Sunday September 27th -preview by Steve Linfield
Mendips Raceway will be back in action on Sunday afternoon, and an all contact session in hopefully far better weather than we enjoyed in the last three so called summer events.
Thankfully the previous two all went off okay though and this time it promises to be a spectacular day with the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars rounding off their season here with us, with the Rookies Reward Final and annual Howard Cole Memorial trophy up for grabs.
The National Bangers will be in under 1800cc form for the first time since the end of May and we have the once a year outing for the big hitting Saloon Stock Cars.
For the second year running 886 Chris Bradbury has not only won by the track championship trophy for the F2 Stock Cars, but done it with a meeting to spare once again did enough to secure the track points championship for the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars. He has had an up and down season, which has included winning the British Championship, but his World Championship hopes ended in a much talked about first bend crash up at Buxton the weekend before last.
Undeterred though, the Mendips track always brings out the best in Chris and he will be a hard man to beat this time. Others very capable though will be fellow star men 127 Matt Stoneman, 315 Justin Fisher and 676 Neil Hooper who all went well last month, and in 2008 the Howard Cole Trophy went to a relatively surprise winner in 497 Piers Cockerill. Could that happen again today? Piers will hopefully be back to defend, and there are many others from towards the front of the grid who always take some catching and could get away.
The Final of the Rookies Reward will kick things off, and once again the series aimed at only white and yellow graded drivers has proved a success. Each of the four rounds leading into today had a different winner, all from the yellow grade, but as we saw last year when 116 Ashley Rundle took the honours it is possible that a white grader could hold on. Ashley is now firmly established as a blue graded driver, as are two of this years round winners. There are too many possible winners to list here as it is such a wide open event, and worth winning too, as there are great trophies and good prize money on it.
The Saloon Stock Cars will make their annual visit, for the Master of the Mendips trophy. Last year there were three different winners, culminating in the then World Champion, and most local Saloon driver to this track 720 Shane Brown winning the Final. Shane has now gone into (temporary?) retirement and thus there will potentially be a new name on the trophy. 199 Phil Powell and 328 Ian Govier will be looking to uphold local honour whilst the visiting charge will be headed by a glittering array of stars. 360 Carl Waterfield took an emphatic victory in their World Championship at Kings Lynn last month and to prove just how quickly he has shot to fame, he was here last year racing as a yellow graded driver! He will be one to watch again, whilst Surrey based brothers 176 Murray Jones and 186 Todd Jones, who is European Champion are never far from the hunt and English Champion 219 Luke Grief went well last year.
After having Rookie Banger action over the August Bank Holiday weekend, it is back to the harder hitting and at times much more extreme National Bangers on Sunday, and they have the added bonus of some World Championship qualifying round points up for grabs for the last remaining of the Banger ‘Worlds’ at Ipswich in November.
The last time we had the National Bangers was Crashmania, the team meeting in July which fell foul to the weather halfway through. The previous session in June saw 190 Steve Bailey very much the man to beat. He took the Autospeed World title three weeks ago, which was a very popular win for the driver who is very much “man of the moment” in the National Bangers across the land and if he is present today then he will once again be a fearsome force. 58 Martin Dalton does lead the points though coming into today, and should ‘Pikey’ and indeed his Midnight Runner associates choose to race elsewhere today then Martin could capitalise on his points lead. That is assuming he is also present of course!
Others high up in the points include 44 Steve Griffin, 198 Marcus Goldsmith, 210 Paul Barnes and 404 Rob Mills who are never really far away from the end result either.
Owing to the days getting in, we will be starting a little earlier than usual at 1.00pm, but as ever make sure you leave yourself plenty of time before hand so that you can take the opportunity to walk around the pits, see the cars and meet the drivers – something which is not possible at many other motor sport events any more.