Buxton – April 17th 2011 Meeting Report

Warm sunshine greeted spectators and drivers at Buxton for the 2011 World Championship qualifying round and after a spectacular meeting at Northampton the night before, expectations were high. Paul Hines (259) had managed to make it trackside after a very late night of mending his car and there was the first appearance of the 2011 season for popular white grader Chris Cooke (460).

At the green for heat one, the white graders tore off and Chris Cooke immediately stuck the bumper into Dave Riley (422), with Riley and Rich Masterson (103) tangling hard with Riley going up and over the bonnet of the 103 machine. Cooke briefly inherited the lead until he faced the fence himself down the other end. Dylan Williams Maynard (51) took up the running and remained at the front unchallenged until the chequered flag.

Dylan Williams Maynard 51 and Paul Carter 300. Photo Paul Tully

Stu Smith Jnr 390 in his shale car. Photo Paul Tully

Stu Smith jnr (390) still using his shale car soon got in the thick of it dishing it out to Paul Harrison (2) before moving onto his next victim Neil Scriven (11). Luke Davidson (464) was making his way to the front in a smooth fashion but was unable to close down Williams Maynard. After the previous night’s handling problems, Dylan Williams Maynard looked to have his car well back on song. Slightly further back the remaining red graders argued amongst themselves with Frankie Wainman jnr (515) moving lower grader Iain Holden (85) aside to get up behind Smith jnr. Tom Harris (84) and Lee Robinson (107) tustled right upto the last lap, getting themselves well out of shape and allowing a lurking Iain Holden to slip up the inside to steal both their places.

Iain Holden 85 and Craig Utley 484. Photo Chris Clark

James Morris 463 led the yellow grades away for heat two. Photo Chris Clark

For heat two, Dave Riley led the three whites away apace while Craig Utley (484) tried to improve his yellow grade position by sticking the bumper into James Morris (463) on the pitgate bend. Initially he failed to bypass Morris so reapplied his bumper with more force down the other end, with Morris making contact with the armco shortly followed by Mike Kingston jnr (488), Chris Cowley (37) and Tony Smith (91) all piling in and Tony Smith mounting the striken Morris machine.

Tony Smith 91 ended up on top of James Morris 463. Photo Paul Tully

At the restart, Chris Cooke led them away as Utley pushed himself passed Dave Plumbley (393) and into third, as Plumbley bounced off the homestraight armco. Cooke’s lead was soon curtailed by Utley who was being closely followed by Matt Newson (16). Newson barged passed on the bottom bend to take the lead with Dan Johnson (4) neatly taking third before then relegating Utley into third. James Neachell (322) got caught up with Chris Cooke’s rear bumper with Neachell retiring to the infield at the halfway point.

Dan Johnson 4 on Matt Newson's 16 rear bumper. Photo Chris Clark

Dan Johnson gave Newson a punt to neatly take the lead while at the rear Paul Carter (300) gave Dave Riley a taste of his bumper. Danny Wainman (212) gave Michael Scriven (12) a tentative nudge before reinforcing his point to get passed but it was not long before Scriven returned the compliment and squirreled his position back. Johnson went onto take the win after successfully pulling away from second place Newson. Wily veteran John Lund (53) with his JCB digger scoop style wing kept a tidy line and out of trouble and qualified for the final fifth.

Dan Johnson 4 bypasses Robert Broome 41. Photo Paul Tully

Paul Carter 300 ahead of yellow graders in the consolation. Photo Chris Clark

The consolation saw fifteen cars take to the track for twelve qualifying positions. Dave Riley led them away at the green while Dave Plumbley gave Paul Carter a taste of the bumper with the two getting momentarily hooked up together, bunching up the rest of the field behind them. James Lund (153) gave Ed Neachell (321) a lick, sending Chris Cooke who was just in front out to the armco. Neil Scriven (11) pulled off to the infield leaving only two non-qualifying spots up for grabs. Dave Riley was having a tidy run out front and was extending his lead with ease. Mike Kingston jnr (488) gave Paul Carter a slap but got himself into trouble and was forced to retire alongside Josh Smith (191) who had a flat outside rear. This meant that if all the cars running kept going, then they would all qualify for the final.

