Coventry – May 5th 2012 Meeting Report

the heritage cars on display. Photo Steve Botham

Coventry pre-meeting problems for Murray Harrison 97 meant a starter motor needed to be replaced with the gearbox having to come out for access, and on doing so, swung round and snapped the throttle cable meaning it was all hands on deck to get the car ready for action.

the Murray Harrison 97 team hard at work. Photo Steve Botham

The Coventry launch of the new Harrison book saw one of the night’s highlights pre-meeting with Willie Harrison roaring round the track in the old ‘2’ car leading son Paul and Grandson Bradley on a lap of honour. Willie looked well at home, waving to the crowd before putting his foot down, but not too hard as his trademark cap threatened to leave his head on more than one occasion.

the Harrisons. Photo Steve Botham

Willie Harrison 2 behind the wheel. Photo Colin Casserley

Ian Noden 306 and James Morris 463 came to grief early on. Photo Paul Tully

Sam Redman 248 led the Whites and Yellows away but a complete restart was quickly called for as marker tyres had gone flying at both ends in the confusion. The yellows were waved again not long after for Aaron Cozen’s 475 and Nigel Harrhy 45 who had come to grief together at the top of the backstraight. Lee Smith 76 was tactically slow away bunching up the field before tearing off. A composed Tim Farrell 467 was on Smith straight away with the two bumping steel, letting the swift Neil Shenton 35 and Adam Slater 214 sneak through to take up the running. Second place Adam Slater 214 still bouyant from his victory the week before was having difficulty closing down Shenton due to backmarkers and Shenton smoothly kept ahead to take the victory.

Neil Shenton 35 and Tim Farrell 467. Photo Steve Botham

John Weldon 235 proudly displaying his new blue roof took to the track for Heat 2, looking perfectly at home further towards the rear of the field. It also saw a brand new machine for Mat Newson 16 and a second Coventry outing for the mean green machine of John Lund 53.

John Lund 53 alongside Mat Newson 16. Photo Steve Botham

Mat Newson 16 and John Lund 53 . Photo Colin Casserley

At the off Geoff Nickolls 215 charged up the order while star grader Ed Neachell 321 got stuck into Dan Squire 291 sending him out into Dan Johnson 4. Ryan Harrison 197 was flying up the field, along with Frankie Wainman jnr 515.

Ed Neachell 321 alongside Dan Squire 91. Photo Paul Tully

Paul Hines 59 hooked up with Ben Hurdman 207. Photo Paul Tully

Paul Hines 59 hooked up with Ben Hurdman 207. Photo Steve Botham

Paul Hines 259 night did not start too well, getting hooked up with Ben Hurdman 207 and traversing the homestraight before being dumped out of the race on turn one. James Morris 463 got turned into facing the oncoming traffic in a big press of cars at the fastest part of the track but calmly reversed back to the fence before cutting to the infield in front of Ed Neachell 321. Wainman jnr was on top of Ryan Harrison with Lee Smith still keeping it tidy out front with shale specialist Nickolls following suit in second.

Lee Smith 76 out front. Photo Steve Botham

Wainman jnr soon dealt with Nickolls and as the superstars loomed large in the mirrors it all came down to the last bend with Wainman pressuring Smith for the lead taking the victory by a whisker while Harrison mirrored the move pressuring Nickolls to take third.

Frankie Wainman jnr 515 neck and neck with Lee Smith 76. Photo Paul Tully

Heat three was definitely the best race of the night and probably worth the admission price alone. Graham Wagstaff 330 barged into fellow ex-banger driver Steve Anderson 120 with the two getting sideways down the backstraight while Dave Willis 337 pressured Les Spencer 98 up front.

Joe Booth 446. Photo Paul Tully

The typically aggressive Joe Booth 446 was getting stuck into Murray Harrison 97 firing him out into Will Yarrow 22 before determinedly moving onto Mark Woodhull 335. As usual, Mick Sworder 150 was not one to miss out on the fun and games and was charging up the order as the yellows were shown for a stranded sideways on Jason Eaton 448.

