Trackstar Racing | Info | Results | 2012 | Saturday 28th April 2012

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Saturday 28th April 2012

Report by Mark Paulson

National Points Champion 55 Craig Finnikin came out on top in the Brisca F1 final on a wet night at King’s Lynn on Saturday 28 April. The Staffordshire man claimed his first main event success of the season on an evening when the lower graded drivers also came to the fore. Over 30 cars gathered in the pits, despite the terrible recent weather and the forecast of more rain to come. The number was swelled by the welcome visit of three Dutch drivers, H17 Bouwe Arjen Hiddinga, H60 Henk Maris and H61 Koen Maris. That the meeting took place at all was testament to the hard work of stadium owner Keith “Buster” Chapman and the rest of his track crew together with the all of the Trackstar staff. The start of the pre-meeting saloon race was delayed a few minutes whilst Buster finished blading off the top layer of sloppy shale which had been subject to so much recent rainfall but it was worth the wait as the surface held up very well after that. Although that first race for the saloon stock cars saw slightly tricky conditions, by the time the F1s had done a couple of races the track had dried out nicely – so much so that on a day with a better weather forecast the water bowser would soon have been on track to keep the dust down. It was a wise move not to water the track though as the rain returned before we even reached the meeting’s mid-point. They say that natural watering beats any bowser though and while we could have done with a bit less of the wet stuff, the drivers still put on a good show. A race for white and yellow graded drivers (including the three-strong Dutch contingent), which doubled-up as heat one, kicked things off for the F1s. 17 cars took to the track for a what proved to be a relatively easy win for the newly crowned white and yellow track champion, 441 John Lawn. The Norwich driver survived a late-race puncture to take the laurels ahead of 235 John Weldon and 415 Russell Cooper. Success for the lower-graded drivers didn’t end there though as a pair of yellow tops came out on top in each of the remaining heats where the bigger names joined the fray.

104 Paul Spooner took the 23-car second heat on what ended up being a very dry track, while veteran 215 Geoff Nicholls triumphed in the wet third heat. The former saw a host of problems for some of the bigger names: 150 Mick Sworder, hero of the last meeting at Lynn, was an early spinner, while 515 Frankie Wainman Jr pulled off soon after the start. There was better luck for World Champion 2 Paul Harrison who came all the way through from the back for third while Cooper went one better than in the first heat, to come home second. The third heat was packed with incident as the now greasy track caught a few drivers out. A waved yellow was caused by the spun Lawn being collected by 197 Ryan Harrison and losing a wheel. After the resumption Nicholls simply raced away in a very stylish performance of sublime car control. No doubt he was helped by some of the other drivers being delayed by a three-car pile-up on the power station bend which accounted for Sworder but it was an impressive victory nonetheless. 259 Paul Hines, on his first appearance at Lynn this season, came through for second and whilst he appeared to be making some headway into Nickolls’ lead, the hirsute veteran looked comfortable in front. Only eight cars survived the elements to take the flag, with Nickolls being the only lower-graded driver to do so.  

With the rain continuing to fall, conditions weren’t ideal for the final but the track surface was still holding up well and allowed the 21 drivers to put on a good race. The race was punctuated by a couple of caution periods, the first for incidents at both ends of the track. The restart was led away by 192 Luke Dennis, with Finnikin the highest-placed of the big-name drivers in fifth. However, Wainman was running a lap down between him and the leader, courtesy of a spin which had indirectly led to the yellows. Indeed younger brother 212 Daniel Wainman had performed his own pirouette in almost exactly the same place a lap later as the slippery surface was starting to catch out even the best drivers. Finnikin soon broke through to the front though, removing FWJ in the process and, following the second caution period, reeled off the remaining laps with ease. 84 Tom Harris came through for second and local man 16 Matthew Newson third.

For Sworder, there was to be no repeat of the fairytale shale debut of four weeks earlier. After just a single sixth place in the heats, his car didn’t even make it on track for the final. Things looked to be improving a bit in the 17-car grand national though as at one point he was well-placed in third before slipping from contention. The win eventually went the way of Ryan Harrison, making the family unbeaten in nationals at the Norfolk Arena so far this season, ahead of Wainman and Harris. Finnikin made good progress from the full-lap handicap to come home fourth.

