Trackstar Racing | Info | Results | 2022 | Saturday 19 March

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Saturday 19 March


Photos: 1 - 15 Dave Bastock, 16 - 30 Colin Casserley, 31 - 45 Jim Harrod

Report: Mark Paulson

Three more formulas kicked off their national racing season in a superbly entertaining session at King's Lynn. In the Big League BriSCA F1 stock cars #197 Ryan Harrison scored a heat-and-final double - and so nearly made it a sensational hat-trick. #288 Jon Brown achieved a similar feat in the V8 Hotstox, while #277 Tom Rogers did likewise in the Ministox.

BriSCA F1 Stock Cars

A 41-car turnout for the season-opener included a sublime new Harrison-built car for #259 Paul Hines and a smartly refurbished machine for local man #16 Mat Newson.

Racing began with the 2021 White & Yellow Grade Series Final, doubling up as heat one with a 17-car field and eight places on offer in the fiinal in a 10-lap race. #496 Neil Holcroft burst into a healthy lead, but from an early stage it was clear that #326 Mark Sargent, one of only two blue-graded drivers eligible, would be tough to beat. He quickly charged through to third, then dispatched #524 Jason Cull for second. Cull got out of shape as a result, delaying some of those behind, but #372 Colin Goodswen emerged in third. He couldn't catch the leading pair, however. Sargent may not quite have had the pace to catch Holcroft but his task was made easier when Holcroft hit trouble in traffic with two to go. Sargent was on hand to take advantage and claim the prize money, although second-placed Holcroft did well with the lap-leader bonuses, with Goodswen third.

The heat format meant that all stars were on track together in heat two. As the returning #32 Chris Farnell led away, #526 Finn Sargent and #16 Mat Newson ground to a halt, although Newson did eventually get going again. #150 Mick Sworder hit the front of the eight-strong star grade and #197 Ryan Harrison was making rapid progress from the back of the field. #289 Jake Walker spun on the roadside bend where #191 Josh Smith and #463 James Morris also hooked up and were collected by Paul Hines. Sadly, Hines picked up damage on his car, appearing unable to steer as he careered towards the fence. Meantime, Harrison really had continued his terrific form from late-2021 and looked unstoppable. He relieved #169 Billy Johnson of the lead, with Johnson then pulling up, and pulled clear for a comfortable win. Harrison claimed afterwards that he will "try and win every race this year!" Behind him, the battling Sworder and late arrival #1 Tom Harris (in the Will Hunter car) hooked up and put themselves out of contention, as #515 Frankie Wainman Jr came through into second. But Wainman's car was smoking heavily from a leaking oil line and the chances of him making the finish looked slim. Keeping one eye on his gauges, he managed to do so, however, and held on to second from #73 Chris Cowley. Such was the rate of attrition that Walker came through to sixth despite his spin.

Twenty returned for the consolation although threre were only 19 starters after #373 Dale Bennett pulled off. With 16 qualifying places on offer, it looked like a finish would be enough to make the final. Finn Sargent wouldn't be among them after succumbing to a puncture, while #545 Will Adams was also out after causing a yellow flag when he spun and was left broadside on the home straight. What then appeared like it would be a straightforward win for world champion Tom Harris, was anything but. He quickly hit the front, with Josh Smith, Mick Sworder and Mat Newson following through. Harris initially edged clear but started to get reeled back in as whisps of smoke appeared from his car's engine bay. A belt was slipping and Harris was having to heave the car round with extra heavy steering. Sworder's challenge ended when he was spun by a wayward white-top, before Smith edged inside Harris to take the lead. But there was more drama to come when #319 Sheldon Wadsworth spun in front of the leader. Smith was wrongfooted and ended up hitting him head on. That let Harris through but, trying to drive with just the throttle and brake, his ailing car couldn't cling on, as Newson edged past for victory on the line despite teething troubles on his fresh car.

"I know I say it every year, but I've somehow got to pick myself up and say this year is my year," said the perennial frontrunner and prolific car builder, who still, amazingly, has yet to win a major title. But there was another twist still to come as Newson's car then failed on the scales, so he was disqualified from the result.

Harris couldn't fix his mechanical problems before the final, so just 26 cars took the flag, with Farnell making the early running and Hines departing with a puncture. The man on the move was Sworder, rolling back the years with his all-action style, using the bumper to great effect. He had risen to fifth by the time of an early caution period but didn't fare well on the restart, getting squeezed into the wall on the outside of Holcroft, with both cars being delayed. As #587 Sam Brigg - in the ex-Will Yarrow car - took the lead, Wainman and Harrison moved into third and fourth behind Farnell. Harrison quickly passed FWJ, then demoted Farnell to run second to Brigg by half-distance. Harrison moved inside Brigg to take the lead just before caution flags were called to assist #20 Liam Gilbank.

The restart didn't last long, as #172 Micky Randall was shoved up the wall on the freshly watered track, with the car tipping onto its side as well as causing fence damage. When the race got going again, with six laps to run, Wainman got the jump on Brigg for second, with little further incident among the frontrunners. So Harrison became the first man ever to win three consecutive finals at King's Lynn, with Wainman second and Brigg impressing on his way to third. Walker continued his fine form at the track in fourth, with Farnell and #216 Jack France completing the top six.

