King’s Lynn 16th August – meeting report

Stu Smith in the pits at King's Lynn.   (Photo: Chris Scarboro).

Stu Smith in the pits at King’s Lynn. (Photo: Chris Scarboro).

Whilst most of the top drivers headed to Venray to contest the Gold Cup; Kings Lynn hosted a chance for the lower graders to shine on Saturday 16th August. 23 cars journeyed to the Norfolk Arena, with just a handful red grade or above. The meeting’s most notable entrant was that of former BriSCA F1 World Champion Bert Finnikin, adopting number 559 for the night; Finnikin last raced an F1 roughly 10 years ago.

The traditional Whites and Yellows race attracted 14 cars to the circuit; Martin Spiers (451) and the returning Tim Warwick (307) taking up the front running. Into the first turn and Dave Willis (337) lunged at Richard Regan (428), which resulted in a spin. Joff Gibson (249) and Willis clashed in turn 1 the following lap, which resulted in the field needing to take avoiding action.

Mark Adkins (24) was the next in trouble when he spun in turn 3. Karl Roberts (313) settled into the lead whilst, further back, Aaron Couzens (76) moved Spiers aside in turn 1. Colin Nairn (280) at this point took a trip to the fence in turn 3. Couzens was again making progress moving by Russell Cooper (415); Cooper making a mistake in the process and spun around.

Then it was Roberts who made a mistake whilst leading and spun out, gifting the lead to Couzens. James Morris (463) made a lunge at Graham Wagstaff (330) in the closing stages and Cooper dived at Roberts in the last bend to take fifth, with Couzens taking a clear win.

Result: 76 451 463 330 415 313 249 62 428 307

An all in format was adopted for the meeting with 21 cars making it out for Heat 1. Colin Nairn (280) started pole position and led them off at the start; this was short lived and whilst being challenged by Karl Roberts (313) the pair collected an infield marker tyre. Richard Regan (428) got caught up in a commotion in the back straight and suffered a spin. Mat Newson (16) was the first super star to make a move up the field, dealing with the blues, with Geoff Nicholls (215) was the next to suffer the front bumper of the 16 machine in turn 3.

Martin Spiers (451) was your early leader. Nigel Harrhy (45) came under pressure from the flying Stuart Smith JNR (390) and the 45 car duly was sent to the armco around turn 3. Russell Cooper (415) was the next to challenge Harrhy in the following bend. Smith was starting to find some pace as the track dried and it was his turn to pass the stubborn Nicholls machine.

Newson, though, was clear of any challenge from the super stars and moved his way by Murray Harrison (97) who was holding a top three spot. Murray and Ryan Harrison (197) had a quick collision in the back straight; which allowed Smith to close in on the 197 machine. Smith duly passed the 2013 Shootout winner, but this was short lived as Harrison moved Smith aside to reclaim the place.

Joff Gibson (249) lunged at the Spiers machine just as the lap boards came out. Harrison (97) spun around in turn 3 as Aaron Couzens (76) did the same in turn 1. F2 regular Steve Wycherley (62), who was in a good position, lost the back end of his car and spun. Gibson, who had been passed by Newson, tried to get back by him for the lead, but to no avail and dropped back down the order as Smith and Harrison came through. On the last lap Newson was clear for the win; but Smith got by Harrison to take second.

Result: 16 390 197 249 463 451 559 330 215 97

Heat 2 returned with 21 cars on track, with Karl Roberts starting on pole position. Mat Newson was again quick to make progress and lunged at the back of the 390 machine. Richard Regan (428) spun around mid-turn, which result in the pack scrapping to take avoiding action. Dave Willis (337) and Graham Wagstaff (330) were getting better acquainted with the armco in a clash in turn 1; the pair then clashing again the following bend.

Colin Nairn knocked Tony Smith (91) off line and out towards the stricken Willis machine. Wycherley then collected the fence in turn 1 hard. Newson had finally found a way by Smith at this point, whilst Aaron Couzens (76) was the leader. Newson and Smith continued their battle and exchanged places for the next handful of laps upto the halfway stage. Bert Finnikin now found his feet and made an attack at the 215 car; whilst Nigel Harrhy made an attempt at the lead passing the flying white grader, but Couzens was sent around in to a spin and out of contention; Joff Gibson narrowly missing Couzens.

Gibson sent Josh Smith (191) to the fence the next bend just as Harrhy also collected the plating. Smith had broken free from the challenge of Newson allowing Smith to duly set off after leader Murray Harrison. Further back Newson made a move on Gibson and he too was sent to the fence. Smith had now caught the Harrison machine and a dive at the back of the car saw Smith move in the first positon place. Finnikin and Roberts tripped up over each other in the home straight, but avoiding any damage. Ryan Harrison lunged at Newson in the closing stages and took third position.

Result: 390 97 197 16 249 463 215 559 313 191

The feature Final race saw 15 cars make the grid, with Karl Roberts on pole. Ryan Harrison lunged at Mat Newson as soon as the green dropped. Newson rode the hit and set off after the blue graders; Nicholls was the first who suffered the 16 bumper as he was snookered into Graham Wagstaff. Stuart Smith JNR and Mat Newson rekindled their earlier race battles and Smith struck the back of Newson. Harrison though at this point departed early from the race pulling to the middle. Early race leader Karl Roberts clattered the turn 3 armco unaided.

Further back down, Newson found a way back by Smith, Smith not giving up easy returned the compliment on Newson to no avail, the next bend Smith struck Newson again, but Newson made use of the Roberts car as a cushion in turn 3. Newson still keeping Smith at bay was making inroads on the leader. Josh Smith nudged wide the Roberts car into turn 1. SSJ made the decisive move when he eventually moved Newson wide along with Josh Smith, 390 taking the lead.

Back down the grid, Bert Finnikin moved James Morris (463) wide just before Morris and Richard Regan (428) engaged in a battle; now in to the closing laps of the race, Smith JNR was clear in the lead with Newson second and Josh Smith third. 390 nearly blew it when he clipped a backmarker, but managing to survive to take the chequered flag; followed by Newson and Smith with early race leader Roberts taking an excellent fourth place

Result: 390 16 191 313 463 428 76-372 415 215

The Grand National attracted 14 cars for the last race with final winner Stuart Smith JNR (390) taking the lap handicap. An early race skirmish saw James Morris (463), Tim Warwick (307) and Steve Wycherley hook up in to a pile, just as 97 and 215 also clashed. Karl Roberts your leader.

Nicholls was again in the thick of the action moving Tony Smith aside. 197 was making rapid progress up the order and he too made a move on the 91 car. A stricken 97 car out of turn 4 prompted a yellow flag caution. Roberts still your leader led the restart followed by Nicholls in second. Mat Newson was being held at bay by Ryan Harrison and as the pair entered turn 1 side by side, Newson caught a marker tyre. This left Harrison clear to set after Roberts. Harrison moved aside Nicholls just before 5 to go, with a damaged Newson also offering the same treatment to Nicholls.

Harrison had got himself in to the lead and Roberts dropped back to second, but was soon demoted to third when Newson found his way by. Richard Regan (428) and Tony Smith clashed in turn 3, Smith rejoining the race, Regan however was left stuck. SSJ took advantage of the damaged Newson machine and quickly moved him wide. Newson attempted to re-take the place back but the SSJ car was too dialled in to be moved. Harrison taking the first win in his new car followed by SSJ from the lap handicap and Newson in third, Finnikin rounding a great one off meeting with a sixth position.

Result: 197 390 16 191 313 559 215 463 91 NoF


Words: Keith Organ

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