Birmingham – May 30th 2009 Meeting Report

Timmy Aldridge 257 final winner in action. photo Colin Cass.

photo Colin Cass.

On the hottest day of the year under a cloudless sky, Fifty-six Formula Ones filled the pits at Birmingham Wheels on Saturday 30.05.09 for the World Championship Qualifying Round #11 and National Series Round #12 at the Asphalt Oval.


Heat One saw a full thirty cars take to the grid which included Georgia Neachell (320); younger sister to racing brothers Edward (321) and James (322) along with eleven blue grade and ten reds. Nick Reed (209) took the early lead; while Georgia’s night didn’t get off to the start she wanted, spinning in turn four and parking up against the pit gate. Colin Nairn (280) came to a stop on the back straight. Craig Finnikin (55) launched an attack on James Morris (463) going into turn four, taking out Robert Broome (41) as a result. Yellows cam out to remove Colin Nairn from racing line.
On the restart, order was 447 – 209 – 311 – 12 – 8 -258 with the first of the Red grades 16 – 107 – 55 – 84 – 391. Matt Newson (16) attacked Lenny Smith (185) winning the place; Lee Robinson (107) followed Matt but Lenny launched his own counter attack to regain his place. Tom Harris (84) and Andy Smith (391) meanwhile were racing hard and often side-by-side, Andy finally got the break and pulled clear. As the race came to a close David Squire (311) was chasing race leader David Hopkins (447) with Matt Newson in the third spot. Andy Smith had reached fourth place. Craig Finnikin and Les Spencer (98) came together on the home straight sending both cars spinning into the infield area. Nick Reed (209) and Mick Harris (8) were side-by-side coming out of four on the last lap slapping into the Armco on the drag race to the line.
Result 447 – 311 – 16 – 391 – 12 – 185 – 21 – 84 – 515 – 8..


Heat Two saw Twenty-Three cars grid up. Lee Fairhurst (217) took the early lead with Mark Peters (231) chasing. Ed Neachell (321) and Timmy Aldrige (257) were engaging in side-by-side racing in-between attacking each other which continued for the full race. Behind, Paul Harrison (2) ,Stuart Smith jnr (390) and Dan Johnson (4) were engaging in there own battle. Once Paul passed Stuart he fought off attack after attack to hold his position but more importantly did not lose any speed. As half way was reached Ed and Mark passed the starter side-by-side, and Paul Harrison continued to make his way through the field with Stuart Smith jnr never off his back bumper. Lee Fairhurst began to coolly make his way though the back markers. Paul Hines (259) fired Carl Pickering (141) into the Armco going into three as Paul fought his way into the top ten. Stuart Smith attempted a last bend attack on Paul Harrison but was denied a clean opportunity by racing traffic.
Result 217 – 321 – 2 – 390 – 231 – 73 – 4 – 259 – 462 – 259.


Twenty-Nine came out onto track for the Consolation as the Sun began to set on a cloudless hot evening. First appearances of the evening were made for Gary Castell (H247) and John Lund (53).
Richard Masterson (103) took the early lead with Richard Earl (285) attacking. Out of nowhere, Rob Harrad (258) joined the party and a three driver battle for the lead followed. Lee Robinson (107) was moving his though the blue grades and leading the chasing reds. Richard Davies (325) also joined in with battle for the lead, firing Richard Masterson into Richard Earl, with Earl clattering the Armco. Peter Kaulbarsch (411) took full advantage and he took the lead from the battling white Grades. As half way approached 411 – 258 – 498 – 302 – 107 was the racing order. Gary Castell attacked Joff Gibson (249) T-Boning him between three and four; Daniel Wainman (212) tried to avoid it by taking a tight inside line but with a hefty stamp on the brakes, Daniel clipped Joff’s cars and slowly rolled onto his side. Yellow flags came out straight away. Restart order 411 – 498 -107 – 302 – 463 – 258 – 434 – 172 – 325.
Robinson wasted no time in getting to the front cleanly overtaking the leading two cars on the inside of turns three and four. James Morris (463) attacked Kaulbarsch in the closing laps sending him wide, with Kaulbarsch gunning it, getting back into the race and giving chase. James Morris must have damaged his car and fell out of the race.
Result 107 – 498 – 434 – 55 – 172 – 53 – 257 – 302 – 411 – 98


