Birmingham, 27th August 2016 – Meeting Report and Photo Gallery

A turn-out of thirty-three cars for this “week before the World Final” meeting. Unfortunately the spectators on hand to watch numbered about the same; understandable with an expensive weekend ahead.

Heat One and Matt Armstong (455) was soon out in front and breaking away, as it used to say on Pete Falding’s cars, until Shaun Webster (48) reeled him in before the half-way stage. FWJ succumbed to pressure from Shevill (518) until the latter found the fence with Steward (512) on the wet, greasy track, the Scotsman quickly back on the pace and using his front bumper to good effect. Webster took the flag half a lap ahead of Riley (422) and Hunter (220) but inexplicably failed to attend post-race scrutiny and was removed from the results, gifting the win to 422.

Armstrong again made all the early running in Heat Two once he had got past Mark Sargent (326) while Wainman (515), having removed Speak, came under attack from Davidson (464) and was sent out to the fence, letting the gold top back ahead. Murray Jones (196) bumpered Sarge wide for second on the pit bend but only got by the flying Armstrong with two to run while a battle further down the order saw FWJ lose out to brother Danny, Speak and Newson before the flag.

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Matt Armstrong showing some impressive skill at Birmingham

Mick Sworder (150) made his first appearance of the evening in Heat Three, the race cautioned early on for Micky Randell (172) who lost a front wheel. Micky ground to a halt but the wheel continued around turns three and four before it was returned to its owner. Sarge led them away but Todd Jones (186) was a threat back in fifth, attacking Neachell (321) while Dean Mason (358) passed Sarge for the lead. Sworder removed 186 and 321 in one hit to take second but Jones had a go back. Hunter fenced Steward big time on turn two, bringing out the yellow flags again. Sworder caught Mason easily on the restart and drove him into the fence as they came off turn four, crippling the 358 car. Stock car drivers have long memories! Sworder won from Jones and Newson.

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Early Heat 3 leader Mark Sargent

The Final saw Sam Wass (284) and Joff Gibson (249) out for the first time. Sworder got his big hit in early, sending Frankie Wainman JJ (555) into the fence and out of the race. Shevill attacked Sworder, Newson joined in, as did Jones (186) while Webster (401) hit the front. A pile up on the pit bend at half-way claimed several cars and left Stuart Moulds (556) facing the traffic, so another caution was required. Gibson now held point, keeping the rolling lap slow then streaking off a little early, catching a few out. Green and FWJ clashed on the home straight, the 515 car shoved sideways into turn one with a flat rear tyre while Newson, oblivious to all this, took the lead off Gibson with four to run, 249 hanging on to second with Sworder third.

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Mat Newson celebrates his final win

Todd Jones would have been justified in thinking he had the Grand National in the bag after he passed long-time leader Webster (48) but Sworder had other ideas, putting in a long range hit on the 186 car on the last bend. Jones spun and Sworder had to squeeze around the fence to clear him, by which time Danny Wainman had said “ta very much” and took the win, no doubt smiling as he did so.

Words: Mick Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley

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