Birmingham – July 23rd 2011 Meeting Report

Just over thirty cars attended Birmingham with several being in the chase for the final National Points shootout positions which were to be decided that night. New BriSCA European Champion Mick Sworder 150 was one of the drivers present to be in contention for the last few places, along with Ryan Harrison 197, Paul Hines 259 and Luke Davidson 464. Lower grader Tim Warwick 307 was also out for a run on the hard stuff, giving the Chris Stafford 157 car a rare run out.

BriSCA European Champion Mick Sworder 150 in action. Photo Colin Casserley

BriSCA F1 stockcar driver Chris Cooke 460 on pole for the first heat. Photo Colin Casserley

Heat one saw twenty two cars traipse onto track with Chad Evans 392 and Chris Cooke 460 making up the front row. At the green the more experienced Cooke hared off into the distance until the yellows were shown for the unfortunate Chad Evans, left stranded in the middle of the homestraight after being caught by Nigel Harrhy 45 and then collected by the following field, spinning right round in the confusion. Cooke re-led the field away but his lead had been negated and he had quick yellow grader Iain Holden 85 on his tail, who soon claimed the lead for himself. Holden set off apace but Stu Smith jnr 390 had other ideas and majestically picked off places and reeled in Holden, inheriting a lead he would not relinquish at the half way point.

Heat two soon followed with a bit of rough and tumble amongst the star drivers for the first few laps as all the shootout drivers in contention for the last few places had been placed in the same heat. Nigel Harrhy and John Frost 351 initially led them away to be but the yellows soon came out for a big backstraight tangle involving Paul Carter 300, both John 53 and James Lund 153 and Luke Davidson 464. Tim Warwick got caught up in the incident losing nerf rails amongst other damage.

BriSCA F1 driver Tim Warwick minus his nerf. Photo Colin Casserley

BriSCA F1 stockcar drivers Ryan Harrison 197 and Paul Hines 259 tangle. Photo Colin Casserley

A fired up Ryan Harrison 197 . Photo Colin Casserley

At the restart Frost led the field away and was off like a shot but yellow grader Carl Pickering 141 from fourth slid passed the white graders to take the lead and never look back. A fired up Ryan Harrison attempted to dive up the inside of Paul Hines but ended up pinning him firmly like a butterfly against the turn two armco as Mick Sworder drove a composed race to pick up a well deserved second. On speaking to Tim post race he said he had planned to do Birmingham due to it’s big bends meaning less opportunity for damage. Sadly this was not to be the case with the back axle being well pushed over and two coilovers being destroyed.

BriSCA F1 stockcar Heat 2 winner Carl Pickering 141. Photo Colin Casserley

BriSCA F1 stockcar driver Tim Warwick 307 still manages to raise a smile. Photo Colin Casserley

With only six qualifying from the heats, it remained to be seen how many would qualify from the consolation and it was announced that fourteen would go through. When only fourteen cars took the green, all they needed to do was keep running and they would be in the final even if well lapped. Chris Cooke initially took up the running as from blue Scott Davids 462 stormed his way to the front, bumpering Paul Carter aside and few laps had passed before he had overhauled Cooke. Paul Hines thumped into Ryan Harrison with Harrison immediately getting back onto the back of Hines and returned the favour the next bend. Nigel Harrhy was suffering major handling issues, almost slapping the armco in the bends, burning rubber with the back end coming right out but all he had to do was keep going to qualify for the final and so it was only luckless Paul Hines who failed to make the cut, having to retire after suffering a puncture. Matt Newson 16 made his way into second using his bumper but was unable to gain any real ground on the out front Davids.

BriSCA F1 stockcar drivers Matt Newson 16 and James Lund 153. Photo Colin Casserley

Over twenty cars came out for the Final with Derek Brown 229 initially leading them away with John Lund giving Andy Smith 1 a punt allowing Tom Harris 84 to cut up the inside of both. Matt Newson hire car driver Mike Ward 360 clattered into the turn one fence hard as down the other end James Neachell 322 fired lower grader John Frost into the fence. Josn Smith 191 barged his way to the front to take up the running but it was not long before the yellows were waved to remove some ontrack debris. Josh led them away but had fellow quick blue grader on his tail in the shape of Scott Davids who soon snatched the lead for himself.

BriSCA F1 stockcar driver Craig Finnikin 55 qualifying for the final in Heat 1. Photo Colin Casserley

Craig Finnikin 55 still in his old tar car due to engine issues bypassed Josh to take second, with Mick Sworder 150 also closing in for the kill at the halfway point. Mick gave Josh Smith a taste of steel to pass and take third as lap down Paul Carter gave Stu Smith jnr a hit shortly after. Finnikin in his usual ‘devil may care’ style of last lap driving went for a big hit on Scott Davids for the win, but was too far back to make it count and scuttled round the armco plating still coming out of turn four ahead of third placed Mick Sworder.

BriSCA F1 stockcar Final winner Scott Davids 462. Photo Colin Casserley

Just under twenty cars came out for the final race of the night the Grand National with Paul Hines being the first red to break free and make his way through the field, looking to be on for the win. Mick Sworder got stuck into Matt Newson and Tom Harris punted Stu Smith jnr. Iain Holden from yellow took up the running but soon had Paul Hines on a mission behind in second with Hines nudging Holden aside to pick up the lead. Stu Smith jnr soon gave Paul Carter a big hit with Carter going hard into the armco. Carter drifted to the infield on the backstraight clearly in need of some assistance. Unfortunately for leader Hines, he tangled with Carter on his way to the flag and found his hopes of a victory and shootout qualification dashed as he dropped down the order. The fleet Tom Harris picked up the gauntlet and stormed to another victory.

BriSCA F1 stockcars of Luke Davidson 464 and Paul Hines during the four lap dash. Photo Colin Casserley

As Luke Davidson and Paul Hines had the same number of national points and were tied for twelth place, a four lap dash was held to decide who would qualify for the final shootout position. Hines shot off into the lead but Davidson was hot on his heels, holding off until the last lap before delivering the killer blow and taking the chequered flag and the final shootout qualification place.

Ailsa Haigh

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