Coventry – July 4th 2009 Meeting Report

Coventry 4th July 2009. Photo Colin Casserley.

Coventry 4th July 2009. Photo Colin Casserley.

Following a hot and steamy week, Saturday night was blessed with slightly cooler temperatures for the monthly Coventry meeting. The question being asked pre-meeting on the terraces, was this to be a ‘cooler’ meeting seeing as no National Series points were up the grabs and the World Qualification Round had all been completed? Let the racing commence.

Heat One.

Twenty cars formed the grid for the evening’s first Heat Race. Adam Slater (214) was tyre testing and chose to start at the very rear of the grid. Lee Fairhurst (217) was making it a night of two firsts; first time on Shale in a BriSCA F1 and first time out as a Red Grade. White grader Steve Harrison (118) took the early lead and looked very comfortable out front. Lenny Smith (185) was the first of the Blue graders to force his way though the yellows. Meanwhile, Mat Newson (16) and Michael Scriven (12) were having their own battle further back along with Stuart Smith (390) and Dan Johnson (4).
Adam Slater, Lee Fairhurst and Mike Kingston (188) all spun out down on turn One. Steve Harrison was still the race leader as half-way was reached, but his chances of bagging a race win were shattered by lap-down Mike Kingston. After the 188 car again spun on the exit of turn four he powered down the infield home straight, rejoined the race on turn one and promptly took out the race leader. Steve Harrison’s night only got worse when Stuart Smith came off the racing line to hit the 118 car full on the side nerf. A move that cost Stuart vital time and a loss of speed, meaning the 390 – 16 – 4 cars all became bunched up nose to tail. Les Spencer (98) was gifted the lead and took the checkered flag unchallenged.
Result – 98 – 390 – 16 – 4 – 288 – 259 – 398 – 12 – 254.

Heat Two.

Twenty cars again made the grid for the second heat race including Frankie Wainman (515) and Andrew Smith (391), along with Joff Gibson (249) sporting his new Livery, Timmy Farrell (467) with a Blue roof and Timmy Aldridge with a Red roof.
Russell Cooper (415) was the early leader; Murray Harrison (97) spun the 322 car of James Neachell in the opening stages only for Timmy Farrell to then spin the 97 car on the next lap on turn one. As halfway was reached the FWJ car was leading the 391 car as they began to make their way though the blue grades; Dave Willis (337) provided no easy route passed. The 515 car moved Willis wide on the exit of four; and once out wide Andy Smith ducked up the inside to follow Wainman and got past the slowed 515 car. Willis appeared to launch his own counter attack on Wainman going into One, but was unable to connect with the back of the 515 car. Wainman was now glued to the back bumper of the 391 car down the back straight. Up front the 330 car of Graham Wagstaff was giving Timmy Farrell no prospect of an easy pass, resulting in the 330 and 467 car becoming bumper-hooked allowing 391 and 515 to gain two easy places. As racing reached a close, Russell Cooper had a comfortable lead on second place man Joff Gibson who had to drive cleanly to to keep his second from the fast 21 car of Mark Gilbank.
Result – 415 – 249 – 21 – 295 – 391 – 515 – 337 – 34 – 322 – 55.

Heat Three.

Twenty One cars lined up for the third heat race which included a Shale debut for Dave Hopkins (447) hoping to get a little practice in before next month’s World Final Semi-Final race. Tim Warwick (307) was also out sporting his new retro-livery. On the opening lap Tim Warwick spun the 220 car of Mike Andrews while yellow grader Mark Peter’s 231 charged towards to front. Tim tried to keep the inside line going into Two and Three but the superior power of the 231 car on the outside proved too much and he took the place. Daniel Wainman (212) and Chris Bonner (105) tangled down on turn Two, while Andy Ford (13) was attacking the leading White graders with Rob Harrard (258) more than holding his own and launching his own counter attacks. James Clement (158) and Mark Peter’s were having a tussle upfront with both cars hitting the armco on One and Two. Tim Warwick was forced to retire following quite a collection of flames around the manifold area. White grade Mark Allen (301) was leading while Paul Harrison (2) was weaving his way to the front along with John Lund (53). In the closing stages, Luke Dennis (192) spun underneath the starter and Lee Robinson (107) had nowhere to go and hit the spinning 192 car taking Lee out. Paul Harrison easily took the lead and eventual win while behind, Daniel Wainman and Scott Davids (462) battled for seventh place.
Result – 2 – 321 – 231 – 53 – 107 – 335 – 212 – 462 – 136 – 105.


