Coventry – June 5th 2010 Meeting Report

On a hot, sultry evening fifty-nine cars made the journey to Coventry for the Trust Fund Race meeting with the Trust Fund Race being an extra race in the format. It turned out to be an entertaining night of racing with the track preparation being first class. It was also good to see Dave Nickolls in the pits and later in the evening on the pace truck, continuing on his road to recovery and back spectating, getting some shale in his face.

Twenty-three of the BriSCA F1’s present wore a red roof; including a regrading return to superstar for Will Yarrow (22) and star for Kevin Shinn (121) and Mick Rogers (244). Will Yarrow debuted his stunning new shale car, as did Mat Newson (16), with his absolutely awesome sounding tubular car which upon fired up each cylinder firing could be heard. It also saw the return of the familar Wainman transporter and a real return to form for Frank; taking no prisoners in the last race of the night, the Grand National.

Will Yarrow (22). Photo courtesy of Colin Casserley.

Mat's brand new tubular shale car. Photo courtesy of Colin Casserley.

Heat 1

A continuation of last month’s Coventry format saw the first heat being solely for white and yellow grades, with only the first four cars across the line scoring the points and the rest of the field being able to go into either heat two or three and earn full heat points. Twenty-one of the whites and yellows came out on track, with only Tim Farrell (467) and Nigel Friswell (353) being absent. Mike Williamson (111) led them away with Ian Noden (306) aiming for a repeat performance of last month, making his way swiftly frontwards, but he clipped the backstraight armco sending up a shower of sparks. As cars jostled for position, Dave Muckian (416) in the ex-Gilbank car took the lead with wily Geoff Nickolls (215) in second. It was at this point that Robert Broome (41) got himself sideways on turn four and Graham Wagstaff (330) helped him on his way by rolling him onto his side neccessitated the yellow flags. Order being 416 – 215 – 306 – 158 – 98.

Robert Broome (41) rolls onto his side. Photo courtesy of Colin Casserley.

At the restart, the usually tarmac racer Ian Venables (60) laid into the 2009 Novice of the Year Luke Dennis (192) allowing veteran Lionel Shaw (362) to sneak past. Venables and Dennis became ensnared together and collided heavily with the backstraight armco just out of turn two. Nickolls had by this point taken the lead and was setting about extending it as Noden moved into second with Muckian close behind. As the two cars jostled for second, James Clement (158) decided to get involved, and gave Muckian a helping hand to connect with Noden, sending the two sharply into the armco as Clement casually sauntered past. Luke Dennis had pulled back into the race but was suffering major steering problems and at the finish was seen to have a front axle that was bent like a banana.
HEAT 1: 215 – 158 – 98 – 73 – 35 – 105 – 235 – 351 – 252 – 362

James Clement (158) helping Dave Muckian (416) contact with Ian Noden (306). Picture courtesy of Paul Tully.

Heat 2

Heat two was quite heavily filled, with twenty-nine cars taking to the field, including Craig Utley (484) who was sent to the rear for being deemed to have not made enough of an effort in making his wing blue in light of his recent upgrading. Williamson and Friswell led the field away but soon came to grief allowing the rest of the field through. Chris Cowley (37) was soon making his presence felt on Chris Bonner (105), nerfing him aside, as World champion Andy Smith (1) was powering his way to the front, breaking out of the group of reds. Dan Squire came in for some stick, firstly being slapped out of shape by Andy Ford (13) and then sent wide by the aggressive Cowley. Will Yarrow was putting in a fine performance turning his first wheels in anger when embroiled with the rest of the reds as they came out of turn two in a tight knit bunch with Dan Johnson (4) blasting into fellow rising star Tom Harris. Murray Harrison (97) continued making his way to the front, dishing out the bumper to Ford, and then leader Noden, taking the lead and allowing Joe Booth (446) to slip into into second. Smith was by now close behind, and he relegated Noden further down the order on turn three. Noden attempted to regain his place, bumpering Smith on the pitlane bend, but Smith was not for moving. As the laps rolled down, Smith moved Booth aside with purpose to take second and set about closing down leader Harrison. On the last bend Smith went in on Harrison but the lap down Dan Squire (291) had impeded his progress and Harrison sailed to the tyre-testing victory.
HEAT 2: 97 – 1 – 446 – 53 – 37 – 21 – 306 – 321 – 4 – 22 – 11 – 2

Andy Smith (1) unable to get close enough to Murray Harrison (97). Photo courtesy of Paul Tully.

Heat 3

Twenty-three cars made it out for heat three, with John Weldon (235) opting to start off his first pole position, instead of the rear where he had started heat one. Craig Utley (484) had come back out but as he had already been in heat two, was sent promptly to the infield. Ryan Harrison (197) momentarily became hooked up on John Frost (351) as he made his way frontwards and Kevin Shinn and James Morrris (463) accomplished a similar feat but collided heavily with the armco. Weldon was in the lead at this point, followed by Wagstaff and the purposeful Mark Woodhull (335) who had successfully made his way into third. Craig Finnikin (55) thumped Ryan Harrison who in turn thumped into Simon Panton (288) with Harrison being forced to the outside and riding up along the back straight armco. Woodhull neatly took the lead with Steve Cayzer (380) moving into second place. Scott Davids with a closely lurking Finnikin were gaining on Cayzer who went wide on the bend giving Davids the inside line, who was then himself pushed wide by Finnikin. Mat Newson in his tubular based racecar was neck and neck with Davids and aggressively pushed passed to take third.
HEAT 3: 335 – 55 – 16 – 462 – 515 – 288 – 259 – 390 – 322 – 12 – 502 – 191

