Ipswich – June 22nd 2013 Meeting Report

Final winner Lee Robinson collects his trophy.

Final winner Lee Robinson collects his trophy.

The annual pilgrimage to the Suffolk coast saw a respectable 30 cars arrive for the penultimate World Championship Qualifying round at Ipswich on Saturday 22nd June.

Marcel Jansen (46) made the long trip over from Holland to represent the Dutch contingent; unfortunately his efforts were met with little reward, however Lee Robinson’s (107) results were a lot more positive at the wheel of another Dutch provided machine, which as always, was immaculately turned out.

Heat 1 gridded up with 21 cars, the sole white grader of the evening Richard Davies (325) led them off. At the drop of the green flag former British Champion, Craig Finnikin (55) instantly encountered problems and didn’t make it past the first turn; suffering a mechanical fault, the Leek based Superstar slowed and retired to the middle. It wasn’t long before Nigel Harrhy (45), making his return after an enforced layoff, was back in the thick of the action; him and long distance traveller Paul Ford (388) were sent spinning in turn 3, most of the field managed to avoid the spun low graders, a handful of red graders weren’t so fortunate and collected the spun cars.

World Champion Lee Fairhurst takes to the Foxhall track.

World Champion Lee Fairhurst takes to the Foxhall track.

The drivers were quickly able to rejoin the race before the field came around again. Will Yarrow (22) was soon challenging for the lead and wasted no time passing Davies. Ryan Harrison (197) had found the quick line, emerging as the leading Red grader and was into the top 5 before half way. Frankie Wainman JNR (515) had caught up to Rob Speak (318) and Wainman shunted Speak wide in turn 3, allowing FWJ to nip up the inside, Speak was too far behind to repay the favour in the next bend.

At the halfway stage the leading trio of Yarrow, Dave Riley (422) and Harrison were all close together; Riley tried to challenge Yarrow for the lead, but this was to no avail. Further down the places Paul Harrison (2) knocked his way past Speak at the same time that Harrison (197) found a way past the Riley car and set after Yarrow. The lap boards were soon out and Harrison (197) was right with Yarrow. Mark Allen had got the better of Harrison (2) down in 5th place, who were joined by Speak and Lee Fairhurst (1) as the laps wound down, the quartet of cars were swapping places. Meanwhile Harrison (197) and got the better of Yarrow, taking the chequered flag and the first F1 race win of the night. Speak bumpered past Fairhurst on the last bend for sixth, sending the World Champion out wide enough to allow Allen through into 7th.

Result: 197, 22, 422, 515, 2, 318, 161, 1, 417, 191

Matt Newson in the Elite car last raced by James Neachell.

Matt Newson in the Elite car last raced by James Neachell.

21 cars returned to the track for heat 2, including surprise entrant Matt Newson (16) who was using the ex James Neachell Elite machine, Newson’s own tarmac car was destroyed at Buxton 6 days earlier. With no white graders on track, Chris Bonner (105), who was debuting a brand new car, led them off. Ricky Wilson (502) making a rare tarmac outing, was quickly in a spin in turn 1, getting collected by the rest of the pack at the same time. Two drivers who would dominate the weekends racing; Lee Robinson and Ryan Harrison got a closer look of each other’s car as the pair had hooked up on one another coming out of turn 3, causing a melee amongst the red graders; Paul Hines (259) got the break and was the first hard charging red grader. This charge was short lived due to Tony Smith (91) retiring to the infield, Hines was on the inside of Smith at the time and Smith took Hines with him to the middle, losing the 259 machine a lot of time. A caution was required when Ed Neachell (321) and Colin Goodswen (372) had come to a rest in the turn 1 armco.

Ed Neachell takes Colin Goodswen for a spin.

Ed Neachell takes Colin Goodswen for a spin.

