The 2011 Easter weekend at Mendips Raceway commenced on Sunday with the clear blue skies and sunshine that were to remain over the two days. As has been the long held tradition for the date, it was the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars World Championship qualifying round that headlined the bill with a very large entry of Rookie Bangers joined by a somewhat disappointing entry of Hot Rods.
The F2’s came from as away as Scotland and the north east and west of England to compete, as well as the more local and regular drivers. Things got off to a lively start in heat one which needed a complete re-start and then later on in the race 31 Simon Bassett’s engine blew oil on to the track which resulted in a big heap of cars on the top bend in which 886 Chris Bradbury rolled. 374 Gary Stephens went on to win when the race resumed. 218 Rob Speak looked good in heat two but retired with broken front suspension and 53 Phil Mann lead from flag to flag to take the win.
There was more misfortune for Speak in the consolation when he took a puncture on a front tyre which left the former eight times World Champion a non-starter for the Final. Bradbury showed that neither the man or machine were any worse for their earlier tumble by taking the win. All of which built up nicely for the annual Gerry Dommett Memorial trophy, which was lead away by Mann until 835 Matt Westaway took over at the halfway stage.
A crash on the bottom bend accounted for several and brought out the yellow flags. There was confusion as to track position at the re-start, and 676 Neil Hooper appeared as the race leader and from then on he kept at the front all the way to the chequered flag with Bradbury unable to reel him in whilst 677 Chris Roots made it through for third. However, the result is subject to a Steward’s enquiry as to exactly who, what and where during the yellow flag period and thus is provisional until announced otherwise.
A huge coming together between several at the start of the Grand National brought about a complete re-start and Speak bounced back to take the win, keeping Bradbury at a safe distance.
A very pleasing entry of Rookie Bangers which was just a few shy of 60 with a vast array of differing cars too. None more so than an Austin Maxi for 162 Mike Cocks. The two half car heats saw 246 Ryan Sparks take the first and then the second a flag to flag win for 270 Shaun Baker.
The consolation saw a first Mendips victory for 717 Donna Cottrill. A lively Final saw plenty of incident and accident, whilst Cocks took a big hit in the Maxi which saw him momentarily trapped in the car which brought about a caution flag but thankfully he was able to exit unaided and was okay.
Sparks pulled clear after the re-start and whilst both 113 Chris Jeanes and 475 Ben Sealey reeled him in towards the end, he was able to keep them at bay and hold on to the flag with Sealey and Jeanes more pre-occupied with each battling with each other it seemed.
The Allcomers rounded out the day with 113 Jeanes catching and passing long time leader 129 Lee Dalton in the closing stages to take the win.
Unfortunately just seven Hot Rods were present with several no-shows. Those that were in attendance tried and indeed succeeded to put on a good show and whilst 718 Colin White won the first heat and the CWS Mears Trophy Final, he was beaten for the first time in 2011 at Mendips when 282 Steve Hunt won heat two.
RESULTS - 24.04.11
Heat 1 - Colin White 718,55,18,282
Heat 2 - Steve Hunt 282,18,718,117,205
Final - Colin White 718,282,18,55,205,117
Heat 1 - Gary Stephens 374,276,935,522,162,438,954,785,245
Heat 2 - Phil Mann 53,676,606,921,823,315,990,271,835,76
Cons - Chris Bradbury 886,677,254,783,605,641,189,710,14,797
Final - Neil Hooper 676,886,677,606,835,641,254,921,189,76
G.N. - Rob Speak 218,886,676,254,823,315,921,606,271,797
Heat 1 - Ryan Sparks 246,776,144,54,58,158,244
Heat 2 - Shaun Bakere 270,75,113,744,247,475,133,175,941,820
Cons - Donna Cottrell 717,45,441,27,129,396,162,114,242
Final - Ryan Sparks 246,113,475,54,441,941,242,717,27,129
A/C - Chris Jeanes 113,129,117,246,58,27,9,12,111
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24th April 2011 - CLICK HERE to see the full set in a slideshow at flickr.com
With thanks to ThunderPix