King’s Lynn, 19th September 2015 – Meeting Report and Photo Gallery

Twenty-six cars for Heat One, including thirteen Dutch competitors and from the flag, Sierd de Vries (H54) swept into the lead while Maarten Brockman (H87) went for a spin early on, but an errant wheel spotted rounding turns three and four in search of the rest of its car, brought out the yellow flags. De Vries led the restart from Mark Adkins (24) and Nigel Harrhy (45) until they both tangled letting Marten Bijlsma (H422) into second.

Bijlsma took the lead as de Vries continued with a very wide line but Martijn Oudhuis (H477) looked to be in third behind new second place man Sander Borst (H595). The 422 car was baulked by back-markers on the last lap, allowing Borst to close right up on the final bend but he settled for an excellent second place behind the gorgeous Bijlsma machine.

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Marten Bijlsma (H422) fighting his way to the front.

It was clear the Netherlands drivers were enjoying the super smooth Saddlebow shale, taking six of the first ten places in Heat one, so Heat Two promised much the same. White-topper Stefan van Rossem (H604) forged ahead of the pack in a fast, dusty race with Billy-Tom O’Connor (316) second and Russell Cooper (415) third.

Cooper went missing giving third place to Ben Hurdman (207) while lone red top Will Hunter (220) fought his way up to fourth by the flag but there was no denying van Rossem his victory, by all accounts his first ever win which must have made it all the sweeter. (Talking of sweet, must mention the exhaust note of the Henk Jan Ronitz car in the time trials earlier in the day – sounded like an autograss car on steroids).

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Stefan van Rossem wins Heat 2.

For reasons known to all, time was becoming a major factor in the proceedings so just one Consolation race was run, open to the first 36 cars on track and halted by a caution early on. Cooper (415) had the lead from Adkins and Jan Vrieswijk in car H104, a former Ron Kroonder machine and Oscar Iliohan (H250). A pile up on the pit bend claimed Sworder (150) and Harris (84) but the race was immediately stopped when Hein Damstra (H232) crashed heavily into the marker tyres at the end of the home straight, sending a tyre into track photographer Darren Garwell who had to be taken to hospital.

The restart saw Vrieswijk shown as the lead car from Gibson (249) and Johnson (169) but the latter tangled with Harris on the pit bend. Vrieswijk, meanwhile, was really on the gas out in front. A frightening tangle between Harris and Johnson again on the home straight could have had serious consequences as they clobbered the marker tyres and the parked Damstra car. In a dusty and confusing race, Gibson spun H104 then spun himself and with five to go the lead car, according to the leader board was James Morris (463), but the win was awarded to Pieter Langeveld (H155).

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Consolation winner: Pieter Langeveld

The Final, for the Harry Smith Memorial Trophy started at 11:25pm and raised 29 cars, with H595 and H604 on the front row. Borst led while Wainman (515) and Finnikin (55) clobbered the fence, the 515 car rejoining quickly just before the caution flags flew for a marker tyre on track.

Borst again led the way with Woodhull into second until the Dutchman was nerfed heavily into the pit bend armco by a lap down Finnikin, the 595 pilot seemingly unconscious as his car careered down the back straight, was clobbered by a couple of cars and crashed into a tractor/water cart on the infield, injuring track owner Keith Chapman. The race was cautioned again to allow medical staff to attend both men and it looked at one stage as though the meeting would be abandoned, but Mr Chapman heroically insisted the show must go on.

Willis (337) led them away for the remaining laps from Mat Newson (16) and van Rossem, with the Norwich man taking the lead within a lap. Wainman had problems with a Morris Cowley, sorry, that should read a Morris and a Cowley (463 & 37) before setting off after Woodhull, passing him with five to run, then taking Willis with three to go but was too far behind to challenge the 16 car. Finnikin’s late charge netted him third on the last lap.

The meeting finished just before midnight and given the trials and tribulations of the evening, I suspect the Buxton and King’s Lynn management and staff were glad to see it end. I would like to send my best wishes to those injured during the evening and hope you all get well soon. I also hope the incidents that occurred do not produce any knee-jerk (sorry Dylan) reactions in the inevitable post-meeting discussions.

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Final top 3: Mat Newson, Frankie Wainman Junior and Craig Finnikin.

Words: Mick Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley
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