Belle Vue, 29th August 2016 – Meeting Report and Photo Gallery

With the limited number of cars one might expect at a meeting only days before the World Final, a two-thirds format was adopted at Belle Vue.

Heat 1 saw 18 cars emerge from the pits, including New Zealander Phil Ogle (NZ282) in the ex-Dylan Williams-Maynard car. Ogle was getting some practice in before the World Final weekend. Jack France (216) hit the front at the drop of the green, while Luke Dennis (192) was an early spinner. The slippery track conditions caught out more than a few drivers; with 515, 166 and 445 tangling on the home straight.

515 re-joined the race and set off after the leaders. Back at the front, 216 was extending his lead over Tom Boyer (28) and Ricky Wilson (502). New Zealander Ogle was going well, showing he’d soon got to grips with both the car and track. By half way, 515 was into second and, as the lap boards came out, he caught and passed France for the lead, which he held until the chequered. Jack France held onto second and 502 crossed the line in third.

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Phil Ogle practising for the World Final weekend

16 cars for Heat 2, which was led away by Aaron Cozens (76) and Michael Heywood (424). 424 was the early leader, while Mal Brown (34) spun on the back straight. Austin Moore (127) and Karl Roberts (313) tangled and hit the fence in front of the starter. The caution was called for to remove cars 34 and 342, who’d come together on the home straight. Problems for Nigel Green meant he needed to be pushed onto the infield before the restart.

Joff Gibson led away the 12-car restart, with Mark Poole (276) in second and Will Hunter (220) third. 94 challenged 183 for position down the back straight but was then punted wide by 220, with Frankie Wainman Jnr Jnr (555) in the Jon Horne (19) car also in the mix. Moore went for another spin as the half distance flag came out for the 249 car. Joff Gibson remained in control as the laps wound down, crossing the line ahead of Hunter and Dowson.

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Will Hunter and Mark Poole in Heat 2.

Heat 3 saw NZ282 on track again; this time lining up with the blue graders. John Brown (134) and 216 led them around for the start, with France once again taking up the front running at the flag. Thomas Stephenson (75) went hard into the pit bend fence, while Brown (134) briefly took over the lead. FWJJ spun and tangled with his dad while John Dowson retired with a flat tyre.
By now Cozens was out front, with France and Smith (293) behind him. 515 and 212 were moving through the field, as was Heat 2 winner Gibson.

Two cars, including NZ282 went straight into the wires on the home straight. Gibson moved into second just before the half way stage. The lap boards came out and disaster struck for leader 76 as he tangled with the 75 car while trying to pass him. This promoted Gibson to the top spot and more spinners moved FWJ into second.

With 2 laps left to run the race order was 249, 515, 220 and 212. Dennis spun off onto the back straight infield, catching out Hunter in the process. Gibson had a commanding lead, but 515 had 212 right on his bumper. Trying to move past his big brother, 212 tangled with 515, putting them both into the fence on the last bend. FWJ re-joined but Danny was left stuck in the wires. Gibson took his second win of the day, ahead of Hunter and Poole.

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Danny Wainman takes himself and brother Frankie into the fence.

The 20-car Final was led away by 134 and 342, with Brown taking the immediate lead. There was an early pile up on the pit bend, which included cars 502, 75, 4, 94 and 276. 76 passed 134 for the lead on the scoreboard bend, while further down the order 445 spun off into the fence, losing a place to 515. Early leader 134 bounced off a marker tyre in turn 3 and was collected by Chris and Eliot Smith.  Yellow flags were soon needed to the clear cars from the heap on the entrance to the third bend.

The leaders at the restart were 313, 249, 220, 515 and 198. Roberts got a good start, while Gibson spun, allowing Hunter though into second. The 220 car took the lead going down the back straight, while 515 moved inside of 313 to take second. 198, 28, 555 and 75 tangled, almost blocking the track just before half race distance. 220 was slowed up by backmarkers, giving 515 a chance to catch him. The bumper went in, but Wainman slid wide himself. FWJ passed Hunter as the lap boards came out and remained in the lead for the closing stages, taking the win ahead of Hunter and Roberts.

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A comfortable win for Wainman in the final

14 cars emerged for the Grand National, with 515 taking the lap handicap. The lead car was lone white-top Cozens from 293 in second and 75 in third. 94 was making his way through the field. Bobby Griffin hit a marker tyre, catching out 28 and 555 in the process. FWJJ was stuck mid-track, bringing out the caution.

The order at the restart was 76, 276, 75, 293 and 94. John Dowson was soon in third and, at half way, had hit the front. Brown passed Smith for third, but 94 was way ahead as the 5-lap board came out. 515 was up to fourth but looked unlikely to catch Brown. After a battle with 445, the 212 car went into the tyres, taking Smith (293) with him. 515 was charging towards the top three but tangled with 276 right at the very end of the race, leaving a comfortable win for John Dowson ahead of 34 and 445.

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John Dowson and Mal Brown made their way to the front in the Grand National

Words: Rhosanna Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley

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