Hednesford – November 8th Meeting Report

The sole BriSCA F1 meeting at Hednesford Hills Raceway in 2009 took place on November 8th as part of the track’s traditional season-closing Firework meeting, at which the F1s have become a staple on the fixture list.

With the National series over it was understandable that the turnout would be a little lower than usual, and around 25 cars assembled at BriSCA’s fastest venue including V8 Hot Stox driver 210 Matt Smith in a Scriven team car and former F2 man 85 Iain Holden in Dan Johnson’s car, while 196 Paul Ingamells made his debut in Dean Whitwell’s car.

22 cars lined up for the first heat in cold but sunny conditions and it began badly for the white tops with Holden tangling with 460 Chris Cooke to go into the wall along with 285 Richard Earl. 11 Neil Scriven took up the running as fellow yellow tops 141 Carl Pickering and 231 Mark Peters collected Holden for a stoppage. Unfortunately it was soon clear that Peters was in some discomfort having retired to the centre and a lengthy delay ensued while the roof was removed from the 231 car and Mark was taken away in the ambulance. The safety crews and medics on hand followed the correct procedures to the letter, but it was a sad and early end to Mark’s final meeting in BriSCA F1.

When racing resumed Scriven led away but 515 Frankie Wainman Jnr was quickly into the top five as 498 Spencer Taylor landed a big hit on 153 James Lund to go second. The latter then got caught up with 21 Mark Gilbank and was almost collected by 464 Luke Davidson and 91 Tony Smith, but up front Wainman caught track specialist Scriven with two laps to go and went on to victory. Behind him Taylor caught Scriven late on but new silver top 390 Stuart Smith was closing, and the bumper went in going into the final turn sending Taylor wide into the lapped Tony Smith. Stuart Smith and Taylor nearly came together as they crossed the line along with Scriven, the trio classified in that order in a fine finish.

Result: 515, 390, 498, 11, 8, 84, 172, 459, 212, 21.

Photo Colin Casserley

Photo Colin Casserley

Down to 20 cars for heat two with Taylor quickly taking welcome returnee 103 Rich Masterson for the lead as the red tops began to battle amongst themselves with Gilbank the first to hit the wall. Lund was enjoying a good dice with 172 Micky Randell but Wainman was soon past them and with five laps to go was past Taylor and away for his second victory. Stuart Smith caught Taylor on the final turn and the bumper went in but Taylor rode the hit and cut across the Shootout winner as they crossed the line for second.

Result: 515, 498, 390, 84, 11, 172, 8, 212, 170, 141.

Darkness had fallen by the time the Final began, but mercifully this season the dreaded Hednesford fog did not make an appearance. Any hopes Wainman was harbouring of a hat-trick evaporated when his car let him down on the rolling lap leaving 16 cars to do battle. Scriven led away as among the reds family ties were ditched as 84 Tom Harris bumpered father 8 Mick wide, before Lund launched a kamikaze lunge at Pickering sending him into the wall at turn three. It all came apart a lap later for Lund, however, as a nasty tangle with Taylor on turn two left him needing treatment and a delay ensued. On the restart Stuart Smith was up to third and was the clear favourite, and within a couple of laps was ahead of Scriven and away for the latest in his long list of 2009 wins. 459 Lee Dimmick held second initially but Gilbank came through to finish as runner-up ahead of Tom Harris with just nine going the distance.

Result: 390, 21, 84, 459, 8, 434, 170, 103, 210, nof.

Photo Colin Casserley

Photo Colin Casserley

Just 13 cars returned to contest the Grand National, with Stuart Smith taking the handicap only to retire on the first lap with a puncture. Holden led the first half of the race until Dimmick took over chased by Wainman who then dived down the inside of the blue top on the West bend. It is not too often a driver scores a hat-trick without winning the Final, but that’s what Wainman scored as he led home Gilbank and Dimmick.

Result: 515, 21, 459, 172, 85, 170, 141, 210, nof.

The evening was rounded off with a typically spectacular firework display, and there is just one meeting to go at Incarace in 2009, this being the third annual Gala Night at Birmingham on November 21st.

Dave Goddard.

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