Belle Vue – November 13th 2011 Final and Grand National Report

the F1 stock car final was led away by the restored Stu Bamforth 3 Challenger. Photo Paul Tully

The Shootout drivers line up for the Final. Photo Paul Tully

After the tactical heats, (report can be read HERE) anticipation was high for an action packed final. Before the Final retiree Dave Berresford 260 completed a lap of honour with his Goodbye from Dave Bezz wing lit up with fairy lights (article HERE). Just over twenty cars contested the BriSCA F1 stock car shootout finale with Richard Bryan pulling off onto the very boggy infield before the start.

Dutch F1 stock car driver Bouwe Arjen Hiddinga 17 finds the wires. Photo Colin Casserley

Ryan Harrison was the first shootout driver to pull away while Andy Smith dealt with Bouwe Arjen Hiddinga. Craig Finnikin surged forwards with the luckless duo of Matt Newson 16 and Tom Harris 84 in their strive for points tangled together spinning to the cusp of the infield on turn four.

the Shootout drivers charge into the bend. Photo Paul Tully

shootout competitors Tom Harris 84 and Matt Newson 16 go out. Photo Paul Tully

Michael Scriven 12 and Mark Poole 276 were hooked together trying to free themselves when Ryan Harrison fired into them and the limping duo, along with Neil Shenton 35 were fired forcefully to the fence. The yellows were shown with Mike Williamson 111 leading the field away with Finnikin nestled neatly behind Smith. Finnikin got straight into Smith at the flag as shootout driver Dan Johnson took in a spin.

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Craig Finnikin 55 gets straight into Andy Smith 391. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 Shootout competitor Dan Johnson 4 goes into a spin in the final. Photo Paul Tully

Frankie Wainman jnr dealt Joe Booth a bumper hit as the shootout drivers in a quest for fifty final winning points flew towards the flag. Finnikin and Smith continued speeding to the flag as they approached the halfway mark and Wainman jnr loomed ever nearer. Ryan was in no mood to wait, firing Scott Davids 462 into the turn three fence as Wainman jnr moved in for the kill on Smith as Finnikin broke away.

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Andy Smith 391 pressurises Frankie Wainman jnr 515. Photo Paul Tully

Smith stayed with Wainman jnr, pressuring him, leaning into his side half spinning him but Wainman quickly straightened himself with Smith still on his tail.

BriSCA F1 stock car drivers Andy Smith 391 and Frankie Wainman jnr 515 neck and neck. Photo Colin Casserley

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Nigel Harrhy 45 clobbers the backstraight fence. Photo Colin Casserley

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Nigel Harrhy 45 clobbers the backstraight fence. Photo Paul Tully

Out front, Finnikin was tearing toward the flag when Nigel Harrhy 45 clobbered the back straight fence hard, tipping onto his side while Smith leaned on Wainman hard, with Wainman jnr skimming the wires on the last bend before powering out to take second, behind the winner the flying Finnikin.

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Craig Finnikin 55 on his way to the final win. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Andy Smith 391 pressurises Frankie Wainman jnr 515. Photo Paul Tully

The shootout went down to the wire, with Finnikin taking his lap handicap in front of the white grade. With quadruple points on offer for Finnikin if he made the top ten, plus a ten point bonus for finishing, it was possible to leapfrog Wainman jnr for the win. For Dan Johnson, if he finished well and neither Finnikin or Frankie Wainman did, it was still possible he could sneak through from third to first.

Unfortunately for Frankie Wainman jnr, at the green, a short game of cat and mouse ensued with Johnson, with the pair appearing to slow up coming out of turn two and going up the backstraight side by side. Wainman jnr took the decision to pass Johnson and as soon as he did, Johnson latched onto his rear and floored it, following Frankie into the fence with the two bouncing out, with Wainman bouncing out into a half spin with Johnson clattering in. Wainman reversed into the fence, appearing to attempt to take Johnson out of the race at the same time. With his race over all Frankie could do was sit, watch and wait and hope that neither Finnikin nor Johnson would get a decent finish and earn enough points to overhaul him.

BriSCA F1 Shootout driver Dan Johnson 4 ensures rival Frankie Wainman jnr 515 does not finish. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 Shootout driver Dan Johnson 4 ensures rival Frankie Wainman jnr 515 does not finish. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 Shootout driver Dan Johnson 4 ensures rival Frankie Wainman jnr 515 does not finish. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 Shootout driver Dan Johnson 4 ensures rival Frankie Wainman jnr 515 does not finish. Photo Paul Tully

As the race continued, down the other end Joe Booth walloped into Tom Harris, sending him skidding out to connect with Matt Newson, with the 16 machine flying into the fence, his race over. Booth, sliding out also joined him, while Harris continued on his way, taking up the opportunity to plough Ryan Harrison into the stricken Newson machine shortly after.

Craig Finnikin was charging up the field and was soon well into the places. Lower grader Nigel Whalley 198 swept to the Grand National victory but all eyes were on Craig Finnikin as he obliterated his opposition and swept to the chequered flag in sixth to be the proud new owner of the National Points Shootout silver roof. On leaving his stranded stock car Frankie Wainman jnr 515 was one of the first on the scene to shake Craig’s hand in congratulations.

Great sportsmanship from Frankie Wainman jnr 515 as Craig Finnikin 55 takes the Shootout. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 stock car Shootout winner Craig Finnikin 55 celebrates his victory. Photo Colin Casserley

BriSCA F1 stock car Shootout winner Craig Finnikin 55 celebrates his victory. Photo Paul Tully

Winner of the Grading Points Tom Harris 84 congratulates Shootout winner Craig Finnikin 55. Photo Paul Tully

the National Points Shootout competitors headed by winner Craig Finnikin 55. Photo Paul Tully

the Finnikin family and team celebrate. Photo Paul Tully

Ailsa Haigh

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