Positions at the restart were: 422 105 161 361 300 41 84 150 1 55. At the green flag Tom Harris (84) made a rapid start whilst others didn’t seem so quick off the green. Mick Sworder (150) knocked Bonner out wide in Turn 1 a lap later, Danny Wainman (212) would then do the same, tapping Finnikin out wide. At the halfway point Harris had got the better of Mark Allen (161) for second; Dave Riley (422) leading the way with Allen dropping into third. Allen soon started to drop down the field further when Sworder past Allen and in quick succession Finnikin did the same, shunting Allen wide in turn 3. Harris was starting to reel Riley in and with three laps to go, Harris worked his way past Riley and in to the lead. Neachell, Newson and Luke Davidson (464) were having a good race battle for 10th place lasting to the flag. Lee Fairhurst (1) had a dive at Sworder on the last bend taking the former European Champion out wide.

Result: 84 422 1 150 197 259 212 55 161 321

Rob Speak put to the outside by Mick Sworder.

Rob Speak put to the outside by Mick Sworder.

Heat 3 saw 19 cars venture back out; the race will be largely remembered for a nasty incident involving Dean Whitwell (195), thankfully post meeting medical checks have emerged more positive than expected. Best wishes to Dean for a speedy recovery. Everyone involved should be commended for their efforts.

On the restart Mike James (417), who looked very quick before the caution, led the pack off. Ricky Wilson was again in trouble, taking a trip to the turn 1 fencing. Heading down the home straight Richard Davies (325) got it wrong, getting collected by a couple of passing cars and ending up broadside across the track. Chris Bonner (105) ending up in the turn 1 armco as a result.

Quite possibly the furthest travelled at Ipswich - Mike James, all the way from Truro in Cornwall.

Quite possibly the furthest travelled at Ipswich – Mike James, all the way from Truro in Cornwall.

A caution was called for, and with everyone ok the positions were re-gridded for the restart: 417 2245 318 150 84 515 107 2 16. The green flag was back out and Sworder was instantly battling with Speak, Speak lost out when he was sent out towards the turn 3 fence by Sworder.

Will Yarrow (22) barged his way past James and took over the running of the race. The top four; 22 150 84 515 were all together on track at this point, Sworder wasted no time in passing Yarrow, the delayed Yarrow demoted down to third as Harris slipped up the inside. Newson was trying his best to pass James and Newson eventually forced his way by the 417 machine. The laps were winding down and FWJ was attacking Yarrow in a bid to move up a place, doing so just before the flag. Harris couldn’t quite get close enough to attempt a lunge on Sworder. Credit to Ricky Wilson who was rewarded with a 10th place finish for his efforts attempting the tarmac

Result: 150 84 515 22 16 417 318 107 2 502

Paul Ford travelled all the way from St Boswells to become one of the very few Scottish drivers to have raced an F1 at Ipswich.

Paul Ford travelled all the way from St Boswells to become one of the very few Scottish drivers to have raced an F1 at Ipswich.

Final time and the biggest field of the day took to the track with 23 cars. Chris Bonner (105) and Paul Ford (388) led them off into turn 1. Nigel Harrhy (45) and Marcel Jansen (46) got hooked up down the back straight, causing the rest of the field to take avoiding action. Ford had Dave Riley (422) on his tail challenging for the lead, Riley soon past the Scottish border driver and took charge of the race. Ricky Wilson again was in trouble after he was sent to the fence. Robert Broome (41) got it wrong in turn 3 and was collected by Mick Sworder (150).

At the other end of the track Rob Speak (318) and Lee Fairhurst’s (1) race came to an abrupt end when both ended up in turn 1 together, causing a yellow flag. On the restart Tom Harris (84) was quickly on the attack trying to work a way by Mick Sworder (150) just as Harrhy spun in turn 3. Ryan Harrison (197) got the better of Paul Hines (259) to go fifth at the same time as Paul Harrison (2) retired with smoke trailing behind. A rapid Lee Robinson (107) made his move for first place passing Will Yarrow (22) by shoving him out wide. Danny Wainman (212) did the same on Craig Finnikin (55) at the opposite end of the track. Hines passed FWJ and Mark Allen in quick succession at the halfway stage.

