Coventry – May 2nd 2009 Meeting Report

Andy Smith (391) at Coventry

Andy Smith (391) at Coventry

Heat 1

Heat One saw seventeen cars on the grid including Graham Wagstaff (330) in his first outing as yellow grade. Stu Smith jnr (390), Craig Finnikin (55), Tom Harris (84), Mark Gilbank (21), Paul Harrison (2) and Carlos Perez (305) who was tyre testing. Russell Cooper (415) retired very early on. Rob Harrad (258) took the lead and it was not long before the downgraded Joe Booth (446) took the clean air out front. Finnikin and Tom Harris were the first of the Reds to be chasing the leaders. As the half way flag was shown the order was Booth, Timmy Aldridge (257), Ed Neachell (321), Finnikin, Harris, SSJ (390), Harrison (2), and Gilbank (21). The battle for 5th place intensified with the Harris, SSJ and Harrison cars three abreast coming out of Turn 2 with Gilbank sitting on the rear bumpers. SSJ passed the Tom Harris car before going on to chase down the leading cars; taking the lead and eventual heat win. The Harris car launched an attack on the Neachell car only to lose more places as a result.

Result. 390 – 55 – 257 – 21 – 2 – 84 – 242 – 212 – 305 – 321

Heat Two

Heat Two brought twenty-three cars out of the pits including James Clement (158) as yellow, Robert Broome (41) as blue, Neil Shenton (35) as red as well as Tim Farrell (467), Frankie Wainman jnr (515) and John Lund (53). The opening laps saw Richard Bryan (238) and Mark Tittcombe (398) swapping as the lead car. Geoff Nickolls (215) took the lead early on and drove off. FWJ and Lund were the first of the superstars to pass the reds and pressure the blue graders. Bryan held his racing line frustrating Scott Davids (462) for a few laps before the opportunity came to pass. ‘Old timers’ Dave Beresford (260) and Lund chased down and passed Scott Davids. On the last lap, Tony Smith (91) and Clement hooked up on the back straight; requiring Farrell to take a drastic detour via the infield to avoid the pair, only to pull back onto track in front of the speeding and leading Nickoll’s car. A slight contact and an-over-the-bonnet moment refused to have any impact in slowing Geoff Nickolls and prevented FWJ from getting any closer.

Result. 215 – 515 – 260 – 53 – 462 – 259 – 322 – 380 – 198 – 337

Heat 3

Heat Three had the remaining nineteen cars out for their heat. This included Chris Cowley (37) as red, Mike Kingston (188) as blue alongside Andy Smith (391), Lee Robinson (107), Dan Johnson (4), and Simon Panton (288). Steve Malkin jnr (308) was quick off the mark but so was the blue graded Mark Woodhull (335) who easily took the lead. Matt Newson (16) and Garry Townsend (223) became hooked up T-Bone style midway between 1 and 2; before the Townsend car required yellow flags up on turns 3 and 4. With the yellows out the order was Woodhull, Dan Squire (291), Smith, Malkin, Kingston, Robinson, Dan Johnson and Chris Cowley.
Andy Smith wasted no time attacking the Squire car taking 2nd place then the lead from Woodhull with a clean inside overtaking move on turn 3. Lee Robinson was busy battling with the Johnson car. On the last bend Cowley took the inside line of Robinson and the pair drag raced to the line neck and neck.

Result. 291 – 335 – 391* – 4 – 37 – 107 – 97 – 16 – 308 – 302
*docked two places for jumping start.

Consolation

This brought out twenty-six cars hoping to secure their place in the meeting Final. James Clement (158) and Ed Neachell (321) retired to infield before the green leaving twenty-four cars. Early on, Graeme Robson (267) spun and was stranded in the middle of 1 and 2 creating a racing obstacle and the usual chaos that follows. Ex-f2 superstar Tim Farrell (467) planted the Chris Brocksopp (338) car into Simon Panton (288), taking Panton to the fence; however no advantage was gained as Farrell half spun himself following the hit. The race settled down with a very quick Lenny Smith (185) and a chasing Mick Harris (8). The remainder of the places were evenly spaced.

Result. 185 – 8 – 105 – 73 – 98 – 12 – 91 – 288 – 188 – 467

Final

The Main event saw thirty-six cars on track with Steve Malkin jnr (308) as the solo white grader, with three yellow graders, fourteen blues and eighteen reds and superstars. Early on, Ed Neachell (321) and Murray Harrison (97) tangled and spun in turns 1 and 2 causing a track blockage sending cars everywhere. Thankfully, the yellows did not have to come out as the drivers sorted themselves out and the main event powered on. Malkin jnr was driving with everything he had out in front; trying to keep a gap between himself and the chasing thirty-five cars. Dave Willis (337) was closing the gap, with Nigel Whalley (198) in 3rd place. Dan Squire (291) became stranded mid point of 1 and 2 on the racing line where it remained until chequered flag. As the half way flag came out, Dave Willis had reeled in the leading Malkin jnr car and took the lead. Willis drove skilfully through the traffic having to use a wider racing line to avoid the Squire car. Behind Willis was a feast of reds and superstars with Lee Robinson (107) hot on his tail and Andy Smith (391) behind Lee Robinson. Robinson passed Dave Willis to take the lead; Smith applied the pressure to 2nd place Willis and took the place, then took the lead from Robinson in a fast and furious caution free Stockcar race.

Result. 391 – 107 – 337 – 515 – 390 – 16 – 2 – 21 – 53 – 4

Grand National

The last race of the night brought out thirty-five cars. With the track at it’s fastest; visibility suffered, but the racing was fast and hard. Steve Malkin jnr again got the start and led the field; Richard Bryan (238) was holding off Joe Booth (446) for 2nd place. While Stu Smith jnr (390) forced his way though the reds, then blues; Booth took the lead from Malkin jnr. With action happening at both ends and along both straights it was difficult for anyone to keep up with all the action.
Yellows came out for John Meeks (268) stranded and blocking the track on turn 3 and 4. The order was Booth, Malkin, Chris Bonner (105), Mark Woodhull (335) and Stu Smith jnr (390). On the restart Malkin had a pop at Booth but was unable to retake the lead; Bonner took up the challenge only to overcook it in turns 1 and 2 spinning onto the infield. Stu Smith jnr (390) looked unstoppable while Paul Harrison (2), Frankie Wainman jnr (515), Mark Gilbank (21) and Dan Squire (291) were all battling hard and giving no quarter.

Result. 390 – 335 – 338 – 73 – 2 – 446 – 515 – 308 – 21 – 462

S.Cording

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