BriSCA F1 2013 BSCDA British Championship – Meeting Report

The Heats

Buxton, 16th June 2013. With a surprisingly low entry of just 25 cars for the BSCDA British Championship, the race format was four heats, with each driver competing in three; the top point scorers going through the final which was gridded in points scored order.

The first heat was arguably the best race of the day, and the newly-upgraded to red Jamie Jackson (377) was in the lead after just a handful of laps. The pack was still bunched up at this stage, and a big push from further back put the leading trio of Jackson, Steve Reedman (361) and Yarrow wide on the pit bend, with Yarrow emerging in the lead. He led to the flag, but the real interest was the race long battle between Wainman (515) and Tom Harris (84). They bumpered each other wide every few laps, and by the last lap it was Harris in front.

Approaching turn one for the last time, Harris had Wainman on his back bumper and Paul Carter (300) in front of him. Harris took the initiative and hit carter wide, but the impact looked to knock the 84 car off line. Instead of diving through the gap, Wainman hung back, and then followed Harris down the straight and planted him into the fence on the last bend. A non-finish for Harris, but in some respects getting as far as the last bend was his best result of the day, as the 84 car suffered engine problems and failed to run for more than a couple of laps in either of the other heats.

Frankie Wainman and Tom Harris traded places for the entire duration of Heat One.

Frankie Wainman and Tom Harris traded places for the entire duration of Heat One.

Frankie dumps Tom on the last bend of Heat One.

Frankie dumps Tom on the last bend of Heat One.

The second heat got off to a lively start as Rob Speak piled into the cars in front of him. Harris pulled a similar manoeuvre on Fairhurst but the 84 car retired to the infield a lap later. Randell took over from early leader Reedman, as Yarrow dropped down the order after a visit to the turn three plate courtesy of Speak. After looking extremely quick at the start of the race, Wainman (515) gradually dropped back with overheating front brakes.

Speak was again dishing it out at the start of the third heat, thumping Harrison into Finnikin, who hit the fence. Carter led early on before Randell took over, with Johnson gradually reeling him in. A last bend hit had Johnson take the win by a narrow margin.

Mal Brown tries his big block powered shale car on the Buxton tarmac.

Mal Brown tries his big block powered shale car on the Buxton tarmac.

The fourth heat started with Mal Brown dumping Randell and Smith (91) into the fence, although Brown himself was then despatched by persons unseen. Carter led from the off and set a fair pace, until Hines closed up. No doubt expecting the bumper, Carter braked early into turn one. Hines still got past but it allowed third place Wainman (515) to close right up to them. Wainman cannoned Carter into Hines, only for Carter to lunge at Wainman on the next bend and spin the 515 car around. Hines took the win, with Finnikin coming home second in a brand new car.

Paul Carter takes Frankie Wainman out of Heat 4.

Paul Carter takes Frankie Wainman out of Heat 4.

The new John Lund car suffered with engine problems all day.

The new John Lund car suffered with engine problems all day.

Of the cars present, those not making the final were lone white top 252 Paul Redfern, plus 91 Tony Smith, 53 John Lund, and one of the pre-meeting favourites 84 Tom Harris.

The Final

Lee Fairhurst became the 2013 British Champion after a masterful drive. With some cool and calculated drives in the heats, Lee gave a virtuoso performance in the main race, shrugging off the first lap challenges of Rob Speak and simply driving away from the opposition.

The grid had Dan Johnson on pole with Micky Randell alongside, with Rob Speak and Lee Fairhurst on row 2. Speak had made it clear what kind of mood he was in during the qualifying heats, and when the green dropped Randell perhaps wisely decided he didn’t want to be in the firing line and hung back a little bit. Unfortunately the 172 car then ran out of room and was squeezed onto the home straight fence before retiring to the infield.

The grid for the 2013 British Championship with Dan Johnson on pole.

The grid for the 2013 British Championship with Dan Johnson on pole.

Johnson made a rapid start was the first car into turn one and despite being a couple of lengths behind, Speak reached out and fired the number 4 car straight into the plating. This allowed Fairhurst to come past, but Speak wasn’t far behind and he went in with the bumper on the next bend. Fairhurst, it appeared, had anticipated this, as although both cars bounced off the fence they emerged from the bend with Fairhurst still in front.

Dan Johnson is in the fence, Rob Speak is wide, and Lee Fairhurst takes the lead.

Lap one, turn two. Dan Johnson is in the fence, Rob Speak is wide, and Lee Fairhurst takes the lead.

Lap two, turn one, and the second of Rob Speak's challenges.

Lap two, turn one, and the second of Rob Speak’s challenges.

Speak went for another lunge on the next bend, but Fairhurst was ready for it and with the 318 car going wide, Will Yarrow and Frankie Wainman came by, relegating Speak to fourth place.

Meanwhile, Johnson had limped around the track with broken steering and he came to a stop about three quarters of the way down the back straight. As the pack came around for the second lap, Mat Newson was right behind Paul Hines; the latter swerved to avoid the stricken number 4 car, leaving Newson no time to react and he hit the inside rear corner of the Johnson car at full speed.

The impact catapulted Johnson forwards by a fair few yards and threw the 16 car sideways into the path of Craig Finnikin, whose outside front wheel caught Newson’s bumper and almost completely peeled the front axle off. With no steering or front brakes the 55 car then went hard into the wall at almost full race speed. Josh Smith then piled into Newson and the pair of them crashed into Finnikin.

Dan Johnson tries to get back up to speed after being put in the fence by Rob Speak on the first bend, but has problems with the steering.

Dan Johnson tries to get back up to speed after being put in the fence by Rob Speak on the first bend, but has problems with the steering.

Mat Newson clips the parked Dan Johnson car and is flicked into the path of Craig Finnikin.

Mat Newson clips the parked Dan Johnson car and is flicked into the path of Craig Finnikin.

Craig Finnikin surveys the damage.

Craig Finnikin surveys the damage.

Although he later went to A&E with back pains, we are pleased to report that Craig did not suffer any serious injuries.

Although he later went to A&E with back pains, we are pleased to report that Craig did not suffer any serious injuries, and Mat and Dan are also relatively unscathed.

The Finnikin car sustained some serious damage, but the Newson car was even worse, and there was a delay while the pieces were picked up and the remains taken back to the pits. For more pictures and some video clips, see our separate feature.

The line up for the restart read Fairhurst, then Yarrow, Wainman, Speak, and Hines. Wainman was slow to restart and lost a few places. A couple of laps later and Yarrow was bundled aside as Speak, Robinson, and the back up to speed Wainman went past. Further back, Hines went past Paul Harrison for sixth place.

The line-up for the restart.

The line-up for the restart.

Race order now read 1, 318, 107, and 515, and that’s how it stayed for the rest of the race. At the halfway point, Fairhurst’s lead was not far off the length of the straight.

As the lap boards came out, Hines passed Yarrow for fifth place, and Robinson appeared to be edging closer to Speak, but he ran out of laps before he could make a challenge.

Lee Fairhurst took the flag by some margin, and in doing so added the British Championship to his already impressive list of accomplishments.

Lee Fairhurst smokes the tyres as he takes the chequered flag to win the British Championship.

Lee Fairhurst smokes the tyres as he takes the chequered flag to win the British Championship.

The 2013 F1 Stock Car British Champion LEE FAIRHURST

The 2013 F1 Stock Car British Champion LEE FAIRHURST

Photos: Colin Casserley
Words: Carl Hesketh

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