Belle Vue, 23rd March 2014 – meeting report

The refurbished Danny Wainman car is absolutely stunning, and it goes as well as it looks.

The refurbished Danny Wainman car is absolutely stunning, and it goes as well as it looks.

The first race of the 60th Year Anniversary of BriSCA Stock Cars took place at Belle Vue Stadium on 23rd March. Apart from the start of an important year of celebration of the sports longevity it was also the first showing of the major change of 2014; the introduction of the dual surface American Racer tyre in place of the Goodyears, these new tyres being used on the outside rear and outside front of the cars.

The early meetings are always of interest to the fans being the time when any new or re-furbished cars are on show. Both the cars from the Wainman team of Frankie and Danny were on show; these being last years cars but fully re-furbished by the team with new paint work, Danny also using a new truck transporter for the season. At the other end of the pits was another stunning makeover from Dylan Maynard-Williams, again last year’s car but fully re-furbished with an immaculate paintwork job, the car probably catching a few out as it looked like a new car.

Dylan Williams-Maynard's reworked car.

Dylan Williams-Maynard’s reworked car.

New to the F1 scene for 2014 were 24 Mark Adkins, an ex F2 driver who did his pre-race laps for the scrutineers and also 220 Will Hunter with a new transporter. Will is the son of Warren Hunter (ex 20) who raced in the late 80s, early 90s who had a few outings on tar last year in an ex Dan Johnson car, but we think this was his first outing on the loose stuff.

The 496 car of Neil Holcroft (Wainman chassis) had also had a new makeover as had the car of 435 Ricky Finney who is getting some help from Dan Johnson and the MVS team. Late decision racer and not booked in on the Drivers List was 55 Craig Finnikin in last year’s car which apart from new nerf rails and bumpers appeared to have had not much more done to it apart from a quick wash, having said that a new car is soon on the way from Craig.

Problems for Hayley Parkinson on her first meeting for a while.

Problems for Hayley Parkinson on her first meeting for a while.

A welcome return to F1 was also 54 Hayley Parkinson in the old car used late last year also at Belle Vue.

With a very busy race schedule for the afternoon (Bangers, Ministox and F2) and 26 cars in attendance the race schedule was an all in 2 heat, Final and Grand National format.

Heat 1 saw both 220 Hunter and 24 Adkins start at the rear of the pack . At the start early spinners were 238 Richard Bryan and also 462 Scott Davids and 322 James Neachell also tangling together and by the end of the first lap 135 James Bailey was leading, 54 Hayley Parkinson having to retire to the centre green.

Lap 3 saw 515 Frankie Wainman come to a halt and on lap 4 newcomer Hunter was leading from a very quick 276 Mark Poole. By lap 7 Poole had taken the lead from 51 Maynard and Finnikin third before the yellows were out for the stranded cars of 238 Richard Bryan and 183 Steve Whittle on turns 3 and 4.

Problems for Frankie in the opening heat.

Problems for Frankie in the opening heat.

At the re-start it was Poole from Maynard and Finnikin with 435 Finney fourth with the 276 car of Poole making a rapid start, if anything Mark looked the quickest car on track with some very wide lines into and out of the bends and was pulling away but alas the wide lines got the better of him on lap 10 when he clipped to turn 2 fence and came to an abrupt halt.

At the closing stages the 55 Finnikin car was reeling in the car of Maynard in the lead and with two laps to go Maynard was slowed by 496 Neil Holcroft into turn 3, Finnikin pushing the car aside but Maynard kept the power on into the next bend and re-took the lead on turns3/4 which he held to the lead.

With no casualties from Heat 1, the second heat of the meeting saw again a full grid on a freshly watered track with again Adkins and Hunter choosing to start at the rear of the grid. The 435 car of Ricky Finney was pushed to centre before the flag and 54 parkinson retiring to the infield on the parade lap. The front runners of heat 1, Poole and Maynard came a cropper on lap 1 tangling with the 463 James Morris car and by lap 3 the 321 car of Ed Neachell spinning on the turn 3 bend whilst Hayley Parkinson had managed to re-join from the centre.

Neil Holcroft and Mark Adkins take a trip to the wires.

Neil Holcroft and Mark Adkins take a trip to the wires.

Out in front at this stage was Internet favourite Nigel Harrhy from 322 James Neachell and the 55 car of Finnikin, on turns 3 and 4 the cars of 496 Neil Holdcroft and 24 Adkins had stopped and remained there. At the halfway stage Finnikin pushed Neachell aside for the lead while 215 Geoff Nicholls hit the pit gate fence on turn 3 hard coming to a stand still. With 5 laps to go the yellows were out for what appeared to be the stranded Nicholls car, Geoff had given the usual thumbs up but a piece of the pit gate fence retainer had come loose and was in Geoff`s cab, this bit needing to be retrieved to repair the fence!

At the re-start Harrhy needed to be pushed to the infield with brake issues and Finnikin held onto the lead to the flag from 322 and 16 Matt Newson.

The final could only be described as action all the way and difficult to follow from a reporters point of view. The pack got away cleanly for the first 2 laps but by lap 3 there was trouble on the turn 4 bend with about 6 cars involved including the very rapid Finnikin who was span out on the straight, Finnikin re-joining but retiring later with a broken half shaft.

Nigel Harrhy had managed to come through it and was in the lead but taking very wide lines with again brake issues. Further back amongst the star men there was an epic battle with Newson from Frankie and Danny Wainman and on lap 5 Frankie went for the Newson car going into turn 1, the slippy track catching both out, Newson going into the fence sideways followed by the 515 car where they remained till the end.

Impressive results for newcomer Will Hunter.

Impressive results for newcomer Will Hunter.

By halfway 322 Neachell was leading from the struggling for brakes Harrhy with the 212 car of Danny Wainman who had managed to avoid a lot of the trouble, Danny overcoming the 45 car before the end for second from Harrhy in third. The parade lap saw a very pleased Nigel Harrhy receiving the crowds reception but after a post race enquiry the 45 car was demoted to fourth, the place being given to 220 Will Hunter, a remarkable finish on his first shale final.

The Grand National saw a depleted 18 car grid but the Finnikin team had managed a half shaft repair, Newson was also back out after repairs and Frankie Wainman after some front nerf welding repairs care of the Scott Davids team welder.

On the first lap it was again Mark Poole who got away to a rapid start and took the lead whilst further back it was again a Newson battle with the two Wainmans. By lap 3 Newson attempted a hit on the 515 back bumper on turn 3 but Wainman kept a wide line but after a run down the staright Newson took a do or die lunge at the Wainman back bumper, the 515 car again taking a wide line but going into the fence sideways and bouncing out whilst Newson had no-where to go hitting the pit gate fence head on at almost full speed, both cars remaining there till the end. Finnikin was again looking rapid but hooked up with 169 Billy Johnson on turns 2 but managing to re-join.

At the halfway stage it was 276 Poole still leading from 238 Richard Bryan and 463 James Morris but with Danny Wainman moving quickly in 6th place. By the start of the last lap the 212 car had caught up and pushed the Poole and Morris cars aside on turns 4 before taking a well deserved chequered flag.

John Riley was well on the pace all meeting.

John Riley was well on the pace all meeting.

Words: Andy Armer
Photos: Carl Hesketh

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