After all the warm and dry weather it was galling that the rain returned for the first of the Diamond Jubilee weekend meetings and whilst it did not rain all afternoon as was once forecast, a succession of heavy showers meant that the track was never dry during the course of the meeting. The show went on of course though with the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, National Bangers and Reliant Robins providing an all contact programme of racing.
The BriSCA F2 Stock Cars are always busy, none more so than on a Bank Holiday weekend. However, just as last time there was enough cars to switch to a two from three heat format and there was also a decent entry of white graded drivers which boosted the first round of the Rookies Reward series for 2012. This was sponsored by our old friend Ray Lines, the trophies were presented by his old racing stable mate George Kneller who raced under number 612 back in the early 1970’s. This race was won by 734 Glenn Sanders, which was actually his first victory in an F2 Stock Car, and he looked very pleased as he crossed the line.
The first heat was run in a downpour which saw the track get steadily wetter as the race went on and 53 Phil Mann pulled well clear for the win. Heat two saw 464 Matt Linfield take the victory and then heat three saw 886 Chris Bradbury win comfortably.
The annual Marion Bennett Trophy was led off by Sanders until there was a yellow flag when newcomer 203 Andy Russell found himself stranded in a dangerous place. Sanders continued to lead the re-start until Mann passed him, but the one of the move was Bradbury as he looked to get his third Final win in a row of the season at Mendips. A few laps after Mann had taken the lead, Bradbury was on him and passed with five laps to go. These two were well clear of the rest by then and as 886 took the Final win, 768 Tom Adcroft got the better of what was a fierce five car battle for third.
The Grand National featured an early yellow flag, which gave Bradbury the chance to make up ground from his lap handicap start but once again there was no catching Mann, who made his long trip down the M5 and M6 worthwhile by taking a second victory.
For the Reliant Robins it was Crazy Day! The three wheelers were never introduced as a serious class, there are lots of others available for that and as such this season extra points are on offer for rollovers and entertainers. But this was all something different for all. The first race was a ‘wrong way’ race where they went around in F2 direction and coupled with the rain the speeds were noticeably down, and of course with the weight distribution all wrong. However, it was the current master of the Robins 499 Lee Charles who once again came through to win.
The next event was a ‘Football Race’ where two teams chased a ball each around the track. However, in a classic case of the best laid plans, the balls were very quickly flattened rendering the event somewhat pointless (or ball-less?) and the Steward red flagged the race and a more conventional one was run. 3 Dan Tythridge ran out the winner and there were three rollovers, to go with the four in the first race.
The last event was Chained Pairs, which featured five pairs and as ever with such events, more usually in the Bangers of course, was highly entertaining with the six wheel combination proving to be great fun. 162 Mike Cocks and 364 Darren Feltham were the initial leaders until they were tipped out of it by the duo of 144 Mark Thompson and 644 Wayne Thompson and despite struggles, and the 162/364 duo trying to come back at them the Thompson’s took the victory – in an event that will surely be repeated for 2013!
For the second meeting running the National Banger entry was way below what should be expected, with, it seems interest just not there for the National spec class at the moment, especially in under 1800cc form. From the 18 cars present, almost half of them were visiting drivers and whilst the first heat was pretty spectacular with some big hits going it, so many cars were finished for the day it left the grids for the second heat and Final very thin, and the allcomers race into DD had to be called off due to a lack of cars.
382 Tommy Hutchings and 133 Terry Hill were the heat winners and then 162 Brett Ellacott came through to win the Final from Hill and Hutchings, who were the only other two left running after 190 Steve Bailey and 891 Darren Wade had a ‘play’ with each other.
RESULTS - 03.06.12
Rookies Reward - Glen Sanders 734,245,430,596,53,797,104,616,203
Heat 1 - Phil Mann 53,464,886,935,768,522,797,954,126,189
Heat 2 - Matt Linfield 464,768,254,596,954,921,616,245,544,203
Heat 3 - Chris Bradbury 886,935,126,254,476,596,189,315,921,797
Final - Chris Bradbury 886,53,768,522,596,464,935,189,954,921
G.N. - Phil Mann 53,886,315,522,734,768,254,935,921,954
Heat 1 - Lee Charles 499,3,33,301,26,100,270,364,266,144
Heat 2 - Dan Tytheridge 3,499,100,162,364,33,116,115,301,39
Final - Mark Thompson 644/Wayne Thompson 144 - Jerry Weeks 100/111
Heat 1 - Tommy Hutchings 382,190,133
Heat 2 - Terry Hill 133,382,556,190,162
Final - Brett Ellacott 162,133,382
With thanks to Dans Pics