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Trackstar Racing | Info | Results | 2014 | Saturday 29th March 2014

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Saturday 29th March 2014

Report by Mark Paulson

Big League Formula One Stock Cars rolled into the Norfolk Arena, King’s Lynn for the first time in 2014 on Saturday night, 29 March. While the early-season entry was unsurprisingly missing a few names, the racing was as hard and entertaining as ever, culminating in Leicestershire’s 259 Paul Hines claiming his second main event success at the venue in less than 12 months. Also on the bill were the ever-popular Formula Two Stock Cars, with their second massive turnout of the month at the track. 401 Barry Goldin scooped the final. Completing the programme were the youngsters in the National Ministox who certainly weren’t outdone by their more illustrious counterparts.

Formula One Stock Cars

The 31-car F1 turnout included 307 Tim Warwick’s much talked-about new machine, which was on display as fans entered the stadium, with Tim sitting alongside signing posters. 22 Will Yarrow also turned out his ex-197 Ryan Harrison motor for the first time, while a welcome addition to the booking list was 515 Frankie Wainman Jr.

The numbers led to a two-thirds heat format, with the first doubling up as the annual White & Yellow Grade Series Final, for which Warwick and 76 Aaron Cozens occupied the front row. Cozens was turned around on the home straight by 496 Neil Holcroft, knocking a marker tyre onto the racing line. That was collected by Warwick, leading to a pile-up. That left Holcroft in front, from 415 Russell Cooper. They reeled off the laps in that order, with 169 Billy Johnson coming through for third.

The white and yellow graders (and blues eligible for the W&Y Final) were split in half for the remaining two heats where they were joined by the blues and reds. In the first, Cozens again led initially, before being passed by 45 Nigel Harrhy. But 150 Mick Sworder was on a charge through the field and very quickly into the top three. Cozens retired as Sworder took up the running. Impressive newcomer 174 Paul Poulter, who won the Superstox World Final at Swaffham in 2004, moved into second with leading superstar 16 Mat Newson (Sworder is currently only a star) third. Newson’s heavily smoking car moved into second with three laps to go, but Sworder was long gone by that stage. Poulter did well to hold onto third, while Yarrow gave his car a strong debut in fourth, beating Wainman to the flag. Sworder, somewhat surprised at his car’s pace, said: “We had the engine freshened up over the winter and painted it, and did nothing else to it!”

Heat three was won by Scotsman 388 Paul Ford, having hit the front at half way. 58 Colin Eardley had led early on, while the progress of the big names at the back was delayed, with several of them getting tangled up, including Sworder. Ford survived a half-spin but recovered well and actually started to pull away again, as he took the flag from Leicestershire duo 335 Mark Woodhull and 259 Paul Hines, Wainman and Yarrow. A relieved Ford said of his ‘moment’: “I got caught up with a backmarker and had to take avoiding action through the tyres.”

The 25-car final started in a familiar pattern: Cozens set the early pace, while Sworder made rapid progress through the pack, up to eighth after just one lap and seventh when yellow flags came out to retrieve Dutch visitor H54 Sjoert de Vries from the top of the fence. The watered track left the surface greasier than the drivers were expecting, with several skating on and clouting the wall, each other or both. It was enough to see both Cozens and Sworder pull off with damage, changing the complexion of the race. 463 James Morris took up the running, before 462 Scott Davids moved ahead as FWJ pulled out. Davids then joined the list of retirements, allowing Yarrow ahead. Meanwhile, last June’s final winner Hines was making steady progress through the pack. He moved ahead with four laps to go and held on for the win from Woodhull and Yarrow. 212 Danny Wainman, Newson – having been plumb last at the restart – and 191 Josh Smith completed the top six. A delighted Hines exclaimed: “We’ve been struggling all night with the engine. It’s been revving too high and pushing in the corners, but to be fair, on the straights it’s going like hell! It was a great race; the track is superb – really, really pleased.”

Nineteen returned for the grand national, where Woodhull completed a good night with a win. Holcroft led the early laps which were punctuated by a caution to assist 91 Tony Smith who had gone into the fence hard. Holcroft himself was then put away, allowing Poulter to take up the running when yellows came out for a pile-up on the road bend. Only ten cars were left running by this stage, with Poulter predictably swamped by the big names queuing up behind him on the restart. Junior Wainman, Woodhull and Danny Wainman all swept through and pulled a gap to the rest of the field, until Frankie started to slow with two laps to go. Woodhull did well to survive the inevitable last-bend lunge from Danny to take the flag, with Newson and Hines completing the top three and FWJ limping home fifth.

Formula Two Stock Cars

The F2s fell just one car short of another 70-car turnout. A few late cancellations made the pre-determined heat split a little uneven, with just 18 cars making the first and 25 in each of the other two (26 Gary Ford didn’t make it on track until the consolation).

Heat one began with 417 Allan Weston spinning and fellow front row starter 585 Jamie Bower setting the pace. Top blue grader 866 Bobby Griffin carved through the field to be running second by the end of lap three. He eventually caught and passed Bower on lap nine, with 298 Jake Walker following him through. Walker stayed close to Griffin but was never able to mount a challenge and they crossed the line in that order. Bower’s retirement allowed H4 Roy Maessen to claim third.

The early stages of heat two were led by 431 Andy Gibbs as 702 Allen Cooper and 823 Sam Wagner appeared to be making the best progress of the stars. But it was yellow grader 630 Justin Parker that relieved Gibbs of the lead, 742 Nick Rogers following his fellow B-grader through before dropping back to fifth late on, passed by 81 Mark Clayton, 710 Brett Townsend and Wagner. Gibbs held on to qualify in eighth, with local star 103 Carl Issitt scraping through in ninth.

