BriSCA F1 2009 World Championship Final – Race Report

Kings Lynn was the venue for the 2009 BriSCA F1 World Championship Final Race, under the promotion of Buxton Raceway. With the track preparation work done and the drivers parade completed, the Thirty-four BriSCA Formula 1 Stockcars formed a closed grid on the floodlit track under a dark, clear September evening.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

New Zealander Scott Miers (NZ#8) was the fastest overseas driver in the lunchtime time trials and he started on inside of row three immediately behind Paul Hines (259) and on pole Frankie Wainman Jnr (515). Alongside Miers was dominant Dutch and current Points Champion dirt racer Durk Greidanus (H29); who was directly behind Paul Harrison (2) and the current World Champ Andy Smith (391).

A hushed silence fell over the massive crowd; except for the odd shout for an individual’s favourite driver and before the moment was lost, the most famous words in motorsport were uttered GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES. The Norfolk night was then awoken by the roar of Racing Tuned V8 Chevy Engines.

Photo Colin Casserley

Photo Colin Casserley

The cars started their two controlled, rolling laps with Andy Smith testing the outside line, perhaps in anticipation of a big hit from Frankie Wainman jnr. The Green flag was dropped, and the cars roared round the homestraight. Andy Smith got ahead of Frankie Wainman coming down the homestraight and entering turn one. Frankie attacked Andy’s inside, purposefully sending the 391 car up against the armco. Andy did not slow and powered round the armco, while the 515 car attempted to pin the 391 car to the fence. Out of turn two the leading cars came round, with Andy still in front. Wainman attempted the same move going round turns three and four and again the 391 car powered around the armco, came out as the race leader and sped down the home straight. Wainman was in hot pursuit along with third place Paul Harrison, while behind young gun Lee Robinson (107) tangled and ended up being forced to retire to the homestraight infield.

Wainman again attacked the leading 391 car sending him once more round the armco of turns one and two. On seeing his two closest rivals locked in battle, Paul Harrison attacked Wainman, hoping to disable both cars enough for him to take the lead. This daring second lap move proved fruitless; the 515 car took the force of the impact as the 391 car pulled clear going into turn two. This action brought a determined Stuart Smith into play; Stuart took a tighter line and looked to be about to take second place only for the 515 car to unload a hefty foot on the gas and come out of turn two ahead but on the outside of Stuart.

Just behind them, Craig Finnikin (55) launched his attack on Stuart Smith (390) going into turn three; almost firing the 390 car into Wainman and for a moment, it looked like Finnikin had got the better of both cars. Wainman skillfully dealt with the situation, and rocketed out of turn four still in second place. Stuart also successfully held onto his third place, coming out ahead of Finnikin. Meanwhile up front, race leader Andy Smith was well clear and closing down on the first of the back markers Ed Neachell (321).

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Stuart seemed totally fired up and attacked Wainman’s inside rear going into turn one. With all his experience, Wainman prevented the car from spinning out, only to be then handicapped by having to avoid the spun out car of Chris Brocksopp (338) coming back out of the armco. This gave Stuart on the inside line and he sped off, not only to take second place but to begin his hot pursuit of older brother Andy. Craig Finnikin also benefited from Wainman’s slight misfortune, coming out in front of the 515 car.

Wainman swiftly gave chase and counter attacked the rear of the 55 car going into turn three. Finnikin was sent wide; but not wide enough for Wainman to take the lead, and the 55 and 515 car came out neck and neck and raced side-by-side down the home straight. Andy had by now passed Ed Neachell and the 321 car was now between the 391 car and the fast approaching 390 car.

Wainman attacked Finnikin going into turn one, and again Finnikin held his ground. Wainman then went for a ‘biggie’ going into turn three with Finnikin’s race craft paying off as he knew what was coming. He slowed in speed and tucked in tight, while Wainman skidded out wide. Finnikin then exited turn four in front; the sparks flying as the sheer power of the V8 engine though the back wheels of the 515 car skidded it out to make brief contact with the armco. However, on the next turn, Wainman attacked Finnikin and made the pass. Bad luck descended on two of the other competitors, as Paul Hines and Dan Johnson (4) tangled in turn one.

Out front, leader Andy was weaving his way though the backmarkers and at times had four or five lap down cars between himself and younger brother Stuart who was racing ‘by the seat of his pants’ as he tirelessly worked his way through the field. The back markers clearly having the choice of move, or be moved. White Grader Ricky Wilson (502) found himself very much part of this forward onslaught and got side-by-side with Stuart as they encountered Koen Maris (H61), Malcolm Ngatai (NZ1) and Weird Gietema (H76).

This delay for Stuart, had given Wainman the chance he needed to close the gap. Going into turn two, Wainman was able to get the touch he needed on the rear of the inexperienced Wilson, that saw the 502 car not only connect with the rear of Stuart Smith but slide along the 390’s inside nerf and spin both the 390 car and the 502 onto the infield.

John Lund (53) proved no easy push over to pass and made Andy work hard to get by. Wainman, now back in second place only had the 459 car of Lee Dimmick between himself and way out in front Andy. The remainder of the race was very much a cat and mouse affair with Andy well out in front and Wainman unable to gain enough ground to mount a challenge.

This heightened the tension in the stands as you could feel people looking for a puncture or a loose cannon to slow Andy Smith just as you can feel the nerves of Andy’s fans hoping he could continue working his way though the back markers without any mechanical or tyre problems coming into play.

The night was Andy Smith and he became the 2009 World Championship Winner and joined the handful of drivers who had retained the prestigious World Championship trophy including his father Stu Smith Snr. Highest overseas finisher of the race was Durk Greidanus (H29) and highest non-European finisher was Scott Miers (NZ8).

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Result: 391 – 515 – 2 – 21 – 55 – 97 – 33 – 249 – 288 – H29 – 259

Photo Colin Casserley

Photo Colin Casserley

Stephen Cording

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