Birmingham – August 28th 2010 Meeting Report

The first National Points Shootout round of the 2010 season saw fifty cars make their way to the asphalt track of Birmingham Wheels. It is also gave the first opportunity to get a closer look at the Clive Lintern BriSCA F1 Stock car built in New Zealand and recently shipped over to the UK for Scott Joblin (NZ52) to race. Scott’s brother Adam Joblin was also present, racing the Rob Harrad (258) car. Tony Smith (91) not only had his own BriSCA F1 stock car but also had a car for Liam Brown (90), Josh Smith (191) and Stuart Smith (397) as well as bringing along the Anthony Flanagan (133) car for the Australian World Finalist Marty Wilkinson (Aus35) and ministox.

Scott Miers (NZ8) was also spotted socialising in the pits, sans car and V8 stock car driver Mark Allen (161) was having a go in the Mick Harris (8) machine, graded as blue. The meeting also saw the welcome return of Rich Masterton (103) trackside. There were early problems for Lee Robinson (107); being tractored off in practice, the team had to quickly remove the gearbox, split it and start removing cogs as the start of the meeting swiftly approached. It has not all been bad news for Robinson though, having recently secured the use of the Ricky Wilson (502) shale car for the World Final at Coventry. Of the twelve Shoot out drivers, only bumper merchant Craig Finnikin (55) was not present.

The first race of the night was the prestigious Under 25’s Championship, see separate report HERE. Tom Harris (84) drove to a well deserved Under 25 Championship 2010 victory and a healthy purse for his trouble.

Under 25's Champion 2010 Tom Harris 84. Photo Colin Casserley

Heat two saw the rest of the field take to the track with the exception of the Australian Marty Wilkinson who did not appear until the Consolation. Rob Braithwaite (253) was back on track for only his second meeting in a BriSCA F1 stock car and there was a rare reappearance for Weston-Super-Mares’ Ian Bond (431) in the ex-Neil Shenton machine. The remaining (over 25 years old) Shoot out drivers filed up at the back with last year’s National Points Champion Stu Smith jnr (390) creating his own grade behind the Reds and before the Shoot out competitors. It being a shame SSJ could not make the Shoot Out, but at least it means we will have a new National Points Champion come the end of the season.

BriSCA F1 stock cars of Ian Venables 60 and Mark Allen 161. Photo Colin Casserley

Rob Braithwaite took up the lead and tore off into the distance. Frankie Wainman jnr (515) got straight into action laying a hefty bumper into Paul Harrison (2) sending him clattering into Andy Smith. Wainman was immediately onto Smith’s back bumper while Ian Bond half span on the pit gate bend and cut across the track, somehow managing to make the infield without making contact with any other car. Shortly afterwards, four cars including Rob Cowley (73) tangled onto the rumble strip of the pit bend with Cowley somehow untangling himself and finding himself going up the homestraight in the middle of a massive pack of racing BriSCA F1 stock cars who did not slow for a second but kept pushing with Rob getting himself knocked from pillar to post.

Frankie Wainman jnr just pushed his way forcefully through the traffic with Andy Smith cutting up on the inside before having to pull to the infield with a tyre issue. At this point the yellows came out for the pit bend and there was a delay as Dave Plumbley (393) and the Iain Holden (85) car were separated from each other.
Restart order: 253, 280, 141, 431, 428, 153, 390, 60, 223, 321, 22, 515, 2, 462, 53, 259, 91, 325, 322, 161

