Trackstar Racing | Info | Results | 2012 | Sunday 23rd September 2012

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Sunday 23rd September 2012

Report by Mark Paulson


The Norfolk Arena, King’s Lynn, witnessed an enthralling race for the saloon stock car European Championship on Sunday afternoon, 23 September, which went right to the wire. Bridgwater’s Shane Brown snatched the crown on the line by the narrowest possible margin following a superb race that will be long remembered by all those there to witness it.

Qualifying the previous night (see separate report) had left reigning champion 499 David Aldous in pole position on the grid as he chased a record-equalling third consecutive European Championship title. Immediately behind him would be 156 Darren Goudy, a multiple title winner but still chasing his first European success. On the outside of the front two rows were surprise packages 130 Joe Gladden and 306 Daniel Parker.

Before the main event, a last chance qualifier decided the last eight spots on the grid for the big race. Scotsman 620 Aaryn Triggs was a surprise winner from relatively local star grade driver 219 Luke Grief, while just scraping on to the grid were former world champions 402 Shaun Webster and 360 Carl Waterfield.

The full 36-car grid lined up as follows:







499 David Aldous



130 Joe Gladden


156 Darren Goudy



306 Daniel Parker


184 Marty Colliver



607 Stevie Honeyman


641 Willie Skoyles Jr



401 Steve Webster


120 Shane Brown



417 Fred Powell


56 George Boult Jr



6 Simon Welton


1 Eddie Darby



30 Barry Hollett


420 Ivan Street



511 Craig Barnett


618 Stuart Shevill Jr



131 Timmy Barnes


18 Jamie Clayton



75 Ross Houston


591 Aaron Morris



460 Cliff Friend


698 Danny Colliver



103 Chris Horwell


153 Ryan Wright



298 Ian Elms


115 Scott Aldridge



149 Jamie Sampson


620 Aaryn Triggs



219 Luke Grief


164 Neil Kent



538 Jake Swann


600 Barry Russell



22 Karl Petters


402 Shaun Webster



360 Carl Waterfield

A grand parade was dispensed with in order to get as much racing complete before the expected rain arrived – and it was certainly a wise decision as the rain came almost as soon as the chequered flag fell on the big race and never stopped thereafter. So, after two slow rolling laps, Aldous put the hammer down exiting the fourth bend and led the field away. He proceeded to maintain a super-fast pace and was soon building quite a gap from Goudy and Brown who quickly established themselves in the top three.

With such a big field of top-line cars there was action all around the raceway but the leaders made light work of the traffic with supreme skill. But still, there’s always a slice of luck involved in winning stock car races, and Aldous was almost taken out by the spinning Triggs. He did well to hold it together but the delay had allowed Goudy on to his tail. Yellow flags came out for Triggs though as the race went under caution and everyone caught their breath.

On the restart, Aldous led from Goudy with the lapped 511 Craig Barnett next in the queue. Behind him came 641 Willie Skoyles Jr who had worked his way back past Brown in what would be a race-long duel between the pair, with 184 Marty Colliver next up, then Gladden and Parker who were both still in the mix.

Aldous and Goudy soon pulled a gap to the rest as they put on display of supreme driving, carving their way through the backmarkers whilst keeping each other honest. Goudy found a way through before Aldous slipped back inside, only for Goudy to hit the front once more. For several laps, that’s how it stayed as both drove near inch-perfect races. But on the penultimate lap, the 156 car was slowed by a backmarker and Aldous needed no second invitation to pounce on the pit bend and sweep into the lead. Exactly a lap later, Goudy knew it was all or nothing and launched himself at the 499 car in a classic last bend lunge. Aldous was of course expecting it and tried to take a tighter line to compensate for the inevitable hit. Goudy had to do it from a little further back than he would have liked, giving him less control, and though he succeeded in taking Aldous to the fence and spinning him round, Goudy himself had also run wide and been delayed in the process.

Brown, who had finally got himself clear of Skoyles, but was still some way behind the leading pair, suddenly had a faint sniff of victory. The English Champion wasn’t going to be asked twice as he charged to the line in a drag race with Goudy. Although the latter exited the corner still in front, Brown’s superior momentum was enough to overcome Goudy as they crossed the line – the margin of victory being the narrowest possible: just 0.01 seconds. It was an amazing end to an amazing race.

Grief, who had also passed Heacham-based Skoyles, came through for third, an excellent result from 30th on the grid, and a first major championship podium position for the Whittlesey man since he won the National Championship in 2009. For Skoyles, still awaiting his first major, fourth was a strong result but he may have hoped for more on his home track from a decent starting position.

Aldous managed to reverse his car to the line in fifth position, a case of so near yet so far for the hugely likeable multi-champion.  But he knows as well as any that that is stock car racing, and he had certainly played his part in an absolutely fantastic race.

