Coventry – July 2nd 2011 Meeting Report

An impressive turnout saw just under sixty BriSCA F1 stockcars travel to Coventry, for a full meeting format including the BSCDA Trust Fund race, open to star and superstar drivers. A gloriously hot day set the scene for an impressive contest. Ex-Matt Newson hire car driver Steve Anderson 120 was present in his newly owned BriSCA F1 stock car and tarmac driver Colin Goodswen 372 was present in the 129 Steve Lewin machine as well as David Scates 382 in a hire car, which when combined all meant a busy night for the Newson team.

Heat one for the Whites and Yellows soon took to the track with a massive thirty one cars for what is usually a very entertaining race. From pole Nigel Harrhy 45 took the lead and set off while behind the cars jostled themselves into some semblance of order. Hire car driver David Scates lost a wheel early on but it bounced to the infield as did Graham Wagstaff 330. Steve Malkin snr 208 gave Steve Anderson 120 a punt sending him into a spin down on the pitgate bend while lap down Chris Bonner 105 came up behind second placed Tim Warwick 307 giving him a healthy shove, having the favour returned with interest when Warwick drove into the side of the 105 machine. A rare appearance for Mark Tittcomb 398 came to a sudden end, tangling with Paul Spooner 104 necessitating the yellow flags.

BriSCA F1 driver Geoff Nickolls 215 overtakes Nigel Harrhy 45. Photo Dave Bastock

This closed the field right up with Geoff Nickolls 215 breathing down leader Harrhy’s neck and it was not long before Nickolls took the lead followed closely by the quick Neil Shenton 35. Harrhy attempted to regain his two lost places, with the trio going three wide coming out of turn four but he was squeezed out by the more experienced drivers. Tony Smith 91 put in a massive hit on Garry Fox leading to a homestraight pileup which led to the yellow flags being shown again. Mike Williamson 111 was t-boned by Steve Malkin with the rest of the field taking avoiding action but it was not enough to put Geoff Nickolls off his stride and he went onto take the flag unimpeded for the 2nd time in a row, with it being his third top two finish in the race at the last three Coventry meetings.

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Geoff Nickolls 215 in the lead of the whites and yellows race. Photo Colin Casserley

the BSCDA Trust Fund Race line up. Photo Colin Casserley

The BSCDA Trust Fund race was next up for a closed grid affair with Ricky Wilson 502 being on pole alongside Mark Gilbank 21. At the green, Gilbank was off, driving a flag to flag composed race to take the Coventry victory for a second time. Everyone was up for the glory with Ryan Harrison 197 getting straight in on the action throwing his bumper into Will Yarrow 22 before moving onto Ricky Wilson. Stu Smith jnr 390 was spun around by Craig Finnikin 55 amongst a group of star graders bumping him down the order. World Champion Andy Smith 1 duelled with rival Frankie Wainman jnr 515 as usual Coventry track specialist Dan Johnson’s 4 luck soon ran out when he tangled with Matt Newson 16 halfway down the backstraight while battle scarred Ricky Wilson who had been in the wars with a number of competitors retired to the infield.

Andy Smith pressured Frankie Wainman jnr leaning heavily on him to pass by but Wainman jnr was not settling for that and soon chased Smith down as Ryan Harrison took Matt Newson out to the fence. Wainman jnr gave Smith a thump to pass but his progress was halted when he connected with Paul Hines 259 and he was spun out of contention on the backstraight. Leader Gilbank had backmarker Danny Wainman 212 in front of him and after making a few moves to shift him, and being unsuccessful, he seemed content to stay behind him as Wainman had a good turn of speed. Bumpers flew thick and fast with Paul Harrison 2 and Tom Harris 84 crossing swords with Harrison attempted to move both Harris and the infront Paul Hines, but succeeded in Harrison and Harris becoming momentarily ensnared before racing on, with Harrison cutting passed Harris late on in the race to take the position.

BriSCA F1 stockcar star grade Mark Gilbank 21 winner of the BSCDA Trust Fund Race. Photo Colin Casserley

Thirty cars came on track for heat three, with only eight of these sporting a blue roof, the rest being made up of white and yellow graders. Tim Warwick led the field away followed by Mike Williamson who span on the pitgate bend and was thumped by a number of cars as his fellow white graders piled in. The blue tops did not escape, as Richard Bryan 238 got it sideways down the backstraight and was collected by Steve Cayzer 380 with Dan Squire 291 and Colin Goodswen 372 being involved as the track became blocked, with the yellow flags soon being waved. Warwick led them away at the restart with Steve Harrison 118 getting straight into the action, thumping John Frost 351 aside to make his way up the order.

