Trackstar Racing | Info | Results | 2012 | Saturday 27th October 2012

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Saturday 27th October 2012

Shootout goes to the wire

Words Mark Paulson. Pictures Damien Widdows.

It was a night to forget for most of the main protagonists in the 2012 Brisca Formula One National Points Shootout on a topsy turvy evening at the Norfolk Arena, King’s Lynn on Saturday 27 October. A catalogue of spins, mechanical mishaps, damage and simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time befell the leading three contenders going into the meeting. 84 Tom Harris, 515 Frankie Wainman Jr and reigning champion 55 Craig Finnikin hardly troubled the scorers until the latter stages – or in Finnikin’s case, at all. All that enabled 4 Dan Johnson to make hay, not exactly while the sun shone, but at least while the rain held off. Winning the final has pulled him right into contention ahead of the double points deciding round at Belle Vue next weekend.

As is customary, a white and yellow grade race kicked things off for the F1s this time run as part of the meeting as the first heat in a two thirds meeting. 307 Tim Warwick was the class of the 18-car field on his comeback from the mechanical misfortune which struck at the opening Lynn meeting of the season. Unfortunately, his dominant display proved to no avail as his car failed a post-race weight check, a massive disappointment for the shoestring budget racer. 330 Graham Wagstaff was the beneficiary of Warwick’s bad luck, promoted to the win from 269 Graeme Robson and 169 Billy Johnson.

The second heat saw the night’s first appearance of the big name drivers, including all six Shootout contenders among the 28 cars. An early yellow flag period was called for the spun 292 Terry Sparks who had caused a similar suspension in the earlier race. Even at that stage 150 Mick Sworder – who has had such a fantastic debut campaign on the shale this year – was looking like the man to beat, having made fantastic progress to be well inside the top ten.

The race didn’t get much further before another caution period, this time for 16 Matt Newson, caught on the racing line. It was to be the last we’d see of the man placed 5th in the Shootout points, his silver roof hopes – already a long shot – now in tatters. 97 Murray Harrison headed the field on the restart and was looking supremely quick in a similar machine to Sworder’s. The latter was already up to second, but would have the lapped Wainman – who’s nightmare had already started – to contend with before he could challenge Harrison.

The first attempt to restart was abandoned after 280 Colin Nairn broke down on the racing line. On the next try, Wainman was soon dispatched, spun out on the power station bend. Harris took a heavy fencing from Johnson, picking up damage on his right rear quarter. He would struggle on manfully for a few laps before finally calling it quits. Finnikin joined him on the retirements list on the final lap as the big names dropped like flies.

At the front of the field, Sworder soon caught and passed Harrison, while Johnson also relegated the latter to the third. The legendary 53 John Lund completed the top four in what had been an all-action race.

The 26-car second heat would never be able to live up to that but it would still play an important part in the relative hopes of the Shootout contenders. Warwick, now without his aerofoil, presumably in an attempt to meet the weight restrictions, caused the first caution when he ended up in the home straight fence with a buckled wheel. On the restart, Finnikin went in too hard, ending up with a broken wheel of his own and a second non-finish in as many races.

After another caution period, it was again Harrison and Sworder out front, the pair looking the class of the field. For Sworder, eliminated from the title race in the first half of the Shootout, it must have felt like a case of what might have been. He soon took over at the front to record his second win of the night and leave onlookers wondering if he could repeat his hattrick from the season opener at the venue. 51 Dylan Williams-Maynard, fresh from his first final win on shale at Belle Vue two weeks earlier, looked very pacy on his way to second, overhauling Harrison on the final lap.

Meanwhile Wainman was effectively eliminated in a first bend pile-up, although he was already well down the order. Harris fared slightly better with seventh, but fifth for Johnson allowed him to make further headway in the standings.

Sworder scythed through the field in the 24-car final and a repeat hattrick really did look on the cards. He was very well placed when a tangle with NZ86 Kris Allen cost him dear as dropped well down the order. At that point he was just in front of Johnson who went on to take the win and a bagful of points with it. It has to be said Johnson was catching Sworder anyway and may well have been able to overhaul him without the benefit of Allen’s intervention.

Graeme Robson drove a superb race from the white grade to hold on for second, while Wainman began to salvage something from the day with third. Murray Harrison completed an excellent night’s work with fourth, ahead of 2 Paul Harrison and Harris. Finnikin’s nightmare continued as he was an early casualty yet again.