Ryan Harrison (197) tussles with Simon Panton (288). Photo courtesy of Paul Tully

Consolation

Once again, twenty-three cars made it out on track, this time for the last chance to qualify for the Final, with eight places being up for grabs in the consolation. Luke Dennis took the lead with Chris Bonner being the first yellow to make a move and break free of the pack. John Weldon then took up the running until he got it sideways and pulled off momentarily after tangling with Utley. The quick Ryan Harrison took the lead but soon had the hungry Tom Harris in quick pursuit. Colin Nairn (280) bumpered Williamson who in turn connected with luckless Craig Utley as Chris Brocksopp (338) set about dealing with Nigel Whalley (198). At this point Harris had successfully reeled in Harrison, and swiftly passed and set about extending his lead while Daniel Wainman starting moving in on Harrison. Harrison and Wainman tustled together, before tangling and coming over the finish line together.
CONS: 84 – 197 – 212 – 105 – 13 – 338 – 291 – 244 – 380 – 198

Nigel Whalley (198) battles with Mick Rogers (244) and Tony Smith (91). Photo courtesy of Colin Casserley.

Final

Over thirty cars made it to the final, with no white grades being present, leaving Les Spencer (98) and Rob Cowley (73) to take up pole position. Les Spencer led them away as Joe Booth got straight into the action laying into the rest of the blues about him. As the reds came round, Paul Harrison (2) half spun on the pit bend and did not get himself sorted out too quickly, relegating him well to the rear. Mark Woodhull, never shy of using the bumper laid into Booth while upfront, the yellow graders had taken up the running with Spencer still holding the lead followed by Nickolls and Bonner. Yellows came out for Josh Smith (191) sticking out of the armco at the top of the homestraight as it started to spit lightly with rain. This very quickly progressed into being a summer deluge complete with lightning, as the heavens opened. Obviously this transformed the track and the racing speed slowed considerably as cars struggled to deal with the slick conditions at the restart.
Scott Davids tried to bumper Andy Ford with some force, causing them both to spin out to the sludge, and Stu and Andy Smith raced together as they bore down on Mat Newson. Even the experienced Geoff Nickolls managed to spin himself, swiftly followed by Stu Smith jnr doing the same and pirouetting around. Mark Woodhull, Paul Hines (259) and Tom Harris were having a great little battle with nobody being prepared to relinquish their position in the treacherous conditions. Frankie Wainman was not far behind Andy Smith, and gave him a hit and for a moment it looked to be building to a repeat performance of their race at the Kings Lynn WCQR but Smith was suffering with a tyre going down and slowed, allowing Wainman to pass. Hines, Woodhull and now Finnikin were jostling for position as Harris had broken clear. Harris was now valiantly attempting to close down Newson and his healthy lead but Newson continued racing hard to take his second shale final of the year, and his first in his brand new car in it’s first meeting. Finnikin, Hines and Woodhull continued tustling until the chequered flag where they crossed the finish line together as a tight knit trio. The slick conditions had made getting grip a major issue, and made handling difficult for all concerned.
FINAL: 16 – 84 – 338 – 515 – 259 – 335 – 55 – 4 – 97 – 2

Mat Newson (16) in action. Photo courtesy of Paul Tully.

Grand National

Nearly thirty cars came out for the last race of the night, the Grand National. Newson took his lap handicap, starting just in front of the only white tops, Mike Williamson and Luke Dennis. Straight away Andy Smith tried to make up for his ‘dnf’ in the final by immediately cutting a swathe through the red tops. Heat winner Nickolls had moved into second while Steve Cayzer who had been downgraded and missed out on taking part in the Trust Fund race, had made it into third. Frankie Wainman also looked to mean business and was charging through the field to the front like a man on a mission. Fellow red Murray Harrison also looked to be a man with a purpose as he laid into those who found themselves before him; starting with Craig Utley before progressing to Tim Farrell and continuing with Craig Finnikin. Harrison bumpered Finnikin but did not manage to shift him. By now, Andy Smith was on Harrison’s rear and at the next bend Smith thumped into Harrison as Harrison dived for Finnikin, sending Finnikin off into a half spin. Smith used this opportunity to slide by Harrison, but Harrison was not prepared to accept this, and attempted to regain his position. A quickly recovered Finnikin got back onto Harrison’s rear; dealing him a blow, and allowing Tom Harris to get involved and go neck and neck with Finnikin as Harrison was pushed wide to the outside. By this point, Cayzer had moved himself into the lead and set about trying to increase the gap. Harris swiftly moved beyond Finnikin only to then get involved with youngster Daniel Wainman who dealt Harris a big bumper hit on one bend, only for Harris to return the favour on the next. Daniel’s brother Frank who had by now forcefully bumpered his way to the front was closing in on leader Cayzer, who had no hope once Frank got behind him and found himself bumpered down the order as Frank continued his storming race towards the chequered.
GN: 515 – 335 – 1 – 380 – 84 – 4 – 215 – 22 – 55 – 97 – 212

Ailsa Haigh

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