Coventry – 2009 Golden Helmet Race Report

2009 Golden Helmet: Coventry Sunday 4th October. (Heat Two of the meeting)

Thirty cars formed a closed grid for the Golden Helmet Finale; the top cars qualifying from points scored at Emmen and this weekend’s meeting at Coventry. So the grid was made of highest point scorers with one Dutch and one UK entrant per row. After that, the rows were made up from points scored over Saturday’s qualifying heats.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

The first ten rows of the grid

1 Ron Kroonder  (H217) Frankie Wainman Jnr (515)
2 Andy Smith (#1) Berry Paardenkoper (H25)
3 Durk Greidanus (H29) Paul Harrison (#2)
4 Stuart Smith (390) Marco Kandt (H67)
5 Bouwe Arjen Hiddinga (H17) Mick Rogers (244)
6 Spencer Taylor (498) Marco Falkena (H151)
7 Axel Njis(H32) Mal Brown (34)
8 Craig Finnikin (55) John Lund (53)
9 Tony Smith (91) Scott Davids (462)
10 Tom Harris (84) Jan Roelof Wijbinga (H228)

Mick Rogers (244) retired from the grid line up before the race commenced, leaving an empty grid position on row five. Twenty-nine cars completed a slow rolling lap; the green was dropped and Stuart Smith (390) opened the race with a first turn attack onto the rear of Durk Greidanus (H29), sending the H29 car off towards the Armco and collecting Barry Parden Kooper (H25) on route; Ron Kroonder (H217) was also involved thanks to the bumper of Andy Smith (1). This opening turn attack resulted in a broken fence post. Waved Yellows.

Restart Order: 515 – 1 – 2 – 390 – H25 – H67 – H17 – 498 – 107 – 53 – 215 – 335.

James Clement (158) and Michael Scriven (12) became hooked up when the race restarted in turns one and two, the 158 car being sent off into the pit gate with such force that the front bumper came to rest on top of the pit gate though the wires. Waved Yellows.

Restart Order: 515 – 1 – 2 – 390 – H25 – H17 – 107 – 53 – H67 – 215 – 498.

The green flag was shown for the third time and this time all cars got away cleanly. Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) and Andy Smith pulling away out front, Stuart Smith (390) passed Paul Harrison (2) to move into third place and began closing the gap between himself and older brother Andy in second place. Meanwhile, behind Spencer Taylor (498) T-Boned Bouwe Arjan Hiddinga (H17), both cars losing places but able to get free and continue racing. While this was happening Andy Smith had passed Frankie Wainman to take the lead. No sooner had Andy taken the lead when he encountered the first of the back markers. Andy was losing vital speed behind and in passing Jan Roelof Wijbinga (H228). Frankie Wainman took his chance and passed both the 1 car and the H228 car on turns three and four, where Andy was also passed by younger brother Stuart who followed Frankie’s move.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

The speed of the race leaders was really starting to pick up; H25 got it all wrong going round the reshaped turn one, spinning in front of race leader Frankie but with lightning quick reflexes and a superbly set-up car, Frankie avoided; as did Stuart.

Wainman was now encountering many of the back markers but was able to pass many without too much hindrance and able to get a few between himself and second place Stuart Smith. Stuart on losing patience with these extra obstacles between himself and the race leader, fired back marker Marco Kandt (H67) going into turn one. The H67 car clattered into the Armco, bouncing up with the momentum to become wrapped in the wires and dislodge a fence post. Waved Yellows.

Only Seventeen Cars remained in the race with the restart order 515 – 390 – 1 – 2 – (LD 276) – (LD H151) – (LD H29) – 53 – (LD H228) – 4 – 107 – 335 – 215 – 84 – H25 – 242.

The green was shown and the cars powered down the home straight. Stuart Smith wasted no time launching straight into an attack on leader Wainman going into turn one. Wainman rode the hit, drifted up wide and powered out of turn two and exited, still the race leader. Andy Smith took full advantage of his brother’s attack, tucked in tight and got past Stuart on the inside to take second place. Andy chased after Wainman and for the following lap was glued to Wainman’s back bumper. Paul Harrison set himself for the attack going into turn three, making contact with the rear of the 515 car that had been pushed wide from Andy’s own attack. All three cars went wide round the turns; this time, Stuart tucked in tight to take the lead with Wainman using immense power, exited turn four in second place.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

With an open track ahead, Stuart Smith pulled clear and was on to take the win unless mechanical failure struck. Behind, once again Wainman found Andy glued to his rear bumper. John Lund had quietly moved into fourth place, Lee Robinson (107) had battled his way into the fifth while Dan Johnson (#4) and Paul Harrison (#2) were locked in battle behind. Going into the last turns Andy attacked the rear of the 515 car sending him wide round turn three. The unsighted 53 car of John Lund dived onto the tight inside line exiting turn four in second place while behind Andy and Frankie had a race on for third place! No amount of loud pedal could get the 515 car past the #1 car on the short straight to the line.

Result 390 – 53 – 1 – 515 – 107 – 4 – 2 -84 – 335 – 12

Stephen Cording.

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