Birmingham, 28th October 2017 – Meeting Report and Photos

With the 2017 Mintex National Points Shoot Out drawing to a close, not even putting the clocks back gave series leader Stuart Smith’s rivals enough time to mount a serious challenge for the silver roof. The last tarmac weekend of the season saw the Rochdale man finish with an almost unassailable lead going into the final round at Belle Vue, showing a consistency that the other Shoot Out contenders have struggled to achieve.

We start at Birmingham on a cold but thankfully dry night with 26 cars lining up for Heat One. Tristan Jackson (101) took command early on with Micky Randell (172) looming in second place. Ben Hurdman (207) went into earthmover mode on the home straight, taking a chunk out of the infield banking while Neil Scriven (11) caught the plating, slewing across the track in front of a hard-charging Ryan Harrison (197) and getting punted aside into turn one. Bill Fenwick (57) switched on his James Bond-style smoke screen but nothing delayed Jackson, finishing almost a straight ahead of Ryan Harrison with Mat Newson (16) in third.

Twenty-six for Heat Two, the race brought under caution within a few laps for John Fortune (164) and Neil Hooper (545), stranded on turns 1 and 2. Mark Adkins (24), piloting the old Joe Booth car, led the restart from Aaron Leach but seemed to struggle with the ex-446 machine, dropping down the order as Leach took over, chased by Alex Wass (283). Todd Jones (186) climbed to second place but was never going to catch Leach who took the flag to notch up another lower-grade win. Nigel Green (445) finished third ahead of Stuart Smith (390) and Ed Neachell (321).

Heat 2 winner, Aaron Leach

Whatever Mark Adkins said or did to the 24 car between races certainly did the trick as he stormed away to win the consolation in fine style. SO contenders Frankie Wainman Junior (515) and Luke Davidson (464) struggled to make any impression, Davidson losing time in a tangle with Fortune, Ant Whorton-Eales (408) and novice driver Ian Maher (411). A few laps later Karl Whiteman (303), Steven Holgate (541) and Mark Balmer (163) had a coming together on the home straight, the 303 car left facing the traffic against the fence. Kelvin Hassell (13) held second for a long time before settling for fifth place at the flag but Adkins took the win ahead of Michaels Randell and Scriven (12).

Mark Adkins making his first appearance in a BriSCA F1 this season – and winning

Twenty-six cars for the American Racer grand final, Danny Wainman (212) switching on his blue light bedecked aerofoil as the roller started – congratulations Danny and Jess – see the Wainman website for the full story! Adkins again led from Wass and Carter (300) with Mark Sargent (326) going great guns behind them. FWJ hooked up with Michael Steward (512) and propelled him into the first bend plating with a resounding clang, bringing out a caution.

Harrison (197) looked a good bet for the win even at this early stage but it was Sarge who overhauled Adkins at the restart, followed by Wass. Harrison despatched both Jones and Adkins in one move to go third as 212 and 172 crashed out, leaving Danny with front end damage (the car, not him) that forced his retirement from the race. The 326 car clung on to the lead until the 3 lap board was shown when he succumbed to the inevitable 197 bumper but held on for an excellent second place ahead of world champion Green.

Harrison’s impromptu victory doughnuts on the start line scattered officials and was apparently the reason for the post-race steward’s enquiry. After some delay the result was declared with no penalty awarded.

Ryan Harrison wins another Birmingham SO Final, ahead of Sargent and Green

The 35 car Grand National had a messy start, a big pile-up on the back straight claiming 321, 2, 339, 152, 411 and 211, if not more. Hassell led the restart with Jackson (101) on his back bumper, taking the lead after a lap or two. Jones had a go at Smith, and then Green but 390 repaid the hit with interest, moving 186, 445 and 515 in one massive wallop. Green, Jones and FWJ continued to trade blows but the biggest hit of the race came from Ryan Harrison on Ben Riley, the 422 car slamming into the turn two fence.

Second biggest hit came from Phoebe Wainman on Balmer on the same bend but the 211 car spun, getting clobbered by, you’ve guessed it, FWJ. Jackson sailed to his second win of the night with Smith taking the runner-up spot after a well-timed last bender on Leach. Ryan finished in the places but was docked by the steward for jumping the restart.

Jackson took heat and Grand National wins at Birmingham.

Words: Mick Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley

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Track Photography