BriSCA F1 British Drivers Championship 2009 – Race Report

With the eight qualifying heats completed; Thirty-one out of the thirty-two qualified cars formed a closed grid on the shale of Belle Vue’s tight oval raceway (Paul Hines not making it out). With two controlled rolling laps completed, the green flag dropped.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

ROW INSIDE LANE OUTSIDE LANE
1 Stuart Smith Jnr (390) Andy Smith (1/391)
2 Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) Mark Gilbank (21)
3 Tom Harris (84) Mark Poole (276)
4 Murray Harrison (97) Richard Wilson (502)
5 Lee Robinson (107) Mal Brown (34)
6 Danny Wainman (212) Joe Booth (446)
7 Dan Johnson (4) Andy Ford (13)
8 John Lund (53) Robert Broome (41)
9 Paul Hines (259) James Morris (463)
10 Neil Shenton (35) Joff Gibson (249)
11 Craig Finnikin (55) Adam Slater (214)
12 Spencer Taylor (498) Paul Harrison (2)
13 Dave Willis (337) Tony Smith (91)
14 Ryan Harrison (197) Tim Warwick (307)
15 Mark Woodhull (335) Scott Davids (462)
16 Richard Bryan (238) Chris Brocksopp (338)

Andy Smith (#1) had a scare early on, clipping the fence exiting turn two while Murray Harrison (#97) and Frankie Wainman Jnr (#515) had a tussle down the back straight that resulted in Frankie Wainman going into the fence around turn three. Frankie Wainmans hopes of winning the British Drivers Championship disappeared as Mal Brown (#34), Robert Broome (#41) and Ricky Wilson (#502) all ploughed into the rear of the 515 car, hindering any quick escape from the fence.

Tony Smith (#91) fell victim to a T-Boning from Under 25’s Champion Ryan Harrison (#197) on turn four while Stuart Smith (#390) was leading at this early stage of the race. It was then the fence on turns one and two to collect some cars; with Daniel Wainman (#212), Richard Wilson, Joe Booth (#446) and Neil Shenton (#35) all piling in.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Tom Harris (#84) had worked his way up to second place, and was quickly making his presence known to race leader Stuart Smith. Harris launched a perfect attack going into turn one; firing the #390 car off into the fence and into the stationary #212 car. The delay to Smith effectively putting him out of the running for the title. Harris was no sooner the race leader, when he himself was under attack from fellow young gun Lee Robinson (#107).

Second place Robinson was handed a stroke of luck when applying pressure to the rear of Harris. Harris took a slightly wider line going round turns one and two but was not expecting to see the #41 car of Broome in the fence. In avoiding this car, Robinson was able to slip past on the inside and take the lead. Robinson was then immediately having to negotiate back markers which included the #515 car of Frankie Wainman Jnr.

John Lund (#53) had worked his way into third place and Tom Harris now encountered the lap down #515 car passing on turns three and four. The reigning National Series Champion was not giving up without a fight and kept close to the #84 car going down the home straight; attacked going into turn one, passing the #84 car and moving closer to the task of unlapping himself. This activity from the #515 car allowed Lund to gain ground on second place Harris. Meanwhile, race leader Robinson needed to move back marker Chris Brocksopp (#338) to keep the distance between himself and Harris. Frankie Wainmans hopes of unlapping himself finished when he T-Boned Brocksopp going into turn three, Frankie was quickly free and moving but the damage was already done.

Fourth Place Andy Smith appeared to have his car set up for the latter stages of the race and was fast approaching the rear of third place Lund. Lund had moved himself into attacking distance of Harris and attacked going into turn three with Harris fending off the attack, only to then have to retire from the race. Lund now found Andy Smith glued to his own rear bumper going down the home straight. Andy kept the pressure on going into turn one, forcing the #53 car wide with Andy coming out ahead exiting turn two. Lund kept up with the #1 car down the back straight, attacking going into three but was unable to move or hinder the World Champion. Lund himself now had Mark Gilbank in his rear view mirror to contend with.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

At the half way stage Lee Robinson had a lead of approximately the length of the straight on second place Andy Smith. The track drying up and less cars on track meant the speeds were increasing. Robinson was quickly approaching back marker Andy Ford (#13) and Joff Gibson (#249) who appeared totally unaware of the race leaders presence as they were engaging in there own fierce on track battle. It was also interesting to note the the Race Starter was not indicating that Lee Robinson was the leader at this stage, but in error was indicating second place Andy Smith as race leader. Robinson first passed Ford, and then got passed Gibson but so did the ever gaining #1 car.

The spinning #502 car of Ricky Wilson on turns one and two further hindered the #107 car. This again, led to the gap between the leader and the #1 car getting smaller and smaller. With the two laps to go board out, Andy attacked the inside of Robinson on turns one and two, and passed to take the lead. Robinson exited two and kept tight onto the rear of the World Champion but Andy went onto take the win.

Result 1 – 107 – 53 – 21 – 390 – 4 – 2 – 34 – 55 – 335

Stephen Cording

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