Coventry – July 7th 2012 British Meeting Report

Coventry continued to provide first class stock car action with an outstanding British BSCDA Championship meeting commencing with a parade of the competitors.

Dylan Williams-Maynard 51 unveils his new shale car. Photo Steve Botham

Frankie Wainman jnr 515 in Neil Holcroft’s 496 stock car. Photo Steve Botham

The first heat got the night off to a hectic start with Garry Fox 48 charging into the lead. Neil Shenton 35 onto the infield clattering the turn three marker tyres launching them onto the racing line, drawing the yellow flags.

Frankie Wainman jnr alongside Ryan Harrison 197. Photo Steve Botham

Frankie Wainman jnr 515 in the new Neil Holcroft 496 car got straight into the quick Ryan Harrison 197, forcibly squeezing Harrison out wide to the fence before going onto joust with John Lund 53 with Lund putting Billy Johnson 169 into Les Spencer to clear the way with the two stricken machines meeting the fence. A convergence of cars on the pitgate bend brought out the yellows for a stranded Tim Farrell 467 with Mike Williamson 111 leading the restart from Ian Higgins 29. Tom Harris 84 got straight into Joe Booth 446 with Wainman jnr being on a mission and hunting Harris down.

Heat 1 action. Photo Steve Botham

Tom Harris 84 versus Frankie Wainman jnr 515. Photo Steve Botham

Lund was not prepared to let the race slip through his fingers and slid by both Wainman and Harris. Catching a whiff of potential victory, Higgins took care of leader Williamson and going all out for glory, Wainman jnr went in hard on Lund turning him sideways and around, taking them both out of contention. Tom Harris appreciatively sailed by the two afflicted machines before going onto take the win.

Heat two saw Ben Hurdman 207 snap into the lead as a gaggle of yellow graders got themselves in a muddle, with Nigel Harrhy 45 being slow away with cars streaming either side as Mark Poole 276 got a bit out of shape and Tony Smith 91 knocked Dave Willis 337 out the race where he was soon joined by a tangled John Weldon 235 and Poole. Dan Johnson 4 got stuck into Murray Harrison 97 with the favour being swiftly returned. The main Master of theatre for F1 Stockcars, Mick Sworder 150 was quickly charging up the field, swiftly persued by the equally hard charging Craig Finnikin 55. Sworder sliced through the field with Finnikin fixedly following his every move. Hurdman was having a fantastic run out front until the end with Sworder comandeering the lead on the last lap but still had Finnikin on his tail. Finnikin went in on Sworder on the last bend, sending him wide before cheekily bumping him out wider with his offside rear end as he took the turn, with the two charging out of the bend and the unfortunate Hurdman spinning round while Finnikin took the flag. Further down the field, Dan Johnson was giving it some Dutch dirt style driving, continuing to lap on his rim with a flat tyre.

Ben Hurdman 207 was unlucky not to be in the top placings. Photo Colin Casserley

The third Heat saw Garry Fox 48 take command out front with Dave Willis 337 initially taking charge of the following yellow graders. Frankie Wainman jnr 515 found himself on the receiving end as he was pressed up the backstraight armco in the crush of star graders. Paul Hines 259 showed yet more aggressive driving as he forced Ryan Harrison out wide before later putting a big hit in on Will Yarrow and Dan Johnson. Caped crusader Ian Higgin’s 29 and Lee Warner 290 got themselves in a confused state necessitating the yellow flags when they were both left stranded on the homestraight. Joe Booth 446 put Murray Harrison under pressure at the restart but Harrison swiftly pulled away and set about chasing down Willis with the duo momentarily duking it out before Willis was bumped down the order before his clutch gave way. Wainman jnr was purposefully moving ever closer to Ryan Harrison, with Ryan sending Les Spencer 98 hard to the fence before Wainman jnr was on him and moving on. Murray Harrison was resolutely flying up the field but was impeded by lap down Rob Tunnah 505 in the latter stages and was unable to get near to determined leader Garry Fox 48 before the flag fell.

