King’s Lynn, 26th April 2014 – Meeting report and photo gallery

The third shale meeting in a row following Stoke and Belle Vue took place at the Norfolk Arena at Kings Lynn on the 26th April. The toll of the previous weekends shale meeting took their toll on the anticipated pre-race booking list at Kings Lynn with 33 cars in attendance but the cars in attendance provided an entertaining night`s meeting on the Norfolk shale.

The first race of the night was scheduled to be a pre-meeting White Top Whirlwind race but with the reduced number of cars the race format was changed to a 3 heat, two-thirds format followed by Final and Grand National.

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Problems for Ricky Finney.

Heat one had a 19 car grid with 220 Will Hunter and 58 Colin Eardley in the Matt Newson hire car leading the grid off. Early spinner was 335 Mark Woodhull on turn 2 and at the end of the first lap is was Eardley in the lead from Hunter and 337 Dave Willis. On the second lap 215 Geoff Nickolls and 306 Ian Noden hooked up on turns 1/2, both cars getting going but at the back of the grid with Eardley still leading from 463 James Morris and Willis third. Dave Willis then span out on lap 5 but got going but it was Mick Sworder on the move who was now in second from Eardley with Will Yarrow in third and Rob Speak fourth.

At the half way flag Sworder was now leading from Eardley, Yarrow, Dan Johnson and Speak. By lap 10 the Dan Johson car was in second place with Sworder in the lead but not for long, with 3 laps to go the Sworder car was spun on turn 4 by now lap down Dave Willis car letting Johnson through for the lead whilst on the opposite bend the cars of Speak and Tom Harris hooked up onto the centre throwing up an almighty dust cloud. Johnson held onto the lead from Yarrow and 16 Matt Newson with the 58 car of Eardley finishing fourth.

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Frankie once again put in a good showing in the borrowed Neil Holcroft car.

Heat 2 had a 20 car grid line up with 337 Willis again spinning in the early stages on the first lap and on lap two a multiple spin by 267 / 76 / 435 and 41 on turns 4, all cars getting going quickly, whilst at the other end of the track the Finnikin car slowed stationary on turn 2 with drive shaft failure and Matt Newson retiring in the same place with engine issues (the 16 car retiring for the rest of the evening. With all this action going on it was 45 Nigel Harrhy who was now in the lead from a charging Rob Speak in second, Noden third and the cars of Paul Hines, Yarrow, and Frankie Wainman with Tom Harris in pursuit.

Speak took the lead on lap 6 and at halfway it was Speak form Harrhy second, Wainman third and Harris fourth. Harris who was by now flying pushed the 515 car wide into the 45 car to gain second place and was by now gaining noticeably on the 318 car which had a third of a lap lead at halfway. With a couple of laps to go and the 318 car coming up against backmarkers the Harris car was on the rear bumper of the Speak car going into the last corner, Speak judging what was to come went in wide with Harris up the inside, both cars dragging to the line the Speak car just having the traction for the win from Harris and Wainman finishing in third.

When world champions collide... former world champion John Lund under attack from current world champion Tom Harris.

When world champions collide… former world champion John Lund under attack from current world champion Tom Harris.

Heat 3 saw 21 cars on track, a slight delay as the 515 car was pushed onto the track by one of the tractors, a bit of work and the 515 fired up and was ready for the grid. Early leader was 58 Eardley from Ricky Finney but at lap 3 the cars of Nigel Harrhy and 462 Scott Davids went into the turn 2 fence hard with 252 Paul Redfurn following, the cars unable to move so the yellows were soon out, both the 45 and 462 cars being tractoted to the middle, the car of Harrhy taking quite a battering. On the re-start it was Eardley from Finney and Geoof Nickolls, the 215 car soon taking the lead with Finney pulling up on the main straight.

At the half way stage Nicholls was still leading from 335 Mark Woodhall from Dan Johnson and 212 Danny Wainman, the Woodhall car being spun on turn 1 soon afterwards letting Johnson through. Nicholls had held on well and looked on the pace but the train of following star men of the two Wainman brothers, 2 Paul Harrison and 259 Paul Hines soon engulfed the Nicholls car with Frankie Wainman taking up second place. The positions stayed the same to the end with Johnson winning his second heat of the night from 515, 2, 259 and Danny Wainman 5th, Geoof Nicholls hanging on for 6th.

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12th place in Heat 3 was Aaron Cozens’ only result of the night.

The Final had a grid of 23 cars on a well watered track which caught many out with the slippery first few laps. The Speak car was an early departure retiring to the infield while Billy Johson went wide with Dave Willis hooking up on the 169 car, the car of Scott Davids taking evasive action and heading rearwards into the turn 3 fence, the following pack then went into chaos to avoid the cars the cars, Davids remained in the fence leading to a yellow flag, Finnikin and Dan Johson being caught up but getting going but at the rear.

On the re-start it was 58 Eeardley from 306 Noden, Yarrow, Hines and Sworder in 5th. On the second bend Eardley drifted wide letting Noden through but Mick Sworder who has had a fair bit of bad luck and trouble recently was on a mission in this one and by lap 6 was in the lead from Yarrow, Frankie Wainman, Paul Hines , Mark Gilbank and Dan Johnson who had made rapid progress from the rear of the grid.

At halfway the positions were the same but Johson had overhauled the Gilbank car whilst a couple of laps later Paul Hines moved up the inside of the Wainman car for 3rd with Dan Johnson soon doing the same on Wainman for 4th. Up front the Sworder car was now well in the lead from Yarrow but Johnson was now on the move and on the last bend bumpered the Paul Hines car wide in no uncertain manner for 4th with Frankie Wainman also gaining aplace for 4th from Hines in 5th.

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Mick Sworder says his final win gave him a big boost.

In an interesting post race interview noted by Colin Casserley it appears the Sworder win was a benefit for both Mick and the F1 one fans as well.

I needed that win, I have had a terrible start to the season and was seriously on the verge of packing it in if I hadn`t gone well tonight. To keep both of these cars and the minstox on track is a five night a week job, I have been coming home from my day job then working till gone midnight every night of the week. I would like to thank my family for their support as without that, I couldn`t do this.

Will Yarrow also has had an interesting start to the season getting to grips with the ex 197 Ryan Harrison machine, Will commenting:

I got lucky, but you need to get lucky once in a while. I just need to figure out how to drive and set up this car when the track dries out, once I have done that I am sure I will be challenging for race wins.

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Will Yarrow says he’s still learning how to set up the former Ryan Harrison car.

The final race of the night saw a slightly depleted grid of 20 cars with the Mick Sworder car leading off from the handicap. Early on in the race the 55 car retired to the centre green soon after followed by the Dan Johnson car. Ian Noden was the early race leader but the car of Rob Speak was by lap 5 in second and the following lap leading from 337 Dave Willis but with Tom Harris who had retired in the final and was now seriously on the pace in 4th behind Will Yarrow.

It did not take long before Harris had overhauled the 337 and 22 cars and set up chase of Speak in the lead and with two laps to go the Tom Harris car pushed the 318 car aside and just drove off with a blistering pace for the win from Speak in second and Gilbank third.

Words: Andy Armer

Photos: Colin Casserley

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