BriSCA F1 2010 World Championship Final – Race Report

At last, the time had come for the bigest race of the 2010 season, the BriSCA F1 stock car World final. The participants were led on in reverse grid order with Martin Wilkinson (Aus35) coming out first. The atmosphere on the backstraight was intense to start with but when eight time World Final winner John Lund (53) pulled on track, the crowd went wild.

World Final grid F1 stock cars led by Gary Castell (h247) and Craig Finnikin (55) on the rolling lap. Photo Paul Tully

After ‘Gentleman start your engines’ and a couple of rolling laps, they were off. Frankie Wainman jnr pulled ahead as John Lund and Matt Newson (16) both put in a tremendous push for the front, leading to cars connecting with the turn one armco as they ran out of space, resulting in a massive first bend pile up with most of the field being involved. Dan Johnson (4) rolled over as Andrew Smith took the lead back from Wainman down on turn three.

BriSCA F1 Coventry World Final 2010 first bend pile up. Photo Paul Tully

The red flags were shown for a complete restart as hurried work began on the infield to get cars race ready. Paul Harrison (2) and John Lund (53) were both tractored to the infield and it was obviously all over for Harrison and touch and go as to whether Lund would manage to get his car sorted in time. Dan Johnson had immediately leapt out of his car and got to work and was soon back on the grid while Louw Wobbes (h22) took a hammer to his front end but to no avail.

Ron Kroonder (h217) had three tyres going down but did not have another Pirelli so had to use tyres that were not his. Matt Newson had buckled his wing, so removed it leaving it on the greyhound track by the pitgate and it was not long before Luke Davidson’s team had brought their own European shale wing to the pitgate for Matt to use as a replacement if he so desired. John Lund and team managed to sort their car out just in time and there was another huge cheer as Lund pulled off the infield onto the track.

At the complete restart as they charged into the first bend, Paul Hines (259) grasped the lead but it was not long before Matt Newson fancying his own chances went in for a hit, only to be shoved by Andy Smith behind, with Matt T-boning Hines. As they tore round the track as a tight group, fighting for position, John Lund got it sideways down the backstraight, collected cars in a massive tangle and connected with the backstraight armco.

BriSCA F1 stock cars at the restart of the Coventry 2010 World Final. Photo Paul Tully

At this point, the yellow flags were momentarily waved on the infield and the yellow lights blinked on for an unseen James Neachell (322) roll. The race continued and Andrew Smith was onto the backmarkers but Kroonder slipped by to take the lead until Smith nerfed him aside on the pitgate bend. Craig Finnikin (55) was motoring through the field as Smith cut through backmarkers like a hot knife through butter. Now the yellows were properly shown for a stranded Lee Robinson (107) sideways to the racing line halfway down the backstraight.
Restart order: 1 – H217 – 414 – 198 – 321 – NZ58 – 11 – 515 – A35 – 53 – 55 – 16 – H399 – 13 – H25 – NZ52 – 48 – 4 – NZ8 – 259 – 21 – 35 – 22

As the green dropped, Nigel Whalley (198) got straight into fellow first timer, Arno van Zwieten (H414) as Peter Bengston (NZ58) passed Ed Neachell (321) and Mark Gilbank retired to the infield. Frankie Wainman jnr, who at the last Coventry World final in 2006 completed a stupendous drive from the rear to make second, bumpered Ed Neachell aside. John Lund’s race was over not long after when he too retired to the infield sadly suffering with steering problems. Andrew Smith and Ron Kroonder were motoring fast and clear of the rest of the field with the two extending the gap with purpose. Scott Miers (NZ8), last year’s fastest oversea qualifier had a coming together with Neil Shenton (35), the two getting hooked up and slowing as they freed themselves.

BriSCA F1 stock cars of Scott Joblin (NZ52) and Andy Smith (1). Photo Paul Tully

Upfront, Andrew Smith came up behind lap down Scott Joblin (NZ52) whose father Russell preventing Stu Smith snr from taking four World Finals in a row at Coventry in 1986. Smith did not despatch Joblin in his usual easy fashion but was held up behind him, allowing Kroonder to close the gap and when Joblin and Smith momentarily became hooked up and Kroonder took the lead, the backstraight erupted. But it was not to be, as Smith soon overhauled Kroonder and was soon back out as the leader. Smith came up behind Whalley and his ‘CATCH ME IF YOU CAN….SMITHY!’ signwriting and slid passed as Frankie Wainman jnr motored into third.

Back of the #198 Car. Photo Stephen Cording

Leader Ron Kroonder (H217) feels the pressure from Andy Smith (1). Photo Paul Tully

Kroonder’s borrowed tyres had gone off and he was unable to get the grip required to get back up with wayward leader Andrew Smith and it was not long before he was overhauled by Wainman jnr. Paul Hines clutch had given up the ghost and he coasted to a halt in the turn two armco, a sad end to a second row start and momentarily lead. Craig Finnikin, fighting his way through sailed past Kroonder to snatch the last place on the podium as only fifteen cars finished the race. Overseas driver Berry Paardenkooper (H25) finished in seventh in his last World Final and Arno van Zwieten in his first World Final took a creditable tenth place.

Coventry tenth place 2010 World Finalist Arno van Zwieten (H414). Photo Colin Casserley

Andy Smith completed yet another composed drive to become only the third driver BriSCA F1 stock car driver to successfully win the Gold Roof three times in a row and is probably already looking forward to the 2011 World Final to see if he can make it the magic four in a row. However, it surely cannot be too much longer before the World Final trophy goes overseas.

BriSCA F1 stock car World Champion 2010 Andy Smith (1). Photo Paul Tully

Ailsa Haigh

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