Johnson made good progress in the 21-car grand national, placing tenth from the full lap handicap. The race was won by 446 Joe Booth from 22 Will Yarrow and Sworder. Wainman and Harris executed damage limitation exercises with fourth and fifth places respectively.

All that means that Harris holds onto his points lead going into the final round but it’s all very tight at the top. Wainman is just eight points in arrears with Johnson a further 14 back. Finnikin must now be considered a long shot, 47 points off the top, but then the same could probably have been said at this stage last year – and look what happened then! With double points on offer, the silver roof is very much still up for grabs.

Supporting the Big League stock cars were the local 1500 bangers and Reliant Robins. Over 40 bangers were in the pits for their final National Championship qualifier while around 20 Reliants gathered for their Battle of Britain.

A relatively quiet 18-car white and yellow grade race for the bangers was won by 81 Ashley Bell, while 375 Jamie Childerhouse claimed the entertainers award for putting away 122 Scott Piggin. Next up was the third annual Riley Lown Memorial, held in memory of 311 Garry Lown’s late son. Unsurprisingly, the Lown family and friends put in a strong showing and 310 Luke Holdsworth claimed a poignant win. Garry Lown himself finished third, ahead of 345 Richard Lown. Runner-up 77 Russell Gill completed the top four in the 32-car race which was more about old fashioned banger racing than crashing.

Two allcomers races were a little more lively, especially the first, which again featured 32 cars. 597 Andy Ashman, returning his Lancia Beta, was turned heavily into the pit gate bend fence while Gill followed in 699 Will Bone. Hit of the race had to be 69 Johnny Wilkinson on 791 Nicky Young though. The latter had car of the meeting, a Morris Marina van, with its panels cut out. It only completed a couple of laps in the main race before mechanical dramas prevented Spud from getting going again after a spin. It wouldn’t go much further in this either after Wilkinson obliterated the back of it, giving Young wheels for earrings in the process. Lewis Stark continued his good run of form by taking the win, ahead of Garry Lown and 730 Deane Mayes, who claimed some valuable points in the process.

We were down to just 15 cars for the second allcomers race which was brought to a premature end by a monster follow-in from 338 Terry Garrod on 750 David Sturman. That claimed the former an entertainers award, with the win going to 129 Dan Chaplin from Stark.

For the Robins, the Battle of Britain was the first race on the cards. Sadly, a lack of respect for waved yellow flags meant an early halt was called to proceedings, with 576 Colin “Porky” Aldred in front from 664 Ryan Sutcliffe and 351 Martin Evans. They behaved a little better in the remaining allcomers races which saw Porky complete a hattrick.

We don’t have to wait long for our next instalment of all-action racing at the Norfolk Arena. Saturday 3 November sees the annual firework spectacular which also features pre-1970 bangers. The heavy metal brigade two-litre saloon stock cars and lady bangers – racing in their all-important gold roof championship final – complete the bill.


F1 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 330 267 169 541 276 475 nof
Heat 2 150 4 97 53 259 300 22 212 335 515
Heat 3 150 51 97 214 4 446 84 2 212 22
Final 4 267 515 97 2 84 51 446 212 335
Grand National 446 22 150 515 84 2 267 212 335 4
1500cc Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
White & Yellows 81 (AB) 231 886 145 375 781 232 nof
Riley Lown Memorial Final 310 77 311 345 851 730 22 338 375 81
All Comers 1 886 311 730 396 81 (BQ) 338 77 64 525 571
All Comers 2 129 886 64 311 396 81 (BQ) 730 525 338 77
Destruction Derby 338
Entertainer Awards 69 338 375 781
Merit Awards 183 311 345 571 573 791
Reliant Robins 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Spooktacular Final 576 664 351 704 142 385 512 275 601 635
All Comers 1 576 857 1 142 704 490 791 512 275 635
All Comers 2 576 1 490 704 512 275 857 385 nof
Rollover Awards 129 601
Merit Awards 142 351 601 857
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img1From the pure adrenaline and Unlimited Power of the F1 Stock Cars to the destruction and crazy antics of the Bangers - you can see it all at the Norfolk Arena! With up to fifty cars in every race, action is guaranteed and here at the Norfolk Arena we encourage “full contact” where spinning and hitting other cars is all part of the racing!

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