Ipswich (World Final Meeting) – 20th Sept 2008 Report

Ipswich Final Winners

Ipswich Final Winners

The World Final meeting traditionally attracts the biggest car turnout of the year, and this was no exception, with 101 F1 stock cars taking to the track. Unfortunately, despite the big grids, the nature of the Ipswich track produced some fast, but mainly processional racing, with the vast majority of fans disappointed with the action, or rather, the distinct lack of it, in almost every race. Only the Final delivered the goods, with Frankie Wainman taking a rather fortunate victory on the last lap.

In a break with tradition, the World Final race was first, and won by Andy Smith. See separate story.

Heat Two saw possibly the first F1 tarmac win for Andy Ford (13), the highlight of which was Tim Warwick (307) sliding his car sideways around the bends in spectacular style.

Heat Three was completely restarted after Theo van Lier (H57) got hooked up with Tony Smith (91) at the start, and both crashed heavily into the fence. John Lawn (441) took the win after some pressure from Dean Whitwell (195), who began to drop back with a few laps left, which allowed Les Spencer (98) to pass. Into the last bend, and Carl Pickering (141) looked to be lining up a big last bend hit on Whitwell, but the 195 car moved out of the way and it was Pickering that clattered the fence instead of Whitwell, although Pickering did still take the place.

Heat Four was the Under-25s Championship, and nobody got close to Lee Robinson (107). See separate story.

Neil Scothern (152) took the lead early on in the first Consolation, after Warwick and Gerrit Zwerver (H19) had both had spells in front. The main interest in this one was the three way battle between Mick Harris (8), John Lund (53), and Louw Wobbes (H22), which began just after the halfway, when Lund fired Harris wide. Wobbes then passed both, but Lund promptly put the H22 car wide, with Harris then doing the same before the chequered.

Van Lier started the second Consolation by doing half a lap on the inner shale track, while fellow Dutchman Jessy de Bruin (H399) took the lead from Chris Stafford (157) on the second lap. De Bruin had Ian Venables (60) not far behind, and these two pulled away from the rest of the pack. The H399 car span out with six laps to go, leaving Venables in the lead, but Jos Op t’Roodt (B67) was getting closer every lap. Venables was first across the line, but was subsequently disqualified after post-race scrutineering, leaving Op t’Roodt as the winner.

The 34 car Final started with Kroonder and Castell passing Lund on the rolling lap, while the yellows came out after a couple of laps when Whitwell, op t’Roodt, Spencer, and Newson piled up in turn three, blocking the track. On the restart, impressive newcomer Spencer Taylor (498) led them away on the restart, with Steve Hopkins (347) and John Lawn (441) behind. Lund (53) got caught up with Chris Cowley (37) entering turn two, and both impacted the turn two fence before Lund rejoined.

Lawn hit Hopkins wide around turn one, while a superb manoeuvre by Robinson put Will Yarrow (22), James Lund (153), and Craig Finnikin (55) all wide in one go. Finnikin then planted Lawn straight into the turn three fence, which brought out the yellows, but not before Paul Harrison had twice swapped places with Frankie Wainman (515). Race order for the second restart read Taylor still leading, from Robinson, Lund (153), Wainman (515), Harrison, and Ron Kroonder (H217).

Robinson was straight on the bumper when the race resumed, and thumped the 498 car wide. Lund also went past, with Harrison then nudging Taylor wide. Ivan Pritchard appeared to suffer either brake failure or brain failure, as he went in on Tom Harris (84) with a massive hit that put both cars into the turn three fence, just before Wainman got it slightly out of shape down the back straight. Kroonder then went in with the bumper, with Mark Gilbank (21) then going in on both of them, with all three cars going sideways, and Paul Hines (259) passing all of them.

The yellows came out again, this time to allow Harris to be helped from his car, and as they started again, it read Robinson, from Lund, Harrison, and Taylor. Harrison was past Lund almost as soon as the green dropped, and Lund immdediately replied with a shot on the number 2 bumper. Robinson was pulling away at the front, but with four laps to go, he slowed with a puncture, and handed the lead to Harrison. It looked as though Harrison would get some consolation from not winning the World with a main event win, and going down the back straight for the last time, he looked to be far enough in front to be same. But Lund had other ideas, and from a long way back, the 153 car lunged at Harrison and landed a massive hit that put both Harrison and Lund firmly into the fence. This gifted the win to third placed Wainman, with Harrison recovering for (another) second place, and Lund limping over the line with extensive front end damage and a third place finish for his magnificent effort.

Carl Hesketh.

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