4 NOVEMBER  2018

Standlake’s bonfire meeting is always one of the annual events that fill the Oxfordshire arena to capacity, and this year’s, despite cold, dull and damp conditions, was no exception. This meeting was a rare occasion when we could see both of Standlake’s top classes, the Hot Rods and the F2 Stox, on the same day. Although with 29 races on the programme it made for a rather long day, everyone was happy to stay to the end and wait for the bonfire to warm up, confident that Standlake would live up to its reputation of laying on the best firework display in the area.


The HOT RODS, for the second meeting running, only produced a 5 car grid, out of the 21 drivers who’d scored points so far this season. The one FWD car among them, Pete King’s  Corsa, couldn’t be caught in the first heat, but after being moved back on the grid for heat two, Pete was overhauled by the RWD cars with Andrew Cornock in the Jaguar V6-powered Tigra taking a good win. Occasional Ringwood racer Jeff Crocker, making his first Standlake appearance in his 2-litre spec 206, struggled for grip in the heats but got it right for the final, holding off James Slatter’s Starlet to win with Andrew Cornock third from Darren Taylor and Pete King.


With the full programme, the F2s were back to a three race format this time with 21 cars signed on. The first race was as hectic as ever, interrupted by red flags for a shunt that put Keith Walding out for the rest of the day. Louis Williams led most of the way but in the end it was Gary Webb who came through to win from Louis, Jack West and Paul Webb. Second time out, Jez Watts and Rob Dobie led the early stages before Phil Trigg took it up, but by the end it was Webbs first second and third as Andy won from Gary and Paul with Jack West in fourth and Rob Dobie still holding off everyone else. Louis Williams went out early on and couldn’t make the final but there were still 19 cars on the grid, and, as far as we could see though the dark, everyone was still there after 15 busy laps, with Jack West coming through to win from Jack Prosser and long time leader Gav Busby. Ben Farebrother came in fourth from Paul Webb, Andy Webb, Roger Mountney, Jordan Butcher, Keith Richins and Phil Trigg completed the top ten. Completing the runners were Gary Webb, Ash Farebrother, Steve Goldup, Marc Doughty, Rob Dobie, Brian and Lynn Cornock, Jez Watts and, in a one-off outing, Andy Maidment.


The JUNIORS, even at this stage of the season, were still turning up in enough numbers to require split heats, in a two-out-of-three format. With rain falling in the first heat Louis Rayner just took four laps to pass Aiden Howell for the lead, but then spun out and had to chase after his brother Kyle, retaking the lead on the last lap. However, the reds came out on the last lap and the result was taken back a lap, giving Kyle the win. Louis made no mistake in winning heat two and the Rayner domination continued with Kyle winning heat three. 17 cars came out for the final, with Vinnie Knox, Casey Arthurs, Joe Crawley, Caz Aldridge and new boy Alfie Butler not making it this far. Callum Martindale led the early laps until the reds came out, with Josh Cornish, Lucas Oxlade, Aiden Howell and Kacey Church all in a tangle. Louis Rayner soon hit the front after the restart and went on to win while Callum Martindale put in a superb performance to hold off Kyle Rayner for second. Josh Cornish came in fourth from Luke Holdsworth, Zak Moores, Ben Chrisp, Russ Burton’s smart Minisport-liveried car, Lola Korszewski, Michael Weston, Jay Moores and Alfie Parker, with Jacob Filer and Alex Cox retiring.


PRODUCTION A had 11 runners, with the final strangely having the biggest field. James Watts was chased home by Kelvin Passey in both heats, but with rain falling in the final we had a rare Mini win. Geoff Davis passed John Cox’s Micra and then held off James Watts to the finish. Rob Gregory’s Micra came in third from Aaron Charles, Kelvin Passey, John Cox, Wayne Chapman and Ian Round, with Meghan McQuillan and Shane Steele completing the finishers and Jeff Fowler retiring.


Another 11 car field turned out for the 1600 PRODUCTIONS where the well turned out Fiesta of Daniel Burt got away to win both heats from the yellow grade. The final was more closely fought, with Brian Deeprose’s new Fiesta taking the lead from the front, losing it briefly to Craig Hefferman’s Saxo, which later spun out, and the Fiesta then held on ahead of Kyle Carpenter, Dan Powell and Rob Hall. Shannon Chambers came in fifth when Daniel Burt was docked a place to sixth. Then came Craig Pullen’s Civic ahead of Lee Charles’ Ka, newcomer Ryan Shelton’s Civic and Anthony Ashby’s Puma.


18 DRIFT RODS on a wet track provided the expected action, although Robbie Fujak wasn’t really challenged for the first race win. In the second heat Dudley Wingrave led most of the way, but Jessica Phillips and Jasmine Hayes worked their way to the front, with Jessica winning as Kev Hardie split the sisters. Kev went one better to win the final, holding off Gary Godsmark (in a BMW this week), Jasmine and Jessica. Sheldon Gardner came in fifth from Dudley Wingrave, Dean Quinsee, Robbie Fujak and David Cooper. With BMWs filling the places, David Wilson in his Jag yet again won the "best drifter” award.


Also on the bill were the SUPER DRIFT CARS with five assorted BMWs, a Lexus and a RWD Subaru Impreza, that had planned to be out with the Hot Rods, doing their best on the wet track and knocking off quite a few bumpers between them!


Obviously there were also loads of BANGERS; 28 cars in the Mondeo-dominated 2-litres and 14 Unlimited cars; final winners were Gary Reynolds in the Unlimiteds and Phil Smith in the 2-litres.