European Championship 2009 – Race Report

European Championship Race Sunday 19th July.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

In typical English summertime fashion, Saturday’s dry cool evening was replaced with cold wet autumn like conditions for the Sunday.
 
Thirty-two cars formed the grid for the first race of the day; the European Championship of 2009. In the build up and gridding up for the race a sudden cloud burst struck, soaking the track.
 
Joff Gibson (249) took the early lead with Lee Robinson (107) spinning while exiting turn two. Next to fall victim to the cold, wet track was Daniel Wainman (212) who spun exiting turn four. Stuart Smith (390) was on the attack from the off, firing Peter Van Den Bosch (h482) into the back of Timmy Aldridge (257). Meanwhile Scott Davids (462) tangled with Gary Castell (h247) down the back straight.
 
Red grade Lee Fairhurst (217) appeared unfazed by the wet conditions, taking a slightly wider line and reaching second place by lap four. Fairhurst sat on the back bumper of race leader Gibson; applying the finest of touches going into three, enough to take Gibson off the racing line and give Fairhurst the inside. Fairhurst took the lead, Gibson gave chase down the home straight launching his own unsuccessful counter attack with too much speed for the conditions going into one, his back end coming out as a result and gifting the 217 car a racing gap. Fairhurst was then able to put backmarker Spencer Taylor (498) between himself and second place Gibson and settle into his groove. Back in the pack FWJ (515) attacked the 84 car of Tom Harris which resulted in a puncture for FWJ.
 
Waved Yellows. 391 – 73 – h247 all resting against the Armco on the track.
 
Restart order 217 – (lapdown h6) – (lapdown 12) – 249 – 498 – 390 – 212 – 259 – 84 – 37 – 4 – 21 -2.
 
Lee Fairhurst got away to a perfect restart in the tricky wet conditions; Michael Scriven (12) attacked and passed Geert-Jan Keijer (h6) who in turn returned the attack on the 12 car. These two battling lapdown cars gave Fairhurst the break he needed to pull clear, while they hindered the progress of second place Stuart Smith who was behind them.
 
In the closing stages Lee Fairhurst manoeuvred his way though back markers with ease while keeping an unreachable gap between himself and the 390 car. Daniel Wainman (212) and Dan Johnson (4) launched a joint attack on the rear of the 498 car of Spencer Taylor, Dan Johnson getting the place in front of Daniel but only until the next turn when Daniel successfully attacked and passed the 4 car.
 
With just three laps to go the action was for third place with 498 – 21 – 4 – 53 – 259 all fighting and landing bumper hits, with Mark Gilbank coming out best to take third and the highest placed overseas driver award going to a deserving Louw Wobbes (h22).
 
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

POSITION NUMBER NAME
1st 217 Lee Fairhurst
2nd 390 Stuart Smith
3rd 21 Mark Gilbank
4th 259 Paul Hines
5th 2 Paul Harrison
6th 4 Dan Johnson
7th 53 John Lund
8th 84 Tom Harris
9th H22 Louw Wobbes
10th 37 Chris Cowley

Video highlights can be found HERE

Lee Fairhurst (centre) celebrates along with Stuart Smith (front left) and Louw Wobbes (right back). Photo Chris Clark

Lee Fairhurst (centre) celebrates along with Stuart Smith (front left) and Louw Wobbes (right back). Photo Chris Clark

A proud Lee Fairhurst with his winning car and trophies. Photo Chris Clark.

A proud Lee Fairhurst with his winning car and trophies. Photo Chris Clark.

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