Precious metals.... gold and silver at Ipswich.

Precious metals…. gold and silver at Ipswich.

The waved yellows were then called for debris on the track. Positions at the restart: 107 197 422 22 259 84 161 515 150 16. At the drop of the green Hines shunted Yarrow wide in to turn 1 to move upto fourth. Danny Wainman snookered Newson in to Sworder in turn 3, Sworder not giving up his position that easy, held his line down in to turn 1 where Wainman tried again to move the Sworder machine over. Fairhurst took advantage of the out of shape Sworder, putting the bumper in on 150 demoting Sworder down to 10th. 5 laps to go and Robinson had pulled out a big enough margin to eradicate any chance of an attack from Harrison (197). Yarrow lost his chance of a good finish when mechanical issues saw the 22 car slow and come to a standstill. Finnikin was trying his hardest to bumper past Sworder , but to no avail. Danny Wainman tried a last bender on his brother FWJ, but FWJ held his line to the flag.

Result: 107 197 259 84 515 212 16 1 150 55

Steve Reedman under pressure from Nigel Harrhy. Nice to see Nigel back on track after his short break.

Steve Reedman under pressure from Nigel Harrhy. Nice to see Nigel back on track after his short break.

Last race of the night and 21 cars re-emerged for the Grand National; Dave Riley (422) and Nigel Harrhy (45) set the pace on the rolling lap as front row starters behind Lee Robinson (107), who took the obligatory lap handicap. The green flag dropped and Ryan Harrison (197) got the break from the star graders, Harrhy’s come back meeting ended in taters with a trip to the turn 3 fencing. Mick Sworder (150) put a hit on the back of Ricky Wilson (502) passing the West Yorkshire driver. Lee Fairhurst (1) then put a hit on the back of Paul Harrison (2) who in turn was sent into the back of FWJ in turn 3. Danny Wainman (212) lunged at Fairhurst the following corner in lap 3; just as Craig Finnikin (55) again slowed and retired.

Sworder and Harrison (197) clashed in turn 1, allowing Sworder to pass and take the place, Tom Harris (84) doing the same whilst Harrison recovered. Long distance traveller Paul Ford (388) was in the wars again when he clashed with Robert Broome (41) into the turn 1 fence, whilst at the opposite end of the circuit Harrison (2) bumpered past FWJ. At the halfway stage the leading trio of Dave Rilley (422), Will Yarrow (22) and Sworder had broke clear; Yarrow successfully made his move to pass Rilley, and whilst Rilley was out wide, Sworder swooped underneath to take second. The following lap and this time it was Yarrow on the receiving end of Sworders bumper; Sworder taking the lead whilst Harris sneaked through into second.

Will Yarrow has a brief encounter with Ryan Harrison.

Will Yarrow has a brief encounter with Ryan Harrison.

Paul Harrison’s (2) mechanical woes continued and the Rotherham star was forced to retire once again. Riley’s luck wasn’t much better and within the space of a lap, Ryan Harrison had bumpered his way past in turn 1, with Danny Wainman performing a similar attack in turn 3. Harris hadn’t let Sworder get away in the lead; staying close behind. The lap boards were out and Harris made his move to pass Sworder, the attack into turn 1 was not successful, however the turn 3 lunge proved fruitful and Harris was away in to the lead. Harris was soon pulling out a gap over Sworder and would remain that way to the flag, the battle for third to fifth couldn’t have been any different; Yarrow, Danny Wainman and Ryan Harrison all were fighting for the same piece of track, attacking each other on the last bend, all crossing over the line together. Lee Robinson (107) had a quiet race fighting his way from the very back, unfortunately not getting into the top 10, but finished the race getting 5pts for his efforts.

Result: 84 150 212 22 197 1 422 361 515 259.

Words: Keith Organ
Photos: Colin Casserley

A solid set of results for Ryan Harrison made him the second highest point scorer on the night.

A solid set of results for Ryan Harrison made him the second highest point scorer on the night.

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