Lee Fairhurst 217 and Dave Riley 422 in the consolation. Photo Paul Tully

Consolation winner James Lund 153. Photo Chris Clark

The quick blue grader James Lund was reeling in Riley and soon had captured the lead for himself. As the race progressed, Ed Neachell (321) gave brother James a slap for position after Lee Fairhurst (217) had already used his bumper on James himself to improve his position. Ed Neachell then came up behind Dave Riley and gave him a thump sending him sailing out to the armco where he remained until the end of the race. Lund took the chequered flag unimpeded while further back, Carter and Plumbley tangled on the homestraight with Carter rolling to the finish line.

Paul Carter 300 after his roll. Photo Paul Tully

The reds lining up for the final. Photo Paul Tully

Red grades in the final. Photo Chris Clark

The final saw the introduction of an apparent new rule which not only caught Matt Newson out, but surprised the spectating crowd as well. As we understand it if any driver wins a final the night before on the same surface he starts at the back of his grade for the next final. Matt argued his case on the finish line but still started at the back of his grade.

Red graders in the final including Matt Newson 16. Photo Paul Tully

Solo white top Chris Cooke led the field away for the final. As the cars fought to sort themselves out Michael Scriven nearly lost it going down the back straight, wobbling from side to side before getting it back under control. Upfront, Craig Utley moved himself into the lead as Frankie Wainman jnr sent Luke Davidson scuttling round the armco as he bulldozered his way forwards.

Frankie Wainman jnr 515 and Luke Davidson 464 side by side. Photo Chris Clark

Frankie Wainman jnr 515 tasting the armco thanks to Dan Johnson 4. Photo Chris Clark

Dan Johnson then gave Frank a monster hit himself to get ahead as Stu Smith jnr slowed, pulled out wide and retired to the infield. Frankie Wainman jnr returned the favour on Johnson, sending him out to connect with Newson with Frank then thumping Newson directly to take his place. Frank and Dan tustled for position with Dan having the speed down the straights but Frank have the superior set up round the bends.

Paul Harrison 2 bypassing James Lund 153. Photo Paul Tully

Chris Cowley 37 alongside Luke Davidson 464. Photo Paul Tully

Johnson struck Wainman back just as the yellows came out for a stranded Chris Cowley (37) who was head on in the turn four fence. Cowley tried to rejoin the restart but was sent to the infield for being the cause of the stoppage. At the green John Lund shoved Lee Robinson (107) wide, sending him well down the order and Johnson gave the rear bumper of Tom Harris some attention as the altercation continued. A slick Paul Harrison easily moved himself into third while Frankie Wainman jnr again tustled with Matt Newson.

Danny Wainman 212 and Tom Harris 84. Photo Paul Tully

Lee Robinson who normally goes very well round Buxton, had been suffering with handling issues earlier in the day and retired from the battlefield as Harrison moved up and slid into second place. Michael Scriven gave Tom Harris a punt as John Lund repeatedly assaulted Ed Neachell for his place. The rate of attrition was high with Tom Harris and Lee Fairhurst pulling to the infield as Paul Harrison tore after leader Lund with five laps to go. Frankie Wainman jnr overcame the quick yellow grader Utley to take third as Harrison gave Lund a taste of steel to take the lead for himself. Further down the order Dylan Williams Maynard received a gentle nudge from Dan Johnson to make the pass as upfront James Lund suffered a flat tyre on the last lap letting Frankie Wainman through to take second.

James Lund 153 suffers a flat tyre. Photo Paul Tully

Paul Harrison 2 takes the Buxton WCQR final. Photo Chris Clark

No white graders came out for the last race of the night, the Grand National, leaving Williams Maynard and Utley to make up the front row. Dylan Williams Maynard moved into the lead while Matt Newson lamped his fellow red grades that were in front of him. Dan Johnson then thumped into Newson, sending the luckless Paul Hines (259) into the armco on turn two. With the stationary Hines positioned in the fence, when Luke Davidson and Lee Fairhurst came flying round the bend they were left with nowhere to go, with Davidson being clattered by Fairhurst and then clattering into Hines before connecting with the backstraight armco.

Frankie Wainman jnr was chasing down Dan Johnson as Paul Hines managed to pull off the race track and retire to the infield. Up ahead tarmac specialist James Lund was reeling in Craig Utley and gave him a shove to take his place as Dylan Williams Maynard still led the field out front. James Lund continued reeling in the wayward yellow grader and it looked like Williams Maynard might hold on to the flag until Lund gave him a hit on the last bend to take the lead, and the victory.

James Lund 153 takes the GN from Dylan Williams Maynard 51. Photo Paul Tully

Ailsa Haigh

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