Birmingham – April 17th 2010 Meeting Report

The BriSCA F1s made their first visit of the year to their top tarmac venue at Birmingham Wheels Raceway on April 17th, and a good field of around 35 cars were in attendance including Dutch visitor Geert-Jan Keijzer (#H6).  World Champion Andrew Smith (#1) was in top form, with two fine last bend lunges netting him a heat and Final double.

Photo Colin Casserley

On an excellent early summer evening 24 cars assembled for heat one of the two-thirds format, with Murray Harrison (#9) the first to spin as Iain Holden (#85), keen to repeat his brilliant showing at Northampton the previous week, led off.  The final winner on that occasion, Josh Smith (#191), was destined not to repeat his performance as leaking gearbox oil would prove a bugbear and this problem reared its head just a few laps into the first heat.  Meantime Carl Pickering (#141) was the fastest man on the track and took Holden for the lead just past half distance, and went on for another victory at a venue he enjoys.  Neil Scriven (#11) took Holden for second with three laps to run, while Andy Smith produced his first last bend lunge of the evening to dislodge both Holden and Luke Davidson (#464) to take third.
Result: 141, 11, 1, 464, 85, 37, 4, 321, 16, 302.

Photo Colin Casserley

20 cars lined up for the second heat with Paul Redfern (#252) tangling with fellow white top Steve Malkin (#208) on the first turn as Dave Plumbley (#393) led.  Ed (#321) and James (#322) Neachell were at the heart of the midfield battle until getting caught up with James Lund (#153), after which Danny Wainman (#212) began putting in the big hits on Tom Harris (#84) and Paul Harrison (#2) among others.  Up front Robert Broome (#41) moved past Plumbley for the lead and cleared away with Paul Hines (#259) leading his pursuers.  Broome was putting in a good controlled drive as Andy Smith thundered Jim Bamford (#302) wide for third before taking Hines with two laps to go, and the crowd waited to see if the gold top would get close enough for a last bend lunge. Into the final turn Smith was just close enough to connect and sent the unlucky Broome spinning to steal the win, Hines and Spencer Taylor (#498) his placemen.
Result: 1, 259, 498, 2, 393, 302, 84, 212, 97, 515.

Photo Colin Casserley

22 cars for heat three with Holden leading away as Broome was an early casualty.  Pickering moved past Nigel Friswell (#353) into second as Joshua Smith retired once again, while Pickering was looking very rapid once again and bumpered his way past Holden into the lead at the second attempt with five laps to go. Dan Johnson (#4) was the quickest of the reds and he and Hines closed on the leader, but they couldn’t get close enough to Pickering who took his second win, Hines nipping past Johnson on the final turn for second.
Result: 141, 259, 4, 390, 16, 85, 84, 2, 53, 12.

Photo Colin Casserley

A big push at the start of the 25-strong Final saw Lee Dimmick (#459) hook up with Taylor and with two more cars crashing into the former. The red flags flew and a complete restart was ordered.  Holden led them away once again as Pickering attacked Plumbley only to take one in turn from James Morris (#463).  A good battle developed between the blue graders with Davidson breaking away as the rapid Johnson shot through the pack to lead. Davidson was in flying form, however, and caught the former European champion as erstwhile leader Pickering slowed with a tyre problem. Davidson took Johnson with a couple of laps to go but right behind them was that man Andy Smith and a grandstand finish looked in prospect. Into the City turn for the last time Smith lunged spectacularly to send Davidson into a half spin and complete an excellent double, Johnson and Harrison next home.
Result: 1, 4, 2, 259, 53, 321, 85, 16, 12, 84.

It was Holden who led yet again as the 17-car Grand National got underway with Davidson looking out of luck this time as he hooked up with Keijzer early on.  A tangle among the star graders saw Stuart Smith pile into the infield banking and Hines left stranded on the home straight for a stoppage. This gave Davidson his second chance and on the restart he was soon into second behind Holden and eventually took up the running as Johnson battled with Junior Wainman (#515) who had had a strangely quiet night by his usual standards. By half distance Andy Smith was already up into fourth place from his lap handicap and some were predicting a repeat of the last bend in the Final, but Davidson was too far ahead and took a deserved win ahead of the mightily impressive Andy Smith and Matt Newson (#16).
Result: 464, 1, 16, 515, 84, 91, 4, 53, 85, H6.

Photo Colin Casserley

Dave Goddard

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