Birmingham – October 17th 2009 Meeting Report


The BriSCA F1s returned to their finest tarmac action venue at Birmingham Wheels Raceway on October 17th with just shy of 45 cars making the trip. The only Shootout drivers absent were 16 Matt Newson due to injury and 259 Paul Hines who was unwell, with 129 Steve Lewin campaigning Matt’s ex Billy-Tom O’Connor tarmac car. The entry also included former F2 man 85 Iain Holden in 393 Dave Plumbley’s car, a welcome return for 170 Mark Helliwell and 103 Richard Masterson’s father Jack racing his son’s car under number 193. It was a profitable night for 390 Stuart Smith, who extended his Shootout points lead with a heat and Final double.

22 cars lined up for heat one including four Shootout contenders, plus 193 Jack Masterson and 369 Steve Boyd starting from novice grade. The white graders were able to gain a break from the drop of the green after Holden’s car slowed from the off and delayed those behind, while 143 Adam Bamford led with 37 Chris Cowley landing the first big hit on 464 Luke Davidson. A big slam among the blue tops entering turn three saw 463 James Morris taste Armco with 311 David Squire the main instigator, with Cowley then having Lewin stuffed into him by 12 Michael Scriven as the Birmingham action instantly picked up where last month’s meeting had left off! Up front 35 Neil Shenton took over the lead but the eyes of many were on 84 Tom Harris who was firing the bumper in to every car he came upon as he and Smith charged through from the back. The recovered Cowley was scrapping with Lewin and 22 Will Yarrow’s smart new machine until Smith charged under them, while 53 John Lund spun at turn four and everyone was forced wide to avoid the veteran. Smith was soon up with the leaders and made short work of Shenton and 90 Liam Brown to take over at the front chased by Harris, and they finished in that order at flagfall with 2 Paul Harrison taking Shenton late on for third, while the last bend push saw the battle for seventh between Scriven and 321 Ed Neachell come to a head as the lively Cowley became involved, Neachell going into the wall on the last turn and suffering front end damage.

Result: 390-84-2-35-4-327-90-37-22-129.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

A similar number gridded for heat two with the remaining four Shootout drivers plus returnee 26 Robin Newson starting at the back. 295 Wesley Goodwin led away this time as 322 James Neachell continued his family’s bad luck at their local venue as he collected the spun 54 Hayley Parkinson. 462 Scott Davids was turfed aside by the pack and collected by gold top 1 Andrew Smith but all were able to continue, the world champion firing 212 Danny Wainman in on turn four a few laps later. The latter’s brother 515 Frankie Wainman Jnr was moving rapidly through the field and was fourth by half distance as 498 Spencer Taylor took over in front after 11 laps chased by track specialist 153 James Lund. It looked as though Lund’s success from the previous Wheels meeting was going to continue as he reeled in Taylor and warmed up for a last bend hit, but it all went wrong within sight of the flag as Lund spun the 498 car and the pair tangled spectacularly, Frankie Wainman nipping through on the inside to take the win from a surprised 459 Lee Dimmick and 60 Ian Venables, Taylor recovering for ninth.

Result: 515-459-60-107-172, 21, 8, 498, 73.

20 cars returned for the consolation which included Ed Neachell who had done well to repair but his luckless night continued as he tangled with Danny Wainman on the first lap. Goodwin was the early leader as 302 Jim Bamford spun across turn four with most going wide to avoid the former F2 man although 91 Tony Smith opted to plough through the dust on the rumble strip each time. James Lund was the man on the move once again and took the lead from Goodwin with a few laps to run, but on the penultimate lap the white grader seemed to gain a second wind and hunted down the blue top once more. Down the back straight for the final time Goodwin was on Lund’s bumper and the big push came sending Lund wide, the latter trying to turn it back as Tony Smith charged up the inside. A spectacular three-wide finish saw Goodwin just hold on to win in another storming race, with Tony Smith just pipping Lund for second.

Result: 295-91-153-462-463-12-53-311-212-464.

Four-Abrest round Wheels! Photo Colin Casserley.

Four-Abrest round Wheels! Photo Colin Casserley.

29 of the 30 qualifiers lined up for the Final with Scriven the only absentee, all eight Shootout drivers in position at the back. Goodwin led off once again but behind him yellow tops Shenton and Brown locked together on the run to the first turn and with the back pushing they plunged into the turn one wall with James Lund collecting Brown. In the ensuing confusion Morris T-boned Davids before the red flags came out with Brown clearly in discomfort after his heavy crash, and he was taken to the raceway’s medical centre although he was thankfully not seriously injured. A full restart began with Tony Smith soon taking Goodwin for the lead as Davids attacked 327 Antony Davis and 73 Rob Cowley, while Venables went in on Lewin only to take a big hit from Danny Wainman as the typically heavy Birmingham action rumbled on. Further back Frankie Wainman and the Smith brothers were having one of their trademark battles with Harris joining in for good measure and soon the eyes of many were diverted towards the back of the pack as the Shootout contenders slugged it out. Harrison dispatched Davis in a shower of sparks as Goodwin tried hard to catch up with the rapidly disappearing Tony Smith at the front of the field, the brake disks glowing red hot on the 295 car but he lost out to Taylor for second. Still the star names fought it out further back with Stuart Smith showing the fantastic speed he has displayed in recent meetings once more to break at the front of the pack, while Frankie Wainman piled Harris into Andrew Smith with Davids also caught up as the Shootout battle moved further up the order. Stuart Smith roared through for second but there was no catching Tony Smith who crossed the line for his second ever Final victory, both of which had come at Wheels. Stuart Smith came home second ahead of Danny Wainman, but further back a scrum of cars slammed into each other on the last bend with Harris doing the pushing on the silver and gold tops. 4 Dan Johnson got caught up as well and Frankie Wainman was squeezed in a sandwich as they charged for the line, Frankie Wainman and Johnson almost going into the inner banking in a frantic finish with fourth placed Taylor also bouncing off the wall. The cheers however were for the popular Tony Smith, but later in the evening his car sadly failed post race scrutineering handing Stuart Smith his double ahead of Danny Wainman and Taylor.

Result: 390-212-498-153-73-295-1-515-84-4

With the crowd still buzzing despite the late hour 20 cars assembled for the Grand National which kicked off with Parkinson and Holden tangling at speed down the home straight as Taylor led the early going. Further back Johnson was experiencing life as a pinball as Frankie Wainman stuffed him into Harrison before Andrew Smith bumpered the former European champion into the 515 car. Harrison fought back to land a further hit on Johnson before exchanging hits with Davids as Chris Cowley took over from Taylor at the front. The Shootout scrap continued with Frankie Wainman landing a hit on 21 Mark Gilbank as up front Chris Cowley took the flag ahead of Taylor and Davidson, while Stuart Smith went in hard on Johnson on the last turn but couldn’t quite crack the top ten.

Result: 37-498-464-212-107-1-84-515-53-21

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

This wrapped up another superb session under the Birmingham floodlights with first class stock car racing in every event, and set the mood perfectly for Northampton the next day.

Dave Goddard

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