Coventry – September 4th 2010 World Final Meeting Report

The biggest meeting on the BriSCA F1 Stock car calendar for 2010, drew over one hundred cars and a massive crowd for what turned out to be a very entertaining meeting. Walking through the pits was a challenge but it was great to see the bottom pits being for the World Finalists, next to an excellent Heritage car display and it was clear that a lot of work had gone into the preparation. Coming on the back of the BBC Gears and Tears series, it was nice to see the stadium bursting at the seams with not only a massive number of stock cars but also spectators.

The time trials were up first, with the first set of trials taking place on a surface that looked a little boggy, with the times reflecting this. Dave Schaap (h007) had withdrawn allowing Ron Kroonder (h217) to take his place. Scott Miers (nz8) was present in the Stu Smith shale car, with Stu using his tarmac car for the meeting. Peter Bengston (nz58) was back in the Chris Brocksopp car and seemed to quickly get to grips with the car on the Coventry shale, putting it through it’s paces. After the first trials, Louw Wobbes (h22) had the fastest time, followed by Dutch Open winner Fred Hink (h35) setting laps of over 18 seconds. After consultation, the time trial drivers were allowed a third set of trials after the track had begun to dry out. The third set of laps were noticeably quicker with the Dutch duo of Ron Kroonder (h217) and Louw Wobbes setting the fastest times and therefore securing the coveted third row slots. Kroonder being the fastest of the two and claiming the inside. Arno van Zwieten (h414) looked to be getting to grips with the Brandon bowl, although he drove himself into the turn one armco after his quick lap.

First race up after an on track Heritage display including a transporter was the Consolation Semi Final for the last two spots on the rear of the World Final grid. Twenty seven cars came out onto track including Tom Harris (84) who had lost his gearstick in his semi-final and Stu Smith jnr (390) who had connected with the fence at the start of his Sheffield semi final. The closed grid event saw front row tarmac racer Chris Cooke (460) initially race into the lead; with Tony Smith (91) half spinning as they came out of turn four at the green and going up the homestraight backwards while cars pushed past in their quest for the front. James Clement (158) and Robert Broome (41) collided with the turn one armco and were soon joined there by National Hot Rod driver Steve Thompson (385) who was driving the old Stu Heppenstall (189) shale car. Nigel Whalley (198) took up the lead, with Chris Cooke getting back ahead momentarily up the homestraight but he was no match for shale specialist Whalley.

BriSCA F1 stock car Tony Smith (91) getting out of shape. Photo Paul Tully

From the rear, Stu Smith jnr (390) and Tom Harris (84) were setting a quick pace, battling hard to get to the front. In the intial laps, Simon Panton (288) and Joe Booth (446) tangled together and hooked up on turn three while at the other end Murray Harrison (97) bobbled up over the back of Rob Cowley (73). Mark Woodhull (335) cut his way through all the scuffles to get himself into second and set about reeling in Whalley, and was close to his rear by the half way point. Further back, Mark Gilbank (21) threw himself at Stu Smith jnr to get by, shortly followed by Stu Smith himself laying into Michael Scriven (12) who had slid past. Nigel Whalley was still out front but was now well into the back markers. Luke Davidson (464) had tangled on turn two, gone onto the infield and came back off just as Nigel Whalley came out of the bend, slowing his progress. As the cars bore down on leader Whalley; Ryan Harrison (197) nicked into the lead, and the top placings were shuffled about. Mark Woodhull, having been so close to getting into the World Final gave Tom Harris a hit, while a crafty Gilbank laid into Woodhull in an attempt to despatch both drivers.

