Birmingham – October 22nd 2011 Meeting Report

A dry mild evening saw Brisca fans gather at Birmingham Wheels Raceway for round seven of the Hemt National series shootout. An excellent turnout of 53 cars arrived to do battle including 11 of the 12 shootout qualifiers. Two heats and consolation were programmed with 32 going forward to the meeting final.

BriSCA F1 stock car newcomer Kev Catling 266 alongside Rob Harrod 258. Photo Colin Casserley

26 cars on track for heat one although 411 Peter Kaulbarsch pulled off as the rolling lap commenced. 103 Richard Masterson used his pole position start to good effect, while at the back of the pack 515 Frankie Wainman Jnr was giving World Champion Paul Harrison some enthusiastic attention with his front bumper which allowed shootout rivals 84 Tom Harris and 4 Dan Johnson to make untroubled progress through the rest of the field. The race settled down for a few laps with 103 maintaining a comfortable lead over 229 Derek Brown.

BriSCA F1 stock car drivers Tom Harris 84 and Dan Johnson 4 vie for position. Photo Steve Botham

Then Mat Newson took it upon himself to liven up proceedings taking 51 Dylan Williams-Maynard for a scenic tour of the turn two fence. The race was brought under caution to allow assistance to the stranded 51 car but not before 259 Paul Hines managed to undo all his early good work with a spin onto the infield.

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Paul Hines 259 dukes it out with Chris Cowley 37. Photo Steve Botham

103 led the restart and with 4 Dan Johnson now being hassled by 515 Fwj, this allowed Tom Harris 84 to put in some quick laps to chase down the leaders. Harris hit the front just after halfway and went on to record a comfortable victory setting a new fastest time for a single lap at Wheels with a time of 15.004 sec. Harris was followed home by Johnson and Wainman while the Progress Windows car of Paul Hines made an excellent recovery following his earlier spin securing 4th place. 37 Chris Cowley had to settle for 9th of the 12 qualifiers as he received a two place penalty for jumping the restart.

BriSCA F1 stock car John Weldon 235 takes in a spin with Gareth O' Beirne 412. Photo Paul Tully

22 starters for heat two led at a frantic pace by 258 Rob Harrod, early casualties were Colin Goodswen 372 pushed fencewards on turn two while 235 John Weldon put his shiny new Tarmac car into a spin. 150 Mick Sworder and surprise entrant 391 Andy Smith kept the crowd entertained with metal meeting metal on a regular basis. Brother Stu Smith jnr and 212 Danny Wainman made rapid if unspectacular progress towards the front, taking the lead from 35 Neil Shenton not long after the halfway stage.

BriSCA F1 star graders Danny Wainman 212, Will Yarrow 22 and Scott Davids 462. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 stock car drivers Mick Sworder 150 and Andy Smith 391 traded metal . Photo Steve Botham

The race then seemed to be heading for a quiet conclusion until two to go when an out of control 266 Kev Catling in the Craig Utley 484 car careered down the back straight and round the armco on turns three and four and ran into the back of the Tony Smith 91 car which was parked just beyond the pit gate. Both drivers required attention from the paramedics and a long delay ensued as the roof of the 91 car was removed.

BriSCA F1 stock cars Danny Wainman 212 and Stu Smith Jnr 390 battle for the lead. Photo Colin Casserley

A single file restart with just two laps remaining had 212 Danny Wainman in pole, but the view in the Wainman mirror could not have been overly comforting as it was full of chief villain and everybody’s favourite bad boy Stuart Smith 390. The 390 car attacked as soon as the green was shown forcing his way past 212 on turn 2, only to meet an equally aggressive riposte from Wainman who took the inside line and leaned on the 390 car which connected with the back straight armco. 390 still had more to give and managed to get close enough for a turn 3 last bend lunge across the rumble strips but Wainman was equal to it while 390 lost momentum and second place to 11 Neil Scriven.

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Danny Wainman 212 wins his heat. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Neil Scriven 11 nicks second place from Stu Smith jnr 390. Photo Paul Tully

After more quality entertainment from the National Mini Stox and V8 Hot Stox it was Consolation time. The 23 starters included 411 and 252 Paul Redfern having their first race of the night and shootout competitors 2 Paul Harrison and 16 Mat Newson who were both desperate for a top 8 finish. Lap one saw 172 Mickey Randell give some aggressive treatment to 73 Rob Cowley but the race had barely started when a slow moving 420 Dan Laughlin caused cars to scatter in all directions, 420 was struck by an unsighted 141 Carl Pickering while 372 Colin Goodswen rode up the infield banking while attempting to avoid the pile up. A red flag was shown and full restart called for and Rob Cowley used the interlude to return on foot to turn 3 where he spent some time explaining the finer points of racing etiquette to the driver of the 172 car.

