for the record, Barry Richards(87) won a heat, as did Mike Jones (59), and then it was on to the Figure of eight, which had the crowd absolutely on their toes, as near misses and huge crashes took place on the centre, with the old Maestro Dalton winning the event, and then it was on to the Destruction, which lasted quite a while, but concluded with a massive head on crash between Mark Bowskill(78) and Jamie Charles(7), from which only Bowskill was able to drive away, despite the cheer voting that was orchestrated by Commentator Alan Bunterwhile the two were trying to restart, which clearly favoured Charles!
The Special Rods were down on numbers, but the racing was enteratining on the quick track, with the three current Superstars taking the first three places in the Final, after Ross Stuckey(23) and Robin Bath(25) had won the heats, and Matt Tegg(19) the Consolation.
The last 2009 appearance of the Hot Rods took place with twelve cars present, including Wilson Hamilton(904) in a new (to him) car on it's first outing.
The West of England Championship was up for grabs, sponsored by John Wood tyres of Hereford, and a new 'open' format was used, with two qualifying heats open to all, and a Final for the Trophy. Amelai's Trophy whcih was carried over from the previous meeting, was to be awarded to the highest points scorer in qualifying, unless he won the West of England, in which case it would passd to the second highest. It was Hamilton who topped the charts, and went on to win, with Ross Loram (26) second, and unbeliveably, Stev Hunt(282) 3rd, using the old Tyrone Snell car previously raced by Larry Langmead(18), who was racing a new car.
The final event was CARAVANDALISM IX, which featured twelve caravans, including a fabulous tunout by Darren Feltham(364) with a fresh Vauxhall PA Cresta, and after a fairly ordered start, and a couple of laps, and enormous pits bend crash invloved most of the field, with Mike Cocks ten feet in the air on top of two other cars and caravans, while underneath were Dan Chiplen(107) and Slug (270) in his beautifully prepared Golf and caravan.
After the marshalls had dismantled the wreckage, all but one restarted the race, which two laps later degenerated into yet another massive pileup which occurred at the other end of the track, and this time, Chiplen's car was upside down in the wreckage with Cocks once again almost on the top.
At the third restart, after huige cheers for Chiplen's restart, the race ran to its end, with Mark Loader (444) a very worthy winner.
RESULTS - 30.08.09
Rookies Reward - Kane Moore 832,710,530,990,430,14,31,827,53,605
Heat 1 - James Rygor 783,676,152,522,530,710,761,467,628,31
Heat 2 - Chris Bradbury 886,990,105,832,538,677,315,189,127,246
Cons - Eddie Darby 877,127,167,53,254,246,14,827,24,92
G.F. - Eddie Darby 877,315,676,886,167,254,105,677,710,522
G.N. - Chris Bradbury 886,254,676,152,167,935,677,783,877,189
Heat 1 - Sam May 501,404,4,796,31,121,96,51-
Heat 2 - Ben Elliott 342,11,60,23,43,
Cons - Aaron Charles 7,21,111,127
G.F. - Steve Sayer 60,23,11,404,7,501,342,21,127,796
Heat 1 - Jodie Jeans 133,475,458,149,59,113,25
Heat 2 - Ian Frampton 29,75,991,778,113,505,172
Cons - Ben Tovey 15,441,112,15,44,41,721,49,820,27
Final - Aaron Brown 113,75,133,778,29,15,475,113,41,49
A/C - Ben Tovey 15,149,458
RESULTS - 31.08.09 <Xtra Photos Click Here>
Heat 1 - Ross Stuckey 23,42,198,48,39,144,41,8,19,9
Heat 2 - Robin Bath 25,47,993,33,6,43,925,173,136,46
Cons - Robert Parsons 925,19,46,136
Final - Richard Howard 47,42,198,23,993,39,6,136,144,8
Heat 1 - Ross Loram 26,88,117,89,904,18,205,282,34,775
Heat 2 - Wilson Hamilton 904,282,205,18,117,26,88,775,83,89
W.O.E - Wilson Hamilton 904,26,282,117,18,89,205,35,84,775
Heat 1 - Olly Starr 117,475,9,458,113,149,44,15,718,333
Heat 2 - Chris Jeanes 113,282,49,441,58,744,246,241,19,27
Cons - 42,162,677,172,144,25,556,717,176
Final - 677,117,58,15,149,49,458,44,246
Caravan DD - Mark Loader 444
Heat 1 - Barry Richards 87,58,46,78,250,658,444,158,24,159
Heat 2 - Mike Jones 59,58,78,87
Fig.8 - Martin Dalton 58,78,250,46,159,7,444
DD - Mark Bowskill 78