Leader Harrison who had set about trying to extend his lead, then came to grief when he became hooked up on Geoff Nickolls (215) coming out of turn four and even though he quickly freed himself going up the homestraight, the pace behind was so furious, that Nigel Whalley steamed back into the lead and Woodhull and Harris both raced past relegating Harrison from first to fourth. Harrison was not settling for this and went for a huge hit on Woodhull and Harris but Gilbank seized the opportunity and secured the second place by nicking passed on the inside. As the laps rolled down, Michael Scriven laid back into Stu Smith and shortly after became the victim of the bumper when he passed Mark Woodhull, and Woodhull fought back for his place. Nigel Whalley went onto take the flag and in doing so qualified for his first ever World final. A proper stock car race with big hits being dished out and everyone fighting valiantly to make the top two, to qualify for the biggest race of the 2010 calendar.
198 – 21 – 12 – 390 – 84 – 335 – 97 – 462 – 76 – 484

BriSCA F1 consolation semi-final qualifiers Mark Gilbank and Nigel Whalley. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 stock car Mike Williamson 111 in his heat. Photo Paul Tully

Next race up was heat two with just under twenty cars taking to the track. Richard Bryan (238) from pole, zipped into the lead while in the yellows, Dave Muckian (416) took a fast line round the outside to pass the rest. There was the usual scuffling, with Colin Nairn (280) and Tim Warwick (307) getting tangled together on the racing line on turn two, while on turn four, Josh Smith (191) went sideways with Graham Wagstaff (330) after a purposeful shove from Ian Noden (306). Upfront, Richard Bryan was going deep into the bends to avoid Muckian who was gunning for the lead. Bryan came to grief on the homestraight with what looked like mechanical failure when he spun out onto the infield at speed, letting Muckian move into first. Further down the pack, Chris Bonner (105) stuck the bumper in on Graham Wagstaff on turn two to pass, with Wagstaff returning the favour on the last bend, attempting to drive Bonner into the fence. Dave Muckian dealt capably with lap traffic and went on unchallenged to take the win with a composed drive.
416 – 291 – 121 – 306 – 105 – 191 – 98 – 111 – 280 – 496

BriSCA F1 stock cars Chris Bonner 105 and Graham Wagstaff 330 tangle for position. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Dave Muckian (416) on his Heat winner's parade lap. Photo Carl Hesketh

The Overseas, non-World Finalist’s heat was next with twenty Dutch Dirt drivers taking to the shale. Of the twenty, there were the new additions of Gert Elzinga (h393) and Robert Jan Schutter (832) neither of whom had raced at the friday night overseas warm up meeting. Henk Maris (h60) led them away as Elzinga moved into second place, initially vying with Rutger Valk (27) for position. Gerrit Zwerver (h19) was then nerfed by Koen Maris (h61) who went onto take a spin himself on turn three. Elzinga vied with leader Henk Maris with Maris coming out ahead down the backstraight. Last years Dutch Open winner Axel Nijs (h32) spun himself out of any contention as Friday’s final winner Martijn Oudhuis (h477) purposefully moved into third place. Oudhuis reeled in Elzinga and nudged him aside as Zwerver looked to be having handling difficulties, skimming into the turn two armco before getting back in the race. Martijn Oudhuis set about closing the gap on leader Maris and dealt him a swift blow before jostling with each other down the backstraight, with Oudhuis successfully taking the lead. Evert van den Berg (h12) moved past Richard Talsma (h64) and set his sights on Elzinga, with both coming out of turn two together and tangling down the backstraight, bumping into the armco. Gosse Hoekstra (h44) tried to improve his place by bumpering Henk Maris but he was unable to secure second place and had to settle for third while Oudhuis took the chequered.
477 – 60 – 44 – 12 – 226 – 27 – 26 – 179 – 32 – 267

F1 stock car Arie Kandt h267 takes to the infield in the Dutch only heat. Photo Paul Tully

Next up was a Heritage race followed by track preparation for the World Final itself. Separate report HERE.
Andrew Smith (1) went onto take a comfortable victory.
1 – 515 – 55 – h217 – 16 – 4 – h25 – 48 – 22 – h414

BriSCA F1 2010 World Champion Andy Smith (1) alongside Will Yarrow (22). Photo Paul Tully