BriSCA F1 stock car drivers Gareth O' Beirne 412 and John Weldon 235. Photo Steve Botham

411 Peter Kaulbarsch took up the lead on the restart chased by 235 and Paul Carter 300. 411 retained the lead up to halfway when a fast moving 321 Ed Neachell went passed however the 321 car covered barely half a lap in the lead before retiring to the infield with mechanical problems. 434 Ivan Pritchard was next in line to challenge 411 and hit the front with five laps to go and reeled of the remaining laps unchallenged to take flag and trophy. 411 lost two further places but came home a creditable fourth while shootout challenger Mat Newson was out of luck retiring to the infield on the last lap.

BriSCA F1 stock car Shootout contenders Tom Harris 84 alongside Frankie Wainman jnr 515. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 Shootout contenders Craig Finnikin 55 alongside Andy Smith 391. Photo Paul Tully

31 made it on track for the final and all important shootout points. 84 Tom Harris only just made the grid requiring attention on track to a front shock absorber. 229 Derek Brown led them away with 411 riding shotgun. Further back the stars and superstars were lightening fast.

BriSCA F1 stock car Shootout contenders Craig Finnikin 55 and Ryan Harrison 197 tangle. Photo Colin Casserley

Pre race favourite 84 Hitman Harris lost loads of time in a tangle with 390 while 172 went hard into the turn two fence. Heavy contact continued on every bend with 212 taking a major pop at the 391 car while 22 Will Yarrow and 150 Mick Sworder were having an entertaining joust with 22 giving plenty of grief to the heavy hitting Sworder.

BriSCA F1 stock car Heat 2 winner Danny Wainman 212 tangles with Mickey Randell 172. Photo Colin Casserley

BriSCA F1 stock car World Champion Paul Harrison 2 tangles with Scott Davids 462. Photo Colin Casserley

Such levels of aggressive action could not continue for long and a yellow flag caution was required to remove the 51 car which was once again in the turn two fence while 462 Scott Davids and Paul Harrison tangled on the exit of turn two. Ex superstar 434 Ivan Pritchard made good use of his blue grade starting slot and was already leading prior to the restart and when the green was shown shot off into the distance for a comfortable victory.

BriSCA F1 stock car Shootout contenders Lee Fairhurst 217 and Frankie Wainman jnr 515 fight it out. Photo Paul Tully

In the minor places action continued on every bend as 150 and 22 continued to scrap for fourth while 515,84 and 217 Lee Fairhurst played a heavy hitting game on every bend. Last lap saw 150 go for a decisive hit on 22 but made insufficient contact to reverse the places and 217 did likewise to 515 but was beaten in a drag race to the line. While all this mayhem took place shootout challenger Dan Johnson kept the 4 car out of trouble and secured a podium finish in third and valuable shootout points.

BriSCA F1 stock car Final winner Ivan Pritchard 434 passes Rich Masterson 103. Photo Colin Casserley

24 survivors made it out on track for the Grand National. Up front things seemed fairly sedate with 426 Scott Davids making an early break and chasing down the 103 car of Richard Masterson. 150 Mick Sworder was out of luck getting half spun and shuffled to the back of the pack while Wainman 515 also lost time in a tangle with the 55 car of Craig Finnikin. 462 took the lead by halfway but just three laps later was under severe pressure from 259 and 84. With the hitman desperate for points following his failure in the final an aggressive move was inevitable.

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Tom Harris 84 on his way to a Grand National win. Photo Colin Casserley

Last lap turn 2 saw 259 push Davids wide only to have Davids return the hit with interest on turn 3, however both 259 and 462 ran wide allowing 84 to slide up the inside and nerf the others aside and win the ensuing scramble down the home straight to the flag. Many fans may have missed this drama as elsewhere battles raged with 515 Frankie Wainman and 391 Andrew Smith dueling for several laps and many on the turn four terraces were vocal in their desire for 515 to send 391 into early retirement. Wainman fans were however left disappointed as a recovering 150 car tipped 515 into a spin on turn four.

Thus no points for 515 while Harris made up for his poor showing in the final with victory, while many peoples favourite for the silver roof Dan Johnson again scored well with fourth place, leaving him just one point behind shootout leader 515 with just 3 rounds to go.

Damian Noblett

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