Belle Vue, 6th April 2015 – Meeting Report and Photo Gallery

After the Friday Skegness and Saturday Coventry meetings, it was back to the familiar Bank Holiday meeting at Belle Vue, on a sunny and dry day, which saw a healthy 29 cars in attendance; leading to a two thirds running format. Before the meeting 202 Henry Hunter did his 5 laps to satisfy the stewards in Will’s car and looked mighty impressive for first time out.

Heat 1 had a grid of 18 cars and it was not long before 313 Karl Roberts and 424 Michael Heywood had a coming together on the first bend. By lap 2, 51 Dylan Williams-Maynard had hit the front, followed by 463 James Morris, from Nigel Whalley (198), Mal Brown (34) and a rapid-starting Frankie Wainman Junior (515). By lap 6 Wainman had moved to 4th spot and, as the half way flag was waved, bumpered Mal Brown aside for third. Dylan, who has been on the pace recently, was not having it all his own way this time, with 463 Morris pushing the 51 car wide on turn 1 to take the lead on lap 10. This was a lead which he held to the end, with Wainman sneaking up the inside of the 51 car for second spot as the last lap board was being shown.

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Dylan Williams-Maynard in Heat 1.

Heat 2 saw the track watered prior to the racing, with again 18 cars starting; including 202 Hunter and 422 Ben Riley at the back. Roger Bailey (165) led off and took the lead for the first couple of laps, with 150 Mick Sworder flying through the field followed by 217 Lee Fairhurst behind. Mick looked impressive, hitting 4th spot on the second lap but, alas, his enthusiasm was his downfall having to retire with outside front bumper damage and a locked outside front wheel.

Fairhurst then hit the front on lap 5, before spinning on turn 3, letting 55 Craig Finnikin through, with 16 Mat Newson behind.  The 217 car dropped to fourth behind John Lund. These were the lead positions at half way with the cars of Maynard and 238 Richard Bryan stranded on the turn 2 fence. With 4 to go, Newson fired the Finnikin car into the turn 3 bend, collecting the 238 car giving him the lead from Lund now in second, Fairhurst third and the 55 car recovering to finish in fourth spot.

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John Lund and Lee Fairhurst battling for position in Heat 2.

The third heat had the track being well watered prior to racing, which led to a slippery start. The cars of 313 Roberts and 424 Heywood spinning on turns 2 and being collected by Mal Brown, who quickly recovered. The 84 car of Tom Harris span and could not get going. On lap 3 the yellows were out for the stranded 313 car, with Tom Harris retiring to the centre.

At the re-start, it was 293 Eliot Smith, who has looked very controlled this season, from 165 Roger Bailey and John Lund, who was in third. Soon after the re-start, 198 Whalley drifted wide and slammed into the turn 3 fence; soon being joined by 134 John Brown. By lap 6, the evergreen Lund had hit the front, to the delight of the 53 fans, after bumpering the Eliot Smith car aside, Smith then returning the compliment on the next lap by planting a hit on the 53 back bumper, spinning Lund into the parked Whalley car. The Smith car, then rapidly dropping down the field, let Mal Brown through from 16 Newson and Rob Speak in third. Brown held the lead until the last lap, when Newson planted a hit on the 34 car sending him into the now-battered 198 car of Nigel Whalley, letting Speak through for second and Paul Harrison in third spot.

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Heat 3 winner Mat Newson

The Final saw an all-in grid, but with a few earlier casualties that meant 24 cars starting. 152 Neil Scothern and 215 Geoff Nickolls were early casualties, spinning on turn 3, whilst further back Craig Finnikin was spun out by Tom Harris on turn 2; with Paul Harrison and Mat Newson also coming croppers at the same time, Harrison retiring to the centre green. At the front, it was again Eliot Smith with Internet favourite Nigel Harrhy in second spot and Sworder in third. Mat Newson had picked up damage, the brace sticking in the air and requiring the blag flag. Unfortunately, a miscommunication from the stewards’ box – and the fact both Mat’s and Lee Fairhurst’s cars looking almost identical – led to the 217 car being black flagged in error, with Lee retiring to the centre green, whilst Newson only retired four laps later.

Up front, Nigel Harrhy had hit the top spot, getting past Eliot Smith. He held the lead for a couple of laps before drifting wide and letting Sworder through – even though the 150 had not been gaining on the 45 car. John Lund was now in second from Rob Speak and Frankie Wainman Junior fourth. Speak soon passed the 53 car with Wainman following. This was the way they remained til the last lap, when a tap from the 53 bumper allowed Lund through to third spot, with Speak second and Sworder winning the race by some distance. The parade lap was done aboard the 53 Green Machine whilst Rob’s mechanic took the 318 car back, missing the scales while going past the track exit. Therefore, Speak was disqualified, putting Lund into the second spot from Danny Wainman in third.

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Mick Sworder took his first final win of 2015.

The Grand National saw another fine drive from 51 Dylan Williams-Maynard, who hit the front after passing Eliot Smith. Again, the John Lund car was on the pace and came home again in second spot, from Tom Harris in third. Further back, a fine tussle was going on between the cars of Mal Brown, Craig Finnikin, Paul Harrison and Frankie Wainman Junior to round off another excellent day’s bank holiday racing at the tight Belle Vue track.

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Superstars Finnikin, Wainman and Harrison battling for position.

Words: Andy Armer
Photos: Colin Casserley

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