The restart order saw five hefty bumper merchants at the front of the field (337 – 335 – 446 – 150 – 98) and they soon lit the fuse in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Booth refamiliarsed himself with Woodhull’s back bumper while further down the order Craig Finnikin 55 pushed Garry Townsend 223 out wide. Sworder gatecrashed the party as Woodhull, Booth and Finnikin fought it out letting Willis gain a litte ground out ahead.

Finnikin assaulted Booth before quickly moving onto Woodhull, nerfing him aside on the same bend. Sworder bypassed the festivities and set about reeling in Willis. Murry Harrison 97 felt obliged to be party to the entertainment and got stuck into Booth before vying with Woodhull for position. Finnikin fiercely followed Sworder accelerating hard into the pitlane bend to get on the back of him and if he had made contact, Sworder would have probably felt his teeth rattle. The crowd cheered Craig on as he renewed his assault and thumped Sworder wide.

Craig Finnikin 55 under pressure from Dave Willis 337. Photo Colin Casserley

Dave Willis 337 under pressure from Mick Sworder 150. Photo Colin Casserley

Booth and Woodhull continued to duke it out behind while Sworder, Finnikin and Willis all fought it out for the lead. Finnikin got first dibs, punting Willis wide but Willis vigourously returned the favour, letting Sworder slip through. The battle contined with hits being exchanged and places swapping at each end betwen the trio. Sworder barged into Finnkin on the last lap with retaliation being swift with Finnikin spinning Sworder out on the very last bend. The 150 machine span into Dave Willis, making him falter and allowed Murray Harrison through into second.

Craig Finnikin 55 and Mick Sworder 150 duke it out. Photo Colin Casserley

Craig Finnikin 55 and Mick Sworder 150 fight it out . Photo Steve Botham

Mick Sworder 150 in a spin courtesy of Craig Finnikin 55. Photo Paul Tully

Sworder failing to finish meant he joined fellow star graders Dan Johnson and Mat Newson in the Consolation. Some of the lower graders got into a bit of a state leaving Ben Herdman 207 to initially take up the running. Sworder was making sideways short work of the race, romping home first heavily persued by Scott Davids 462. Mat Newson’s 16 new machine looked to be going well and was certainly solidly built, dealing a heavy blow to Dan Squire 291 in the latter stages.

Mal Brown 34 in action. Photo Paul Tully

Popular bumper merchant Mal Brown 34, repeated his performance at the last Coventry meeting charging to get ahead with Ryan Harrison flying up the order on the now drying track. Mick Sworder 150 launched into battle thumping Scott Davids 462 into Chris Bonner 105 with Dan Johnson 4 getting embroiled, before firing off leaving Davids dumped at the turning point to the homestraight. The yellows came out, removing any potential lower grader advantage as James Neachell 322 and Ryan Harrison 197 were already nestled inside the top ten. Ben Herdman 207 led the away but it was not long before the more experienced Dave Willis took command.

James Neachell 322 on his way to victory. Photo Colin Casserley

Mick Sworder 150 made it difficult to look anywhere else as he skirted the shale way dishing it out to any rear bumper in front. Ahead, Neachell composedly took charge, with Harrison and Sworder hot on his heels and as the track dried further the tyres started to squeal. John Lund 53 was making fine progress to the front and looked to be about to give Sworder a good run for his money when he went just a little too wide down the backstraight and sparks flew as he made contact with the armco.

John Lund's 53 tyre gives way. Photo Colin Casserley

This led to his tyre letting go a lap later and meant Sworder was unpressurised for third and was not quite near enough to the quick Harrison 197 to give him a hit. Up ahead, Neachell sailed on to take the win while Frankie Wainman jnr 515 was nearly lapped traffic thanks to an earlier spin courtesy of Mark Woodhull 335.

Frankie Wainman jnr 515 spins thanks to Mark Woodhull 335. Photo Colin Casserley

final winner James Neachell 322 receives his trophy from Willie Harrison. Photo Steve Botham

The last race of the night saw Sworder stopped in his tracks as he spun up the homestraight under pressure from Wainman jnr. North Easterner Paul Spooner 104 continued his fine run of form taking the flag with there being some confusion with regard to the race result with the order shuffling about before BSCDA confirmation.

Paul Spooner 104 finished in the top ten of the final before going onto win the GN. Photo Paul Tully

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