Trackstar Racing | Info | Results | 2014 | Saturday 1st March 2014

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Saturday 1st March 2014

Report by Mark Paulson

Almost 150 stock cars packed in to the pits at the Norfolk Arena, King’s Lynn on Saturday, 1 March, as the 2014 season burst into life with a cracking night’s racing. A stunning array of machinery included a whole host of new or refurbished cars, all lovingly prepared ahead of a hard season’s racing. For both the 2-Litre and 1300cc Stock Cars, the Clive Grief Memorial trophy was up for grabs, and as is equally traditional, the BriSCA Formula Two Stock Cars were also in action, contesting their first world qualifying round of 2014. Marham’s 391 Jake Banwell was a surprise winner of the 2-Litre version of the Clive Grief Memorial, while victory in the 1300cc version went to another lower grade driver, local man 340 Wes Freestone. The yellow top trend was completed by Leicestershire’s 362 Dave Harley winning the F2 Final.

2-Litre Saloon Stock Cars

New or smartly refurbished Saloons almost seemed in the majority amongst the 40 cars present, with 218 Jacob Downey’s stunning effort the pick of the bunch. The entry also included three travelling Scotsman – plus, of course, one Scottish-based Englishman in 219 Luke Grief – a couple of newcomers and a pair of returnees in the shape of 616 Billy Smith and 800 Scott Greenslade.

The three heats were, as usual, determined by grades, with the first race for white and yellow tops only. Early leader 192 Robert Heanes was spun out by 74 Tam Tweedie, before 22 Karl Petters hit the front. Yellow top 131 Timmy Barnes was charging and looked to set the reel the leaders in before being spun by 538 Jake Swann, who was himself then removed from second by 150 Andrew Parrin. The latter closed to within in a couple of car lengths of the leading Petters, but the Newmarket man held on to take the win.

Heat two saw the blue and red grade drivers join the fray alongside the whites and a couple of yellows who failed to make heat one. With nearly 30 cars on track, Tweedie again hit the front early on before 442 Simon Berry moved ahead, only for the Scotsman to fight back. Leading blue tops 570 Simon Venni and 26 Tommy Barnes were motoring, with Venni moving up to second and Barnes spinning while challenging for third. Through it all came track champion 499 David Aldous. He carved through the field, relieving Tweedie of the lead and pulling away for the win, ahead of 149 Jamie Sampson and Venni, after Tweedie dropped back.

The remaining yellows returned for heat three, which had an exciting battle for the lead from the off. 218 Jacob Downey and 616 Billy Smith appeared to be glued together as they ran side by side for virtually half the race. The battle ended when Billy’s father, the backmarking 116 Diggy Smith, intervened, taking Downey out wide and allowing Billy to pull away. Aldous was again flying and had made it to second before retiring. But Smith’s pace wasn’t enough to stay in front. Tommy Barnes caught and passed him, and as Smith tried to fight back the two in-laws got caught up and seriously delayed. 219 Luke Grief swept through to take the win from World No. 1 641 Willie Skoyles Jr and 18 Jamie Clayton.

A grid of 35 cars took to the track for the Clive Grief Memorial final, with Tweedie once again setting the early pace until he got caught up with the (star-grade) backmarkers. Downey then took up the running from Parrin and 391 Jake Banwell, until the leader was forced to take evasive action around some spinners. Skoyles had joined the leading pack by this stage and proceeded to have a good battle with Parrin which ended when the pair crashed out. That allowed teenager Banwell to take the win, the first final victory of his career, and with it, the beautiful memorial trophy. Defending champion 306 Daniel Parker followed him home, while Clive Grief’s son Luke had a half-spin on the final bend but recovered for third, ahead of Clayton, Skoyles and Tommy Barnes.

1300cc Stock Cars

This meeting usually attracts plenty of visiting drivers in the smaller 1300cc category, but with Spedeworth also hosting the class at Ipswich on the same day that couldn’t happen this year. So the 31-car turnout was all-the-more impressive and included a number of newcomers, several of whom were converts from Banger Racing. Wisbech’s 08 Lee Green also returned to the fray after nearly two years on the sidelines. On the car front, the drivers had obviously been busy refettling their machinery over the winter, but stealing the show were 350 Rob Jackson’s new Honda Civic, in an eye-catching livery, and also a smart new Vauxhall Corsa for another returnee, 818 Lewis O’Keefe.

The whole field made it out for the Memorial race, which was first up. After an unsatisfactory start led to the first attempt being aborted, O’Keefe was once again a little over-eager on the restart, with 273 Kevin McClagish thus being shown as leader. He was spun by 241 Beau Southgate, with 340 Wesley Freestone hitting the front. The local yellow-top survived losing his bonnet to race away and take the win, with former gold roof champion 377 Dean Whitwell second and 573 Shane Moat third. Further back, brother-and-sister-in-law duo 653 Gemma and 235 Danny Rainer had a hefty coming together when Gemma spun and was clobbered by Danny.

Two allcomers races followed. The first was dominated from the front by O’Keefe, while Danny Rainer followed in 450 Luke Jackson and World Champion (and defending Clive Grief Memorial winner) 344 Ross Fisher had a number of comings together with 780 Simon Sparrow. Freestone came through for second, with Yarmouth driver 369 Scott Taylor third.

Down to just 19 cars for the final allcomers, the action was a little less frenetic. 82 Dave Norris led before being spun by Taylor. But he recovered well, only dropping a few places. Eventual winner 08 Lee Green passed Taylor to hit the front on the first bend of the last lap, while 838 Ady Wales delivered a solid last bend lunge on the 369-machine to take second. Norris was there to pick up the pieces for third.