As the setting sun turned the horizon red and the floodlights came to life thirty cars gridded up on the Asphalt for the meeting Final. Lee Fairhurst (217) was the lone white top; hoping to outrun the four yellows, ten blues and fifteen reds.
I apologise now for the meeting report, this race was so good I was unable and unwilling to take my eyes away for even a second to make notes. Races this good just can’t be missed, so I made a few scribbles once the Checked Flag was dropped. Here’s what I got.
Lee Fairhurst (217) got away to a good start, but so had David Squire (311) and David Hopkins (447) who were second and third and closing the gap between themselves and Lee on the opening lap. What followed over the next lap was the most fantastic sight you can see on a short oval. The blue grades were three-abreast, diving into turn three with the pack of reds going in three-abreast and coming out of turn four, four-abreast and as many deep! Truly breathtaking stuff. Lee Robinson (107) was going well and was the leading red grade. David Squire managed to catch and pass Fairhurst with a good hit coming out of two; Fairhurst dropped way back as a result.
Hits were going in at both ends and along both straights; every position was being attacked and needed constant defending, it really was a case of where do I look!
As the race approached half way, imagine if you can 12 – 107 – 16 – 515 – 2 – 390 – 391 – 21 (fifth to twelfth place) all attacking and defending. While up front Dave Hopkins and Timmy Aldridge (257) had passed Squire who was himself trying to hold his position from the constant attacks from Spencer Taylor (498). Matt Newson (16) got in front of Robinson launching his own successful attack on Taylor. Robinson was held behind Taylor as Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) moved in. Robinson moved Taylor, took the place and FWJ in turn overtook Robinson. Meanwhile one hell of a battle was taking place at the back of grid between Lee Dimmick (459) and Ivan Pritchard (434).
Timmy Aldridge kept his cool and his foot down to take the flag in his best Asphalt performance to date.
Result 257 – 447 – 16 – 331 – 515 – 107 – 498 – 391 – 12 – 390.


Thirty-One cars appeared for the last race of the night under a full floodlit track including fourteen red grades, ten blue grade, two yellows and five whites (the evenings largest number in any one race).
Continuing on from the final, no notes were made during this epic race, So here’s what got scribbled down at the end of the night. Richard Masterson (103) took the early lead, Lee Fairhurst (217) then took the lead himself but David Squire (311) wasted no time in taking the lead from Fairhurst. Lee Robinson (107), Frankie Wainman Jnr (515), Paul Harrison (2) and Tom Harris (84) were the leading red grades making their way to the front. Lee Dimmick (459) was pushing onto the back bumper of Ivan Pritchard (434) going into one, the combined horsepower of both cars resulted in the spinning out of Micky Randell (172), Gary Castell (H247), John Lund (53) and Michael Scriven (12) on the exit of two; causing a track blockage. Meanwhile down on four Mark Gilbank (21) T-Boned Andy Smith (391).
Yellows had to come out and the restart order was 311 – 459 lap down – 103 – 217 – 107- 515- 73 – 321 – 2- 84.
FWJ benefited from the restart, passing Robinson while Ed Neachell (321) took Rob Cowley (73) to the Armco. Fairhurst had to make good use of the front bumper; while protecting his rear to remain in the top ten. In the closing stages Squire was leading from FWJ and Robinson. FWJ moved Squire and Robinson followed to move into second place. Joff Gibson (249) attacked Nick Reed (209), Reed gave chase, tangling with Georgia Neachell (320) on the back straight sending both cars firing into the earth mound on the infield going into three. A flurry of attacks in the closing laps saw Paul Harrison (2), Craig Finnikin (55) and Lee Fairhurst (217) gain vital placings.
Result* 107 – 311 -321 – 2 – 55 – 217 – 84 – 257 – 105 – 462
*Race winner 515 removed from results – failed post race scrutineering.

A truly EPIC meeting – missed it – you missed out!


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