Belle Vue – 27th May 2013 – Meeting Report

Man of the meeting 388 Paul Ford, seen with 457 Scott Chambers.  [CH]

Man of the meeting 388 Paul Ford, seen with 457 Scott Chambers. [CH]

The prospect of World Qualifying points attracted a larger than usual entry to Belle Vue, with the entry boosted by overseas visitors Harmen Zwerver (H195) and Daniel van Spijker (H231), all the way from The Netherlands.

It was Spijker’s first visit to the track, and of the two, he had the most success. But it was another non-Englishman who did most of the winning, that being Paul Ford (388), from St Boswells in Scotland, who followed up a Consolation win with a stunning drive to take the final.

The track was dampened down prior to the first heat, which meant a tricky racing surface. The opening laps were general carnage, with the cars struggling for grip they bounced off the fence and each other in equal measure. It all came to a head after when Richard Howard (171) attempted to climb up the home straight fence and came to a stop broadside across the track, bringing out the waved yellows.

The first of Richard Howard's two attempts at climbing the home straight fence. [CH]

The first of Richard Howard’s two attempts at climbing the home straight fence. [CH]

With most of the field having come to grief at some point or another, it was Tom Harris (84) in the lead for the restart, with Danny Wainman (212) and Mick Sworder (150) next in line, while Lee Fairhurst (1) was at the very back.

Sworder exited in a brush with Harmen Zwerver (H195) and Wainman span out, so with the lap boards out it was Mal Brown (34) up to second, with Fairhurst, who had put in a tremendous drive from the back, rapidly closing in.

It was the last lap when the World Champion felt that he was within striking distance, and he took second place by firmly smacking the 34 car out wide around the pit turn. Up front, Harris had a relatively untroubled run to victory.

198 Nigel Whalley's best result was fourth in the Consolation. [CH]

198 Nigel Whalley’s best result was fourth in the Consolation. [CH]

The track was much drier and faster for Heat 2, but the steady Manchester drizzle was just enough to keep the dust at bay. Ricky Wilson (502) made a determined start, but it was John Dowson (94) that barged his way to the front, with Joe Booth (446) hot on his heels. Dowson was slowed by spinning backmarker Steve Fisher (256) which let Booth get by.

But Booth himself then fell foul of a backmarker; the spun Joe Thompson (386) rejoined the race directly in front of the 446 car and Booth had nowhere to go. A remarkable recovery saw Booth hold on to the lead but Dowson was now right behind him.

A last lap lunge by Dowson put the 94 car sideways, leaving Booth clear to take the win, while Dowson now had Frankie Wainman (515) for company entering the final turn. A big shove put both cars almost into the wires, but in the sprint to the finish line Dowson got the verdict.

377 Jamie Jackson continues to impress. He's up to red grade for June. [CH]

377 Jamie Jackson continues to impress. He’s up to red grade for June. [CH]

A more cautious approach to the Consolation by most drivers led to a quieter race. Paul Ford (388) hit the front early on and was never headed, although second place finisher Craig Finnikin (55) appeared to be getting faster as the race went on.

The waved yellows were out after a few laps of the final due to a spectacular incident on turn three. Carl Swift (245) half spun entering the bend and came to a stop on the inside line, leaving Dylan Williams-Maynard (51) a tight line around the outside. With the chasing pack pushing hard, he had no chance and was unintentionally T-boned against the fence by Dan Johnson (4), whereupon the rest of the field piled in.

Dylan and Dan - going up... [MH]

Dylan and Dan – going up… [MH]

...and coming down. [MH]

…and coming down. [MH]

Dan rolls onto his roof....   [MH]

Dan rolls onto his roof…. [MH]

.... and Dylan lands on top. [MH]

…. and Dylan lands on top. [MH]

Maynard and Johnson went skywards, with the end result being Johnson upside down, and Maynard on top of him and in the fence, with Mark Gilbank (21), Mick Sworder (150), Lee Fairhurst (1) all wedged in as well, with the rest of them managing to extract themselves.

Scott Chambers (457) was at the front for the restart, followed by Wilson, and Wainman (515). It quickly became apparent that Wainman had problems and was visibly struggling to control the car, and got hooked up with first Wilson, then Russell Cooper (415). Ford breezed past, and quickly overhauled Chambers at the front.

502 Ricky Wilson's new car is starting to show promise. [CH]

502 Ricky Wilson’s new car is starting to show promise. [CH]

Finnikin had been held at bay by Wilson for a number of laps but he eased his way past at the halfway stage. A great drive by Wilson but in the closing stages he was relegated down the order a few places.

Chambers went for a last bend hit on John Lund (53) for fifth place but span himself out instead. With bumpers clashing all over the place, Ford did well to keep his cool and stay out of trouble all the way to the flag.

The GN gridded 26 cars, which meant that there was no room for error. It quickly developed into what many consider to be a classic stock car race, with countless individual battles and crashes going on at any given moment. By the time the union flag was shown, the infield and the fence was littered with casualties, and race leader was Lee Fairhurst, having spun Sworder out on the way.

The grid was closed up by waved yellows when Richard Howard gave a repeat performance of his fence-of-death stunt from Heat 1. Fairhurst now had Wainman (515) right on his bumper, but when the race got underway again, neither Frankie, nor anybody else, could match the pace of the number 1 car. The remaining laps were just as frantic as the rest of the race, with Mal Brown firing Danny Wainman wide on the last bend, and Fairhurst taking a comfortable victory.

Or so it seemed. In the excitement of the aftermath, a member of Team Fairhurst who shall remain nameless (let’s just call him Eric Hairfirst) completely forgot to take the car to the scales, and Lee was subsequently disqualified.

Words: Carl Hesketh
Photos: MH = Marvin Hall, PG = Paul Greenwood, CH = Carl Hesketh

The Dylan and Dan incident, as seen from the grandstand. [PG]

The Dylan and Dan incident, as seen from the grandstand. [PG]


Another angle of the big pile up in the Final. [CH]

Another angle of the big pile up in the Final. [CH]


img src=”http://f1stockcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Belle-Vue-27-05-2013-Marvin-Hall-03-590×392.jpg” alt=”Dan rolls onto his roof…. [MH]” width=”590″ height=”392″ class=”size-medium wp-image-31421″ /

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