Belle Vue – November 11th 2012 Meeting Overview

the cars of the Shootout six pre-meeting. Photo Colin Casserley

The final round of the National Points Championship Shoot Out was staged at Belle Vue on Sunday 11th November, and Tom Harris added the silver to an already multi-coloured aerofoil.

Mick Sworder 150 at speed. Photo Carl Hesketh

However, on the day it looked like it was going to be a Mick Sworder whitewash. The 150 car won both heats and the GN with ease, and was clear leader in the final until the typical Sworder panache ruffled one feather too many, and back marker Neil Shenton launched Sworder firmly into the fence. This was arguably the defining moment in the chase for the silver roof, as it gifted the lead to Tom Harris who went on to win. It was not so much the additional points that made the difference, but that it meant Harris started the GN race from the front, with a clear track ahead of him and needing only to finish to be sure of the title.

On the other hand, Frankie Wainman Junior’s low finish in the final, due to Harris spinning him at the start, would need a very high place in the GN as well as a non-finish from Harris.

It didn’t happen. Wainman visibly gave it his all in the GN, but while Harris carefully worked his way around staying out of trouble, the 515 car was out of luck and a mid-race collision punctured the outside front tyre.

That was how Tom Harris became the 2012 National Points Champion, but before the meeting started it could have gone to any one of four drivers. Apart from Harris and Wainman, Craig Finnikin and Dan Johnson were also mathematically in reach, and both were up for it.

Johnson placed fourth in Heat one, and then finished second to the flying Sworder in Heat Three.

Finnikin took a heat win ahead of Wainman, and it has to be said that the 55 car’s front bumper got a lot more use than is usual for the normally cool and measured driver.

Wainman wasn’t shy with the bumper either, and dealt with Harris early on in one of the heats, piling the 84 car into the fence with a heap of others.

But for all the big hits, it was a couple of gentle nudges that sealed the title. When the green dropped at the start of the final, Finnikin was hit sideways by Wainman; the impact sending the 515 car slightly off line and just the slightest tap was all Harris needed to spin Wainman out of contention.

Carl Hesketh

James Morris 463 charges to the front. Photo Colin Casserley

Paul Harrison 2 and Craig Finnikin 55. Photo Colin Casserley

John Lund 53 in the fence – the yellow flag is for a fence post. Photo Carl Hesketh

Frankie Wainman Jnr 515 and Dan Johnson 4. Photo Colin Casserley

Tom Harris 84 and Craig Finnikin 55. Photo Colin Casserley

Mick Sworder 150 and James Morris 463. Photo Colin Casserley

Craig Finnikin 55 goes in for the attack on Frankie Wainman Jnr 515. Photo Colin Casserley

Matt Newson 16 and Dan Johnson 4. Photo Colin Casserley

Tom Harris 84 and Mick Sworder 150. Photo Colin Casserley

Mick Sworder 150 and Neil Shenton 35. Photo Colin Casserley

Dan Johnson 4 gets spun by Mal Brown 34. Photo Colin Casserley

Craig Finnikin 55 and Mick Sworder 150 battle for the lead. Photo Colin Casserley

Matt Newson 16 showers sparks. Photo Colin Casserley

Tom Harris 84 finishes with a flat tyre. Photo Colin Casserley

new National Points Champion Tom Harris 84. Photo Colin Casserley

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