At the restart, despite his lead being severely curtailed, Braithwaite again set off into the distance, leaving Carl Pickering (141) with some hard work in trying to close him down. Will Yarrow (22) soon found himself bypassed by Frankie Wainman jnr, tried to regain his place but Wainman held him off. James Lund (153) and Stu Smith jnr (390) were making decent progress towards the front with Lund moving in on second place Pickering and taking his place with five laps to go. Stu Smith jnr soon followed his lead, relegating Pickering to fourth. James Lund who usually does well at Birmingham, reeled in Braithwaite who was not prepared to relinquish his position easily and found himself pushed out, spinning onto the infield and coming to rest against the grass banking at the exit of turn four. Stu Smith caught Lund and with a whack, took the lead and the chequered flag with second place Wainman Jnr very close behind.
390 – 515 – 141 – 153 – 22 – 259 – 2 – 321 – 53 – 462

Eighteen cars came out for the Consolation, with Scott Joblin (NZ52) now starting at the rear of the Yellow graders. Richard Bryan (238) initially led them away but was soon surpassed by Rob Braithwaite who had Rich Masterton on his tail. Scott Joblin laid into Garry Townsend (223) sending him out towards the fence on the pit bend, with Townsend coming to rest just on the exit of turn four, pointing towards the infield. Joblin himself retired to the infield shortly afterwards.

Masterton was soon bypassed by Dan Fox (480) in the ex-Spencer Taylor car who set about trying to reel in the quick Braithwaite after having to contend with lap down Adam Joblin (NZ62) giving him some attention with his front bumper. From the rear, Andy Smith (1) had carved his way through the pack with ease and as the laps rolled down, he had second place Dan Fox in his sights. With three laps to go, Smith went in with the bumper on Fox to take his place and it looked for a second like Fox would return the favour but Smith pulled away to concentrate on leader Braithwaite, cutting past him on the last bend.
1 – 253 – 480 – 322 – 12 – 103 – 161 – 91 – 238

Adam Joblin (NZ62) and Scott Joblin (NZ52) starting at the rear. Photo Colin Casserley

Thirty cars came out for the Final with all eleven Shoot Out drivers being present with both Joblin’s starting behind them. Richard Bryan (238) led them away, with Shoot Out pole sitter Dan Johnson (4) dashing off, hoping to get clear of the rest. Wainman jnr, again meaning business, soon forced his way to the front of the Shoot Out drivers and became the first of them to break properly clear. Rob Braithwaite bumpered Bryan aside to take the lead and set off extending his lead as he had done in his previous two races. However, yellow grader Carl Pickering was soon in hot pursuit, having also broken free of the following pack.

BriSCA F1 stock cars of father and son John Lund 53 and James Lund 153. Photo Colin Casserley.

Shoot Out young gun Dan Johnson was forced to end his race when he got a flat but the veteran John Lund (53) seemed to have found a bit of tarmac form and was going well in his old warhorse. James Lund fancied his chances and gave fellow bumper merchant Stu Smith jnr a hefty hit to pass, while Lee Fairhurst (217) lurked behind. Stu Smith jnr quickly motored on, caught back up with James Lund and returned the favour with interest, up on turn two sending Lund down the order.

Shortly after, Wainman jnr dealt Lee Robinson a hit to take yet another position while upfront, Pickering was gaining on wayward leader Braithwaite. As the race continued, more cars than usual seemed to retire to the infield, including Matt Newson (16) who looked far from happy with how his race had ended. On track, Frankie Wainman jnr knocked Lee Fairhurst aside but soon had Lee Robinson back breathing down his neck as the Union Jack was shown at the half way point. Third placed Chris Cowley had successfully caught up with Carl Pickering and made an unsuccessful initial attempt to pass, before letting Pickering know he meant business and taking the place.

