King’s Lynn, 24th October 2015 – Meeting Report and Photo Gallery

The penultimate Shootout Round, at a rather wet Adrian Flux Arena, was short of several Shootout drivers, including Craig Finnikin and Tom Harris. Going into the night, Lee Fairhurst (217) was still top of the Shootout standings, with Stuart Smith Junior (390) in second and defending champion Rob Speak (318) in third.

The customary pre-meeting Whites and Yellows Race was led away by Frankie Wainman Jnr Jnr (555) and Russell Cooper (415), with Wainman hitting the front at the drop of the green. Thomas Stevenson (75) and 415 exchanged second place, while Wainman started building up his lead. Karl Roberts (313) and Mick Rogers (244) came together on the back straight; leaving Roberts sideways against the Armco. This proved to be the youngest Wainman’s undoing, slowing behind the stationary Roberts car and allowing Russell Cooper through into the lead.

Dave Willis (337) moved into second, while Jason Eaton (448) and Ollie Ives (237) tangled on the pits bend. Early leader 555 re-joined, and spun around a couple of times before retiring to the infield. The laps counted down and Cooper remained in control, taking the flag ahead of Dave Willis and Geoff Nickolls.

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Russell Cooper after winning the Whites & Yellows race

Twenty-two cars lined up on track for Heat 1, including Shootout contenders 150, 2, 515 and 16. Mick Sworder (150) had problems before the start, clipping a marker tyre on the entry to turn 1 and spinning himself. Chris Farnell (32) took up the lead, with Martin Spiers (451) and Karl Hawkins (175) slotting into second and third.

175 soon moved into second, but Farnell lost control and spun, handing the Hawkins the lead and bringing out the yellow flags. The flag dropped for the restart and Paul Hines (259) wasted no time in moving France aside for third. Paul Harrison (2) and Frankie Wainman Junior (515) continued their battle, with Harrison edging ahead and into fifth spot. The lower graders both departed just before half distance, leaving Hines, Harrison and Wainman to chase down Hawkins. Wainman (515) took the race win from Harrison and Newson.

Heat 2 was led away by Austin Moore (127) and Eaton, with Shootout hopefuls Speak, Fairhurst, Smith, Wainman (212) and Johnson at the back of the grid. Smith and Wainman collided in turn 2, ending the race for the 212 driver. PJ Lemons had made his way to the front, but his lead was short-lived and soon it was Roberts out front. Shootout leader Lee Fairhurst struggled to get grip on the wet track and Stuart Smith Junior desperately tried to recover from his earlier spin. Johnson picked off the lower graders to make his way to the front, taking a comfortable win ahead of Green and Scriven.

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Chaos at the beginning of Heat 2

Martin Spiers took up the early lead in the Shootout-heavy Consolation, with Moore and Eaton slotting into place behind him. Brocksopp made his way up the inside of Eaton, leaving him to defend from Scott Davids.

The leader went wide in turns 3 and 4, promoting Austin Moore to the top spot. Behind the leaders, Stuart Smith Junior and Rob Speak battled for fourth and fifth. Moore went out in the same bend as the previous leader. Brocksopp inherited the lead before the yellow flags were required.  Davids soon became the fourth race leader but was unable to maintain the position. By the time the lap boards came out, it was Brocksopp back out front. The blue-grader crossed the line ahead of Speak and Sworder.

Twenty-eight cars made their way onto the regraded King’s Lynn shale for the Final, which again saw 444 take up the front running. The highest of the Shootout contenders on the first lap was the 150 machine. A gaggle of blue tops piled into the turn 1 Armco, including Ed Neachell, Josh Smith and Neil Scriven. Neachell restarted, only to spin and be collected by Hines.

Green got to the front, but was soon caught and passed by the 150 machine. Lower down, battles between 4 and 212, and 16 and 318 continued. Fairhurst fought his way up to third only to clip the Ed Neachell car, which was stuck facing the wrong way on the exit of turn 2. Sworder remained in control for the remaining laps, while Speak snuck up the inside of Green on the last lap to take second. This move put Speak at the top of the Shootout standings.

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Final top 3: Mick Sworder, Rob Speak and Mat Newson.

Grand National one again saw PJ Lemons out front at the start, while consolation winner Chris Brocksopp hit a marker tyre and flew off onto the middle. After an early caution, 444 led them round for the restart, closely followed by 555 and 127, with 16 and 212 the highest of the Shootout drivers.

It wasn’t long before the yellows were called for again; this time for Stuart Smith Junior, who hit the Armco hard while trying to eliminate Speak. Lemons survived another restart, now ahead of Green. Newson moved Wainman (555) aside and Wainman (212) also went up the inside of the white grader.

Fairhurst went through to third as Nigel Green claimed the lead. 445 took the flag, but didn’t take the car to get weighed and was disqualified from the results, handing the win (and the points’ top spot) to Lee Fairhurst.

Going into the final round, Fairhurst has just a one-point lead ahead of defending champion Speak, who has a one-point advantage over Johnson.

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Will one of these drivers take the silver roof at Sheffield?

Words: Rhosanna Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley

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