Also on the bill were the 2-litre national saloon stock cars and the Brisca Ministox. For the former it was to be the only time they shared the King’s Lynn pits with the F1s this season. A disappointing number of no-shows – many no doubt put off by the weather – meant there were 29 cars on show, still more than enough to put on a decent display of “heavy metal” racing. The white and yellow graders were faced with a slightly slimy surface for their opener, for which 16 cars took to the track. 6 Simon “Welly” Welton, on the last time he’ll be eligible for this race for some time, made light of the conditions, taking to the front on the penultimate lap having appeared stylish and fast throughout, sliding through the bends with consummate ease. The form man of the lower grades, 538 Jake Swann came home second ahead of returnee 232 Gavin Anderson in what looked like a new car. 131 Timmy Barnes had caused chaos with a spin on the final bend, taking out 728 Kris Woods from fourth and ultimately causing 350 Tommy Parrin to push 115 Scott Aldridge across the line sideways! On to the first heat proper, this time with 24 cars on a track in better shape for racing. Again Welly looked to be going very well but had to settle for sixth after being spun by 311 Steve Newman who appeared to be taking people out left, right and centre! Track champion 499 David Aldous drove a superb race from the very back of the field to take up the lead very early on and race to a comfortable win. Shale specialist 420 Ivan Street also showed good pace and control to take second ahead of 219 Luke Grief in another smart new car. 218 Richard Smith, who we are more accustomed to seeing in 1300 saloon stox, was making his debut in an old Grief car but although he didn’t appear off the pace, he didn’t manage to achieve any placings – the rough and tumble of the big stockies is a formula which it takes time for drivers to perfect.

The second heat, with 20 cars racing on a wet track saw a familiar name in the winners circle once again. 428 Lee Sampson, track championship leader, moved ahead with two laps to go after Street had made the running for much of the way. Sampson and his brother Jamie (149) have been the revelations of the season at King’s Lynn but hadn’t been quite as successful as we’ve come to expect in the first heat, Lee spinning early on and Jamie also delayed. But Lee made amends in this one, overcoming an early spin to make the most of his prodigious pace and ease to victory ahead of Street and 912 Andi Newman. The final ended up with the two earlier heat winners at the front of the 20-car field. Aldous made light work of the pack and relieve Welton of the lead early on after all the white graders had spun themselves out on the slippery surface. From there he was relatively untroubled, while Lee Sampson and Grief took a little longer to battle their way through. An allcomers race featured just 17 cars in the increasingly difficult conditions and proved to be a shootout between the two most successful men of the night so far, Aldous and Lee Sampson. And Aldous showed that he’s not going to give up his track championship without a fight, expertly spinning the pretender to his crown from the lead on the final lap. Parrin held on to second, his best result on the track, and Jamie Sampson came through for third, with his brother recovering for seventh a place. That was enough for him to maintain a healthy lead in the track championship ahead of the saloons’ next outing here in three weeks’ time.

The Brisca Ministox also put on a good display in difficult conditions for the youngsters, the wins being shared between 127 Austin Moore, 134 Sophie Maynard (yet another winner for the girls on the Lynn track this season) and 98 Ollie Spencer. It was their first heat that provided the most action as the leading trio ended in a heap on the home straight, with 491 Holly Gould and 2 Bradley Harrison both rolling in the incident. Holly’s car looked very second hand afterwards but after a short period of medical attention she was thankfully able to walk away.

F1 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
White & Yellow 441 235 415 169 H60 192 H61 243 111 213
Heat 2 104 415 2 335 212 150 16 223 259 55
Heat 3 215 259 335 515 16 338 212 84
Final 55 84 16 104 197 215 515 212 2 169
Grand National 197 515 84 55 2 16 191 104 212 223
2L Stock cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
White & Yellow 6 538 232 912 115 350 420 233 728 nof
Heat 1 499 420 219 26 698 6 641 570 428 149
Heat 2 428 420 912 6 698 233 641 115 417 26
Final 499 428 219 233 570 641 191 6 26 115
All Comers 499 350 149 698 115 641 428 233 74 420
BriSCA MiniStox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 127 60 323 137 134 48 131 321 262 8
Heat 2 134 98 60 2 262 515 321 131 323 331
Final 98 323 131 331 127 321 324 48 2 262

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