After the World Final and the fireworks, the first Consolation rolled onto track with twenty six cars making their way from the pits including a first appearance for lower graders Scott Chambers (457), Mark Allen (301) and Lionel Shaw (362). At the green, Scott Chambers (457) shot off into the lead while Richard Bryan bumpered Mark Allen fencewards. Steve Thompson jnr came to grief in a tangle of five cars including Mike Williamson (111) and Gert Elzinga (h393) as they went from the backstraight to the infield in a collective heap. The yellows came out shortly after for Joe Booth (446) who had ridden up the cab of a half spun Garry Townsend (223) leaving both in a precarious position on turn two. Restart order 457, 238, 307, 158, 192, 40, 351, 415, 98….
At the green, Richard Bryan got straight into Chambers but failed to pass and Russell Cooper (415) took a hit from Les Spencer (98). Richard Bryan knocked Chambers into a spin to take the lead but it was to be shortlived. Jan van der Iest (26) got caught up with veteran Tim Warwick (307) and in the ensuing scuffle took Bryan out into the backstraight armco allowing James Clement (158) to move into the lead. The yellow flags were shown again with the order being 158, 40, 288, 380, 98, 415, 197, h393, 457, 362, 330, h62, 351, 301…

Mike Williamson (111) had his car watered during the break and was sent to the infield for outside interference. Local driver, Steve Smith (40) immediately made a fast moving lunge for Clement but was unsuccessful. Further back, Elzinga and Ryan Harrison were vying for position before they became hooked up together and Steve Smith took the lead from Clement as both he and Simon Panton passed by. Clement getting into a hooked up mess with Steve Cayzer (380) down on turn four. A determined drive from Russell Cooper (415) saw him take the lead just after the half way point with Les Spencer motoring into second but being unable to bypass Cooper before the laps ran out.
415 – 98 – 362 – 197 – 288 – 301 – 380 – 457 – 301 – 158

Thirty cars came out for Consolation two, with Dutchman Louw Wobbes (h22) trying to take part in both but being spotted and sent to the infield. Rich Masterton (103) led them away while Tony Smith (91) tried to barge his way past Pieter Dogger (t12) as Scott Joblin (nz52) tried to pass Nigel Whalley. Rich Masterton was taking quite a wide line and dropped down the order, leaving Robert Jan Schutter (832) to take up the running when they yellow flags were shown for a tangled Scott Joblin and Nigel Whalley. Restart order 832, 13, 280, 103, 228, 91, 21, 32, 321, 276, 212, h399, 53, 2, h247, 464
At the green Tony Smith barged his way through the pack while just behind Mark Gilbank was showing good control when he momentarily got out of shape. Andy Ford (13) stormed into the lead as John Lund (53) and Ouwe Biljsma (h3) tangled on turn four with Bijlsma reversing out so he could continue to race. Mick Rogers (244) and Jan Roelof Wijbenga (288) came a cropper on four and Gerrit Zwerver came to grief on two, causing the yellow flags to come out again. Restart order 13, h832, 91, 21, h32, h247, 212, h399, 321, h3, 2, 280, 464, 276, 103, 217, h267. At the off, Ed Neachell (321) ploughed into Jessy de Bruijn (h399) sending him clattering into Gary Castell (h247). Tony Smith found himself receiving some attention from Mark Gilbank before getting attention from Axel Nijs (h32). Jessy de Bruijn bumpered Castell as Schutter took out leader Andy Ford allowing Gilbank through to go on through the remaining laps for a clear win with Schutter connecting with the homestraight armco as he carried on his race.
21 – 91 – h32 – 464 – 217 – 2 – h832 – 103 – h247 – h3 – h267

F1 stock car Louw Wobbes (h22) trying to get an extra race. Photo Colin Casserley

