Hednesford, 15th April 2018 – Meeting Report and Photos

The annual visit to the Hednesford Hills raceway is always a treat on the F1 Stock Car calendar, a too rare a visit. A handful of drivers were unable to race after sustaining damage from the night before; nonetheless a great 42 cars in attendance.  The day began with Jason Cull (524) taking to the track to fulfil his 5 laps required of a novice, along with Ian Bond (431) granted dispensation for 5 laps, at the same time, to take his brand new car to the track. The Bond car invoked a range of emotions –from ‘stunning’ through to ‘what is that?’ It’s a credit to the Bond team though – not many can say to building a self-built F1 these days. Not only self-built, but significantly different to the normal modern day F1. It was good to see something different take to the track.

Ian Bond (431) on track with Roger Bromiley

Heat 1 saw 20 cars. Kelvin Hassell (13) on pole. Steve Whittle (183) was the first casualty of the day, taking a trip to the turn 1 fence. Hassell was taking charge of the race in the lead, Craig Utley (484) in second, Tristan Jackson (101) in third. Cull (524) took his first trip to the fence in turn 1 whilst Russell Cooper (415) was struggling. Utley got by Hassell to take over the lead. A few laps later and George Elwell (501) takes Joff Gibson (249) round into a spin in turn 1, the pair hooking up in the process before coming to rest on the exit of the bend; second place Jackson gets caught up with them dropping the 101 machine down the order.

The lap boards were out; Utley still up front, with Hednesford track specialist Michael Scriven (12) in second, Luke Davidson (464) in third. Scriven soon muscled his way by Utley to take over the running.  Utley would be in further trouble in a collision with Cull which dropped him back to third. Waved yellows were called for at this point for debris on track. On the restart the top three were 12, 464 and 484.

Paul Harrison (2) retired from the race at this point with a flat outside rear tyre. In to the final laps, siblings Phoebe (211) and  Frankie (555) were battling, Phoebe getting the better of her brother before the chequered flag. There was more misery for Jackson who collected the Hassell machine in the last corner, scoring a did not finish on the results. Scriven taking a customary Hednesford win.

Result: 12, 464, 212, 484, 175, 24, 211, 555, 502, 501, 249, 301

Hednesford track specialist Michael Scriven took the first win of the afternoon

Heat 2 drew a field of 22 cars including the aforementioned 431 machine. Adam Bamford (43) starting pole position in a refurbished Elite chassis believed to be the former yellow 318 version. Frankie Wainman JNR (515) starting the race strong, punting several cars out wide in the early proceedings. Finn Sargent (526) encountered the fence in turn 1, whilst Kyle Gray (124) was spun in turn 1 by Roger Bromiley (14), Gray gently collecting the inner banking to the entrance. The Harrison family saw another retirement this time in Paul’s son Bradley (25) who retired to the infield with, we assume, running gear problems.

Bromiley now the leader at the half way point; as Ashley England (346) retired from contention. Bromiley now under pressure from a fast charging Lee Fairhurst (217) moved aside; letting Fairhurst through. Another retirement shortly followed in the form of Paul Hines (259). Into the closing stages and Wainman collected Steve Malkin (308), the pair momentarily locking together, allowed Todd Jones (186) in for a last bender, although unsuccessful in moving the 515 machine aside.

Result: 217, 16, 14, 3, 126, 515, 186, 43, 70, 326, 543, 11

Roger Bromiley was an early leader in Heat 2

18 cars returned for the consolation, Finn Sargent (526) pole position sitter. Paul Hines’ (259) day went from bad to worse with another retirement in the early stages.  Ashley England (346) was making up for previous race disappointment and shunted Tristan Jackson (101) and Steve Malkin (308) out wide in to turn 1.

A relatively quiet race, at the halfway stage Sargent led, with Kyle Gray (124) in second and England third. Sargent soon dropped back down the order, promoting Gray to first and England to second. Colin Goodswen (372) put Kelvin Hassell (13) out to the turn 3 armco to take third place. In the closing stages, the only other alteration saw Paul Harrison (2) tackle Jackson into the last bend, and with a drag race to the line, Harrison just snatched fourth.

Result: 124, 346, 372, 2, 101, 526, 543, 25, 518, 249, 11, 520

Sixteen year old Kyle Gray taking the Consolation victory

Having spent most of the day enjoying a sunny, Spring day it was disappointing that rain arrived for the feature final. 30 cars took to the track, would track supremo Michael Scriven (12) take 4 Hednesford finals in a row?

The rain saw many struggling for grip in the early stages; Phoebe Wainman (211) and Chris Fort (3) demonstrating this with a hard trip to the fence in turn 1; Joff Gibson (249) joining them. Then a lap later, the trio of cars made a pile up as Kyle Gray (124) fell foul and all 4 were soon joined by Roger Bromiley (14), George Elwell (501), Tristan Jackson (101) and Harry Steward (126) all piling in too. The waved yellows were called.

On the restart Finn Sargent (526) led them off, Adam Bamford (43) in second and Mark Adkins (24) in third. At the green flag, Mark Sargent (326) made rapid progress, shunting Adkins and Bamford wide, before taking over the running. Ashley England (346) was now up to second at the halfway stage with Stuart Shevill JNR (518) in third at the halfway stage. Bamford launched Harry Steward (126) in the turn 1 fencing.

At the lap boards; Joff Gibson (249) slowed leader Sargent whilst being lapped, this allowed England to close in and duly pass to take the lead. Luke Davison (464), now up to third, moved Sargent wide in to turn 3 to second, but the pair swapped in the next bend as Sargent retaliated to take back second. The top three were all together as they entered the last lap. Sargent went for a dive on the last bend for England, but missing, Sargent put himself to the fence, allowing Davidson through to second. England taking the chequered and his second final win of the weekend.

Result: 346, 464, 326, 515, 518, 175, 16, 217, 212, 25, 372, 526

England grabbed another final win, ahead of Davidson and Sargent

29 cars returned for the last race of the day; Ashley England (346) taking the customary lap handicap for the Grand National . Finn Sargent (526) was once again on pole. Frankie Wainman Junior (515) and Mat Newson (16) collided early on and momentarily hooked up. Ricky Wilson (502) spun around in turn 3 as did Frankie Wainman JNR JNR (555) who was sent into a spin by Neil Scriven (11). Sargent was your leader up to the halfway stage.

Kyle Gray (124) went out in a spin on the home straight, but a quick boot of the loud pedal and he quickly rejoined. The second half of the race settled down in to a rhythm without too much incident. Lee Fairhurst (217) picked off the leaders one by one and took over the running after catching and passing long-time leader Sargent, who held on for third after he was shoved wide by Karl Hawkins (175). Sargent held on behind Luke Davidson (464) on the greasy track.

Fairhurst was first by the flag, but unfortunately removed from the result during post race checks, gifting the win to Hawkins. This was a great result for him after debuting his brand new tarmac car the night before and rounded off an excellent day in the hills.

Result: 175, 464, 526, 25, 518, 2, 326, 515, 346, 212, 3, 43

A win for Karl Hawkins in his brand new car

Words: Keith Organ
Photos: Colin Casserley

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