Belle Vue, 21st April 2014 – meeting report and photo gallery

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Dave Willis puts the bumper in on Frankie and Rob to retake the lead.

The second Startrax fixture meeting of the weekend following Stoke took place at Belle Vue on the Bank Holiday Monday with a slightly depleted grid of 29 cars in attendance, leading to a three heat format with a two thirds format being run in the heats.

Following the engine failure of the 515 car at Stoke Frankie was in the loaned Neil Holdcroft 496 car for the meeting whilst 337 Dave Willis arrived with two cars for the meeting although Dave was only to race in one. The car Dave raced in for the meeting was the old 2007 Tarmac car which saw action in 2008 but with an engine failure then sat idle for a while gathering dust. Dave`s had a few cars since then, the other car which arrived being the ex Jim Bamford car which was sold over the winter to a Dutch driver this being collected at the Belle Vue meeting by its new owner. The new owner is going the register as H337 in Holland so saving on signwriting and as part of the deal the shale wing with 337 on being thrown in on the deal, hence Dave racing the 2007 car at the Vue with the Tar wing fitted.

Heat 1 saw a grid of 15 cars with 220 Will Hunter leading off the race. At the ends of lap one Hunter was leading from Willis, 502 Richard Wilson and 45 Nigel Harrhy but further back Rob Spaeak and Frankie Wainman were making rapid progress. At lap 3 Wainman went up the insiede of the Speak car at turns 1/2, Speak returning the compliment on the next corner by nudging the 515 aside and re-taking the position. Up font Dave Willis was now in the lead with Wilson in second place but by the halfway stage it was Willis with a generous lead from Speak with Wainman never far from the rear bumper of the 318 car.

With 3 laps to go and the Willis car being impeded by backmarkers Speak went up the inside of the 337 car on turns 3/4 with Wainman following through but Dave is not one to give up and on the next bend went for a well aimed pot on the 515 car, sending the Wainman car into the back bumper of Speak, Speak spinning into the fence backwards with Wainman behind him. Wainman recovered quiclkly with Speak taking more time, the final result being Willis taking the chequered from Wainman and Speak 3rd.

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The aftermath of Dave Willis’ big bumper hit.

Heat 2 had a healthier grid of 23 cars including 444 Paul Jay Lemons starting at the back with the black novice cross. A very well presented car in all white it is an ex John Cayzer car with substantial re-work being done by Wayne Helliwell Racing and Pauls dad, the paintwork being done by Pauls Dad, race maintenance being done by Paul and Wayne. It appears Paul has raced F2 and on grass before so we will see how he goes in the F1`s.

306 Ian Noden led off the pack and was soon leading with 463 James Morris spinning on the first bend along with the 444 car who did a few pirouettes for the crowd in his first outing. By lap 4 Noden was leading from 238 Richard Bryon, 215 Geeof Nicholls and the star men of 55, 515, 1 , and 16. The following lap Nicholls spun Bryon out on turn 1 for second spot whilst Frankie Wainman nudged Finnikin aside on turn 3 for 3rd. A couple of laps later Nicholls took the lead from Noden with the star men following through with Finnikin constantly nudging at the Wainman rear bumper and Tom Harris not far behind.

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Ian Noden made a rare visit to Manchester.

By lap 13 Finnikin managed to sneak up the inside of the 515 car on turns 1 and 2 and Tom Harris did the same on the next bend to get into second spot, further back Johson and Newson were exchanging a few taps for 5th and 6th behind Nicholls. On the final lap Finnikin had enough space but Harris perhaps sensing a Wainman attack drifted wide on turn 1 letting the Wainman car through for second from Harris third and Blue Grader Nicholss fourth.

Heat 3 was a lively race from the start with a grid of 23 cars. Early spinners were 41 Robert Broome and 463 Morris on turns 4 whilst a couple of laps later a collection of cars ended up in a pile up on turns 3 and 4 including Harrhy, Noden, 276 Mark Poole, 207 Ben Hurdman and Nicholls, this car park proving troublesome with 462 Scott Davids , 312 Ed Neachell and 238 Bryan all joing the party within a couple of laps.

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Problems for Ricky Wilson.

Most got going but the yellows were thrown for the Hurdman car which could not get going under its own steam. On the re-start it was 337 Willis from 502 Richard Wison, Speak and 22 Will Yarrown in fourth. By halfway Speak was leading from Willis, further back Finnikin, Newson, Dan Johnson, Harris and Mal Brown were exchanging blows, the first victims being the car of Harris who felt the front Bumper of the 34 Mal brown car, both cars ending in the fence but getting going. Places remained similar to the finish with Speak coming home leader from Willis and Finnikin in third and yarrow who had exchanged blows with Dan Johson for a couple of laps finishing fourth.

The final started out on a watered track but was soon to dry out as the race progressed. Early spinner on lap 1 was 238 Richard Bryan on turn 1 with the 55 Finnikin car clipping the back and spinning but soon getting going whilst Mark Poole also succumbed to the fence but re-joined. Exiting turn 2 the Frankie Wainman car span sideways being collected by Dan Johson car on the side rail – it looked likely both may remain there a while until 91 Tony Smith kindly clouted the Wainman front bumper exiting the bend allowing the 515 and 4 cars to re-join, in the meantime the 318 Speak car retired to the centre green.

This bend was proving somewhat of a problem with the Mark Poole and 321 Ed Neachell cars hooking up in front of the pit exit gate, leaving a very narrow line. With both cars unable to move the yellows were out as 502 Wilson had also joined the party. On the re-start it was 463 James Morris from Will Yarrow, Paul Hunter, Newsom and Tom Harris. By lap eight Tom Harris took over second from Newson and 4 laps later had taken a fast moving Morris for the lead. Further back Newsom had overhauled the 22 Yarrow car for third and was soon chasing down the Morris car but it was the last bend before he overhauled the 463 car for second from a very commanding drive by the very rapid Tom Harris with Dan Johson coming fourth.

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Top three in the final.

The Grand National saw long time leader in the final James Morris spin out with 276 Poole early on in the race on turns 3 and 4 whilst luck deserted Rob Speak yet again spinning backwards into turn 3 and soon after retiring to the infield. By lap 2 though it was shale man Mal Brown that took up the lead and with the cars of 515, 16, 53 and 22 exchanging bumper behind drove off into a comfortable lead. Craig Finnikin had settled himself into second place but was not gaining on the car of Brown who if anything was getting faster and with 5 laps to go the 55 car retired to the in-field leaving Frankie Wainman to come in second place from Tom Harris who had been on the pace all night finishing third from the lap handicap and John Lund in fourth.

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