Andy Smith Wins 2006 World Final

Andy Smith (391) Win's 2006 World Final at Coventry.

Andy Smith (391) Win's 2006 World Final at Coventry.

Andy Smith proved to be untouchable as he recorded an emphatic victory in the 2006 World Championship Final. Smith led from start to finish, and was quite simply a class apart from the opposition. But it was Frankie Wainman Junior who provided much of the interest, and offered a drive on par with Smith’s to come from the very back of the grid to finish second. Wainman finished about half a lap behind Smith, which was about the same distance as at the start of the race, which begs the question as to what would have happened had they both started at the front.

Smith took an immediate lead when the green dropped, while John Lund tucked in behind. Ed Neachell became the first casualty when he span, and Henk-Jan Ronitz (H240) clattered the fence. At the end of the first lap, Smith, Lund, and Yarrow were bumper to bumper, while at the rear of the grid Frankie Wainman Junior had made a lightning start and was already almost a third of the way through the field due to some deft use of the bumper. Paul Hines smacked Lee Robinson wide, while Mark Gilbank span.

Up front, Smith was now opening up a lead, while Lund still had Yarrow sitting on his back bumper. The Wainman bumper went in again, this time to shift Mark Keeling and Dave Schaap, with the H007 car spinning on impact. Peter Falding was also dishing it out, Craig Utley being on the receiving end.

Lund was now starting to pull away from Yarrow, but already it was looking like, barring disaster, Smith was uncatchable. Wainman now went past Mal Brown and was now in the top half of the grid. Lund lost time when he tangled on turn four and rejoined the race behind Yarrow. The 53 car was quickly past the 22 machine, but was now about a quarter of a lap behind Smith. Wainman was now in eighth place and behind Steve Cayzer. Also moving up the places was Stu Smith, who moved Paul Hines wide with a firm hit. Hines came back at Smith a few laps later, but Smith held on.

Wainman then went past Hines, while up front Andy Smith was increasing his lead. Yarrow dropped down the order after a brush with the fence, while Ray Witts span. With six laps remaining, Wainman caught and passed Stu Smith without any drama, and a lap later the number 1 car’s front bumper shifted Robinson, as Dean Hawkins (AUS43) hit the fence big time.

Lund nudged backmarker Dale Ewars going into turn three, but the NZ14 car turned into Lund’s path, and the 53 car clambered all over the inside front wheel of the Ewars car and was taken to the infield. Lund rejoined, but he was now down the order with a flat outside front tyre.

After running in second place for most of the race, Lund ended in ninth, with Wainman second, a remarkable drive from the back of the grid. Stu Smith joined brother Andy on the podium, and expressed relief at actually finishing a World Final.

Results:
1st 391 Andy Smith
2nd 515 Frankie Wainman Junior
3rd 390 Stu Smith
4th 107 Lee Robinson
5th 380 Steve Cayzer
6th 259 Paul Hines
7th 2 Paul Harrison
8th 22 Will Yarrow
9th 53 John Lund
10th 97 Murray Harrison
11th 21 Mark Gilbank
12th 33 Peter Falding

Carl Hesketh.

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