Buxton, 17th May 2015 – Meeting Report and Photo Gallery

The High Edge Raceway microclimate welcomed a healthy crowd on Sunday 17th, but many had to check their calendars to be sure it was May and not February as a brisk wind cut through several layers of clothing. Despite the cold and overcast conditions, rain stayed away for the whole afternoon and the 28 cars present put in plenty of hot laps to try and raise the temperature on the terraces.

Prior to the start of racing, all cars and drivers gathered on the infield to pay respects to ORCi Mini Stox driver Keir Millar who tragically lost his young life after a racing incident at Lochgelly Raceway. Almost all drivers had painted front bumpers gold in tribute to Kier and the fans joined the drivers in observing a minutes silence.

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Bumpers were painted gold in memory of Keir Millar.

16 for Heat One, including a front row made up of those boyband wannabees, Jordan Falding (36) and Brad Harrison (25). The pair set off and put in some well-choreographed laps. Mick Sworder (150) led the red top charge but progress was slow with so many lower grades well on the pace.

Now, two members hardly makes a boyband but others fancied joining Brad and Jordy on centre stage, and Michael Steward (512) put in a strong audition. While Brad slipped down the order, Steward was well set in second place before halfway. It took until two to go for Steward to close down Falding and he took the lead just as the 150 car retired from third place.

Not a great deal of aggressive intent at the front of the field but fans were not left totally disappointed as further back in the pack Rob Speak (318) and Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) seemed to have recognised they lacked sufficient pace for victory, and instead spent several laps beating each other up without resorting to destructive fencings, Speak eventually broke clear leading home Wainman in fourth place.

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After two wins at Northampton the night before, Michael Steward showed he was still on form.

20 for Heat Two, including 267 Graeme Robson, airing his recently purchased ex-James Lund car for the first time. With no Jordan to keep him company, Bradley Harrison took control early on, but yellow flags came out for on-track debris and his lead evaporated. On the restart another teenage starlet, Jack Aldridge (421) stepped forward and took the lead while Bradley left the stage; clattering the Armco.

The field seemed pretty much all on the same pace except for one car piloted by Lee Fairhurst (217). The car and driver are clearly in love with the undulations of the Buxton tarmac and can find a way to produce consistent quick laps. Ford 388 and Davison 464 had got to the front but the 217 car sailed past, picking off each one with the minimum of fuss. Mat Newson (16) finally roused himself in the last few laps, caught Ford on the last lap and spanked him wide to secure third place behind Davison 464.

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Fairhurst made his way past Ford to take the win in Heat 2.

Another ‘one man show’ in Heat Three as the 18 others had no answer to the pace of the 217 car. More teenage antics up front as Falding did his best to stay away from the Aldridge front bumper. Paul Ford (388) did resist Fairhurst for a few laps but the 217 car had all the answers and took the lead from Aldridge on the last bend. Rob Speak looked for a Wainman to play with and this time found Danny 212 in the mood. Hits went in on a regular basis; great for the fans but not helpful for points and places, as 212 managed seventh with the 318 car down in ninth at the finish.

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Speak and Wainman battling hard in Heat 3.

26 for an ‘all in’ Final, with several ‘points-less’ drivers lucky to get a place on the grid due to this relaxed interpretation of the rules for a World Championship qualifying round, which usually require drivers to qualify for the Final. Boybands never seem to last long and sure enough teenage solidarity went out of the window on lap one as Jordan 36 lunged at Brad 25 in turn one, sending the 25 car for a trip round the Armco. To his credit, Bradley recovered from the hit and maintained second place behind Falding until yellow flags halted proceedings to remove the 249 Joff Gibson car from the turn four fence.

With Fairhurst in fifth on the restart, only one result seemed possible and the 217 car was soon in the lead. Speak and Wainman Jnr had another bout of metal bashing while Paul Ford made it into second place with five to go. Then disaster struck for Fairhurst as a half shaft sheared and, thus, with drive to only one rear wheel the 217 car slid down the field. A delighted Ford 388 took the win to take a little more English cash north of the border.

Considering the 388 team had worked for much of the night to replace an engine damaged at Northampton and had then struggled for much of the afternoon with brake problems, the victory was well deserved for a team who put in some horrendous and expensive motorway miles to entertain the fans. Newson made an aggressive last bend move on Speak to steal fourth place on the last bend but the 16 car was still a long way back from a third placed Jordan Falding, who took a well-deserved podium spot and looks well set to make the same rapid progress to the top of the sport as his father did back in the late eighties.

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A Final win for Paul Ford, with Wainman Junior second and Falding third.

17 for the Grand National and more easy cash for the repaired 217 Fairhurst car. 421 Aldridge lead most of the laps with Chris Cowley (37) close but not able to make contact. The 217 car claimed third by halfway and captured the lead with five to go. Wainman (515) also managed to sneak past 421 and 37 to secure second place. Newson meanwhile repeated his final manoeuvre, getting another chunky hit in on Speak to pinch sixth place.

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Lee Fairhurst taking his total wins for the weekend up to 4.

Words: Damian Noblett
Photos: Colin Casserley

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