Belle Vue – November 15th 2009, World of Shale Finale Race Report

Photo courtesy of Colin Casserley

Photo courtesy of Colin Casserley

The World Of Shale Championship was staged at Belle Vue on a cold but clear Sunday afternoon in November, and Andy Smith added another title to his already extensive collection. The race gridded the top twenty available points scorers, although James Neachell (322) was a non-starter with mechanical problems.

The green dropped as they rounded turn three, with Wainman making a determined start and driving across the front of Booth and pushing the 446 car wide. This dropped Booth back a few places, but going into the next bend, he launched Neil Shenton (35) into Smith (1). As they complete the first lap, it was Wainman leading, from Ford, Mark Poole (276), and Smith, but Poole then span himself out in turn two.

Booth then got tangled up with Ed Neachell (321) and Danny Wainman (212) as they came out of turn two, with the 212 and 446 cars T-boning Neachell into the back straight fence. Booth was quick to restart, but within a lap or two, he was in trouble again, this time with a wildly optimistic lunge up the inside of Steve Jacklin (136), which resulted in the 446 car climbing over the Jacklin inside front wheel and onto the bonnet, with both of them then crashing into the fence, where they remained.

Wainman was still leading, but Ford was slowly but surely closing the gap, and as they reached half-distance Ford was almost sat on Wainman’s back bumper, but appeared to be biding his time before making a move. In his haste to keep ahead, Wainman fired backmarker Dave Russo (49) into the turn one fence. After a slow start, Smith was now making up ground and shifting backmarkers every bend in a way that meant business; James Clement (158) got probably the biggest hit. Wainman was now behind Russo again, and applied the bumper as they rounded turn two. This span Russo out of contention, but slowed Wainman enough for Ford to close right up.

Ford now felt that the moment was right, and in a perfectly timed manoeuvre he shoved Wainman into the parked 446 and 136 cars. Textbook stuff, but he then faltered before putting the power on, which allowed Smith to get a lot closer. With a heap of cars in the turn one fence, a loose marker tyre on the edge of the track, and the World and British Champion not far behind him, it would perhaps be unfair to class it as an unforced mistake, but Ford then went too fast into turn one and put himself backwards into the wires. This gifted the lead, and the win, to Smith, although both Wainman and Ford recovered from their earlier mishaps to place second and third.

Carl Hesketh

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