Over thirty cars made it onto track for the Harry Smith memorial Final with Russell Cooper being the sole white top who led them away while behind, the rest of the field charged forward at a frenetic pace. The yellow flags were shown for a stranded Dan Squire (291) on turn three after a pile up. Restart Order: 415, 416, h27, 22, 98, 48, h32, 121, 306, 335, 16, h414, 21, 515, 462, 390, 4, 84, 55, h25, h60, 12, 191, 217, 97. At the green, Dan Johnson (4) got straight into Stu Smith jnr as Frankie Wainman jnr span Mark Gilbank and Tom Harris laid into Craig Finnikin. After the initial scrapping Finnikin showed Dan Johnson he meant business as Stu Smith jnr tried to barge his way through the red tops. Upfront, Dave Muckian was on top of Cooper as Finnkin, Johnson and Harris battled further back with Harris being the man sent out wide. Muckian half spun on turn two putting himself out of contention and momentarily holding up Matt Newson (16) who was on a charge in fourth. Yellow graders Les Spencer and World Finalist Garry Fox were bearing down on erstwhile leader Cooper when the Yellow flags came out. Restart order: 415, 98, 48, 16, 55, 4, 84, 515, h25, h414, 21, 390, 217, 462, 306, 97, h60, 12 with most of the cars having retired to the infield with Russell Cooper being next to pull off before the green with yet another overheating engine.

At the green, Dan Johnson bumpered Finnikin as Michael Scriven (12) got stuck into Ian Noden (306). It was not long before Tom Harris span and Matt Newson muscled himself into second behind Spencer. Newson went on to take the lead with fellow young gun Dan Johnson bypassing Garry Fox (48). Les Spencer was not prepared to let Newson take the lead and went in for a hit, spinning Newson out contention to momentarily reclaim the lead. Dan Johnson saw his opportunity and purposefully swept past Spencer to claim the lead for himself. Wainman jnr was also on a charge, having bypassed Finnikin before giving Fox a hefty hit to move into third. Berry Paardenkooper (h25) in his last ever F1 stock car season had been holding his own and going well but now had Gilbank bearing down on him as the laps rolled down. Not far ahead, Frankie Wainman jnr was breathing down second place Spencer’s neck relegating him down to third. Paardenkooper spun completely around on turn four courtesy of Craig Finnikin, but got straight back into the race with Finnikin seemingly causing himself damage as he slowed immediately afterwards. Dan Johnson held them all off to go on to take his third Coventry BriSCA F1 stock car final of 2010. An ever improving Dan Johnson, surely with another major Championship just round the corner.
4 – 515 – 98 – 21 – 55 – 390 – 84 – h217 – h25 – 12

F1 stock car Berry Paardekooper (h25) in his final season at Coventry WF weekend. Photo Colin Casserley

The last race of the night, the Grand National saw thirty six cars take to the field with a lone Dutch driver being locked out. Luke Dennis (192) and Scott Chambers (457) made up the front row with 240s World Champion Scott Joblin (nz52) starting in with the yellows. As they raced off Scott Chambers took up the running with Mark Gilbank being the lead red top. Frankie Wainman jnr had the misfortune to spin out early on with the yellow flags coming out not long after for cars including Sjaak Kentie (h179)and Mark Poole (276) who had collided with the turn three armco. Restart Order: 457, 111, 446, 172, 76, 380, 16, 21, h477, 44, t12, h22, 212, h399, 462, h414, 84, 2, nz52, h3, 515, 4 with the cars almost stretching right around the track. Scott Chambers lead had disappeared and at the green, Mike Williamson (111) was on his bumper. Tom Harris charged forwards, barging cars aside. It was not long before leader Chambers came to grief, getting hooked up with Williamson and Lee Smith (76), going sideways into the armco. Bumper merchant Joe Booth (446) took up the running out front while Frankie Wainman jnr again spun to the infield. Gilbank was making swift progress frontwards sending Mickey Randell (172) into a spin, continuing his aggressive drive when bumpering Jessy de Bruijn (h399) aside. Pieter Dogger (t12) had made good progress until Scott Davids (462) went in with the bumper spinning Dogger down the order. Matt Newson (16) who had gone well in the early stages, moving well up the order was forced to retire with a defunct OSR. Mark Gilbank was making steady progress, closing with purpose on leader Booth and was within striking distance as they went into the last lap, sending Booth wide on the last bend.
21 – 446 – h477 – 4 – 2 – 84 – 380 – 515 – 212 – t12

Ailsa Haigh

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