Personality of the Year 2015: Nominee 3

Six drivers have been shortlisted for the 2015 F1Stockcars.com Stox Personality of the Year award.

One nominee will be announced each day – so make sure you keep checking the site! The first two nominations were Dylan Williams-Maynard and Nigel Harrhy.

How to vote

Once all nominations have been announced, you will be able to vote for your favourite via the F1Stockcars.com website.

Voting will open on Monday 14 December and will close at midnight on Saturday 19 December. The winner will be announced on Sunday 20 December.

 

Nominee 3: Frankie Wainman Junior

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Always a fan favourite.

Like a good wine, Frankie Wainman Junior seems to be getting better with age. A late-career renaissance has seen him win four championships over the last couple of years. This year’s UK Open saw Frankie take the chequered flag just eight days after Wainman superfan Ben Turner lost his battle with cancer – Frankie crossed the line with “Racing for Ben” proudly displayed on his wing.

You started the year well with the UK Open Championship. How did that one come about?

Well, I was first over the line, I guess! It was a hard weekend. The UK Open is always hard, you have to dial in and concentrate on the one race, the second final. I knew I had the pace, I was quicker than Tom Harris; I was the quickest car on the day. I got to the front then just kept going. It was a good race.

You spent the UK Open weekend with “Racing for Ben” on your car. How much did Ben Turner help to motivate you?

I hope I did exactly what he wanted me to. He absolutely loved us, right to the end. It pulls at your heartstrings. Why him? Why such a good kid? He was loving life, salt of the earth, and taken far too early. We’ve done what we can for the family. It was Ben’s wish that we went to the funeral. What 15-year-old kid should have to plan his own funeral? But he did.

You came second in the European Championship and World Final. Is that a good thing, or do you feel you missed out?

I was a little disappointed that I got second in the World Final. I’ve never been disappointed with second in the World before, but this year… maybe should have won it. We went with the wrong tyre choice because the race didn’t run for long enough in each stint before a stoppage. But it’s just one of those things. I ended up with second, and you can’t knock that!

But overall, it was a really good year for me. Second in European, second in the World, but I also won the World Cup in Holland and won the season-long points. I was also fourth in the British – I had a brake that went off and stopped me getting in the top three which I was a bit annoyed about. The racing is hard now, but I think I must be the only one who has finished up there in every championship. I’ve had an awesome year.

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Frankie winning the World Cup in the Netherlands earlier in the year.

You also won the European and Grand National Championships in 2014. What’s been the difference in these last two years?

A lot of the difference is in the regulations brought in to help lower budget drivers – the shockers and the brakes have made a big difference. I’d not been able to put in the amount of money the top lads were spending on brakes and shockers, we made do with what we had. Now we’re running the same, it has opened it right up and brought it back to being about the driver.

I’m limited as to how much I can spend each weekend. If Phoebe needs a tyre for her V8, then I might not get one. That’s just how it is, and over the year it makes a difference. But now, with the new regulations, I knew I was able to be competitive. You can see it in the season-long points.

Was topping the season-long points something you were aiming to do?

Over the last few seasons I’ve struggled to do every meeting because I’ve been with Frankie and his Ministox, but this year I only missed one, and was that’s because I was in the Isle of Man with him. So I knew I had a chance of sticking in there in the points. Rob Speak and Lee Fairhurst wanted to win that for definite, but my consistency on shale and tarmac was good all season, I’ve was competitive in both and won finals on both, and I’ve won a couple of track championships. You do what you can and it all adds up.

Any plans for next year?

We’ve got a lot of plans for next year. Phoebe will still be in V8, we’ll be looking after her gear a bit more; Frankie is sticking with his current car and will use it on shale, I’ve bought an old car to refurb for him on tarmac; and if everything goes to plan I shall have a brand-new shale car.

Let’s imagine you’re racing the new shale car in the World Final at Coventry in September 2016. With one lap to go you’re in second place, Frankie JJ is first. Do you bury him in the fence or let him win?

What sort of question is that?! [Laughs] I actually don’t know the answer to that. No… I’ll have to seriously think about it. I don’t know what I’d do!

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Will Frankie add ‘Personality of the Year’ to his 2015 titles list?

Interview with Frankie: Scott Reeves
Photos: Colin Casserley

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