Stu Smith was also motoring frontwards and also gave Pickering a nice hit to take third place. Yellow flags were then shown for Richard Bryan and Mike Kingston jnr who were in the fence at the bottom of the backstraight going into turn three with Kingston jnr burning off fuel in his exhaust pipe. Restart Order: 253, 37, 390, 141, 515, 107, 217, 2, 84, 259, 153, 53, 1, 22, 393, 161, NZ52, NZ62

BriSCA F1s Chris Cowley (37), Stu Smith jnr (390) and Rob Braithwaite (253) battle for position. Photo Colin Casserley

At the green, Chris Cowley snatched the lead, managing to come out ahead as he, Braithwaite and Smith jnr all went into turn two three abreast, jostling for position. As the cars behind fought for track space, Frankie Wainman jnr got it a bit sideways down the backstraight and as he fought to bring his car under control, collided with Paul Harrison with one of Harrison’s wheels flying off in the impact as all the red tops piled into turn three with Tom Harris also getting caught up in the melee and going out.
Restart Order: 37, 107, 253, 259, 515, 390, 217, 464, 1, 53, 141, 22, 153…..

BriSCA F1 stock cars Rob Braithwaite 253 and Lee Fairhurst 217. Photo Colin Casserley

As there was a slight delay, the pit gate was opened, allowing those who had been forced to retire back into the pits, with Newson and Harris both being tractored off. At this point, as the cars were patiently lined up, Conrad Wilson went over to inform Andy Smith that he had a tyre issue and Smith pulled off as well. At the restart, Robinson laid into Cowley for the lead as behind them, Stu Smith jnr and Frankie Wainman jnr were neck and neck with Stu Smith jnr coming out the better on this occasion. Lee Robinson stole into the lead and as the laps rolled down, the action continued with the hits getting even bigger with Paul Hines being all over Chris Cowley with Cowley giving him a big hit back as they fought for position.

As Frankie Wainman jnr came up behind, he attempted to kill two birds with one stone, thumping Hines, sending him into Cowley with both going wide. While the chaos reigned on, Lee Robinson took the opportunity to race off and put some distance between himself and the rest of the fighting field. On the last bend, veteran John Lund who had gone well all evening, laid into Paul Hines to improve his position.
107 – 390 – 37 – 515 – 53 – 259 – 464 – 217 – 253 – 153

BriSCA F1 stock car Birmingham final winner Lee Robinson 107. Photo Colin Casserley

The last BriSCA F1 stock car race of the night, the Grand National saw twenty-eight cars take to the field minus the two Shoot Out drivers of Paul Harrison and Matt Newson who had both come to grief in the Final. Plucky Rich Masterton led them away before Rob Braitwaite moved himself back into the lead on the second lap. At the back Stu Smith jnr found himself going fencewards, most likely down to the nine other drivers fighting their way towards a Silver Roof. Daniel Wainman (212) got in on the act, attacking Andy Smith and sending him sideways to the pitgate before they both sorted themselves out and carried on.

John Lund then went out of the race in spectacular fashion as his prop shaft went coming out of turn two and he tore onto the infield, colliding and riding up the infield grass banking. Tom Harris was just behind Dan Johnson and the two jostled for postion. Marty Wilkinson ended his race early in the armco and when Richard Bryan went into the back of him, the yellow flags were shown. Restart Order: 253, 153, 103, 37, 22, 84, 4, 259, 515, 217, 12, 480, 1, 464, 85, 393

BriSCA F1 stock car John Lund 53 after taking a closer look at the infield banking. Photo Colin Casserley

At the restart, Tom Harris immediately laid into Will Yarrow and Frankie Wainman jnr passed Paul Hines quickly followed by Lee Fairhurst who got the bumper back of Hines in return. At this point, James Lund was up on Rob Braithwaite and soon took up the running out front where he was to stay until the end. Final winner Lee Robinson, made good progress from his lap handicap and found himself, not only getting five bonus points for finishing but was in the places as well.
153 – 37 -4 – 253- 515 – 22 – 1 – 390 – 107 – 464

The best tarmac meeting of the 2010 season so far, action every bend and bumpers flying in thick and fast. The eleven Shoot Out drivers spiced things up at the rear, with no driver willing to settle for a lower place. It also saw a real return to form for Frankie Wainman jnr just in time for the World Final and a reappearance of the Stu Smith jnr of 2009.

Ailsa Haigh

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