Trackstar Racing | Info | Results | 2017 | Saturday 29 April

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Saturday 29 April

Report: Mark Paulsom

Pics: Paul Tully & Colin Casserley

World champion 6 Simon Welton added the English crown to his list of honours with a consummate display in the two-litre Saloon Stock Cars at the Adrian Flux Arena on Saturday night (29 April). Also in action were BriSCA Formula One stock cars, contesting their latest world qualifying round, where 21 Mark Gilbank impressed on his way to victory in the final. Completing the programme were Heritage Formula Two stock cars which provided some entertaining racing in the style of yesteryear, with 1967 BriSCA F2 world champion 247 Andy Webb claiming the final.


Saloon Stock Cars

Twelve months on from its staging at the same track, the English Championship attracted a strong 46-car field, but with genuine visitors once again thin on the ground. A two-from-three heat format was deployed which each fielding just under 30 cars to make for some typically hectic racing from the Heavy Metal Brigade. 

In the first, 350 Tommy Parrin took advantage of 149 Jamie Sampson pushing race-leader 182 Lewis Gallie wide to record a comfortable win, his first of the season. The Wisbech-based youngster headed home 2013 champion 306 Daniel Parker and the man seeking only the English to complete a career grand slam, 499 David Aldous.

Heat two was won by form driver 157 Max Stott, his first shale win of the year. He had led most of the way, only to be passed by 730 Deane Mayes with a lap to go, before gamely fighting back to beat the silver roof, with 888 Shane Emerson third. The race featured a rampaging run from 26 Tommy Barnes. After spinning Welton and Aldous, Barnes then rolled 733 Kyle Picton – making his first appearance of the season – when his car nosed under Picton’s machine which had been turned into the fence. Barnes could easily have backed out but inexplicably chose to roll the 733-car, albeit at slow speed.

The white grade got a big jump in heat three and took some closing down, as first 448 Martin Kibble and then 99 Jacob Roff led. In-form 538 Jake Swann eventually bridged the gap and went on to win from 420 Ivan Street and 570 Simon Venni.

Venni’s two top-four finishes gave him pole position for the championship race in which he was keen to make amends for just missing out last year. Parrin was alongside on the front row of the grid, with fellow heat winners Swann and Stott also on the outside line of the next two rows, with the consistent Street and Welton on their insides. After retiring in both his heats, defending champion 217 Sid Madgwick had to rely on that status to take his place at the back of the qualifiers, on row 14, with the remaining drivers who hadn’t scored a top-12 finish in the heats starting in graded order at the back.

Following some fireworks to mark the occasion and two rolling laps, Venni put the hammer down and got an immediate jump as the pack headed into bend three with the green flag waving. But it was almost too good a start as that allowed Parrin to make contact on the rear quarter and spin the pole-sitter out. It led to chaos, with cars spinning in all directions and Parrin emerging in the lead of the race from Welton, European champion 641 Willie Skoyles Jr, Aldous, Mayes and Stott. But Parrin’s lead didn’t last long and Skoyles took over until he was spun on the fourth lap by backmarking 519 Stephen Lawrence. That left Welton in front, with Aldous moving into second when he spun Mayes, followed by national champion 428 Lee Sampson and 218 Jacob Downey.

Aldous found a way past Welton as he hunted that elusive English title but the world champion hit straight back, spinning the seven-time King’s Lynn track champion on the road bend. Aldous quickly recovered but was then on the receiving end of some rough treatment, calling time on his race after two big fencings.

Welton now had a small buffer to the pursuing Sampson and Stott but his margin was wiped out when a roll on the back straight for 360 Carl Waterfield brought about a race stoppage. Stott had just moved ahead of Sampson but then retired as the race resumed, with Welton immediately re-building a gap to his pursuers, now led by Downey from Skoyles and Venni. Skoyles pushed his way into second, with Venni following through, but the King’s Lynn local’s challenge was effectively ended when he was pushed onto the infield by Emerson as the latter attempted to pull off.

So it was left to Venni to hunt down Welton in a repeat of their previous year’s battle – only without the fast-closing Madgwick on this occasion. Venni’s cause was helped when Barnes tried to reprise his party-spoiling antics of the previous meeting by fencing Welton, but this time the world champion survived. He reeled off the remaining laps, perhaps a little too cautiously, as Venni closed enough to attempt a last-bend lunge. He couldn’t make it stick, however, and Welton held on to take the title, with Venni having to settle for second again and Downey completing the top three, from Parker, 158 Shane Davies and Mayes.



