Coventry – October 3rd 2009 Meeting Report

The first Saturday of October was the first day in Coventry’s 2009 Golden Helmet Championship Weekend. Over 70 F1’s filled the pits, including two Gold roofs: The #1 of World Champion Andy Smith and Gold Cup Winner H217 Ron Kroonder. Also present were two Silver roofs: the 515 National Series Champion Frankie Wainman Jnr and the Netherlands Durk Greidanus H29.
With the flood light ablaze and the temperature dropping it was time to go racing.

Heat One

Twenty-five cars gridded for the first heat race of the evening that included Four white grades, six yellows, five blues, six reds (and Superstars) that included Dutch visitors Axel Nijs (H32), Barry Parden Kooper (H25), Marco Falkena (H151) and Ron Kroonder (H217). Behind these, the three shootout drivers of Dan Johnson (#4), Lee Robinson (107) and Tom Harris (84) lined up.
Axel’s night did not get off the best of starts as he spun on turn 3 on the opening lap. James Clement (158) meanwhile took the early lead and Tom Harris and Ike Parkingson (254) had an early coming to get together that saw impact on the armco. Murray Harrison (97) was making the early charge towards the front while Joe Booth (446) was making sustained attacks onto the rear of Mark Woodhull (335) trying to pass. Once Joe passed, Mark was under attack from Murray Harrison. Just in front Andy Ford (13) launched a huge attack onto the rear of Graham Wagstaff (330) going into turn one that saw the 330 car sent wide, making contact with second place Dave Waterhouse (101). Andy Ford keeping it tight to the bend gained two places, moving into second place.
Lee Robinson was the leading shootout driver and found himself locking horns with Dan Squire (291). Lee attacked the rear of Dan Squire going into turn one sending the 291 car wide with Lee gaining the place as did Michael Scriven (12) who was following close behind.
Up front, Joe Booth attacked the rear of Andy Ford going round turns one and two that resulted in both cars becoming locked together exiting turn two and down the back straight. Murray Harrison attacked the rear of Booth going into turn three, sending both Booth and Ford off towards the armco.
Mark Woodhull moved in closer to the rear of Murray, finally attacking and spinning the 97 car exiting turn four as the waved yellows were shown.
Restart line up 158 – (LD. 41) – (LD. H25) – 97 – 335 – 107 – 12 – 291 – 84 – 4 – 37 – 121
As the green flag was shown, Dan Johnson was on Tom Harris’s rear bumper going down the back straight, and into turn one. Harris was pushed wide and Johnson moved up a place along with Chris Cowley (37). Meanwhile, on the opposite turns Lee Robinson passed Mark Woodhull on the inside to take third place. Race Leader James Clement was being hassled by Kooper (H25) which saw both cars taking non-racing lines and Murray Harrison took the opportunity to close the gap even more. Clement under the new threat of Harrison carried too much speed going into turn one, skidding out wide Murray kept tight, took the lead and onto take the win. Behind, a flurry of closing lap activity saw Lee Robinson drop from third to fifth.
Result 97 – 158 – 335 – 12 – 107 – 4 – 291 – 37 – 84

Heat Two

Twenty–eight cars made up of three Whites, ten Yellows, six Blues, five reds (and superstars) and the three shootout drivers, Paul Hines (259), Mark Gilbank (21) and Andy Smith (#1). Gerrit Zwerver (H19) choose to start at the very rear. Also of note is the return of Lionel Shaw (362) after many years lay-off and ex-fomula two driver Garry Fox (480), both drivers within the yellow grading.
Steve Makin Jnr (308) took the early lead with Geoff Nickolls (215) quickly into second place after Luke Dennis (192) spun and Mike Williamson (111) pulled onto the infield. Simon Panton (288) made his way though the blue grades while Tony Smith (91) and Lionel Shaw (362) got involved together up on turns three and four. Panton meanwhile clatters the armco exiting turn four following an attack and coming together with Micky Randall (172). Panton is then clattered by the following cars of Durk Greidanus (H29) and Rob Cowley (73) and retires from the race.
Daniel Wainman (212) appeared to have the car set up wrong in the early stages and was spinning at both turns. Lionel Shaw’s(362) return saw him next T-Bone Rob Cowley (73) on turns one and two while race leader Malkin jnr (308) spun himself into the armco going into turn one and was soon joined by Luke Dennis (192) and then Richard Bryan (238) also spun, going armco bound. Upfront, Geoff Nickolls went on to take the win unchallenged.
Result 215 – – 212 – 1 – 322 – 462 – 53 – 259 – 244 – 34 – 276

