Coventry, 19th September 2014 – meeting report and photo gallery

36 overseas drivers lined up for Heat 1, and were led away by Ruud Beckers (H505) and Eric Pollard (USA1). Beckers took the early lead in the Lee Robinson car, while New Zealand contender, Peter Bengston (NZ58), got into trouble on the back straight. Pollard made a move on H505, but Frits van Dis (H392) tried to get up the inside of both. H392 misjudged the move, clipping USA1 and spinning.

H505 was still in control of the race, from USA1 but, just behind the leaders, there was some close racing from the Koopmans (H36 and H38). It wasn’t long before Pollard was forced wide, allowing H38 up the inside. As H84 went for a spin on the start straight, H38 took the lead and H36 followed through into second.

At half distance, the leaders were shown as H38, H36 and Harm van der Veen (H484). Early leader H505 went for a spin and Koen Maris (H61) and NZ58 had a coming together. H484 had also got into some trouble, now around half way down the field. Van der Veen was later docked places for jumping the restart.

While Bart Koopmans (H38) was given the chequered flag and went around on the lap of honour, he was found to be a lap down, handing the victory to H36 Wendy Koopmans.

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Brother and sister, Bart and Wendy Koopmans, battling hard in Heat 1.

Heat 2 saw another H36 take to the track; this time it was tar specialist Paul Hermkens. The race was led away by Jan Vrieswijk (H104) and Tom Maris (H161), with Johan Catsburg (H99) finding it difficult to keep the car going in a straight line. H104 took to the lead, followed by a wingless Zwerver car (later found to be H295 Willem Zwerver).

Cor Meijer (H69) went around and was collected by Rene de Groot (H646), Harmen Zwerver (H195) and Martin Verhoef (H8). Meanwhile, Ron Kroonder (H217) was making fast progress, no doubt hoping to take a win before retiring from racing. The wingless Zwerver also spun round and was collected by, among others, a recovering Meijer.

After leading for an impressive number of laps, H104 spun around in the Coventry bend. Kroonder clipped the fence trying to pass a troublesome yellow top and lost several places before retiring to infield with a flat rear tyre. By half distance, Gosse Hoekstra (H44) had claimed the lead. He held the position for the remaining laps, taking the victory.

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Willem Zwerver came out for Heat 2 minus a wing.

H505 once again claimed the early lead in the Consolation. There was a particularly slow start from Catsburg, with the H99 car temporarily pulling out of the race.

It wasn’t long before trouble started at the front; the H505 car spun allowing H104 into the lead. Vrieswijk was soon being challenged by the newly-winged H295 car. Zwerver had a brief moment in the top spot before H104 reclaimed the position, sending H295 into a spin as he did so.

Just before half race distance, H104 then lost out to NZ58, with H392 taking up second. The other New Zealander (NZ3, Graeme Barr) was not having the same luck, eventually coming to a stop with Mark Woudenberg (H84) in the Turn 4 fencing.

Back at the front, Kroonder had caught the leaders. The H217 car wasted no time, punting second place into first and passing both for lead. Despite the bumper coming back in from H58, Kroonder maintained the lead for the rest of the race, taking a well-deserved victory.

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Ron Kroonder taking the win in the Consolation.

Eric Pollard and Willem Zwerver led the jam-packed overseas field away for the Marina Heller Memorial Final, with H295 taking the top spot early on. After spinning in front of another car, Jan Roelof Wijbinga (H228) rolled over on the exit of Turn 2.

Zwerver (H295) led them around for the restart, followed by USA1 and H44. Almost immediately, Hoekstra spun, allowing NZ58 up to third. Bouwe Arjen Hiddinga (H17) scraped the Pits bend fencing and Bengston was forced to slow to avoid spinners. A second caution was called for, for Rian Vronik (H102), who was in the fence, and H12, who was stranded in the middle of Turn 2.

Martijn Oudhuis (H447) went around at the restart, collecting H17. Willem Zwerver was still in control, his dramatic driving style proving effective, from USA1 and H217. Kroonder made his move on Pollard just as Danny van Wamelen (H47) joined the battle for second and third. Kroonder took second, with H47 falling in behind, but both had a lot still to do to catch the H295 machine.

At half distance, Kroonder appeared to be making ground on Zwerver. Van Wamelen was now under pressure from H392 and, just behind them, Koen Maris was under pressure from Pieter van der Lest (H226). H226 went up inside of Maris to take fourth position as the leader hit lap traffic. Frits van Dis put the bumper in on H47, forcing him out wide, but the H392 car also had H226 to contend with and van Wamelen was able to hold on to third spot for a little while longer.

Meanwhile, Kroonder had caught up with H295 and, with 2 laps to go, he made his move. The bumper came in, Zwerver went wide but Kroonder followed, handing the lead to H226. Van der Lest completed the last lap unhindered, taking the victory.

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Danny van Wamelen (H47) had to battle hard in the Final.

Pieter van der Lest took up his place at the lap handicap for the Grand National, with H505 and H104 behind him. H104 took the initial lead and H44 wasted no time in passing USA1 for third. H11 and H392 hit the Turn 1 fencing, bringing out the yellow flags.

H104 led them around for the restart, with H44 in second and H505 in third. USA1 went up the inside of H505 for third, while H44 battled for the lead with H104. Beckers spun on the pit bend, but the rest of the pack avoided the stricken H505 machine. Consolation winner Ron Kroonder retired from the race with smoke from a rear tyre.

NZ3 spun himself on the pits bend and H646 and H84 came together at opposite end of the track, but it was Gosse Hoekstra who held the lead, taking his second win of the night.

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Ruud Beckers (H505) and Eric Pollard (USA1) were impressive all night.

Words: Rhosanna Jenkins

Photos: Colin Casserley

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