Heat three, with several of the biggest names, was led by both 372 Stephen North and 158 Will Clement, before 537 Tom Alsop hit the front on lap two. A pile-up by the pit gate allowed 798 Mark Sargent through, followed by 145 Graham Mole. A few places further back 377 Daz Shaw and 606 Andrew Palmer were having an excellent scrap, passing and re-passing, with 259 Simon Farrington also involved. Sadly Sargent pulled off with three laps to go, letting in Mole for the win. Shaw and Palmer had dropped behind a charging 886 Chris Bradbury and 871 Mark Simpson who were also having a ding-dong, but Simpson’s last bend hit on the Bradbury machine delayed both and let Shaw nip back inside for second. Palmer’s wretched KL luck continued as he slowed and dropped out with two to go, while 401 Barry Goldin and 186 George Turiccki made it through in the lower half of the top ten. Mole chuckled afterwards: “Towards the end of the race when ‘Sarj’ pulled off, I saw the [superstar] flashing lights behind me and thought, ‘I’m going to have to get a move on!’”

Over 30 cars returned for the consolation where Yorkshireman 987 Sam Brigg was the early leader. With lots of spins and incidents, yellow flags looked inevitable and duly arrived to assist the bashed around 884 John Fenwick. World of Shale Champion 977 Dave Massey was already a casualty and so wouldn’t be making the final. Brigg continued to lead on the resumption but was eventually caught and passed by former World Champion 732 Daz Kitson, Brigg pulling off almost simultaneously. Kitson held on to win from last time’s final winner 362 Dave Harley and 130 Daniel Ford.

Four qualifiers failed to take the green flag in the final, including reigning track champion Bradbury who made it on track but pulled off before the start. After an early caution period, Clement found himself leading with a three-car cushion made up of lapped red-graders back to second placed 881 Graham Morrison. The lapped trio all immediately unlapped themselves however, and Morrison followed them through. But Morrison was soon delayed amongst 283 Gary Allen and the stranded car of 380 Steve Cayzer, allowing 231 Matt Clayton and Shaw ahead. However, Goldin was on a charge and managed to pass the leading pair on successive corners to move ahead with five laps to go. There he stayed, with Shaw holding onto second and Issitt passing Clayton for third.

A massive 41-car field returned for the GN. Unsurpisingly, there were incidents all around the track, but the race stayed cautionless for a long time, until yellows finally came out for a loose wheel and a pile-up on the power station bend. Mole had relieved North of the lead just before half way and there he stayed, to take his second win of the day, from Simpson, Parker and Goldin who had made excellent progress from the lap handicap.

The results leave Goldin, who won the GN here four weeks earlier, with a very healthy lead in the track championship standings, from Simpson, Shaw and Harley. Mole’s two wins are his only points-scoring finishes, leaving him just outside the top ten, a point behind defending champion Bradbury.

Brisca Ministox

The 27-car turnout of youngsters was plenty for a two-thirds heat format to be adopted. In the first, 287 Jansen Wilkinson hit the front very early on from where he proceeded to dominate, winning by a big margin from 242 Joe Nickolls and 226 Amy Webster. The extremely smart new car of 391 Jessica Smith had powered her into third place when she was turned into the home straight fence with a lap to go, ending her race.

Wilkinson again led almost all the way in heat two. This time he had 183 Charlie Guinchard on his tail throughout and although the latter launched a big last bend attack, the positions remained unchanged, with National Champion 411 Ryan Fairburn third.

The third heat was led most of the way by 45 Jake Harrhy, save for a brief spell in front for 153 Georgina Bullock. However, the experienced 134 Sophie Maynard fought her way past with a lap to go, winning from 180 Courtney Witts and 202 Will Knight in a tight finish, as Harrhy dropped to fourth at the flag.

An almost Banger Racing-style train formed at the start of the final as the drivers were caught out by greasier conditions. The restarted race was led by the sideways style of Bullock until Nickolls moved ahead. He was then spun by Smith who took up the running until Witts fought her way past. But the race reached a climax with 515 Frankie Wainman III pushing past both on the final bend, to win from Witts, Guinchard, Maynard and Smith.

All three formulas will be back in action at the Norfolk Arena on 26 April. On the evidence of this, you’d be daft to miss it.

F1 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
White & Yellows Final (Heat 1) 496 415 169 45 388 267 238 58 223 H54
Heat 2 150 16 174 22 515 335 462 45 191 496
Heat 3 388 335 259 515 22 212 58 150 H231 169
Final 259 335 22 212 16 191 H231 H226 372 496
Grand National 335 212 16 259 515 H226 174 45 267 nof
F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 866 298 H4 548 H47 887 615 178 184 283
Heat 2 630 81 710 823 742 702 995 431 103 597
Heat 3 145 377 886 871 231 401 186 226 219 380
Consolation 732 362 130 881 158 26 H305 150 449 724
Final 401 377 103 231 H305 702 26 732 871 823
Grand National 145 871 630 401 823 488 995 219 81 49
BriSCA MiniStox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 287 242 226 60 127 302 331 82 330 152
Heat 2 287 183 411 180 60 134 153 331 269 391
Heat 3 134 180 202 45 798 515 226 323 127 242
Final 515 180 183 134 391 242 226 323 411 127
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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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