Rob Tunnah 505 racing Murray Harrison 97. Photo Colin Casserley

a flag to flag victory for Garry Fox 48. Photo Steve Botham

Heat four saw lower grader Rob Harrod 258 looking supremely composed out front, leading over half the race. Tim Farrell snaked down the backstraight and in the confusion Neil Scriven 11 and Paul Spooner 104 tangled making heavy contact with the fence with Farrell ploughing into the back of them a lap later. Mick Sworder and John Lund renewed their previous Coventry acquaintances having a great tustle for position throughout the race with Sworder coming out on top this time around. Mark Gilbank 21 smoothly superceded Harrod at the front, with Harrod soon came under pressure from Chris Bonner 105 soon after. Harrod ended up being pushed out wide by Bonner allowing Tom Harris to also slide by. Harrod kept racing until a big hit from Dan Johnson put him competely out. Harris was hotly persuing Gilbank but was unable to get near enough to him before the flag fell.

Rob Harrod 258 had a fine run in Heat 4. Photo Colin Casserley

Only the top two competitors from the Consolation would make it onto the back of the grid for the British with the smallest field of the night with just under twenty cars. Lone white top Graham Wagstaff 330 initially led the field away before succumbing to the infield allowing local lad Steve Smith 40 to dictate the running. Scott Davids 462 was having a good run and fought it out with Dan Squire 291 while Chris Clare 394 bore down on Smith and liberated the lead for himself and raced off. Scott Davids hopes of getting on the back of the grid were dashed when he ended up in the fence with Nigel Harrhy 45 and drew the yellow flags. Clare’s lead evaporated and he had star drivers Ed Neachell and Neil Shenton on his tail for the restart. Neachell soon knocked Clare wide, with Clare immediately putting in a massive lunge on Neachell, only to fail to make any contact with Neachell’s rear and have to settle for second.

The British Final saw new blue grade Adam Slater 214 pull off before the start, with white grader Garry Fox also pulling to the infield before the green. Pole driver Tom Harris 84 came out of turn four ahead but soon hugged the armco with a broken half shaft as Craig Finnikin 55 flew into the lead.

Craig Finnikin 55 took the early lead. Photo Colin Casserley

Murray Harrison 97 shoved Paul Hines into the turn four fence as battle commenced. Mal Brown showed Ryan Harrison that you reap what you sow by burying the star grader, and once Ryan got moving it became clear his front axle was pushed back with his tyres rubbing against his chassis. Frankie Wainman jnr clouted Mark Gilbank aside before bearing down on Murray Harrison as Craig Finnikin took full advantage of the chaos behind and sped on. Ryan Harrison got back into the race, circling the track before meeting the fence once more along with Michael Scriven 12.

Murray Harrison was charging towards Finnikin, hitting him heavily into Les Spencer with Spencer taking another hefty trip to the armour plating as Murray took control of the Championship race with Wainman jnr working hard to close the gap. Ryan Harrison re-entered the race, circling raptorially. Ian Higgins 29 put paid to Paul Hines 259 race, plastering him into the turn three fence with enough force to beach Paul upon the plating. The yellow flags flew with the gaps between competitors vanishing in an instance. Murray tore off once more but thanks to the yellows, Wainman jnr potentially had him in his sights. Mick Sworder 150 blasted Higgins aside but had Finnikin close behind. Higgins lived up to his moniker, t-boning Dan Johnson 4 while Ryan Harrison with his deeply disabled machine impeded Wainman jnr in his quest to take command of the lead before moving on to wreak ruthless retribution on Mal Brown 34, ramming him into the fence.

Murray Harrison 97 with Frankie Wainman jnr 515 getting closer. Photo Colin Casserley

Frankie Wainman jnr was edging ever closer to leader Murray Harrison as the laps ran out, with Wainman jnr lunging at Harrison, piling him into the stationary cars while Finnikin close behind took advantage with yet another stellar drive and flicked Sworder aside with the two tearing out of the bend with Finnikin taking the flag, adding another major championship title to his name. An excellent race with it being impossible to keep up with all the action.

Murray Harrison 97 leads but has three top drivers behind him. Photo Colin Casserley

BSCDA British Champion 2012 Craig Finnikin 55. Photo Colin Casserley

the British Championship 2012 podium. Photo Steve Botham

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