Coventry – October 2nd 2010 Meeting Report

Well over sixty cars made their way to the Brandon Bowl for the first meeting of the month. After some excellent Heat racing, the Heavens burst opened and the racing became a feat of endurance. On wandering through the pits the Ricky Wilson (502) was nestled in the top of Frankie Wainman’s wagon and appeared to be repaired after getting trashed in the World Final when lent by Lee Robinson. Barry Heath (343) was making a return in the ex-Steve Thomas tarmac car, built by Warwick Ellis and f2 driver Mick Sworder (152) was deep in conversation with Cecil Sayers and Andy Smith. Mark Woodhull (335), victim of a big roll at last week’s Kings Lynn meeting was back on track after working all week to get the car right. Dylan Williams Maynard (51) was making his shale debut in the Ivan Pritchard car raced a fortnight ago at Emmen by Chris Fort. Timmy Farrell was lending his car to brother Rob (470) with Rob looking perfectly at home during his five pre-meeting practice laps.

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Rob Farrell 470 debuting at Coventry. Photo Colin Casserley

Dave Willis (337) in the recently acquired ex-Jim Bamford shale car. Photo Colin Casserley

The traditional format was employed with the first heat being solely for White and Yellow graders with only the top four qualifying for the final. There was a welcome appearance for Dave Willis (337) using the recently acquired Jim Bamford (ex-302) shale car. Richard Bryan (238) shot off into the lead, quickly followed by Richard Regan (428) as a big tangle of yellow graders occured on turns one and two, all tripping over each other in the rush to get to the front. Steve Jacklin (136) had an unsuccessful start, colliding into Rob Farrell who had wobbled down the backstraight before making contact with the armco and coming to a sudden stop. As the cars tried to avoid each other Mike Williamson (111) rode up Dave Waterhouse’s (101) machine, the two getting wedged together as Dave Willis bumped into a marker tyre. The yellows immediately came out with Bryan’s lead being severely curtailed. Richard Bryan set off again, attempting to put distance between him and Regan until he got all out of shape coming round the top bend and looked to be getting back under control down the backstraight until he tangled with Nigel Friswell (353) and got t-boned, going out of the race letting Regan through to take the win.
428 – 307 – 244 – 40 -223 – 306 – 496 – 208 – 115 – 353

BriSCA F1 Richard Bryan 238 comes to grief with Nigel Friswell 353. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 Coventry heat winner Richard Regan 428. Photo Colin Casserley

Heat two saw twenty six cars make their way onto the track including Dylan Maynard Williams who started at the rear and soon got to grips with the shale surface. John Frost (351) nipped into the lead only to be overhauled at about the halfway point by a very determined Nigel Whalley (198). Murray Harrison (97) however, had a flying start from red grade and was well into the places within a few laps and continued on with steady purpose despite suffering from a sparking brake disc for much of the race. Dan Johnson was as usual straight into action, laying into Tom Harris (84) sending him scuttling into the armco on the first bend.

BriSCA F1s John Frost 351 and Dan Johnson 4 tange at Coventry. Photo Paul Tully

Second place John Frost got momentarily caught up on Dan Johnson who had also worked his way through the pack and was challenging for position, dropping Dan back down the order and letting World Champ Andy Smith slip through. Craig Finnikin (55) had driven with his usual blistering pace knocking cars aside at a great rate and the race was first class entertainment with the Shootout drivers adding extra spice to the affair.
97 – 198 – 55 – 1 – 4 – 98 – 105 – 191 – 84 – 464 – 280 – 496

Coventry BriSCA F1 Shoot out competitors. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 Heat Winner Murray Harrison 97 with a fiery brake. Photo Paul Tully

Heat three again saw twenty six cars with Tony Smith (91) starting at the rear testing new tyre compounds. Richard Bryan was the first car away at the start until a lower grader tangle on turn two saw the lead change hands to what looked like Chris Brocksopp (338) although the scoreboard proclaimed Ed Neachell (321) was leading despite having being spun out by Stu Smith jnr (390) on the first bend. Brocksopp’s lead expired when he tangled with John Frost down on turn four but Stu Smith jnr had made short work of fighting his way through the field after knocking Frankie Wainman jnr (515) aside, sending him crashing into Matt Newson (16). As the race continued, cars were getting into scrapes with the Shootout competitors scuffling down the backstraight, all fighting for the same piece of track. Stu Smith was flying up ahead but Wainman put in a gargantuan effort to get himself within striking distance and as the laps rolled down, he had succeeded. Mike Williamson (111) went into turn one fast, but a bit too fast, connecting with a marker tyre and sending himself into the fence.