The Big League entry was also a very healthy 45 cars, plenty for a full format meeting with a white-and-yellow hors d’oeuvre. That alone raised an impressive 24 cars and a provided a win for 348 John Wright who controlled the race from the front before admitting that he’s still struggling to get used to the extra power of an F1 car compared with his old F2s. 415 Russell Cooper and 308 Steve Malkin Jr followed him home. 

Wright also briefly led heat one proper too, but it didn’t take long for Norfolk’s own 16 Mat Newson – on his last appearance as a superstar for at least a month – to hit the front, driving the Mark Sargent car. He drove to a comfortable win from 212 Danny Wainman – fresh from racing in Holland mid-week – and 2 Paul Harrison. 175 Karl Hawkins had mixed it well with the red tops, and looked set for third, only to lose out in the last couple of laps and finish fifth behind 259 Paul Hines.

Heat two produced a dominant display from early-season pace-setter 390 Stuart Smith Jr who hit the front before half-distance despite the Saddlebow Road shaleway not being among his favourite tracks. 55 Craig Finnikin had looked set to keep Smith honest but lost time when passing 207 Ben Hurdman for second. He did manage to reel the Rochdale man back in and briefly move ahead, only to lose out again and then get spun by 1 Frankie Wainman Jr. So it was Wainman who followed Smith home, from 4 Dan Johnson and fellow superstar 445 Nigel Green also qualifying comfortably in fourth.

Hurdman, who eventually missed out in that heat, picked up his strong form again in the consolation, dumping Malkin wide to take the lead which he held to the flag, ahead of 249 Joff Gibson, King’s Lynn specialist 335 Mark Woodhull and veteran 73 Rob Cowley.

The 29-car final begun with some huge hits on the back straight which brought a marker tyre onto the track and led to a yellow flag. Remarkable progress had already been made by Smith who was up to ninth in queue led by 32 Chris Farnell from Wright and Cooper. A second caution period for a similar reason followed shortly afterwards, with Smith now up to fifth. But on the resumption he crashed out with Cooper and 337 Dave Willis on the freshly-watered track, allowing Gilbank to move ahead from Johnson, Green and Newson. As the last-named trio battled, joined also by Finnikin and Danny Wainman, Gilbank made his escape. He went on to win by more than a quarter of a lap, with Wainman coming home second after eventually edging clear of the battle, Johnson third and Finnikin fourth. Hines and a recovered Smith completed the top six.

Smith then added his second win of the night in the grand national, hitting the front within a few laps and winning from Finnikin and Green. Gilbank meanwhile made good progress to eighth position from the full lap handicap, without the aid of a yellow flag.


Heritage F2

The first-ever appearance at King’s Lynn for the cars that hark back to racing in the 1960s and ‘70s raised a decent entry of 18 cars, with the majority beautifully presented. 

Heat one was won by 23 John Clements in his own first appearance at the track, despite having raced as long as four decades ago. He took a comfortable win from the front of the field and so earned himself a place at the back for the remaining races.

47 Giles Carter headed home 247 Andy Webb in heat two, then Webb went on to take the final, some 50 years after his BriSCA F2 world title success at Swindon. The trophy positions in the main event were completed by Mendips Raceway presenter 728 Graham Bunter and fellow veteran F2 racer 198 Alan Nicholson, the three of them combining for an average age of 71!


F1 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th
White & Yellows 348 415 308 463 45 280 192 73 278 483 32 364
Heat 1 16 212 2 259 175 337 415 555 169 192 307 443
Heat 2 390 1 4 445 463 55 21 462 348 32 183 483
Consolation 207 249 335 73 278 372 364 H295 166 183 nof
Final 21 212 4 55 259 390 2 555 207 337 169 175
Grand National 390 55 445 16 337 1 212 2 21 175 166 308
2L Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 350 306 499 570 641 6 171 682 99 128
Heat 2 157 730 888 6 386 420 149 350 349 538
Heat 3 538 420 570 220 641 360 525 425 218 158
Final 6 570 218 306 158 730 349 220 217 641
Heritage F2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 23 342 728 731 271 247 59 253 218 128
Heat 2 47 247 342 253 731 728 271 59 218 198
Final 247 728 198 128 23 47 59 271 253 218
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