The 2013 season got underway on Easter Sunday and whilst it was very cold, the sun did shine throughout and there was a busy pit area for the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Rookie Bangers and Hot Rods in a 15 race programme.
The entry in the BriSCA F2’s reflected the upsurge of interest in the region, with several on their first appearances at the track and the top of 47 cars being 16 more than raced at the corresponding date last year. This also brought about an extra race with three heats being run for the World Championship qualifying round for the first time in four years. The first of the heats saw 886 Chris Bradbury, the five times track champion start as he will mean to go on by taking the win, but did have to fend off a spirited charge from Scotsman 100 George MacMillan. Track debutant 222 Ayrton Mills took heat one and 676 Neil Hooper heat three, before the consolation went the way of 823 Sam Wagner who had earlier come a cropper against the inner Armco in his heat.
The first attempt to get the 32 car Final underway did not get very far when the blue grade all tripped over each other before really reaching the green flag. 797 Dan Moss spun and was collected and 596 Richie Mead crashed hard into the plating which ended their race. The complete re-start was lead off by 575 Tom Clark who held on in the early part of the race until fellow white graded driver Mills made his move to take over. The star grade drivers were struggling to make really significant progress in the traffic, but the pick of them was MacMillan. 783 James Rygor was also going well from the blue grade and was catching the leading two until he retired. As the laps ticked away Mills was comfortably clear but then as the race reached the closing stages he noticeably slowed. This allowed Clark to catch him back and MacMillan to catch them both. With two to go 189 Paul Butcher’s car parted company with a wheel on the home straight and it was hit by 476 Ryan Wadling who rolled from it and this brought out the yellow flags. A two lap dash was set up and at the flag it put Bradbury, who had been a pretty distant fourth right into play. He seized the opportunity and dived for the front at the flag, and got it with 921 Jack Aldridge following him through. MacMillan was forced wide and the unlucky two white graders forced right out wide. Thus Bradbury retained the Gerry Dommet Memorial trophy, and took his second World Qualifier from two. Aldridge made second and 315 Justin Fisher, who was eighth at the re-start third. The Grand National saw a big coming together on the back straight for 156 Pat Lines and 801 Jack Cave. Mills went on to take his second win of the afternoon.
There was a total of 63 Bangers, again showing the popularity of the lesser prep ‘Rookie’ format, however it must be said that during the course of the meeting there were some who seemed to be lost on the ‘nudge and spin’ with too many big hits, jack ups and so on. And whilst there were disqualifications and words from the Steward and Clerk of the Course, it should not need to come to that for the format to continue to thrive. National Bangers are still very much part of our fixture list for those that do wish to go in hard. 133 Jody Jeanes took heat one and 244 Ian Frampton took heat two. Car of the day was an old Saab from 162 Mike Cocks and he managed to roll it in his heat and then again in the consolation, which was ultimately won by 31 Liam Shipway. The Final got off to a very spectacular start when 796 Dave Steads was spun going down the home straight and collected the inner Armco which tipped him into a wild rollover, and 300 Jon Ayles actually went underneath him as he did so! He was soon out of the car all smiles though. Ayles was latterly one of those black flagged for over aggressive hitting, as was former fellow points champion 396 Scott Mowlem. 133 Jeanes once again looked the pick of them and came from the very back of the grid to take his second win of the day. 129 Lee Dalton came through for second and 384 Scott Benjafield was third.
There was 12 Hot Rods, including a few new cars for the new season and a new face in a smart Mini body shell for 3 Simon Harroway. 718 Colin White was also present, sandwiching the meeting between qualifying and racing his GT Sports Car at Oulton Park in Cheshire! Harroway gave a good account of himself in heat one, but there was no catching 258 James Griggs. With the reverse grid in heat two it put White and 282 Steve Hunt at the front of the grid and they went on to make the one-two. The handicap Final for the annual CWS Mears Trophy saw 117 Dave Tossell on pole position and very soon both Hunt and White moved through to second and third. It was fair to think that it was only a matter of time before one of the veteran pair hit the front. However, no, as Tossell held them off for lap after lap with 282 and 718 side by side behind. Their places swapped and changed but all the while Tossell held on. Then in the closing staged 125 Mike Hibbert joined to make it a four car battle and almost got ahead of White and Hunt! However, they fought back but could do nothing about Tossell who went on to take a very fine win. White was second and Hunt third.
RESULTS - 31.03.13
Heat 1 - Chris Bradbury 886,100,14,167,797,991,476,979,22,102
Heat 2 - Ayrton Mills 222,315,998,921,605,761,544,290,575,827
Heat 3 - Neil Hooper 676,783,768,126,189,302,76,801,596,954
Cons - Sam Wagner 823,596,575,890,102,254,116,22,156,430
G.F. - Chris Bradbury 886,921,315,768,100,998,823,126,76,761
G.N. - Ayrton Mills 222,676,167,921,823,100,102,189,890,254
Heat 1 - James Griggs 258,3,125,718,282,205,55,35,18,117
Heat 2 - Colin White 718,282,125,205,117,258,55,35,18,3
Final - Dave Tossell - 117,718,282,125,35,205,258,55,3
Heat 1 - Jody Jeanes 133,83,109,384,475,881,396,801,144,113
Heat 2 - Ian Frampton 244,9,366,775,242,718,272,190,309,189
Cons - Liam Shipway 31,796,311,7,300,70,59,129
Final - Jody Jeanes 133,129,384,109,475,881,242,189
A/C - Paul Fisher 75,475,881,190,13,744,176,371,556,720