BriSCA F1s Stu Smith jnr 390 t-boned by Frankie Wainman jnr 515 . Photo Paul Tully

Frank went in hard on Stu but failed to move him, so went in harder on the last bend, taking both of them out wide as Frank t-boned the Smith car and Matt Newson (16) gratefully took over the lead, going round the bend to take the chequered, quickly followed by Paul Harrison (2). Frankie Wainman and Stu Smith jnr sorted themselves out and got back in the race before anyone else got near.
16 – 2 – 390 – 515 – 12 – 259 – 335 – 91 – 446 – 380 – 462 – 53

BriSCA F1 Coventry Heat winner Matt Newson 16 in action. Photo Colin Casserley

Unfortunately, just before the Consolation it started with the rain, turning shortly into a deluge and it was clear the Consolation would be a testing time for all on a slick surface. Just over twenty cars came out and as the slippy, sliddy race progressed so did the heavyness of the rain. Daniel Wainman (212) was the only Shootout competitor not to have qualified for the final having suffered problems in Heat two. Lone white top Richard Bryan led them away with the field going no great pace with cars going in all directions and Daniel Wainman himself like many before him, spinning to the infield up on turn two. Luckily for Daniel, they yellows came out for a stranded car and after much arm waving for attention from the 212 car, Ed Neachell pulled onto the infield and gave Wainman a push start so he could rejoin the race. Bryan led them away again but was overcome by James Clement (158) until he spun himself out, letting Geoff Nickolls (215) take up the challenge. As the cars slipped and slid round, Neil Scriven (11) inadvertantly took Daniel Wainman to the wall and Geoff Nickolls skidded out on turn one along with Garry Fox (48) letting Chris Brocksopp (338) through. Brocksopp (338) managed to keep his head and his car pointing the right way to take the chequered flag for a well deserved victory in poor rain spoilt conditions.
338 – 215 – 212 – 291 – 415 – 11 – 35 – 48 – 158 – nof

The rain continued for the Rebel final which was after consideration, limited to a mere ten laps. Grading was done before the F1 final although with the continuous rain, it sadly had limited effect. Over thirty cars came out for the final including all the shootout challengers for what would be a real race of attrition with the majority of the field failing to finish. Daniel Wainman pulled on to the infield straight away as soon as he came on track and ran off into the pits before coming back to hurriedly work on his car, appearing to be changing a sparkplug. Paul Hines (259) who had been showing a lot more aggression since the shootout commenced, did not even manage to make the start and was woefully tractored to the infield. Daniel Wainman managed to get his car sorted for the start and was pushstarted into his place just in time for the rolling lap. At the off, Dan Johnson got straight into action, giving Andy Smith a shove, connecting with Frankie Wainman jnr who went out to the armco in the difficult conditions. The cars struggled for purchase with the yellow flags being shown not long after for a stranded Colin Nairn (280) on the backstraight.

BriSCA F1 stock cars of Frankie Wainman jnr 515 and Andy Smith 1. Photo Colin Casserley

F1 stock car of Tim Warwick 307 leading them away at the restart. Photo Colin Casserley

Tim Warwick (307) who had been determinedly coping with the conditions better than most, led them away at the restart, as the cars went round almost the entire track. Dan Johnson went in on Scott Davids (462), letting Matt Newson slide past as Craig Finnikin was side by side with Andy Smith up the homestraight; but with Andy’s superior traction, there was only going to be one winner, with Craig Finnikin endeding his race when he tangled with a yellow grader down the backstraight. Matt Newson was also forced to retire from the field with a completely knackered OSR.

F1s struggle to contend with the treacherous conditions in the final. Photo Colin Casserley

Most drivers were racing with their hand up to protect their face from the waves of muddy water, having given up with their clogged up goggles. Paul Harrison and Michael Scriven (12) were going slow and steady and managing to successfully avoid the chaos going on all around them. Unfortunately for Frankie Wainman, he tangled going into turn three with Neil Shenton (35) and the two got locked together with the yellow flags being shown for the incident.

BriSCA F1 Coventry Final winner Tom Harris 84. Photo Colin Casserley

Almost two thirds of the field had retired to the infield at this point, leaving Tom Harris who had driven a composed, mature race in the horrendous conditions to lead them away again with only a dozen cars behind him. Steve Cayzer (380) moved himself into second but was unable to reel in leader Harris as the cars spread out and just tried to do their best to survive until the chequered flag.
84 – 380 – 1 – 12 – 97 – 2 – 4 – 307 – 462 – 338
The sensible decision was taken to end the meeting with the idea being mooted that the Grand National could be run as the first race at the November Coventry National Series finale.

BriSCA F1 stock car Joe Booth 446 driving in the horrendous conditions. Photo Colin Casserley

Ailsa Haigh

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