Heat Three

Twenty-two cars made up of four Yellows, six Yellows, six Blues, three Reds then shootout drivers; Frankie Wainman Jnr, Paul Harrison (#2) and Stuart Smith (390).
Russell Cooper (415) took the early lead with Tim Warwick (307) behind. Frankie Wainman was leading the shootout drivers; Stuart Smith got on the 515’s back bumper going down the home straight. Paul Harrison added his own weight to the rear of the 390 car thus sending the 515 car out wide and off towards the armco on turn one. Wainman powered into turn two; exiting side-by-side with Harrison down the back straight, in and around turns three and four and back down the home straight.
Wainman attacked the rear of the 390 car going into turn one with Wainman losing a place to Harrison. FWJ won the inside line from 390, so 515 and 390 were side-by-side down the back straight with Wainman getting into turn three ahead of Smith. Wainman made contact with the rear of Harrison, spinning him; only for Smith to then spin Wainman out with Wainman being forced to retire from the race. Dave Nickolls (242) took the lead from Cooper as the race settled down and into the second half.
Waved Yellows.
Restart Order 242 – 35 – 338 – 54 – 390 – 380 – 55 – H228 – 415 – 231
Chris Brocksopp (338) had to defend his position on the restart from Hayley Parkinson (54) while Brocksopp himself attacked and passed Neil Shenton (35). Shenton gave chase down the back straight, forcing Brocksopp to enter turn three far too fast and skid wide. Shenton kept to the racing line and regained second place, Brocksopp gave chase down the home straight carrying far too much speed going into turn one, seeing both Brocksopp and Shenton taken off the racing line. Brocksopp T-Boned Craig Finnikin (55) exiting turn two, in a move that saw the 338 car push the 55 car the entire length of the back straight before the cars unhooked going into turn three. Following this, Stuart Smith had moved into second place and was making quick progess towards leader Nickolls. Smith attempted a last bend attack on the race leader but the 242 car was just far enough ahead to make any attack unsuccessful, 242 went round to the win with Stuart taking second.
Result 242 – 390 – 380 – 35 – 415 – 338 – 55 – nof

Consolation One

Twenty-five cars came out for Consolation Race #1 where the first six would progress to the meeting final. Tom Harris (84) was the solo shootout driver starting at the back. White top Mike Andrews (220) spun on the opening lap exiting turn four, collecting Mike Williamson (111) and Graham Wagstaff (330) on the home straight. While on the same turn, Chris Bonner (105), Joe Booth (446)and Marco Kandt (H67) all had an opening lap tangle. Wagstaff, recovering from the earlier incident with Andrews then went on to T-Bone Les Spencer (98) on one and two as Wagstaff attempted to get back in the race. Daniel Wainman with nowhere to go went smack into the rear of Wagstaff going into turn two.
Andrews spun again on turns one and two proving to be quite a mobile obstacle to all other cars on track. Turn one was fast becoming a major problem to the field, a hole had appeared on the track and with every V8 powered Hoosier going over, it became bigger and deeper. Car were attempting to avoid or use different racing lines but as cars built up against the Armco of turn one, the best most drivers could do was hold on and hope.
Robert Broome (41) was parked up against the Armco of turn one, Ike Parkinson lost his back end going into turn one, spinning out into the parked 41 car. Broome got going, leaving the 254 car in his place who was soon joined by Axel Nijs (H32) and Richard Bryan (238). Tom Harris (84) was able to make his way ever forwards though the field with no other shootout drivers present to hinder his progress. Marco Kandt (H67) was next to lose it going into turn one and clatter into the parked car of Parkinson but recovered.
Result 13 – 73 – 84 – 34 – 172 – 105 – H217 – H67 – H32 – H25

Consolation Two

Saw Frankie Wainman Jnr and Paul Harrison at the very rear in there last attempt to make the meeting final and those all important shootout points, but first they would need to pass two Reds, four Blues, ten Yellows and four White grades.
Major track work had been undertaken all meeting in an attempt to fix the hole, but during the last Consolation race the power being put down from the back wheels had taken the hole down to, and broken into the hardcore layer – A first in Coventry’s history of staging BriSCA Formula One Stockcar meetings. On grounds of Spectator, Track staff and Driver safety this was to be the last race of the evening.
Joff Gibson (249) and Simon Panton (288) were at it from the off. First Gibson attacked and passed Panton on turns one and two; Panton replying the attack on turns three and four. Meanwhile at the other end, Tony Smith (91) had spun out on turn one. Within a handful of completed laps Frankie Wainman was up into second place behind race leader Mark Poole (276). As the race went into the second half the temporally repaired hole on turn one had opened and cars were bouncing round the turn; fighting to stop the back end from lifting and spinning. Mark Poole retired from the race, giving the lead and eventual win to Wainman.
Dave Willis (337) and Adam Slater (214) were having a continual tit-for-tat battle that allowed Simon Panton the chance to get ahead of both cars. Willis not to be out done attacked Panton going into turn one with Willis bouncing over the hole exiting turn two ahead. Panton gave chase down the back straight, was on Willis’s back bumper going round three and four, back down the home straight and round one and two, before retiring from the race. Adam Slater and Timmy Farrell (467) were exchanging hit as the race drew to a close.
Result 515 – 2 – 362 – 337 – 498 – 214 – 467 – 197 – 280 – 480

Sunday 4th October

Following the abandonment of Saturday’s meeting after the two consolation races. The first two races on Sundays race programme was the Final and Grand National from Saturday.