Formula Two Stock Cars

A turnout of 76 cars is likely to be one of the largest for the BriSCA F2s anywhere in the country, all year long. So to come on the first day of the season bodes extremely well. As with the other classes, there were a number of new and smart cars on display, and it was pleasing to see a handful of novices present. There were also welcome returns for big-name local drivers 103 Carl Issitt and 702 Allen Cooper.

The three-way heat split saw those drawn in the first two perhaps have things slightly easier. There were 23 on track for the first, where 520 Jason Clarke initially cleared off into the distance before hitting trouble. 692 Andrew Bottomley and 994 Paul Hopkins then both had spells in front, while Cooper’s return ended in retirement. 231 Matt Clayton caught Hopkins and the pair had a good scrap, passing and re-passing, before Clayton managed to eke out a decisive gap. Behind them, the stars that made best progress were 725 Paul Broatch, 49 Paul Prest and World of Shale Champion 977 Dave Massey. The three all piled in to the final bend together, with the order reversed as they crossed the line.

A slightly bigger 25 car field for heat two, including three novices, was initially headed by 431 Andy Gibbs. When he dropped out 995 Michael Lund moved ahead, but the charging 401 Barry Goldin had made rapid progress and was catching him. On to the last lap, he was just within striking distance but his last bend lunge didn’t quite pay off. The pair crossed the line with the order unchanged, and last year’s track championship runner-up 823 Sam Wagner third and 362  Dave Harley fourth.

The third heat featured a multitude of big names, with 997 Oliver Ives setting the early pace. The 28-car field provided plenty of spinners and Ives succumbed himself when getting caught up with 81 Mark Clayton, former World Champion 871 Mark Simpson also removed in the process. British Champion 218 Rob Speak was flying though and into eighth by lap three. But neither he nor English Open Champion 38 Dave Polley were immune to trouble, but getting caught in tangles on their way to seventh and eighth, Polley just ahead. They fared better than 886 Chris Bradbury though, who scraped into the final in tenth, and 186 George Turiccki who joined Simpson as a non-qualifier. Out front, 585 James Bowler had a spell in the lead, but it was 662 Steve Wycherley who eventually prevailed, the third yellow grade winner out of three. 225 Tony Blackburn continued his good run of form at the track in second, with 606 Andrew Palmer and 377 Daz Shaw next. Mitchell brothers 905 Rob and 219 Chris also successfully negotiated the hurdle.

A big 36-car consolation again featured lots of skirmishes and a rollover which brought out yellow flags. White top 198 Paul Nicholson led away the restart and remained in front throughout, steering clear of all the squabbles behind. 259 Simon Farrington was second, while Lincolnshire men Issitt and Simpson also made it though at the second time of asking.

A few of the 38 qualifiers didn’t make it for the final, where Palmer’s seemingly never-ending bad luck continued – he made it on track, but not to the green flag. Nicholson continued where he had left off in his heat, setting the pace before 630 Justin Parker moved ahead, only for the former to fight back. However Harley hit the front, as the battles raged further back, many of the big names delaying each other. Yellow flags were called for when Nicholson’s race ended in the wall, with 788 Stephen Mallinson also stranded a little further along the home straight. With three laps remaining, Harley led the restart from Broatch, 226 Billy Webster, Goldin and Simpson who had earlier put in a good move on Speak whose car appeared to be smoking as they lined up. The order remained largely unchanged until a lap to go when Goldin half spun and Broatch pulled out. That left Harley and Webster clear and they duly crossed the line in that order. Simpson was third, while the recovering Goldin and 886 Chris Bradbury both piled past the ailing Speak on the final bend for fourth and fifth. Speak hung on to sixth, ahead of 151 Colin Aylward, Polley, Issitt and Shaw.

A massive 41 cars took the green flag in the grand national, although sadly final winner Harley was not among them. With 136 Kyle Taylor in the fence there was an early caution, 449 Mark Dorrill heading the queue on the restart. Ives then moved ahead, but Goldin was on another charge and hit the front at half-way. From there he opened a big lead until it was eroded by another caution period. He did though have the cushion of a lapped car between himself and 124 Ollie Skeels as the race went green with five laps to run. Fourth-placed Speak went in hard on Webster, which allowed Polley past the pair. Speak then spun Polley, with all the other runners getting delayed by their antics, allowing the leading pair to clear off. So Goldin took the flag from Skeels and Speak, to complete a great night’s racing.

The F2s return in four weeks time when they contest their first World of Shale qualifying round. The 1300s have to wait a little longer, until 19 April, although they are in action elsewhere in the meantime. But the big 2-Litre Saloons return in a fortnight’s time when they are joined by 2-Litre (non-Mondeo) Bangers and Micro Bangers on 15 March.

F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 231 994 977 49 725 692 887 298 301 283
Heat 2 995 401 823 362 124 260 380 151 488 866
Heat 3 662 225 606 377 905 219 38 218 630 886
Consolation 198 259 103 871 798 226 81 788 836 597
Final 362 226 871 401 886 218 151 38 103 377
Grand National 401 125 218 H305 81 226 791 301 38 977
2L Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 22 150 74 216 912 214 131 800 538 391
Heat 2 499 149 570 442 219 306 22 349 158 18
Heat 3 219 641 18 306 158 600 360 156 218 216
Clive Grief Memorial 391 306 219 18 641 26 116 158 349 442
1300 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Clive Grief Memorial 340 377 573 838 344 409 780 473 341 450
All Comers 1 818 340 369 780 409 215 82 8 838 673
All Comers 2 8 838 82 673 653 409 818 215 235 450
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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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