After the previous weekend’s tar meetings at Birmingham and Northampton the Shootout standings had altered somewhat with Nigel Green still leading from Rob Speak, then Tom Harris and Dan Johnson trailing. Both Green and Speak had a fair points lead over the other drivers. It was then off to King’s Lynn on Saturday 22nd October for the all important penultimate meeting prior the finale at Belle Vue.
First race up was the King’s Lynn Whites and Yellows race. Early leaders were 76 Aaron Cozens from 415 Russell Cooper and 348 John Wright. The yellows were out soon for a big pile up on turn 2 with the cars of 104 Paul Spooner and 480 Fraser Nairn left stranded on the pit bend. Leader Cozens had been delayed out of turn 2 and was spun on the back straight but, as the yellows were already out, Cozens was put back and at the restart it was Cozens from Cooper, Wright and 326 Mark Sargent. Cooper was clouted out wide by Sargent on turns 1/2 and Cozens pulled up on the pit gate with clutch failure. Sargent held onto the lead to the flag.
Results: 326 348 372 244 415 306 43 287 443 127 NOF
Heat 1 gridded up 21 cars with the 432 car of Ben Farnell starting at the back as a novice. Early on, another huge pile up occurred on turns 1/2 with the cars then getting going again. It was 43 Adam Bamford from Mark Sargent and 3o6 Ian Noden in third. At halfway, Mark Sargent hit the front from Mick Sworder (150) with 217 Lee Fairhurst on his tail.
Further back Mat Newson (16) and Danny Wainman (212) were exchanging some hits with the Waiman car eventually coming off best on the final lap, firing the Newson car into the turn 3 fence and forcing him to retire to the infield. Sargent came home the winner from Sworder second, Fairhurst recovering for third after hitting the infield marker tyre.
Results: 326 150 217 212 422 259 335 306 43 432 451 238 – top 10 to final.
Heat 2 proved to be one of those ‘races to remember’ with the top 6 Shootout drivers treating the race like a World Final rather than a points scoring race. It was quite a difficult race to follow (in other words so entertaining the reporter made few notes!) but from the outset everyone was on a charge with Frankie Wainman (1) looking akin to being on steroids. Early on, Wainman, Rob Speak, Nigel Green and Dan Johnson were clobbering the daylights out of each other on every turn, with Nigel Green coming in for some hefty hits from Dan Johnson. Mark Gilbank (21) and Stuart Smith (390) were also in the mix; leading to some brutal racing, before the 480 car of Fraser Nairn, which was side-on down the back straight and attempting to restart, led to the yellows (thrown just as the 480 car finally cleared its inlet manifold and fired up!).
Following the water bowser on the restart it was 94 John Dowson in the lead from Frankie Wainman, Stuart Smith and Rob Speak. At the halfway stage, Wainman had hit the front from Dowson and a fast moving Tom Harris, with Johnson and Speak behind. The 390 car of Stuart Smith pulled up on the pit bend with prop damage (out for the night) and the bruised and battered car of Nigel Green had given up on the centre green. Wainman was on a charge but with the track dry, the tar car on Harris was quickly catching the Wainman car, which was struggling to turn in on the bends (cause: a deflating front tyre). On the back straight going into the last bend the Harris car was glued to #1’s back bumper. Wainman applied the brakes, Tom Harris the throttle and the Silsden car was hurtled into the fence; amazingly holding out the hit and out-dragging the 84 to the flag for the win.
Was this race up to that of the Coventry fence fest final earlier in the year? You decide… but it’s a close run thing!
Results: 1(515) 84 4 318 94 231 2 249 21 244 372 338 – top 10 to final.
The consolation gridded 18 cars but the main interest was Nigel Green and Mat Newson. The Greensport team had done a tremendous job in the pits after some heavy damage to the nerfs and rear axle mounts, with Ryan Harrison also lending a hand in post-sales warranty work!
By lap 4 Murray Jones (196) was the lead car with Mat Newson behind and Nigel Green in third. By halfway Newson was leading from Green, Jones having dropped to third. Newson looked to have a healthy lead but was delayed by backmarkers and Green seized his chance, firing the 16 car wide on turns 1/2 for the lead which he held to the end.
Results: 445 16 372 196 555 338 25 293 57 443 287 238 – all twelve to the final.
The final proved to be another hectic race with Dan Johnson making his intentions clear from the start nerfing the Speak car hard and wide on turn 2 and was flying from the start gaining a lot of ground over the other shooters. The yellows were out on lap 4 for 372 Goodswen and 231 Daniel van Spijker stationary on turns 1/2 . Under the re-start behind the water sprinkler it was 293 Elliot Smith, Mark Sargent second and Joff Gibson third.
With the track greasy Mick Sworder made the main ground, further back 4, 16, 318, 84, 445 and 515 were sideswiping each other in every bend, with the watered track the cars taking the usual wide outside line at Lynn. Tom Harris planted a hefty hit on the Wainman wedge on turns 2, Wainman managing to get going but further back . Further up front Sworder got past Joff Gibson but Gibson then planted a huge hit on the 150 car on turn3, both cars locking together and pulling up on the exit of turn 4 leading to the yellows.
At the restart it was Newson from Sargent, then Harris, Speak and Johnson with Green lurking behind. At the start the shooters soon got past Sargent and it was Newson from Harris, Speak, Johnson and Green. Harris had a go for the lead going into 1 firing Newson wide but ended up being span 360 degrees by Speaky, the Harris car also bursting a tyre. At the next lap Dan Johson fired the Speak car wide with a hefty hit for second. Nigel Green had been lurking behind and on the last lap down the back straight planted a great (but risky given the points situation) hit on the 318 back bumper, firing the 318 car wide with the 445 car coming home third.
Results: 16 4 445 318 212 2 259 422 555 306 43 84 (Harris finishing with two flat tyres)
The Grand National had Newson taking the handicap. Early on 217 Lee Fairhurst span on turn 2, yet again all eyes were on the shooters and yet again 4, 515, 318 and 445 were having a good battle further back. The yellows came out for 57 stranded on the turn 2 exit. At the restart Wainman and Speak got past the Johnson car on the watered greasy track but by the next lap Johnson had got ahead of these two again with the Johnson car managing to get away into the distance. The yellows were soon out for 104 Paul Spooner in the middle of turn 4 facing the wrong way and on the re-start it was 451 Martin Spiers leading off with 196 Murray Jones behind.
Dan Johnson darted away from Speak and soon the Nigel Green car was on the back of Speak, spinning the 318 car on turn 3, Speak soon re-joining but retiring with a flat tyre to the centre. Up front there was a good tussle between Dan Johnson and Murray Jones for the lead, Jones holding on well for 2 laps till the Johnson car got past for a healthy lead to the chequered flag.
Results: 4 445 196 339 212 2 422 1(515) 192 555
A fantastic night’s racing at King’s Lynn (the support 2L Saloons and minis being just as action packed in all their races) – one of the best King’s Lynn meetings for a very very long time, just a pity we now have to wait ’til March 2017 for the next Big League session there.
Words: Andy Armer
Photos: Colin Casserley