Photo Stephen Cording.

Photo Stephen Cording.

Final

Thirty-four cars gridded up under the Sunday sun for Saturday’s delayed final. The drivers would face the challenge of racing on daytime, ‘fast drying’ shale which would see a dust-storm form about half way into the race and the track slick up but the drivers also faced six chained together Marker Tyres on the approach to turn one. This tyre wall was in response to overnight track repairs on ‘the hole’, and was to change the entire racing line around turns One and Two; extending the straight and making turn one tighter and narrower.
All nine shootout drivers were present at the very rear of the grid. The first start saw Lionel Shaw (362) and Craig Finnikin (55) lock together on turn one with 362 losing a wheel.
Waved Yellows.
On restarting the race, Chris Brocksopp (338) was attacked and T-Boned by Murray Harrison (97) on the opening lap while Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) made very steady progress though the field. Dan Johnson (#4) and Craig Finnikin had a coming together on turn four with Andy Smith (#1) closing down on Craig Finnikin, launching an attack onto the rear of the #55 car going into turn one and firing the #55 car into Frankie Wainman. Wainman rode the hit, powering out of turn two ahead of both Smith and Finnikin. Smith was then able to pass Finnikin following his attack.
The remaining shootout drivers were all locked in fierce battle that resulted in 107 – 84 – 21 – 291 all piling into the Armco of turn one with all cars quickly rejoining the race.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

John Lund (53) appeared to be unfazed by the dry shale as he powered thought the rising dust, spinning the #55 car of Finnikin.
Early race leader James Clement (158) was being reeled in by second place Frankie Wainman with Wainman ever getting closer to the rear of the #158 car. Clement made a fatal error on the fast dry turns of three and four; spinning out in front of Wainman as they exited turn four. Wainman slamming on the anchors to avoid running into Clement, allowed third place Andy Smith to pull wide, passing both cars on the outside and into first place. As the race drew into it’s closing stages father and Son Rob (73) and Chris Cowley (37) were parked bumper to bumper against the Armco of turn four.

Frankie Wanman Jnr closing in on Andy Smith. Photo Colin Casserley.

Frankie Wanman Jnr closing in on Andy Smith. Photo Colin Casserley.

Wainman had closed the gap between himself and race leader Smith but so had third and fourth place men Paul Harrison (#2) and Stuart Smith (390). Going into the last turn Wainman attacked the rear of  Andy Smith, Smith got pushed onto the infield curbing with Wainman passing to take the win.
Result 515 – 1 – 2 – 390 – 244 – 498 – 34 – 55 – 259 – 53

Grand National

Frankie Wainman Jnr took the lap handicap with 35 cars in front of him, Eight of those being fellow shootout drivers.
Lee Robinson (107) opened with an early attack onto the rear of Bouwe Arjen Hiddinga (H17), While Craig Finnikin (55) and Marco Kandt (H67) had a coming together on turn one and two that saw the #55 car spin, coming to a rest broadside on the middle of the track going into turn two, the following cars going high and low to avoid. Waved Yellows.
Restart order 111 – 54 – 91 – 276 – 462 – 98 – 308 – 197 – 498 – 380.
The green dropped and none of the red top/shootout train let off going into turn one. Axel Nijs (H32) was the leading car that was driven into the Armco the power of at least six full on Chevy V8’s behind saw the H32 car ride up the Armco and though the wires. A sight not seen at Coventry for many a year. 259 – 107 – H17 – H151 – H6 – 2 were all involved in this turn one pile up. Paul Hines (259) coming off probably the worse with backend roll cage damage.

Photo Stephen Cording.

Photo Stephen Cording.


Waved Yellows.
Restart 91 – 54 – 111 – 462 – 276 – 308 – 98 – 197 – 498 – 380 – 97 – H217.
With this second period of waved yellows the track had really dried under the afternoon sun. The green was dropped and the remaining cars opened up and with dust rising, visibility from my view point on the back straight was very much hindered.
Shootout drivers Tom Harris, Stuart Smith, Andy Smith and Frankie Wainman were racing as a tight pack forcing their path ever forwards. At the half way point Tony Smith (91) was still leading the race, Ron Kroonder (H217) had a moment spinning on the dry fast narrow turn one. In the latter stages Stuart Smith had Joe Booth (446) in front; Stuart not slowing for anyone launched an attack onto the rear of Booth going into turn three sending the #446 car off towards the Armco and into the #111 car of Mark Williamson. With just a couple of laps to go Lee Robinson and Mark Gilbank (21) were in fierce battle with each other; each driver trying to win the extra shoot out points. Tony Smith took the race win while lap handicap Frankie Wainman bagged top placing out of the shoot out drivers.
Result 91 – 462 – 276 – 515 – 53 – 390 – 84 – 1 – 4 – 107

Stephen Cording

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