Twenty-Two cars came out for the last chance of making it to the meeting final, James Clements car failed on the start. ***Recording device failed and no written notes taken***
Result – 97 – 84 – 73 – 35 – 308 – 13 – 330 – 257 – 416 – 11.


A huge grid of Thirty-Six cars lined up for the climax of the evening’s racing the Meeting Final, which consisted of Eighteen Reds and Super Stars alone! Surprisingly, everyone completed the opening lap without incident before superstars John Lund and Stuart Smith had a coming together up on Three and Four which saw both cars go towards the Armco and saw the 390 car of Smith ride up and spin over the bonnet of Lund’s car with both cars losing vital time but able to continue racing. Dan Squire (291) took the 84 car of Tom Harris to the Armco, while up the other end Andy Smith (391) got spun and Chris Brockstopp (338) got hooked up with Stuart Smith. Joff Gibson used the chaos to take the lead position. The bumpers were flying in at both ends as the ‘summer dust cloud’ from the drying track gave an eerie glow to the Coventry Track. James Neachell (322) was struggling to pass Dave Willis (337), and the ever closing FWJ car used Scott Davids as a cue ball, firing the 462 car into 337 who in turn hit the 322 car sending him off backwards into the Armco.
Matt Newson was powering his way towards the front. Andy Ford and Joff Gibson had a coming together exiting Two, just as Paul Harrison (2) launched an attack on the 515 car with Lee Robinson (107) gaining the advantage. Matt Newson took the lead from Joff Gibson, Frankie Wainman then moved the 249 car. Lee Robinson was behind and Paul Harrison attempted to get up Robinson’s inside. Neil Shenton (35) launched his own attack spinning Joff Gibson in One and Two putting him a lap down. Joff rejoined the race behind race leader Matt Newson and began attacking the lead car. Matt Newson forced to really work hard to keep the lead. In the closing laps, Steve Jacklin (136) span down on One and Two, sending cars either side to avoid him. Matt Newson punching the air out of the side of his cab in celebration of very hard fought Final.
Result – 16 – 515 – 2 – 107 – 4 – 84 – 12 – 212 – 335 – 254

Grand National.

Thirty-Six cars appeared for the last race of the evening under a clear summers sky with the floodlights working to full effect; Final Winner Matt Newson chose to take the lap handicap. Lenny Smith found himself the lead car of the blue-top-train that included 13 – 321 – 467 – 337 going into turn One, and with the combined horsepower, was sent spinning off into the Armco which caused a track blockage that saw the likes of Craig Finnikin (55), Chris Brocksopp (338), Mal Brown (34), Dan Johnson (4), Chris Bonner (105), Dave Hopkins (447), Ike Parkinson (254), Mark Poole (276), Neil Scriven (11) and Lee Fairhurst (217) all become involved. First Yellow flags of the evening required.
Restart order 254 – 40 – 41 – 13 – 118 – 288 – 107 -321 -337 -467 – 198.
Andy Ford (13) wasted no time attacking Robert Broome (41) on the restart as did Timmy Farrell on Dave Willis.
Second Yellows – Restart Order – 288 – 107 – 40 – 515 – 2 – 391 – 291 – 467 – 337 – 321
FWJ wasted no time in moving Steve Smith (40) wide on the restart, and once off the racing line Paul Harrison and Andy Smith stole easy places. Joff Gibson launched a huge attack on Matt Newson sending the 16 car into the Armco exiting Two hard. Matt got his car going only to lose the front outside tyre on the next lap. It was burnt off due to the front bumper being pushed backwards following heavy contact with the Armco the previous lap. Lee Robinson had taken the lead, as FWJ, Andy Smith, Paul Harrison and Stuart Smith were all bumper to bumper battling hard. On the exit of turn two, the 391 car sent the 515 car of FWJ into the Armco of the back straight. Joff Gibson later spun on turn Two and forced the 515 and 391 car to avoid him and pick up places on the last lap. FWJ had the slower lap down car of Hopkins in front which allowed the 391 car to gain a few yards but just not enough to launch a last bend attack.
Result – 107 – 2 – 515 – 391 – 73 – 84 – 467 – 276 – 249 – 53.


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