"The car is definitely hooked up whether it's dry, whether it's wet," said Harrison. "I've still got to pilot it so I'm not doing too bad a job, but the car is unbelievable." The Kettering man added that his off-season racing in America had kept him feeling fresh. "On the restarts, I didn't want to give anyone any opportunities - I just wanted to check out."

A good field of 25 cars returned for the grand national, including both Harris and Newson who would play major roles in the race. Brigg quickly took up the running and built a big lead, only to have it wiped out with three laps to run when yellow flags were called with a couple of immobile cars having taken some hits on the scoreboard bend. Harris had worked his way into second, but his pursuit of the leader was delayed by a couple of white-tops spinning in front of him, which let Newson onto this tail. Both, however, benefited from the yellow flags, as did Harrison who'd risen to fouth. Harris got out of shape on the restart, letting Newson into second, only for Harrison to put the bumper in on both and take the place with two laps to go. Could he claim a hat-trick? He was going to give it a go. The gap looked too big, but Harrison went in with a huge last-bend lunge. Both cars crashed heavily into the fence and that was that; Harris nipped through for the win.

"I gave everything - as much as I could," said Harrison, after climbing on his car to take the crowd's applause. "Maybe I should be on a percentage of the gate sales for the next meeting!"

V8 Hotstox

A field of 20 cars was raised for the lower-budget Rover V8-powered formula. From his yellow grade start, #77 Rudi Coleano never really looked like being beaten in the opener. The former professional footballer quickly hit the front and could not be caught. World champion #1 Steve Thompson chased hard but his big last-bend lunge was ridden out by Coleano who held on for the win. #350 Hannah Andrew spun from third, handing the place to #187 Craig Smith.

Goimg for a double, Coleano relieved #365 Marcus Brooks of the lead but blue-top #10 Gilen Bullock was running well and passed both to take it up. Behind them, superstar #288 Jon Brown was the fastest man on track and he used the bumper to pass Coleano for second. He then gradually closed on Bullock and lunged past with two laps to go, with silver-top #131 Kevin Stuchbury following through. Stuchbury's last-bend lunge lacked conviction and didn't make contact, so Brown took the win - despite thinking he was chasing the lap-down ##355 Bryan Andrew - from Stuchbury and Coleano who benefited from Bullock's car failing on the run to the flag.

After a pair of disappointing heats, #490 Craig Thompson was on a mission in the final, taking the lead within a few laps. He looked to be waltzing to victory until a puncture cruelly denied him in the closing stages. Coleano had been running in a comfortable second for much of the race, but was eventually reeled in by Brown after the latter had broken free from the squabbling stars and superstars. Brown went on to take a relatively comfortable win, his first final win at King's Lynn, with Steve Thompson taking second from Coleano in the last couple of laps. In their post-race interviews, the top three were all full of praise for the track and looking forward to the formula's return to the Adrian Flux Arena later this year.


Nearly 30 Ministox were in action, and with some of the previous year's stars - including the dominant Jack Witts - having reached retirment age, it offered a chance for new names to come to the fore. #277 Tom Rogers set out his stall as the one to beat this year with two wins and a third.

The stars found it hard to work to come through in heat one, as #77 Tom Earl won from the blue grade, ahead of white-top #934 Calum Williams, with Tom Rogers managing third. In a livelier heat two, the next one off the Witts production line, young Lucy (#180), worked her way into the lead from Williams and #503 Lydia Hemingway. A charging #186 Kasey Jones pushed through to fourth, only to feel the force of his fellow superstars from behind and take a trip up the wall. It was Rogers that came off best from that skirmish as he came through to second, pulling #27 Luke Syrett-Barsby with him before a caution period was called to assist Williams who'd had a trip into the wall. On the restart, Rogers and Syrett-Barsby ambushed Witts on the roadside bend as #300 Coby Laing was rolling on the scoreboard bend, bringing out red flags. Rogers was relatively untroubled over the four remaining laps, winning from Syrett-Barsby and Jones, who pushed Witts down to fourth.

A charging Earl shoved early final leader Williams into the fence, but only managed to delay himself, letting #223 Toby Partridge into the lead, although Partridge would later be docked for jumping the start. Rogers was also flying and he nosed ahead of Partridge, with Jones and Laing demoting Partridge further. Rogers and Jones would finish in that order and, while Partridge got back into third, his penalty gave Jones the place and Earl fourth.

BriSCA F1 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th
Heat 1 (White & Yellow Final) 326 496 372 268 211 163 78 587 532 nof
Heat 2 197 515 73 32 12 289 448 172 1 150 414 216
Consolation 1 259 169 175 191 20 216 414 150 44 127 548 nof
Final 197 515 587 289 32 216 175 73 548 169 268 nof
Grand National 1 16 515 259 150 289 nof
V8 Hotstox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th
Heat 1 77 1 187 131 355 288 365 69 490 402 453 525
Heat 2 288 131 77 10 1 187 69 350 365 344 355 117
Final 288 1 77 69 187 453 355 525 131 350 117 507
Ministox 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th
Heat 1 77 934 277 611 300 186 120 64 955 732 425 223 711 H248 87
Heat 2 277 27 186 180 44 223 77 55 732 425 H248 611 711 183 87
Final 277 186 300 77 223 611 732 44 H248 87 120 443 231 642 269
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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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