Two allcomers races and a dash for cash provided the afters. The rain did its best to spoil the remainder of proceedings but failed to prevent the big stockies from entertaining. A 38-car field contested the first, with 26 Tommy Barnes – a surprise non-qualifier for the Euro in his smart newly Mondeo-bodied car – taking the win from 6 Simon Welton and 538 Jake Swann. Aldous claimed the second with Welton again the runner-up, ahead of 71 Gordon Alexander. The National Champion had endured a bruising weekend but finally claimed some reward for his efforts in a thinner field of 22 cars, the non-starters no doubt not fancying the prospect of another mud bath.

Skoyles is not usually a fan of a wet track but put in strong drives to fifth and fourth respectively in the two allcomers races, before claiming victory in the poorly supported dash for cash, ahead of Aldous and Alexander.

Supporting the 2-litre saloon stock cars were their baby cousins with 1300cc engines as well as the 1500cc bangers. The former raised a decent entry of 24 cars, including a couple of smart new Japanese motors – a Honda for 653 Gemma Rainer and a Toyota for 569 Kev Wales. Their first heat, held on a dry track, saw 18 Stuart Parnell just manage to hold off a fast-closing 316 Danny McCluskey who was set for a profitable day. Rainer was third, while 216 Dan Booth was best of the stars and superstars in fifth.

Their remaining races were run in very wet conditions. McCluskey and Booth made light of them though, the Ely-based driver of the 316 machine claiming both heat two and the allcomers race from his Spalding counterpart, while their positions were reversed in the final. 673 John Moat completed the podium in the latter two races, with son 573 Shane third in heat two. By the time of the allcomers, only eight cars were left to brave the conditions but they still put on a show – 390 Karl Morris seemingly trying his best to knock down the perimeter wall with his booted Nova saloon.

The day belonged to McCluskey though. His spell as a yellow grader won’t last long with that sort of form.

An excellent entry of well over 40 1500 bangers put paid to fears of a poor turnout due to the PRI World Final at Arena-Essex being held on the same day. It did however mean that some of the bigger names were absent. With 730 Deane Mayes missing his first Lynn meeting of the season, 22 Dave Vincent was seeking to take advantage in the national points championship.

Top tin belonged to 597 Andy Ashman with his Lancia Beta while there were smart paint jobs on fresh motors from 182 Ashley Watkinson, 818 Lewis O’Keefe and 791 Nicky Young (as always).

The race for white and yellow graded drivers would be the bangers’ only outing on a dry track and was claimed by 878 Luke Rowland from 90 Simon Chapman. 38 cars took to the track for heat one proper, with a big pile-up forming on the power station bend. 40 Lester Freestone used his Toyota Corolla to blitz 851 Adam Storr’s Nissan Sunny, while 16 year-old 341 Austen Freestone buried Ashman’s Lancia. 48 Luke Farrington, more usually seen mechanicking for the absent Mayes, took the win from 316 Sean Haller and 443 Justin Warren. 312 “Turbo” Tom Reynolds claimed the race entertainer award.

32 cars returned for heat two where Vincent made his experience count on the very wet track to win from Rowland and 69 Johnny Wilkinson. Behind them 791 Spud put Farrington into the pit gate before 337 Ashley Garrod pulled off a huge hit on the former, while 355 Martin Mullins picked up the entertainer’s award for his own follow-in.

Just 16 cars made it onto the sodden track for the final and most were soon coated in a thick layer of shale – if they weren’t already – making identification somewhat difficult! A closed-up grid ensured action from the off and a wrecking train ensued on the back straight. Both of the present Mad Hatters – 391 Ben Gibson and 393 Pete Annells – were involved, along with 886 Lewis Stark and another couple of shale-covered cars. Meanwhile Vincent really made Mayes pay for his absence with another win, enough to return him to the top of the national points as well as heading the 1500 National Championship qualifying chart. 375 Jamie Childerhouse and 1500cc specialist Haller completed the top three before the traditional destruction derby rounded off proceedings.


2L Stock Car European Final 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Last Chance 620 219 164 538 600 22 402 360 303 220
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 120 156 219 641 499 402 591 130 1 698
All Comers 1 26 6 538 220 641 306 18 156 618 698
All Comers 2 499 6 71 641 618 149 777 350 420 18
Dash for the Cash 641 499 71 6 306 192 420 670 26 nof
1500cc Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
White & Yellow 878 90 888 601 375 212 711 48 355 122
Heat 1 48 316 443 90 818 887 338 212 391 601
Heat 2 22 878 69 212 888 338 391 90 597 nof
Final 22 375 316 597 338 443 69 100 nof
Destruction Derby 90
Entertainer Awards 376 312 355 393 182
Merit Awards 122 818 391 791
1300 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 18 316 653 777 216 673 802 371 556 573
Heat 2 316 216 573 235 18 673 802 473 5 355
Final 216 316 673 18 235 556 355 573 655 473
All Comers 316 216 673 473 235 nof

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