BriSCA F1 stockcar driver feels the pressure from Steve Harrison 118. Photo Colin Casserley

The yellows came out again for unfortunate John Weldon 235 who had been spun out to the fence on the first bend with North Eastern Paul Spooner 104 clattering in. At the green, Les Spencer 98 and Luke Dennis 192 became entwined with Spencer spinning backwards to the fence and Dennis taking to the infield with the race continuing apace. Steve Harrison gave Warwick a hefty punt for the lead but was being tailed by a quick Nigel Whalley 198 with Harrison taking a wide line allowing Whalley to eventually nick up the inside for the lead and go onto the win in his older car as opposed to his recent Wainman built machine.

BriSCA F1 stockcar driver Heat three winner Nigel Whalley 198. Photo Colin Casserley

Over twenty cars came out for the Consolation with a first appearance of the night for the always fashionably late Ivan Pritchard 434, and Joe Booth 446 who had been in the pits pre-meeting but had suffered issues early on meaning he had not entered in the BSCDA trust fund race. Joe was well fired up, getting straight into the thick of it liberally dishing out hits with his front bumper. Chris Clare 394 took up the running early on with James Clement 158 being his second runner until tangling with Les Spencer and Matt Newson and dropping down the order. Danny Wainman 212 and John Lund 53 tustled for the majority of the race with the youngster coming out ahead. Booth blasted his way up the field and soon had leader Clare in his sights, barging passed with Clare attempting to fight back but being unable to hold off the red top’s charge as Joe Booth blistered his way to the chequered flag.

BriSCA F1 stockcar driver Joe Booth 446 barges by Chris Clare 394 to take the Consolation. Photo Colin Casserley

The summer heat continued for the Final with thirty five of the thirty six qualifiers taking to the track with Paul Spponer being absent due to having lost the back inside corner section during an earlier race collision. Nigel Harrhy and Steve Harrison were the lone white tops and led the field away for some fast and furious laps with cars shooting off in all directions. Mark Gilbank and Joe Booth found themselves ensnared but continued on round the raceway as Mal Brown 34 hit the marker tyre going into turn three, with a spectacular bounce in the air, looked to be going over but was clipped by the following cars which set him back down on terre firma. Up the other end Gilbank had freed himself from Booth and put in a hit on the 446 machine, sending Andy Smith out to the fence, tangling with an out of shape Danny Wainman with Les Spencer taking a trip up the front of Danny’s car.

BriSCA F1 World Champion Andy Smith 1 comes to grief. Photo Colin Casserley

BriSCA F1 stockcar driver Ryan Harrison 197. Photo Colin Casserley

The yellows called a momentary halt as everyone collected themselves with a great number of BriSCA F1 stockcars already littering the infield. Harrhy led them away with the lap down Ryan Harrison just behind. The battle royale continued at the green with Harrhy being unfortunate enough to be punted out of the lead by Harrison. Bumpers continued to fly with Paul Harrison and Tom Harris having another tĂȘte a tĂȘte culminating with Harris thumping Harrison sending him out into John Lund, causing Lund to spin as the furious activity continued. Leader Shenton was managing to keep his head but soon came under pressure from Murray Harrison 97 with Harrison giving Shenton a clout with Shenton fighting for the same piece of track to maintain his position. British Champion Paul Harrison was motoring his way to the front cleanly and confidently with purpose and soon loomed large in Murray Harrison’s mirror. Paul went in on Murray with his bumper, spinning him out of the places with Paul inheriting the lead and going on to take the chequered flag unimpeded, looking exceptionally poised in his shale car.

BriSCA F1 stockcar Final winner Paul Harrison 2. Photo Colin Casserley

The Grand National was the last race of the night after Frankie Wainman jnr and Paul Harrison had taken part in the BriSCA ministox mechanics/parent race which Wainman jnr won. As the GN F1 stockcars pulled onto track it became apparent that Andy Smith had loaded up after his incident in the Final. There was a turn one pile up at the green with Chris Brocksopp 338 being left stranded in the turn one fence with the yellow flags flying soon after.

BriSCA F1 stockcar drivers Craig Finnikin 55 and Dan Johnson 4. Photo Colin Casserley

Mike Williamson led them away with Ryan Harrison sticking the bumper into Nigel Whalley as Frankie Wainman jnr came to grief, spinning out on turn one after Mark Woodhull 335 had dived up his inside with the two then becoming embroiled. Ryan Harrison took the lead and never relinquished it, going onto take the victory as Paul Harrison failed to collect his five bonus points, pulling to the infield mid-race.

All in all a good solid night’s entertainment with some quality drives throughout the field. The focus now turns to tarmac and the rush is on to get into the top twelve to qualify for the National Points Championship.

Ailsa Haigh

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